Alone Together by Sherry Turkle – Book Review

The book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, is written by Sherry Turkle. It provides an engaging discussion on how today’s technology affects our personal and emotional lives. The author questions the rise of digital technologies as a way to independent connected lifestyle.

About the Author:

Sherry Turkle is Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT. She is also the founder and the present director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Professor Turkle is a licensed clinical psychologist and has received a joint doctorate in personality psychology and sociology from the Harvard University. For more than three decades, she had been researching on the changing lifestyle with digital culture and how it has affected the work, families and identity of a man.

About the Book:

The book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, explores how the society is adapting to new technological advancements. She raises concerns over the future of human interactions and how it might become degraded to technology-based connectivity. The author is more aware of the impacts of technology use on physical, emotional, and mental health of the people. She points out the detrimental effects of technology in human relationships, emotional wellbeing and social behaviors.

It is undeniable that the ongoing increased use of technological platforms would negatively influence human interactions and lifestyle. The present digitalization has actually brought in more mental agitation than convenience. However, ditching the bean of digital technology has become nearly impossible. The author presents some real-life stories on how frequent use of technology affects the social and psychological behavior of humans. From adolescents to old-aged persons, technology has played its part in influencing their attitude, emotional and mental wellbeing.
On speaking about the ‘robotic moment’, Turkle points out how the technological change is devaluing the human-to-human relationships with robots. Seeking robots as a substitute for human connections is a height of extreme digital indulgence. Technology is also redefining the individual identities. Online life has reconstructed human interactions with face profiles and identities. Social media is negatively affecting the emotional well-being of people driving them apart further.

Overall, Turkle states that artificial intelligence, social media, and sociable robots can never replace human beings. Moreover, increased dependence on technology brings more harm than good in the long-run for human relationships and development.

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