Sherry Turkle: Alone Together

Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other

Read the 1 star reviews
e.g. “I think there is also a nostalgia at play here — treasuring the forms of communication one grew up with rather than the new because they are familiar and comfortable. Understandable, but not a great basis for a critique.”

I’m sure she has some (possibly) valid points, but she could probably sum them up in a 5 point outline or a 5 page paper or article. Not 360 pages.

My quick points would be:
1. easier to keep difficult emotions at arms length (text not phone not face-to-face)
2. can’t always easily discuss complicated stuff this way. some combo of online and F2F helps.
3. allure of the device (consumerism) and/or screen (we are wired for moving things, blue light, etc)
4. motivation of companies to sell devices and sell monthly plans vs our personal interests
5. personal info / privacy concerns
6. time suck

But it’s not all bad of course so have learn to live with it. Some huge advantages:
1. info resource of web/youtube/etc
2. cell phones/GPS–security

In other words, I think we can learn to live with it. Just as we’ve learned (eventually) to live with widespread access to books, radio, phones, tv.

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