Cell phones have given us the ability to be “connected” at all times. In the middle of a party, around the dinner table, and even on the playground, we pull out our smartphones to find information, see what our friends are doing, and feel more linked with the world.
But according to Sherry Turkle, a professor at M.I.T. and the author of “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age,” our phones are making us far less connected than ever before.
Turkle explains that constant phone checking is making us less empathetic and, therefore, less likely to form friendships and meaningful relationships. In an article for the New York Times, “Stop Googling. Let’s Talk,” she says the situation is especially problematic for young people who are so accustomed to being behind their phones that they don’t know how to engage in person.
But, Turkle argues that giving up our phones isn’t the solution to the problem. Adults and children can reclaim their ability to connect and feel empathy through good, old-fashioned conversation. By putting away our phones during social situations and actively engaging in more authentic in-person conversation, both children and adults can increase their ability to be more empathetic and connected to those around them.
To learn more about how phones are impacting the relationships and communication skills of young people, read the full article on nytimes.com.