Summary for “The Flight From Conversation” by Sherry Turkle

In this article the main idea that Turkle is getting across is that we have lost the skills of conversation and replaced it with connection through text and social media. Turkle supports her main idea by constant examples throughout the article. In paragraph 12 Turkle says ‘We are tempted to think that out little “sips” of online connection ass up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places – in politics, commerce, romance and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation’. She also states that “FACE-TO-FACE conversation unfolds slowly. It teaches patience, When we communicate on our digital devices, we learn different habits”. Turkle says that we use conversation with other to learn to converse with ourselves. And lack of conversation diminishes the chances of learning the skill of self-reflection. After Turkle did some research about people and their relationship with technology and says “Researchers around the world are busy inventing sociable robots , designed to be companions to the elderly, to the children, to all of us”. in paragraph 24 Turkle said ¬†“So, in order to feel more, and to feel more like ourselves, we connect. But in our rush to connect, we flee from solitude, our ability to be separate and gather ourselves. Lacking the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people but don’t experience them as they are. It is as though we use them, need them as spare parts to support our increasingly fragile selves”. However, burke does state that the skill of conversation can be fixed, she says that we should make room for conversation both at home and in the work place. she even says to listen to one another because it is often in unedited moments, moments in which we hesitate and stutter and go silent, that we reveal ourselves to one another. Turkle ¬†then ends the article and gives us a challenge “So i say, look up, look at one another, and let’s start the conversation”.



The Flight From Conversation By Sherry Thurkle