We have written about the impact of technology on our lives and work numerous times, sharing our perspectives on how our constant need to email, text, tweet, and update status disconnects us from good old-fashioned face-to-face human interaction. We’ve shared our experiences about being bowled over by a fast-walking texter in Manhattan, observing a group of people around a table focused on their electronic devices rather than each other, coaching an executive about the perils of replying to emails during happy hour (or while driving), empathizing with the employee who spends most meetings with her boss wondering if he has heard a word she has said as he “multitasks” in her presence.
MIT professor and New York Times contributor Sherry Turkle recently wrote a powerful Op-Ed that captured the issues of what she calls being “alone together” – being with another person and at the same time connected via technology to somewhere or someone else. Turkle writes that this move from conversation to connection has created work environments where we prefer quick communication, keep each other at a distance, have our “sips of online connection” and limited moments of attention to other people, and habitually grab a device when we have a moment to ourselves. This makes it more difficult to truly understand, relate to, and know our colleagues – and to be comfortable in self-reflection and aloneness.
What is your perspective on this issue of the impact of technology on human connection and conversation? Ironically, join the conversation on our blog.
Read Turkle’s full op-ed piece here: The Flight from Conversation, and check out these other Thoughtful Leaders blog posts on the subject:
- You can’t walk, chew gum, and text at the same time
- Get out of the meeting maze
- Don’t respond to email when you’re in a bar drinking
- Try a little kindness
Thanks and all the best,
Lisa and Robyn