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draft Paper #1

Joshua Terry


Rhetorical Analysis of
“The Flight from Conversation”

Sherri Turkle’s essay talks about how technology has greatly
influenced the lives of human beings, mostly in recent decades. She clearly
states by using the element of logic (logos), that we are currently facing a
critical problem such as the loss of face-to-face communication due to the
excessive use of cell phones, iPads, laptops, computers or any other electronic
means that allows us to be communicated through technology.

Turkle also uses well-constructed and clear logical
ideas (logos) and bring credibility to her argument (ethos), when she
provides real-life examples. She claims that people are isolating from the
environment of their homes, the workplace, or anywhere because cell phones and
other technology are inhibiting the ability to speak with others in person. She
presents more credibility and makes her argument stronger when she identifies
herself as an expert on the topic. She states that have studied the technology
of mobile connection for more than fifteen years and that she has spoken with
hundreds of people of all ages about their “plugged in lives.” She
includes critical thinking through analysis when she exposes in a short but
significant way; that any type of electronic device is capable of changing what
the person does, but also the device can change the person who uses them.

The element of pathos is used by Turkle when she explains that
social networks are a way for the individual to be alone and at the same time
to be connected with many people. This phenomenon is causing the change of our
behavior towards people when we have to face them in person. Many people find
it very difficult to talk with others face to face due to the fact they only
communicate behind a screen of an electronic device. Also, she includes the emotion
of sadness in the case of the businessman who laments no longer having
colleagues at work. Both the businessman and his colleagues do not want to be
interrupted because they are always busy using their cell phones, checking
their emails or doing anything they consider more necessary than talk.

In a like manner, a sixteen-year-old boy fond of sending text
messages usually pointed with some remorse: “Someday, someday, but
certainly not now, I would like to learn how to have a conversation. ”
Emotion is present in the quote because it seems that young people have moved
from conversation to connection. This transition is causing the loss of
valuable information transmitted by our voice or our body language. Another
example of pathos provided by Professor Sherry Turkle is the case of a senior
partner in a Boston law firm when he describes the scene of his office as the
“silence of the connection” between the young associates who work in
that office. Turkle applies a humorous tone when she says that young lawyers
put their earphones as pilots, put all kinds of technology on their desks and
turn it into cockpits.

Sherry Turkle adds real-life facts to her argument as a logical
element. Many times, we are tempted to edit the way we want our lives to be
seen in public. In the 5th paragraph of page 137, Turkle is able to consider the
other side of her reasoning since she exposes that social networks like
Facebook, Twitter and emails have a valuable place in politics, commerce,
romance, and friendship. However, she reiterates that we have learned to use
the online connection to edit and improve our image as well as minimize our
conversations. Her point of view is understandable when she affirms that a
“sip” of online connection does not work on the ground that a conversation
allows knowing and demonstrating the appreciation of one another.

Another example of Turkle using logic in her essay is when she
asserts that electronic conversations are quick and concise, on the other hand,
a human interactive conversation has a different nature since it is developed
slowly and it teaches patience. In a conversation, we are made to see things
from another point of view, which is a necessary condition for altruism and
empathy. Turkle once again uses pathos and includes a tone of humor giving an
example of how people turn to technology for advice on humans. She explains
that a sophomore high school confides to her that he would like to talk to an
artificial intelligence program instead of talking to her father because it
could have better information in its database. Also, many young people would
like Siri on iPhones to become more advanced, as it would be like a
companionship without the demand of a relationship.

The author tells about the numerous research she has
accomplished throughout her life about people and their relationship with
technology in order to make her readers believe in her credibility. Turkle
reveals when she brought a robot in the form of a baby seal to an elder-care
facility and that in a very interesting way, a woman talks to the robot about
the loss of her daughter. The robot seemed to follow the conversation and made
the woman feel comforted.

Professor Sherry Turkle effectively conveys her message by
helping to raise the general public’s awareness of how our communication method
is gradually changing from face-to-face conversations to electronic
conversations through technology and the social networks. Turkle reflects her
image as a professional with knowledge and experience related to the topic to
persuade the reader that her argument is valid. In addition, she provides good
quality writing based on logic and displays appropriate emotions to help us
feel more connected to writing.


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