This article in the NY Times by Sherry Turkle from MIT is too juicy not to share. She writes about how technology has turned us into a society of people who are avoiding real conversations for the false connection available through our handheld devices and computer screens. She posits that being alone is a problem that technology has solved…
We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.
We expect more from technology and less from one another and seem increasingly drawn to technologies that provide the illusion of companionship without the demands of relationship. Always-on/always-on-you devices provide three powerful fantasies: that we will always be heard; that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be; and that we never have to be alone.
When people are alone, even for a few moments, they fidget and reach for a device. Here connection works like a symptom, not a cure, and our constant, reflexive impulse to connect shapes a new way of being.
So what does this mean for us as leaders and coaches? What does this mean for our organizations? Is the art of conversation really lost?
Sherry Turkle is a psychologist and professor at M.I.T. and the author, most recently, of “Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other.”