Dr. Sherry Turkle has interviewed countless people about their plugged-in lives. In her most recent TED talk, the MIT professor and author (Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other) observes that being so pervasively plugged into mobile technology not only changes what we do, but can even change who we are. She notes, for example, that people think nothing of texting during corporate board meetings. They shop and browse and update Facebook during classes and presentations. They sleep with their smartphones. People text at funerals.
People even talk about the important new skill, she says, of learning to make eye contact – while texting. Continue reading →
I’m so old that my grown children had to actually explain texting to me when I got my new cellphone. As a longtime writer, my keyboard speed is impressive, but as a texter, I’m dismally slow with my thumbs. For any of you Boomers who share this challenge, here are a few shortcuts to help boost your texting speed: Continue reading →
Do you know what your O.R. team is up to while you’re lying there out cold during surgery? The New York Times has taken a revealing peek at the impact of electronic devices like smartphones on modern medical care – and it’s not a pretty picture.
The troubling issue is that your doctors, nurses and techs can be focused on the screen and not the patient, even during moments of critical care. This includes the neurosurgeon making personal calls during an operation, a nurse checking airfares in the O.R., and a frightening poll showing that half of technicians running bypass machines during open heart surgery had admitted texting while working on a cardiac procedure Continue reading →
In the wise words of comedian Amy Poehler as she addressed young graduating Harvard University students last May:
“The answer to a lot of your life questions is often in someone else’s face. Try putting your iPhones down every once in a while and look at people’s faces.”
I have a cellphone. Of course I do. But at the risk of sounding like an old fuddy-duddy – oops, too late! – the great technological divide between how my demographic uses our mobile devices and how people of my children’s generation do has me feeling cranky these days. Continue reading →