I recently listened to a balanced discussions on our love-hate relationship with email and smart phones and social media. [I’ll share some of my favorite apps another time that can actually help us.] Take some time to listen to Krista Tippett’s interview from On Being. Its called, Alive Enough? The author interviewed is Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other.
The On Being site has transcripts if you’d rather read. Here’s an excerpt.
Krista Tippett, host: Sherry Turkle directs the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Her book, Alone Together, created a catchword for anxiety about the alienating potential of technology. But that’s not really Sherry Turkle’s message. This hour, for the Civil Conversations Project, we take on the real challenge she poses — that we must lead examined lives with our digital objects — actively shaping technology to human purposes.
Ms. Sherry Turkle: I’m not like a romantic or — I don’t have like a crazy nostalgia for an unplugged life in cabins on the woods. Not at all. I’m just saying that we have to ask ourselves, what is served by having an always on, always on you, open to anyone who wants to reach us way of life?
Ms. Tippett: Sherry Turkle founded and directs the intriguingly titled MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. She made waves with her book Alone Together; it was widely reviewed as a call to “unplug” our digital gadgets. But as I’ve read her and listened to her speak, I hear Sherry Turkle saying something far more thought-provoking: that we can lead examined lives with our technology. And this is a civic, not merely a private matter. So we’ve made Sherry Turkle part of the Civil Conversations Project. For how we live with our technology is reshaping human relationship. And Sherry Turkle is full of usable ideas — from how to declare email bankruptcy to teaching our children the rewards of solitude — a core human experience more elusive for their generation. In technology as in life, it seems, discontent can be the beginning of wisdom.