It is a paradox of our technological world: As we communicate more, we have less time to talk among ourselves. We tend to turn away from colleagues, friends, and family and towards our phones, and thus sacrifice conversation for connection. What are the risks to humanity from the decline of fewer face-to-face conversations? How are our phones changing our thinking, our physiology, and even the essence of what it means to be human? MIT professor Sherry Turkle, winner of the sixth annual Zócalo Book Prize for Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, shows how digital connection is undermining self-reflection, empathy, democracy, and even love. Turkle visits Zócalo to explain how societies must fight back against this decline of conversation—by limiting the reach of digital tools and wireless technology, setting aside times and spaces from which smartphones are banned, and creating new opportunities for solitude and for public conversations necessary for self-reflection, and progress.
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