"Human relationships are rich and messy and demanding. We clean them up with technology by texting, emailing, posting... All of the things that let us present the self as we want it to be. We get to edit ourselves, which means we get to delete and retouch the face, the voice, the body, the flesh... The world is full of modern Goldilockses- putting people not too close, not too far, but at just the right distance- taking comfort in being in touch with a lot of people at a distance. But sometimes a lot of people at a distance can feel like none at all... People are lonely. The network is seductive... But if we are always on, we deny ourselves the rewards of solitude. I'm left thinking about intimacy, seeing faces, hearing voices, tying to know someone's heart. This has left me thinking about solitude- the kind that refreshes and restores. Loneliness is failed solitude. To have the pleasure of experiencing solitude you must be able to summon yourself, by yourself. Otherwise you will only know how to be bored and lonely."
These are words from Sherry Turkle in her book, "Alone Together". I find myself moved by Turkle's thought-provoking books Alone Together (2011) & Reclaiming Conversation (2015). It's midnight as I write this, I finished the first research paper I have ever written for graduate school, but I can't shut down my device. I am realizing I have been seduced, too. My own solitude is being challenged by the habit of constantly turning to a screen. More and more I find myself scrolling through the web when I have any downtime, rather than focusing inward. Recently, psychologists have learned a lot more about how creative ideas come from reveries of solitude. When we let our minds wander, without being sucked in to a digital device, we set our brains free. Boredom should, then, be celebrated!