Reclaiming Conversation Book Summary - Reclaiming Conversation Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Reclaiming Conversation summary

Sherry Turkle

The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

4.1 (83 ratings)
18 mins
Table of Contents

    Reclaiming Conversation
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Digital communication cannot replace in-person conversation when it comes to creating authentic social connections.

    You’re meeting a friend for a drink and, just after you sit down, she pulls out her cellphone. Are you offended? Should you be offended?

    Whether you’re ticked off or not, having a phone at the table disconnects us from the people right in front of us. Studies have shown that even having a muted phone on us when speaking with a friend changes the nature of our conversation. Knowing our attention may be needed elsewhere at any moment makes us revert to superficial conversation and steer away from more sensitive or emotional topics.

    People also feel less connected to one another when there’s a phone lying on the table. This has become a noticeable problem and, in general, communication via digital media is hindering us from forming strong emotional bonds and empathy.

    One recent study compared the interaction of college students communicating face-to-face with students communicating via digital means such as a video chat or online messaging. The results showed that the strongest emotional bond was created between the students communicating in person.

    That’s because face-to-face communication has some clear advantages over digital devices: our faces allow for a direct connection between the words we speak and the feelings that accompany them. Also, those communicating in person can offer each other more attention than if they’re talking over Skype. For example, students will browse online or even watch videos while Skyping – something they wouldn’t do if they were sharing the same physical space with their conversation partner.

    Ultimately, these new ways of interacting can have dire consequences. Studies have shown that college students are now displaying up to 40 percent fewer signs of empathy when interacting with others than was the case 20 years ago.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Reclaiming Conversation?

    Key ideas in Reclaiming Conversation

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Reclaiming Conversation about?

    Reclaiming Conversation (2015) reflects on how we interact with one another in our increasingly digitized world. Constant interruptions, leaving messages unanswered and lack of interest have all become the norm in a world rife with mobile devices and screens. But is this what we want? And if not, what can we do about it?

    Best quote from Reclaiming Conversation

    All thinking, strictly speaking, is done in solitude and is a dialogue between me and myself. – Hannah Arendt

    —Sherry Turkle
    example alt text

    Who should read Reclaiming Conversation?

    • Anyone who spends a lot of time in front of screens
    • Parents and caregivers
    • Anyone who wants to have more meaningful conversations

    About the Author

    Sherry Turkle is a psychologist specializing in human–technology interaction and psychoanalysis, and is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT.  She has published several books on the effect of new media on society, such as Life on the Screen and Alone Together.

    Categories with Reclaiming Conversation

    Books like Reclaiming Conversation

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial