30 July 2012

TOB and Sherry Turkle’s “Connected, but alone?”

After a long time blogging offline aka journalling, I am back… the break was mainly because I am lazy to type and I have a lot of posts to edit... from by notebooks... so anyone willing to type for me? I have decided that I should just post anyway and maybe those posts in my notes will one day grace this page… and ironically the topic is one that addresses blogging in a way.

BP sent an email today to the TOB group, thanks for the heads up, of a TED talk by psychologist Sherry Turkle on how we are ‘Alone together’ and he mentioned how technology has made living out TOB that much more difficult. A lot of what she said hit home, especially the bits on getting an immediate audience, and the feeling that you are being heard… all us attention seekers so get that, hence the irony that I had to write about this on my blog. Here is the vid he shared.

Sherry Turkle–Connected but alone?

The video brought home the need for self actualisation, how we are created for relationship, and how so many people can feel so disconnected because of the way our culture has evolved, but as she said we need to learn to be alone so we can have real conversation, real friendship, and develop the virtues for friendship; tech is not bad we just need to be aware of what it does in our lives. At TOB on Mondays we have begun to go through Men, women and the Mystery of Love by Edward Sri using the DVD’s and we touched on virtuous friendship and this just brought home what I have been reflecting on the  past week, that I have been letting my friendships slack.

According to Aristotle “A virtuous friendship is based on aspects of selflessness and equality between friends. First, one must do good towards a friend purely for the sake of the friend. There is no other desired outcome but for the friend's happiness. Next, one desires the friend's existence purely for the friend's sake and not for reasons of utility, pleasure, or the like. One must also spend time with the friend without ulterior motives of gaining something in return. In addition, one must be in accord with his friend, meaning they both desire the same things and can agree on how to go about achieving them. For instance, "..a city is said to be in concord when [its citizens] agree on what is advantageous, make the same decision, and act on their common resolution." (1667a 27-29) Finally, one must be empathetic to his friend's joys and sorrows, equally sharing in the burden of these emotions……


He argues that each aspect of a virtuous friendship directly correlates to a virtuous person's relationship to himself……


The virtuous person, by Aristotle's definition, is one who first desires and works for his own survival and wishes to do well for himself. He also spends time alone with himself……


Aristotle summarizes these points by saying, "…one is a friend to himself most of all. Hence he should also love himself most of all," (1168b 9-10) and "These are features [of a friendship] most of all of one's relation to oneself; and so too are all the other defining features of a friend, since we have said that all the features of friendship extend from oneself to others."” [ht voice/yahoo]

Are we comfortable in ourselves? Are we ‘okay’ being alone? Do we ever allow time for solitude? Do we love ourselves, does todays loneliness stem mostly from not knowing how to be by ourselves and hence how to actually have relationships? Do we know ourselves… a lot of the evidence points to no, we don't know ourselves, we have problems having conversations let alone relationships and we are so plugged in to being connected without actually experiencing the connection… I wonder how this week will pan out as I try be more ‘present’ and not just connected. I will strive to strive for the common good of my family and friends and colleagues.. eish let the games begin Smile

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