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Archive for the tag “solitude”

Let’s do lunch

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

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“…the most terrible poverty”

I recently came across a quote by Mother Theresa.  She said, “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted.  It is the most terrible poverty.” In our first book discussion this past Wednesday night, I wondered aloud if, in the midst of all this technological connectedness, are we lonely?

As our brains are wired to be socially connected with other humans, that wiring is looking for facial expressions, tonal changes, body language.  Interpretation of these messages is learned over time.  At the book discussion, we spent some time talking about how much of this physical interaction is lost in the daily life of children and young adults.  One participant pointed out that our emotions seemed to be limited by the emoticons available.

We also had a chance to talk about the importance of solitude and how it was viewed.   Depending on whether one is an extrovert or introvert it was valued differently, but the role it plays in allowing our brains to reset and be creative.  In Stillness, Daily Gifts of Solitude, author R. Mahler observed that by doing nothing, “we stare into the potential of everything.” (p.65)

Thanks to everyone who attended and participated.  The food was good and the company was great. Mark your calendars for the next book discussion slated for Wednesday, October 24th from noon to 1pm.

by KJ Bolling, LAII

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