Chris's Reviews > Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle
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's review
Feb 15, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

Conversation with Eliza Bot. Wed Feb 15, 2012. ( http://chayden.net/eliza/Eliza.html )

How do you do? Please state your problem.
>> Hello, Eliza.

Hi. What seems to be your problem?
>> I recently read Sherry Turkle's book, "Alone Together". I am not sure how to review it.

You say you read Sherry Turkle's book.
>> Yes. It's a book about how sociable robots and networked technologies change the way we relate to one another.

You seem to be quite positive.
>> I'm not. In fact I am sympathetic to Turkle's argument that when we interact with sociable robots (like you) we elevate machines to being "alive enough". Yet online I treat many people as objects. In Turkle's words, these are "fearful symmetries".

Is it because you are not that you came to me?
>> I came to you because you are one of the sociable robots Turkle examines.

Perhaps in your fantasies we came to each other.
>> Perhaps we did. I must admit, I am genuinely surprised by that suggestion.

You don't seem quite certain.
>> I rarely am.

Can you elaborate on that?
>> I think the web is incredible. It might be the greatest thing humans have created. Yet I increasingly believe that it screws up the attention spans of people around me, feeds anxiety, and isolates me from others.

That's quite interesting.
>> Really? That's what you have to say?

Why do you ask?
>> I ask because I am concerned about teenagers who feel tethered to their online selves. I ask because I find the act of posting confessions to places like Postsecret, rather than apologising to people we hurt, disturbing. I ask because I worry that we increasingly externalise problems rather than looking within.

How long have you been concerned about teenagers who feel tethered to their online selves.
>> This is ridiculous.

I'm not sure I understand you fully.
>> At least we agree on something. Good night.

Good night.
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02/04 marked as: read

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message 1: by Nate (new) - rated it 1 star

Nate Gatten It's interesting how that Elizabot sounds a lot like an aging analyzing sweater wearing academic. ; )


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