Friday, February 18, 2011


This is the title of a well researched new book by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Sherry Turkle, published by Basic Books in January this year, which raises some poignant soul searching issues related to overuse of social media or what she calls social technology. In this strikingly sharp critique, Prof Turkle argues that despite the advent of social networking sites and text messaging ,our intimate relationship with technology has not translated into closer personal relationships between fellow humans.
Alone Together is the result of Technology and society specialist Sherry Turkle’s nearly fifteen year exploration of human lives on the digital terrain. Based on interviews with hundreds of teenagers and adults, it describes new, unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, parents, and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy and solitude. It is a story of emotional dislocation, of risks taken unknowingly. But it is also a story of hope, for even in the places where digital saturation is greatest, there are people—especially the young—who are asking the hard questions and concerns about sustaining direct human connection. At the threshold of what Turkle calls “the robotic moment,” our devices prompt us to recall that we have human purposes and, perhaps, to rediscover what they are.
I have come across an interesting interview of Professor Sherry Turkle, in which she has revealed her thought process, which is available at following link:
This book is more relevant for saturated societies other than emerging ones, but the issues raised point out some compelling other side pictures of social media which demand our attention.The fact is social media is a tool to facilitate human to human interactions , not replace them, by self imposed solitude or what Professor Sherry Turkle chillingly  calls “ alone together”

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