"In this book, Diana Senechal confronts a culture that has come to depend on instant updates and communication at the expense of solitude. Schools today emphasize rapid group work and fragmented activity, not the thoughtful study of complex subjects. The Internet offers contact with others throughout the day and night; we lose the ability to be apart, even in our minds. Yet solitude plays an essential role in literature, education, democracy, relationships, and matters of conscience. Throughout its analyses and argument, the book calls not for drastic changes but for a subtle shift: an attitude that honors solitude without descending into dogma"-- Provided by publisher.