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general non-fiction

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

Sherry Turkle.
Publisher Basic Books  
Format hardcover
ISBN 9780465010219
Pages/Publication Date 360/2011
Daedalus Item Code 29219
This item is not available.
Consider Facebook, says MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle: 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. Here Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to alter our social lives. It is 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 it will be our next generation who will chart the path between isolation and connectivity.

"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

"As the digital age sparks increasing debate about what new technologies and increased connectivity are doing to our brains, comes this chilling examination of what our iPods and iPads are doing to our relationships from MIT professor Turkle (Simulation and Its Discontents). In this third in a trilogy that explores the relationship between humans and technology, Turkle argues that people are increasingly functioning without face-to-face contact. For all the talk of convenience and connection derived from texting, e-mailing, and social networking, Turkle reaffirms that what humans still instinctively need is each other, and she encounters dissatisfaction and alienation among users: teenagers whose identities are shaped not by self-exploration but by how they are perceived by the online collective, mothers who feel texting makes communicating with their children more frequent yet less substantive, Facebook users who feel shallow status updates devalue the true intimacies of friendships. 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 (starred review)

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