Reaction to “Reclaiming the Conversation” by Sherry Turkle

Throughout this excerpt from Sherry Turkle’s “Reclaiming Conversation” I find points that I disagree with more than things that I agree with. She makes the argument that phones are making us less social and that people aren’t paying as much attention to each other as they used to and how this is affecting families in our American culture. Turkle writes “So children, from the earliest stages, complain about having to compete with smart phones for their parents’ attention. – An eight year old boy gets up from the table and tugs at his mothers sleeve when she takes out her phone during the meal. ‘No. Not now. Not now!’ he pleads. As she turns back to her child, the mother says, ‘Mommy has to make a quick call.’ The boy returns to his chair, sullen. (104)” This little story that Turkle tells might be accurate in some cases but most parents have reasons to take phone calls in such as business or important family matters. No good parent would neglect their child to call their friend to gossip or talk about their day. I do agree with this to a certain degree though since many families are definitely less social than they used to be with each other, however I don’t think it’s as bad as Turkle makes it out to be.

Shortly after that first point Turkle makes about parents using their phones instead of spending time with their kids, she then says “Families tell me they like to have their arguments through text, email, and Gchat – that this helps them express themselves more precisely.” I enjoyed this quote because I agree with the families that have arguments like this. If done correctly this is a great way to make sure that arguments don’t get too heated and that people feelings don’t get hurt. This also helps ensure that the arguers think about what they say before they type it instead of just blurting out the first thing they think of.

Overall I enjoyed the article since I see technology as helping people become more social as long as it’s in moderation and doesn’t consume us as a society. It was nice to see different points about this topic and how they differed from my own point of views.


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