Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

3.6 35
by Sherry Turkle
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0465031463

ISBN-13: 9780465031467

Pub. Date: 10/02/2012

Publisher: Basic Books


Consider Facebook—it’s human contact, only easier to engage with and easier to avoid. Developing technology promises closeness. Sometimes it delivers, but much of our modern life leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them.

In Alone Together, MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the

Overview


Consider Facebook—it’s human contact, only easier to engage with and easier to avoid. Developing technology promises closeness. Sometimes it delivers, but much of our modern life leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465031467
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
72,287
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Author's Note: Turning Points ix

Introduction: Alone Together 1

Part 1 The Robotic Moment: In Solitude, New Intimacies

1 Nearest Neighbors 23

2 Alive Enough 35

3 True Companions 53

4 Enchantment 67

5 Complicities 83

6 Love's Labor Lost 103

7 Communion 127

Part 2 Networked: In Intimacy, New Solitudes

8 Always On 151

9 Growing Up Tethered 171

10 No Need to Call 187

11 Reduction and Betrayal 211

12 True Confessions 229

13 Anxiety 241

14 The Nostalgia of the Young 265

Conclusion: Necessary Conversations 279

Epilogue: The Letter 297

Notes 307

Index 349

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Alone Together 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
HecubaYH More than 1 year ago
This is an intelligent, readable analysis of how our technology (texting, IM, e-mail, etc.) is shaping our human interactions. The chapters on how children and teenagers are affected are particularly fascinating and often sad. While this isn't "lite" reading, it's far from being a boring textbook and more than worth the time. I wish parents and teachers as well as children and caregivers of the elderly everywhere would take the time to read this and consider the broader implications of her research.
caribird More than 1 year ago
It is a wake-up call for us parents of this generation of technology users. It puts it out there for us to see - the research of what is happening to our kids and how they connect to the world. It is helpful to see the history of research in this area and be able to put it to good use. Obviously, it is not the only factor in how our kids relate to others but it is an eye-opener. This was recommended to me and I'm glad I bought it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Turkel again delivers an accessible book of enduring value. The exploration of what it is to be human in the age of increasingly intelligent machines is important for all of us. Turkel helps us down that road with her insightful research and accessible writing stlye.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sherry Turkle, the well-known author of The Second Self (1984) and Life on the Screen (1995), has given us another key work in Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (New York: Basic Books, 2011). In her current book she focuses on individuals from 5 to 20 years of age, discerning how this group often rely on technology to fill in voids in their relationships. While we have seen some amazing achievements with the use of robots and other technologies to help kids and senior citizens, Turkle also argues that our use makes us change in certain profound ways. While we turn to technology, as well, to help save us time, the technology often makes us busier. "It is easy to become so immersed in technology that we ignore what we know about life" (p. 101), and we apply this notion to many aspects of our lives.
VJDJR More than 1 year ago
I'd first borrowed this book from our public library. About 1/3 through, I realized I would want my own copy. It's that good. I've highlighted (thank you, nook) passages all over the place. It's a worthwhile look at how the technology that was to have given us more free time has actually taken more of it. How trends are pulling toward situations where we are all at the same social setting (meeting, dinner table, city park) with our own connected gadget(s), each of us alone, but together. And it is also about how we use facebook, IM, texting to become more abbreviated with each other, sharing each other with other friends/texts/twitters/apps so that it is becoming increasingly rare where anyone has all of another's attention. And finally, it is about the trend toward social robots. So far, just toys, but toys programmed to pull out an emotional response from the user. So that the goal amongst some roboticists is to create a "companion" robot to, say, help the elderly not merely by doing things to help them, but by performing as a companion: someone or something to talk to or share with. But, Turkle suggests, is it "sharing" if there is no-body there, merely a program? I found her observations fascinating, even if I didn't always agree with her summations. I also found it worth sharing, both in social mediums and in conversation (with people, not robots).
catwak More than 1 year ago
Last summer I took a week-long vacation to a place with limited wireless access. The best thing about that week was not hearing the chirp of a "smart" phone even once! As excellent as this book is, I suspect (nay, even fervently hope) that the twisted world of obsessively detached communication among the young that Ms. Turkle describes is at best a regional phenomenon, most common among households in urban areas and blessed with more money than sense. If there's one thing missing from this book, it's some nationwide statistics.
PVF More than 1 year ago
Sherry Turkle should be captured in a bottle and put in a very safe place. This book is fabulous. It answers questions that I've had for the past decade, and it introduced me to the whole world of social media--both its upsides and considerable downsides. She is a moral voice for humanity as it tries to integrate high technology into its identity without damaging or reducing the elements that have always made us uniquely human. I would recommend this book to everyone who thinks for him/herself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book does an interesting job of showing how our interactions with others are modified by the technological means we use to connect.  It's written in a manner that is both accessible and yet intelligent.   Definitely makes you wonder about the tradeoffs involved in the so'-called convenience in digital progress.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Book brought me up to date @ many electronic gadgets.
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