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

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Feb 15, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

Conversation with Eliza Bot. Wed Feb 15, 2012. ( )

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.
21 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Alone Together.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

02/04 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

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. ; )

back to top