Summary of “The Flight from Conversation”

“The Flight from Conversation” is an article by Sherry Turkle and it is about how this generation of people are losing their ability to communicate via face to face and how we are always communicating on social media websites. The author backs up her argument of how we sacrificed our face to face conversation to only only communication. She continues on about how we’ve became accustomed to being “alone together” and how we are always connected to people without being with one another (paragraph 4). Sherry talks about how conversation is more intimate and better. She backs it up when she explains ” FACE-TO-FACE conversation unfolds slowly. It teaches patience. When we communicate on our digital devices, we learn different habits. As we ramp up the volume and velocity of online connections, we start to expect faster answers” (Paragraph 14). We are losing our ability to function as normal human beings and technology is taking over. The biggest statement she provided which solidifies her argument is “One of the most haunting experiences during my research came when I brought one of these robots, designed in the shape of a baby seal, to an elder-care facility, and an older woman began to talk to it about the loss of her child” (Paragraph 18). Sherry Turkle explains it to us how these are consequences and they are only leading it to worse things. That doesn’t mean it is over. Sherry Turkle also tells us how we can resolve this. She says people have to lessen their online communications and further more their face to face conversations. Otherwise technology will take over and there will no more face to face conversations.


“The Flight From Conversation” by Sherry Turkle

My Summary on “Flight From Conversation”

On the article of “The Flight From Conversation” written by Sherry Turkle, she focuses on how communication/conversation is being sacrificed for technology. The types of technology she speaks of in her article is social media, emails, text messages and artificial intelligence which are some of the things replacing regular face to face conversation. Another thing mentioned in the article is that, the author reveals that she prefers face to face conversation over technology because what it reduces is our interpersonal skills, patience and self-reflective skills. Two interesting citations is, 1) “A high school sophomore confides to me that he wishes he could talk to an artificial intelligence program instead of his dad about dating; he says the A.I. would have so much more in its database.” and 2)”One of the most haunting experiences during my research came when I brought one of the robots, designed in the shape of a baby seal, to an elder- care facility, and an older woman began to talk to it about the loss of her child.” which adds to her argument about how they have embraced a new kind of delusion that accepts simulation rather than communication.What the author’s main objective of this article is to, minimize the use of technology and start back relying on face to face conversations.

Turkle, Sherry. “The Flight From Conversation.” The New York Times 21 Apr. 2012

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

A Summary of “The Flight from Conversation” by Jason

“The Flight from Conversation” is an article written by Sherry Turkle for The New York Times, focusing primarily on the willing sacrifice of conversation (personal, face to face interaction and relationships) for online, technological connections.  The author argues in favor of conversation, stating that it’s more personal and intimate.  Isolating yourself to online connection leads to many consequences, according to the author.  Such consequences include reduced interpersonal skills, reduced patience, and lack of self-reflection skills (being unable to express yourself appropriately).  Furthermore, the author states that living in these online worlds leads to delusional relationships, loss of faith in others, weakened personalities, and greater loneliness.  She cites a powerful example to support her claim about delusional relationships: “One of the most haunting experiences during my research came when I brought one of these robots, designed in the shape of a baby seal, to an elder-care facility, and an older woman began to talk to it about the loss of her child” (Paragraph 12).  Turkle believes these devices and new trends are changing people for the worse.  To avoid this, she suggests that people limit the use of their electronic devices and online connection, while continuing to seek out face to face conversation.

Turkle, Sherry. “The Flight From Conversation.” The New York Times 21 Apr. 2012

In the article “The Flight From Conversation” written by Sherry Turkle discusses how modern technology affects the way we communicate with each other. To support this idea, the author wrote that “We’ve become accustomed to a new way of being “alone together.” Technology-enabled, we are able to be with one another, and also elsewhere, connected to wherever we want to be.” (Paragraph 3) This shows that with modern technology, we are able to communicate with one another without physically being together, we have grown accustomed to the idea of “alone together” in which we are forgetting the importance of physical contact. To further support what she meant, the author has provided an example in the statement ” A 16-year-old boy who relies on texting for almost everything says almost wistfully, “Someday, someday, but certainly not now, I’d like to learn how to have a conversation.” (paragraph 7) This example shows that with the technology we have today, where we relies on it for almost everything we do, causing the new generations to fear conversation, and not know how to have a conversation. The author is concerned about the way that technologies are affecting the society as a whole, where we rely too much on technology causing us to forget about importance of having a true conversation, not through devices, but through physical contacts, where we are able to create connection with one another. According to the author technology affects the society as a whole, the more we rely on technology the faster we loses our ability to connect and have a true conversation with each other. The author’s main argument is that we should stop relying too much on technology for communicating with one another, and that we should take the first step to look up, and look at one another, and start a real conversation.


Turkle, Sherry. “The Flight From Conversation.” published by The New York Times 21 Apr. 2012

Summary on The Flight From Conversation

In the article The Flight From Conversation, the narrator Sherry Turkle discusses how technologies change how people communicate with one another.  Sherry Turkle states, “I’ve learned that the little devices most of us carry around are so powerful that they change not only what we do, but also who are.”(Paragraph 3) This statement by Sherry Turkle shows, that technologies can alter a person’s personality because they are so accustom with their individual devices. Sherry Turkle furthermore gives supporting details on how technologies change the personal connections with one another.  As she states, “In conversation we tend to one another. (The word itself is kinetic; it’s derived from words that mean to move together.) We can attend to tone and nuance. In conversation, we are called up to see things from another’s point of view.”(Paragraph 13) She expresses her concerns that technologies bring about on everyone because it disables the society to have an actual conversation and to have a connection with one another. According to Sherry Turkle technologies decreases one’s ability to know how to have an appropriate conversation in person. Sherry Turkle’s main message in her article is that everyone needs communicate and look out for one another rather than with technologies.



Turkle, Sherry. “The Flight From Conversation.” The New York Times 21 Apr. 2012: n. pag. Print.

Strategies for Summarizing

We had some good conversation in class today about strategies for summarizing effectively. Thank you all for sharing your summaries and writing with the class and for asking important questions.

Here are some of the things we discussed about summary (as well as a few new additions). Please take some time to review them before next Wednesday’s class, and use them going forward.

I also encourage you to continue the conversation by posting comments to this post (just hit “reply”) with further strategies (I’d love to hear your thoughts) and questions about summarizing. I’ll be checking in on this discussion over the next few days and am happy to continue this conversation online here to help you become more comfortable with the summarizing work we have done (and will continue to do) this semester.
-The length of the summary will vary depending on the length of the text you are summarizing, but in general, summaries for a short article should be one paragraph that are each neither too undeveloped (e.g., 1-2 sentences) or too over-developed (e.g., 12-15 sentences).

-Since you only have a short space to convey the main points of the article, you should get right into the text’s thesis right away (remember, the thesis is not the general subject–such as technology–but a particular author’s argument about a particular topic or idea). While it may be useful/desirable in other types of writing (creative writing, more informal writing) to start with generalizations and/or questions in order to engage your reader or ease into the topic, in a summary paragraph you want to immediately and clearly state the author and title of the text and the text’s thesis. Doing so in the first sentence of your summary will help you to focus your attention on the task at hand: summarizing the text’s ideas (not bringing in your own ideas and opinions). Remember, a large part of writing effectively and successfully is to consider your purpose and your audience. In this case, your purpose is to convey information, in as straightforward a manner as possible, to readers about the content of a text (what the text says). You are not asked to respond to that content, or evaluate it. You don’t have to worry about grabbing your reader’s attention. Your primary goal is to summarize a text.

-You should only include discussion of the main point (thesis) and essential supporting points of the text. You will not be able to mention every detail or example the author uses. Use active reading to help you identify key words, identify the author’s claims, and locate important supporting points.

Summaries should be concise (which means to-the-point) and clear, correct, accurate, and accessible. You only have a short space to convey a lot of information (a pretty difficult task!), so every word you write is precious. If a word or sentence doesn’t help to summarize the text’s main points, then it doesn’t have a place in your summary. Instead of spending time repeating ideas, discussing something generally, or beating around the bush, be direct and clear. State the author’s main ideas and stay grounded in the particulars of the text itself.

-Summaries should be written in the third person (she, he, it, her, him, its, they, them, their), not the first person (I, we, my, our, us, me) or second person (you, yours, yours).

You should not include your own experiences, opinions, ideas, interpretation, analysis, bias, etc. You are not writing a subjective response or giving your point of view/response to the text. Remember that, when writing a summary of a text, your task is to concisely and accurately state the text’s thesis and supporting points. Therefore, your focus should be on an objective discussion of the main ideas of the text you read. Writing in the third person will help you to maintain this objective stance.

-In your summary (and all essays), write about the text in the present tense. Even though the author wrote the article in the past, you still discuss it, always, in the present tense. Some examples are: writes, states, claims, argues, examines, discusses.

You may use quotations from the text, but these quotes should be used sparingly, be short, and be relevant to the point you are discussing. Remember if you use the exact words from the text, you must indicate this by using quotation marks (” “) around the word and to provide a citation for that quote. We’ll discuss citation in greater detail this semester, but for now, remember that we using MLA (Modern Language Association) style. For MLA citations, simply provide the page number in parentheses after the quote. E.g., “Somerville officials hope to create a well-being index that they can track over time” (3).

(When you are discussing more than one text, you will also need to include the author’s last name in the parenthesis, but for this summary, which only is on one article, you can simply provide the page number.)

As always, I’m happy to discuss summarizing with you in more detail during my office hours, so stop by then if you’d like some individualized feedback on your summaries.