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

Sherry Turkle
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 2 2012
Technology has become the architect of our intimacies. Online, we fall prey to the illusion of companionship, gathering thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends and confusing tweets and wall posts with authentic communication. But, as MIT technology and society specialist Sherry Turkle argues, this relentless connection leads to a new solitude. As technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down. 'Alone Together' is the result of Turkle's nearly fifteen-year exploration of our lives on the digital terrain. Based on hundreds of interviews, it describes new unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, parents, and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy, and solitude.

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Review

Nobody has ever articulated so passionately and intelligently what we're doing to ourselves by substituting technologically mediated social interaction.... Equipped with penetrating intelligence and a sense of humor, Turkle surveys the front lines of the social-digital transformation." --Lev Grossman, TIME

About the Author

Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT. She is frequently interviewed inTime,Newsweek, theNew York Times, and theWall Street Journal, on NBC News, and more. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Turkle's book is an inspiring piece of work that serves as a warning to moderns and technologists alike: we are at a precipice and should critically evaluate technology's place in our lives before we step off the cliff and (potentially) fall into psychological chaos. Her book is broken into two parts. The first focuses on the role of robots and the degree of emotional attachment that humans can and do develop towards them. In this section, she examines how children, seniors, and those who are lonely are being confronted by humanized robots. What does it mean for children to associate particular personas and egos to digitized code that is intentionally developed to evoke strong emotional attachments? Is it an ethically responsible decision to place socialized robots within elderly homes, so that children and caretakers can absolve themselves of the need to visit and engage in human contact with elderly members of our society? Technologists insist that the children and elderly alike are better off, but Turkle's insightful examination leaves us with questions about the psycho-social implications of socialized robotics. The second half of her book considers how networked society is damaging our capabilities to enjoy intimacy and solitude. Mobile phones, social networking sites, and novel understandings of social norms are her sites of examination. By the conclusion of the text, we are left critically questioning the actual value of many of our modern networked conveniences. Anyone raising a child, or living a highly-networked life (i.e. with a smartphone, multiple online social networks, etc), should be required to read this book to understand the psycho-technical trajectories we are passing along. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Nov. 10 2012
Format:Paperback
Intelligent, well documented. Gives profound insight on the changes resulting from advances in technologies. Should be read by all who desire to understand future challenges.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strange but true Sept. 6 2011
Format:Hardcover
After reading Jaron Lanier's "You are not a gadget" and Kevin Kelly's "What does technology want" it was a pleasant if eerie
surprise to read this text. It documents and describes our civilization's romance with technologies we barely understand. It gives fair warning of the roads we are on and a last longing look back on a time when we inhabited our bodies. As a recovered netzien I was relieved but saddened by the book, I don't have much hope that we as a species will moderate out disengagement from each other, but you never know..
A must read while you can...
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