Alone Together by Sherry Turkle
Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Sherry Turkle

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Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauz? Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and Founder and Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. A psychoanalytically trained sociologist and psychologist, she is the author of "The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit" (Twentieth Anniversary Edition, MIT Press), "Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, " and "Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud's French Revolution." She is the editor of "Evocative Objects: Things We Think With, Falling for Science: Objects in Mind, " and "The Inner History of Devices, " all three published by the MIT Press.
 
Published January 11, 2011 by Basic Books. 380 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Computers & Technology, Education & Reference, Parenting & Relationships, Science & Math, Self Help, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Alone Together

Kirkus Reviews

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A clinical psychologist takes a critical and sometimes disturbing look at the psycho-social dangers of mixing technology and human intimacy.

Jan 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

The New York Times

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Turkle can sound primly sanctimonious, complaining for instance that the sight at a local cafe of people focused on their computers and smartphones as they drink their coffee bothers her: “These people are not my friends,” she writes, “yet somehow I miss their presence.” Such sentimental whining ...

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

The New York Times

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In 1995, Sherry Turkle, a professor of the “social studies of science” at M.I.T., published a book about identity in the digital age called “Life on the Screen.” It was a mostly optimistic account, as Turkle celebrated the freedom of online identity.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

The Guardian

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Alone Together by Sherry Turkle Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop The test is one of many cited by Sherry Turkle in Alone Together as e...

Jan 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

BC Books

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If something comes in our our phone and it’s a text, you feel you have to respond...Few people can look down at their phone and then walk away from it.

Apr 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

BC Books

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However, the basic premise is this: Churchill said, “We shape our buildings and then they shape us.” Turkle says, “We make our technologies, and they, in turn, shape us.” A psychologist who teaches at MIT, Turkle has the studied robotics, computers, and handheld technologies for years.

Apr 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

The Wall Street Journal

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In theater terms, we are 'on' all the time, expected to give a performance by responding to every text, every IM, every scribble on the Facebook wall.

Jan 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

NPR

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In her book Alone Together, psychologist Sherry Turkle explains how digital devices are affecting our communication and relationships. "What is so seductive about texting, about keeping that phone on, about that little red light on the BlackBerry, is you want to know who wants you," Turkle says.

Oct 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Sherry Turkle's new book, Alone Together, ends in mourning.

Feb 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

Seattle PI

I have several speaking engagements on faith and technology lined up in the coming months, so I figured I should probably learn something about faith and technology sometime soon.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

London Review of Books

Alone Together is not the work of someone hostile to technology’s advances, but Turkle has described it as ‘a book of repentance’: she is atoning for the things she missed or got wrong in her earlier, sunnier work on computers and people.

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Business Week

When Sherry Turkle wrote The Second Self, her first book on the psychology of computer culture, the latest rage was a boxy beige machine threatening to disrupt the calculator and typewriter industries.

Mar 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

Spirituality & Practice

Some of the other material in the book includes examinations of privacy on the Internet, role-playing, the popularity of games, the lack of etiquette by cell phone users on the street and everywhere else, the scourge of multitasking in offices, the anxiety of being "on" all the time, the problem ...

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The Fortnightly Review

As generations of humans are raised by and with robotic caregivers, robotic lovers, and robotic friends, Turkle worries that the expectation of human friendship will be diminished.

Jan 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Alone Together: Why We Expect...

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