Regular price: $31.50

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity - and why reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground.

We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.

Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over 30 years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: at work, at home, in politics, and in love, we find ways around conversation, tempted by the possibilities of a text or an email in which we don't have to look, listen, or reveal ourselves.

We develop a taste for what mere connection offers. The dinner table falls silent as children compete with phones for their parents' attention. Friends learn strategies to keep conversations going when only a few people are looking up from their phones. At work we retreat to our screens although it is conversation at the water cooler that increases not only productivity but commitment to work. Online we want to share only opinions that our followers will agree with - a politics that shies away from the real conflicts and solutions of the public square.

The case for conversation begins with the necessary conversations of solitude and self-reflection. They are endangered: These days, always connected, we see loneliness as a problem that technology should solve. Afraid of being alone, we rely on other people to give us a sense of ourselves, and our capacity for empathy and relationship suffers. We see the costs of the flight from conversation everywhere: Conversation is the cornerstone for democracy, and in business it is good for the bottom line. In the private sphere, it builds empathy, friendship, love, learning, and productivity.

But there is good news: We are resilient. Conversation cures.

©2015 Sherry Turkle (P)2015 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Low-key urgency flows steadily beneath Kirsten Potter's appealing interpretation of this important audiobook about our diminishing ability to connect with people in intimate ways. Her clear phrasing, full of texture and sonority, makes listeners want to hear every syllable and comprehend every idea." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    135
  • 4 Stars
    77
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    122
  • 4 Stars
    68
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    106
  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    8
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

So good, I had to stop listening.

What made the experience of listening to Reclaiming Conversation the most enjoyable?

I thought I was buying an audio book about conversation (hints for conversation starters at parties, etc.). That was my mistake. This book details how families, parents, teens, young adults are so distracted by phones and apps that they can't have a face to face conversation. I liked hearing how families are dealing with the digital onslaught.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Couldn't take it anymore. It is a long book and I really didn't want to hear anymore about families and couples that fight, eat dinner, spend time with each other while constantly being on their phones. I hate to see it in real life and so found it too irritating to listen to for the whole book.

Have you listened to any of Kirsten Potter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

I can't believe families have fights on text, group text apps. I am worried about us.

Any additional comments?

Ugh. In a way I guess I am glad to know this info, but I really wish I didn't.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Obvious and redundant

While I typically enjoy writings such as these, I found this book to be incredibly obvious and horribly redundant chapter to chapter. The message and information contained is both important and practical, but was drawn out to 50+ chapters in what could have just as easily been fully elucidated in more concise form.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

repetitive but interesting

I think this could have been about half the length. The book seemed repetitive with references to the same things too often. I liked how the book brought up how much we ignore people and situations to be 'in our phone' and online and how we use it to avoid silence and are therefore making it more difficult to just socialize and get to know each other as strangers in society.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Important Book for our times, but repetitive.

Turkle's work and perspective are vital for our time, this book was a bit tough to get through in audio form as it's very repetitive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

As a young individual in the workforce, I loved it

What a fun way to look through that lense. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommended it to many people at work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Repetitive

Couldn't finish it. Too boring. Horribly repetitive. Wasted hours hoping the author would say something new, but no luck.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Most important book of our age

Literally the most important book of our age. Very worthwhile. But it for all your friends and family. Talk about it. Teach, converse.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Yes to conversation!

Well argued claims in this book, and appel to common sence.
Would like to see more studies of good and bad proven behavior in interaction with smart devices. Time will show, and on that way my smart phone is steeling some monster gaps of my time,and quality time with my kids. New rules in town!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book of 2018

I enjoyed this book so much. Professor Turkle is a great intellect who brings insight to the issues facing teenagers and their parents. It confirms to some degree what I've heard about high school life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Required reading, audio should have chapters

This book is very important to read, as it addresses a critical issue in our lives and relationships.

My only complaint is that the audio lacks chapter markers or headings in the recording. So I could never know where I was in the structure of the book. Good luck searching later for a key quote!

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • K. Goldschmitt
  • 06-14-16

Better as a TED talk or podcast

I found this to be a very repetitive book with a few really compelling points. Turkle seems to buy into the premise that Autism is about a lack of empathy in her statements that our love for technology is turning the next generation into a bunch of autistics. The same goes with her statements about engineers as administrators. I find that and her comments about 'normal' social interactions to be off-putting. What I like is the evidence she provides that our addiction to our devices are making meaningful connection more difficult. And I will also implement some of her suggestions as a friend, partner, teacher, and colleague.