Alone Together

Alone Together

Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other

Book - 2011
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In "Alone Together," MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to dramatically alter our social lives. It's a nuanced exploration of what we are looking for--and sacrificing--in a world of electronic companions and social networking tools, and an argument that, despite the hand-waving of today's self-described prophets of the future, it will be the next generation who will chart the path between isolation and connectivity.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2011
ISBN: 9780465010219
Characteristics: xvii, 360 p. ; 25 cm


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Jul 30, 2018

Several years have passed since professor Sherry Turkle wrote this compelling piece, but the arguments remain as apt as ever. As the cover of the depressing yet fascinating book reads, modern society pushes regular people to expect less and less from each other while relying more and more on technology. The siren song of 'multitasking', a trait that never quite works as well as its cracked up to be, causes individuals to compromise important communication that truly requires their full attention. Different ways of conveying information are in no way equivalent, and a culture that relies primarily on simple text and picture messages loses a gigantic amount that only face-to-face speaking can convey.

The book's discussion of advances in robotics can get genuinely disturbing. Young children and struggling elderly people alike both face unfair demands in a hyper-consumerist American that often socially casts them both aside. Are they to be left with only robots as their companions? Is the choice between a machine and its simulated emotions or nothing, living an empty life with severe loneliness? Turkle asks these painful questions, but solid answers prove elusive. The book, overall, is not only interesting but raises fundamentally vital issues.

JCLMargaretO Jul 25, 2017

A wonderfully readable non-fiction showing us where we are emotionally concerning the internet and how it's changed how we relate to others. Ms. Turkle has done a great job in translating all those facts and statistics into tangible, real life scenarios we can all relate to. The author addresses the question, "Have we advanced in our efforts to connect with each other given all our technological advances?" You might be surprised.

May 11, 2011

Interesting read - some great insights along with some obvious ones, but definitely thought-provoking overall. The sociology behind FaceBook and the bittersweet delusion of the "companion robot" were of particular interest!

Mar 01, 2011

Turkle focuses on two subjects--robots and electronic communications--and how they are changing our relationships with each other. She makes one think seriously about how we are using these tools and about their benefits and costs.

debwalker Feb 05, 2011

Is the mobile Internet age producing people who are fragile, narcissistic, and, ironically, more isolated? So argues Turkle, professor and clnical psychologist.


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debwalker Feb 05, 2011

From interview of Turkle in the Globe and Mail Feb 4 2011:
"We need to celebrate these technologies but if they're interfering with our ability to have dinner with our families, no. I literally went to two funerals - what's with the texting at funerals? Take a moment. This is a life. This isn't about manners - this isn't about my wagging a finger like some kind of Dear Abby of the Internet age. This is about losing our sense of what we're supposed to do for each other."

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