What is alone together about
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry TurkleConsider 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.
‘Friends’ Without a Personal Touch
Sign in. Benji helps his brother, Dean, get rid of an aggressive woman who won't leave him alone. Things get complicated when the woman takes an interest in Benji. Esther has a crush on Dean. Esther tries to make a good impression on her neighbors and invites the lesbian couple over for a dinner party, as Benji and Ether's guests arrive at the dinner party Benji has to help out so she
Instead of being constrained by the responsibilities of real life, Turkle argued, people were using the Web to experiment, trying on personalities like pieces of clothing. If the Internet of was a postmodern playhouse, allowing individuals to engage in unbridled expression, Turkle describes it today as a corporate trap, a ball and chain that keeps us tethered to the tiny screens of our cellphones, tapping out trite messages to stay in touch. The first half is about social robots, those sci-fi androids that promise one day to sweep the kitchen floor, take care of our aging parents and provide us with reliable companionship. Turkle begins with the troubling observation that we often seek out robots as a solution to our own imperfections, as an easy substitute for the difficulty of dealing with others. And all she needs is a power outlet. The reason robots are such a slippery slope, according to Turkle, is that they take advantage of a deeply human instinct. When Edna is asked if the doll is alive, she scoffs at the absurdity of the question.
We shape our buildings, Winston Churchill argued, then they shape us. The same is true of our digital technologies., It follows the love story of Christine Soberano and Raf Gil , who cross paths again eight years after they first met during their college years. They first find themselves in a little clash debating the comparison of the museum's famous painting, and Raf's favorite song Spoliarium.
Teenagers who send and receive six to eight thousand texts a month and spend hours a day on Facebook. High school students who wonder how much they should tilt their Facebook profiles toward what their friends will think is cool, or what college admissions boards might prize. She is concerned here not with the political uses of the Internet — as manifested in the current democratic uprisings in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East — but with its psychological side effects. In two earlier books, Ms. Turkle — a professor of the social studies of science and technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a clinical psychologist — put considerable emphasis on the plethora of opportunities for exploring identity that computers and networking offer people. In these pages, she takes a considerably darker view, arguing that our new technologies — including e-mail messages, Facebook postings, Skype exchanges, role-playing games, Internet bulletin boards and robots — have made convenience and control a priority while diminishing the expectations we have of other human beings.