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We are tempted to give precedence to people we are not with over people we are with.
People talk to me about their phones and laptops as the “place for hope” in their lives, the “place where sweetness comes from.” We text during dinner with our families. We text when we are with our children in the playground.
Now their fathers are too often checking their email during games.
They start to need other people to feel validated and they cannot approach others as full, individual, differentiated people.But their presence can sustain us and distract us and make it less likely for us to look beyond them to other social encounters.They can provide the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship, without the demands of intimacy.This is not only changing the way we interact online, it’s straining our personal relationships, as well.Turkle’s new book, “Alone Together” (Basic Books, 2011), explores the ways online social networks and texting culture are changing how people relate to society, their parents and friends.
Children say they try to make eye contact with their parents and are frustrated because their parents are looking down at their smart phones when they come out of school or after school activities.