I don’t think I ever really pay that much conscious attention to the rhetorical situation. When I enter a room I don’t first think, oh yes I have to behave this way in front of this audience because of this context and I should use this tone because of this purpose. After reading about the importance of the rhetorical situation, however, I’m starting to think I should pay a little more attention to the who, why, and where of having a conversation.
In fact, not paying enough attention to audience, context, purpose, and tone has landed me in some pretty unpleasant interactions in the past. Sometimes I say I have a problem with “reading the room.” Basically that means I’ve been known to make a fool of myself on several occasions. Take this for example, recently my grandparents came up to visit from Miami and brought my great grandmother around with them. Now, if i had been thinking about my audience (75 and up), I might not have come down the stairs and yelled “Yo yo, what’s poppin y’all??” Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking about my audience. Or the context we were in, or the tone I should have been taking with my GREAT GRANDMOTHER. So, naturally, I was greeted with blank stares and general confusion.
As we continue to read Reclaiming Conversation in class, I will take care to remember Turkle’s audience and the point she is trying to get across with her tone. I think I am also going to look more into what was actually going on in the world when Turkle was writing this book. Are things different now in terms of how we interact with technology than they were a year ago when the book came out? I’m not totally sure, but after reading about the rhetorical situation, I think it might be a good idea to find out.