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

Paperback Basic Books

By (author) Sherry Turkle

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  • Publisher: BASIC BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 206mm x 28mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 7 February 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0465031463
  • ISBN 13: 9780465031467
  • Edition statement: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Sales rank: 17,854

Product description

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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Author information

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

Review quote

New York Times Book Review"/EM> "[Turkle] summarizes her new view of things with typical eloquence.fascinating, readable." Wall Street Journal "What [Turkle] brings to the topic that is new is more than a decade of interviews with teens and college students in which she plumbs the psychological effect of our brave new devices on the generation that seems most comfortable with them." Newsweek.com "A fascinating portrait of our changing relationship with technology." Natural History Magazine "A fascinating, insightful and disquieting "intimate ethnography" of our digital, robotic moment in history." American Prospect "Turkle is a gifted and imaginative writer.[who] pushes interesting arguments with an engaging style." Jill Conway, President emerita, Smith College, and author of The Road from Coorain "Based on an ambitious research program, and written in a clear and beguiling style, this book which will captivate both scholar and general reader and it will be a landmark in the study of the impact of social media." Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Laboratory "Sherry Turkle is the Margaret Mead of digital culture. Parents and teachers: If you want to understand (and support) your children as they navigate the emotional undercurrents in today's technological world, this is the book you need to read. Every chapter is full of great insights and great writing." Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants "No one has a better handle on how we are using material technology to transform our immaterial 'self' than Sherry Turkle. She is our techno-Freud, illuminating our inner transformation long before we are able see it. This immensely satisfying book is a deep journey to our future selves." Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed "Alone Together is a deep yet accessible, bold yet gentle, frightening yet reassuring account of how people continue to find one another in an increasingly mediated landscape. If the net and humanity could have a couples therapist, it would be Sherry Turkle." Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education "Sherry Turkle has observed more widely and thought more deeply about human-computer relations than any other scholar. Her book is essential reading for all who hope to understand our changing relation to technology." Publishers Weekly "Turkle's prescient book makes a strong case that what was meant to be a way to facilitate communications has pushed people closer to their machines and further away from each other." Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School professor and author of Evolve!, Confidence, and SuperCorp "Alone Together is a brilliant, profound, stirring, and often disturbing portrait of the future by America's leading expert on how computers affect us as humans. She reveals the secrets of 'Walden 2.0' and tells us that we deserve better than caring robots. Grab this book, then turn off your smart phones and absorb Sherry Turkle's powerful message." National Catholic Reporter "Readers will find this book a useful resource as they begin conversations about how to negotiate and critically engage the technology that suffuses our lives." Vocativ.com "[T]his incisive, challenging pop-psychology look at the behavioral effects of social networking on human relationships [has] made a bona-fide pundit out of M.I.T.'s Turkle."

Table of contents

Author's Note: Turning Points Introduction: Alone Together PART ONE The Robotic Moment: In Solitude, New Intimacies 1. Nearest Neighbors 2. Alive Enough 3. True Companions 4. Enchantment 5. Complicities 6. Love's Labor Lost 7. Communion PART TWO Networked: In Intimacy, New Solitudes 8. Always On 9. Growing Up Tethered 10. No Need to Call 11. Reduction and Betrayal 12. True Confessions 13. Anxiety 14. The Nostalgia of the Young Conclusion: Necessary Conversations Epilogue: The Letter