Alone Together

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More About This Textbook

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459609020
  • Publisher: ReadHowYouWant, LLC
  • Publication date: 1/15/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 762
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.52 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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(9)

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(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 9, 2011

    Every parent should read this

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    highly recommend

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2011

    Important book

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Ignoring Life

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2012

    Fascinating - a -very- worthwhile read.

    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).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2014

    Sherry Turkle should be captured in a bottle and put in a very s

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    This book does an interesting job of showing how our interaction

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Connected yet disconnected

    Book brought me up to date @ many electronic gadgets.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    And Concerned Parents Should Just Say No

    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.

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