As technology in society advances, it should follow suit into our classrooms as well, right? Actually, the use of laptops, tablets, and smartphones in schools often hinders proper education and social learning environments. When we spread our attention over several mediums, we can’t fully excel in any one. Multitasking is a serious issue inside the classroom, which will eventually bleed into our work lives after graduation. As a related concept, Sherry Turkle introduces the idea of “grazing” on page 222. “It’s turning to bits and pieces at times when a more sustained narrative, the kind you are more likely to meet in a book or long article, would be a better choice.” We skim and rush through assignments, trying to find the bullet points, the main summary. Just like multitasking, we want to be involved in a little bit of everything at once. Not an expert in anything, knowing no details, but enough to sustain the illusion.
Again, utilizing too much technology throughout college can have many disadvantages. While classes teach you the importance of writing papers and constructing emails, they often fail in the art of conversation. When you have the luxury of carefully formulating and editing your every word over an unlimited amount of time, you lose the ability to think and speak in “real time.” Turkle uses the example of a graduate student at an academic conference who says, “While I thrive at writing, my conversation falls flat” (page 240). Especially when speaking to authorities like professors or bosses, we are growing uncomfortable and unprepared. Because of this, you must make an additional effort to practice conversation with these authorities on a regular basis. While they may not always be smooth or insightful, it is important to practice anyway. That’s the problem with conversation today, people are too scared to make mistakes, to feel awkward, to not achieve perfection. In the age where you feel competitive and judged in every aspect of your life, conversation is too daunting.