Alone Together : Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
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.
- Paperback | 384 pages
- 141 x 209 x 26mm | 392g
- 12 Feb 2013
- Basic Books
- London, United States
- First Trade Paper Edition
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
"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
PRAISE FOR THE PREVIOUS EDITION: "[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." -Vocativ.com "Highly recommended." -Management Issues PRAISE FOR THE HARDCOVER: "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 Magazine "Savvy and insightful." -New York Times "[Turkle] summarizes her new view of things with typical eloquence... fascinating, readable." -New York Times Book Review "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." -Wall Street Journal "Turkle is a sensitive interviewer and an elegant writer." -Slate.com "Vivid, even lurid, in its depictions of where we are headed... [an] engrossing study." -Washington Post "In this beautifully written, provocative and worrying book, Turkle, a professor at MIT, a clinical psychologist and, perhaps, the world's leading expert on the social and psychological effects of technology, argues that internet use has as much power to isolate and destroy relationships as it has to bring us together." -Financial Times "Alarming...Turkle is not a luddite, nor is Alone Together a salvo in some analogue counter-reformation. But it does add to a growing body of cyber-sceptic literature." -Observer (UK) "Subtle and interesting." -The Guardian (UK) "Perhaps the world's leading authority on the impact of gadgetry on our lives... Turkle is brilliant-and brilliantly disturbing." -Sunday Times (UK) "Important... Admirably personal... [Turkle's] book will spark useful debate." -The Boston Globe "A fascinating portrait of our changing relationship with technology." -Newsweek.com "A fascinating, insightful and disquieting 'intimate ethnography' of our digital, robotic moment in history." -Natural History Magazine "Worth talking about." -History News Network "Amidst the deluge of propaganda, technophilia and idolatry that masquerades as objective assessment of digital culture, Turkle offers us galoshes and a sump pump... [S]he gives a clear-eyed, reflective and wise assessment of what we gain and lose in the current configurations of digital culture." -Christian Century "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." -National Catholic Reporter "Turkle is a gifted and imaginative writer... [who] pushes interesting arguments with an engaging style." -American Prospect "Alone Together offers a wealth of information about the numerous uses being made of new technologies." -Futurist "A thorough look at how devices affect our relationships by a psychologist with decades in the field... lucid, well-written analysis." -Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 4-star review "Disturbing. Compelling. Powerful." -Seattle Times "The picture that arises from [Alone Together] is not particularly comforting but it is always compelling and helps explain many behaviors one sees at play in society at large these days, especially among the young." -Jewish Exponent "Turkle... delivers a dark cautionary tale...Her unplug-before-it's-too-late message is stark enough to make you reach for a land line and call someone you love." -Las Vegas Business Press "Alone Together serves as an efficient... overview of the problems we confront in the digital age." -Buffalo News "A carefully researched and well-thought book." -Deseret News "No one has thought more deeply nor researched more thoroughly human-computer relations [than Turkle]. Her book Alone Together is an immensely satisfying read." -Sherbrooke Record "[A] must-read." -Albany Times Union "[Turkle's] interviews with teens and young adults who've grown up online are fascinating and her conclusions are provocative." -Oregonian "Alone Together, a book that could not have been written by a robot, presciently probes the question: will we be technology's willing slave or guiding master. Highly recommended reading." -ETC: A Review of General Semantics "Alone Together offers tremendous insight and eloquently qualifies longing for genuine, nurturing relationships in the network culture." -Banana Moments "Read Alone Together. And then talk about it with your colleagues, your students, and your friends-face-to-face." -Continuing Higher Education Review "Sherry Turkle has distinguished herself as an astute observer of the subjective side of the relationship between people and technology... Turkle does an excellent job of bringing out the important questions behind the technologies with which she deals... Turkle is an engaging writer, and her stories are interesting, accessible, and thought provoking." -Journal of Technology, Theology, and Religion "Alone Together effectively chronicles many of the psychological effects of modern technology and connectivity. Turkle illuminates the central themes of modern life: loneliness, control, communication, and image." -Technology Uninhibited (blog) "Alone Together... is packed with creative observations on our machine-mediated lives and what this all means for intimacy, solitude, and being connected." -Spirituality and Practice "Turkle is clearly passionate in describing what she sees as the looming social isolation being wrought by the new technology... Alone Together does offer a needed counter to the wholesale adoption of the social media and social robot." -PsyCritiques "Alone Together stands as an entirely accessible, tantalizingly thought-provoking read... Books like this and researchers like Turkle lending their expertise to the debate are absolute necessities." -Online Education Database "Indispensible." -Rightly Understood blog, Big Think "Turkle is too smart and hard-working to see technology solely as a cause of social or psychological disorders: this is not the book to read for shallow complaints that young people don't care about privacy or for scare stories about internet addiction." -ZDNet UK "Compelling." -Library Hot blog "Clear-eyed, even-keeled." -Touch Points blog "Alone Together is a mighty fine layperson's introduction to where we are as a technological and social media society." -BlogCritics.org "[Turkle's] decades of teaching technology and daily living add authority to her fine survey!" -Bookwatch "A thorough and interesting analysis of our curious relationship with electronic and digital technologies." -Ordained Servant "Incisive and provocative... a provocation towards the kind of human and engaged conversations that she rightly insists we nurture." -Fortnightly Weekly "A compelling argument against non-stop virtual living." -Montreal Mirror (Canada) "Enlightening." -Globe and Mail (Canada) "Provocative." -Irish Times "Highly recommended." -Choice "Despite her reliance on research observations, Turkle's emphasis on personal stories from computer gadgetry's front lines keeps her prose engaging and her message to the human species-to restrain ourselves from becoming technology's willing slaves instead of its guiding masters-loud and clear." -Booklist "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." -Publishers Weekly "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." -Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School professor and author of Evolve!, Confidence, and SuperCorp "Based on an ambitious research program, and written in a clear and beguiling style, this book will captivate both scholar and general reader and it will be a landmark in the study of the impact of social media." -Jill Conway, President emerita, Smith College, and author of The Road from Coorain "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." -Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Laboratory "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." -Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants "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." -Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed "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." -Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
About Sherry Turkle
Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.