“Are We Talking Too Much?” – Theme of Tempe launch of book

Thank you everyone who attended the second launch event for my book, Chat Republic.

The topics around the book are many, but we seemed to center on the big question as to whether social media has made us too…chatty. How real are the conversations we have, when few appear to be paying attention?

Thank you to may eminent panel who weighed in on the topic.

  • Gary Campbell, editor of ASU’s web site
  • Prabha Kumarakulasinghe – Microchip
  • Don Wilde – Intel

.Some of the topics that came up: 

  • Gold bar espresso, Tempe - Chat RepublicFace Time, Real Time. What is happening to face-time, with people busily checking their phones for possible interactions with the ‘other’? (If you haven’t seen “I forgot my phone, watch this: a statement of our times.)
  • Do we really need smart phones? Or wouldn’t ‘dumb-‘ (um, feature-) phones be adequate most of the time?
  • Transparency Vs Over-sharing. Is our ability to know so much a blessing? Yes, we want to know minutiae about public officials, but many are pulling back because of surveillance. Gary cited the example of how smart phones could help people do dumb/smart things, as in the case of the NFL Player, Brian Holloway, who tracked down the kids who trashed his home. (This story is still being played out, by the way)
  • Smart devices in the class. I enjoyed this one, for obvious reasons. There were several teachers (one principal) in the room, who face this challenge: Are mobile devices in students’ pockets going to help or hurt them?

A big thank you to Dennis and Karen Miller, owners of Gold Bar Espresso, for letting me use their wonderful coffeehouse for this event. These are the spaces –-the Kaffeehaus culture –where deep conversations have taken place for centuries!

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