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Ariel Fogel

Reseach Assistant,

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How do we become truly alone? What does alone time truly entail?

She proposes carving out alone time for ourselves. If technology helps facilitate that alone time (watching a movie, etc), are we alone? If the alone time that allows us time to think without being connected means that we can be distracted, just not by others, than how is it more of a problem to be alone with a movie than alone with a book?

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    Apr 4 2012: Being alone is absolutely brilliant. Without it you have no idea who or what you are.
    We get trapped in our self-image in relation to others .. I think this is what is called the "ego".
    To be alone absolutely requires disconnection from "others" so books and movies are unsuitable - they impose "other" on us by definition.
    To be alone - seek solitude. Walk or sit and simply open the senses - move out of the metaspace of "others" and move into the moment. It is a good trick to listen carefully - try to focus on 3 different sounds in teh environment, once you do this, the senses begin to un--focus and you become aware of the air and light, the smells and, with a bit of practice, one begins to sense where the body is in relation to the sounds, sights, smells.
    One must be in physical space to be alone - the world of humans is all meta-space .. it does not really exist.
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    Apr 4 2012: I believe Professor Turkle's idea of alone time is time when the individual can be thoughtful and reflective without touching base with others. Alone time without book or movie is probably the surest way of conversing with yourself without getting distracted by other people's thoughts. You can pose questions to yourself, or let your thoughts float as you engage in the activity, or lack of activity before you. For many people, a solo walk in the park is the sort of alone time Turkle would likely find healthy.
    Some books are useful for a dialogue between you and the author, particularly as you can choose your pace. As you read, you can consider where you stand. Other books are more escapist and probably less likely to enhance or promote reflection. Movies differ in type as well and are much more difficult to take at your own pace than a book is.