Nice post. I may flip through the book, though, like you, I was ambivalent about the article. I did appreciate at least that it avoided the shrillness of some others on this issue.
One of the things I find surprising is that she does not consider the possibility that it is the *question* “Why is no one listening to me?” that is relatively new. I know for my parents and grandparents generation there was much less an expectation that anyone would listen to you, at least initially. Getting listened to as kids, teens, spouses, and employees was pretty hard-won stuff, at least if my impressions of that time are correct. My father actually came back from a war and felt like he shouldn’t burden anyone with talking about it.
A lot of that changed with the rise of consumer culture — for better and worse.
She also misses one of the more interesting things about physical conversation which is all the “mirror-neurons” that fire. We miss that online, and I think a good case could be made that that is a loss we need to look at very carefully, especially as more teen culture and education moves online.
I guess I’m still looking for someone to write the book that lays out this case well. Not sure Alone Together is it.