Sherry Turkle was interviewed by NPR’s Fresh Air host, Terry Gross last week. Turkle said this about our connected children: “Children are getting these phones earlier and earlier. These are years when children need to develop this capacity for solitude, this capacity to feel complete playing alone. If you don’t have a capacity for solitude, you will always be lonely, and my concern is that the tethered child never really feels that sense that they are sort of OK unto themselves; and I talk to college students who’ve grown up with the habit of being in touch with their parents five, 10, 15 times a day. And it’s no longer Huckleberry Finn as a model of adolescence, you know, sailing down the Mississippi alone — we’ve developed a model of adolescence and childhood where we sail down the Mississippi together with our families in tow.”
Do you remember the first independent, grown-up thing you did without a parent by your side? Taking the bus somewhere or walking to the store or library? If anything came up, you relied on your own abilities. You gained confidence and a stronger sense of self. Would it have been the same result if you had a cell phone in your pocket?
Remember, we are having a noon-time panel discussion this Wednesday, Oct. 24th moderated by Professor Urquhart. Join us at the Campus Library for some interesting conversation over lunch; refreshments and coffee provided. For more information call me at 228-4567.
Posted by KJ Bolling, LAII