Looking a wild web chatting

When with them, I do the same thing and so, too, do they.True conversation, for Turkle, is different: an expression of desire rather than habit.

Given the inane chitchat that so often flows from smartphones, today’s critics of technology might well embrace Thoreau as a techno-skeptic prophet, his prescient witticisms bolstering their indictments against the Internet.Turkle pulls her conversation ideals directly from the scenes of her training in clinical psychology and ethnography.Extoling both methods, she condones “a kind of conversation that doesn’t give ‘advice’ but helps people discover what they have hidden from themselves so they can find their inner compass.” The ideal conversation unfolds and unpacks something suppressed; my interlocutors and I slide into a fluid therapist–patient relationship.Thoreau enters Turkle’s book like John Wayne walking into a saloon.Amid disarray, here stands the figure who will set things right.

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