The “Crisis” of the Networked Self: Manufactured, Patronizing, and Misguided

April 26, 2012 at 16:44 (Misc, Philosophy)

It strikes me as perfectly indicative of everything I want to say in this post that Sherry Turkle’s latest Cassandra impression in the New York Times is titled “The Flight From Conversation,” yet comes accompanied by an illustration that looks, to me, like a bunch of people having conversations.

I suppose it is something of a meta-comment to note that lately, an issue is topical when it shows up in the NYT and The Atlantic, lights up my Twitter radar, and then gets critiqued in Slate and again in The Atlantic. But really, the reason I am moved to comment has more to do with the fact that few things make me crankier than Turkle’s particular style of fretting critique, especially mobilized for the purpose of bemoaning the maladies afflicting our contemporary existence. Crankiness and caffeine, admixed in a solution of thesis-procrastination, apparently react to produce lots of text and a precipitate of crystallized snark.

To lead off with, here’s someĀ ad hominem that actually has a legitimate role in the argument. I want to suggest that the fact that Sherry Turkle seems not to know how to have a genuine conversation via SMS or Facebook is her problem, not society’s. Read the rest of this entry »

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