‘Reclaiming Conversation’: what we lose when we’re always online: empathy plays a repeated and crucial role

In Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation, her important new book on the often adverse effects of technology on society, empathy plays a repeated and crucial role.

The ability to develop and converse about sophisticated thoughts on complex subjects, and to appreciate the reactions of others through face-to-face encounters are, in Turkle’s mind, compromised by society’s increasing reliance on smartphones and other portable technologies. ..

Turkle’s aspiration here is to instead help us modify our behavior in some positive and meaningful way that will help us regain the ability to converse, and ultimately, to empathize….

By far, empathy is the guiding thread that runs throughout this book, and Turkle’s argument in pursuit of it is very strong. In fact, she mentions the term on more than a hundred pages, and the concept touches on every aspect of human interaction…..

By Christopher Hartman