Opinion | Pop Culture

Sherry Turkle: How to Keep Your iPhone from Destroying Your Relationships

The MIT expert weighs in on our worst technology sins.
Sherry Turkle: How to Keep Your iPhone from Destroying Your Relationships
Image: Heath Brandon / Flickr

If you’ve ever watched a group of people glued to their smartphones and wondered how these devices are shaping our relationships, Sherry Turkle’s research is for you.

The MIT professor, known for her insightful books and TED talks, studies Americans' relationship with technology and how it spills over into our interactions with our partners, kids, and friends.

A recent Pew Internet survey found that 9 in 10 Americans had used their cell phones during the most recent social gathering they attended, even though the vast majority of us (82%) consider it annoying or distracting for others to do so in conversation.

Actually talking with other people, free from interruptions, can help mitigate some of the damage done by distracting smartphones and tablets, writes Turkle in her new book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. “The pathway to empathy is something you learn through conversation. It’s not as if we need to invent incredible ...

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