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“Human relationships are rich and they're messy and they're demanding. And we clean them up with technology. Texting, email, posting, all of these things let us present the self as we want to be. We get to edit, and that means we get to delete, and that means we get to retouch, the face, the voice, the flesh, the body -- not too little, not too much, just right.”
Sherry Turkle
“We expect more from technology and less from each other.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“...we are changed as technology offers us substitutes for connecting with each other face-to-face. We are offered robots and a whole world of machine-mediated relationships on networked devices. As we instant-message, e-mail, text, and Twitter, technology redraws the boundaries between intimacy and solitude. We talk of getting “rid” of our e-mails, as though these notes are so much excess baggage. Teenagers avoid making telephone calls, fearful that they “reveal too much.” They would rather text than talk. Adults, too, choose keyboards over the human voice. It is more efficient, they say. Things that happen in “real time” take too much time. Tethered to technology, we are shaken when that world “unplugged” does not signify, does not satisfy. After an evening of avatar-to avatar talk in a networked game, we feel, at one moment, in possession of a full social life and, in the next, curiously isolated, in tenuous complicity with strangers. We build a following on Facebook or MySpace and wonder to what degree our followers are friends. We recreate ourselves as online personae and give ourselves new bodies, homes, jobs, and romances. Yet, suddenly, in the half-light of virtual community, we may feel utterly alone. As we distribute ourselves, we may abandon ourselves. Sometimes people experience no sense of having communicated after hours of connection. And they report feelings of closeness when they are paying little attention. In all of this, there is a nagging question: Does virtual intimacy degrade our experience of the other kind and, indeed, of all encounters, of any kind?”
Sherry Turkle
“Texting offers just the right amount of access, just the right amount of control. She is a modern Goldilocks: for her, texting puts people not too close, not too far, but at just the right distance. The world is now full of modern Goldilockses, people who take comfort in being in touch with a lot of people whom they also keep at bay.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“Technology is seductive when what it offers meets our human vulnerabilities. And as it turns out, we are very vulnerable indeed. We are lonely but fearful of intimacy. Digital connections and the sociable robot may offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. Our networked life allows us to hide from each other, even as we are tethered to each other. We’d rather text than talk.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“People are lonely. The network is seductive. But if we are always on, we may deny ourselves the rewards of solitude.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“When Thoreau considered "where I live and what I live for," he tied together location and values. Where we live doesn't just change how we live; it informs who we become. Most recently, technology promises us lives on the screen. What values, Thoreau would ask, follow from this new location? Immersed in simulation, where do we live, and what do we live for?”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“We... heal ourselves by giving others what we most need.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“we seem determined to give human qualities to objects and content to treat each other as things.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“But if we don’t have experience with solitude—and this is often the case today—we start to equate loneliness and solitude. This reflects the impoverishment of our experience. If we don’t know the satisfactions of solitude, we only know the panic of loneliness.”
Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
“Every time you check your phone in company, what you gain is a hit of stimulation, a neurochemical shot, and what you lose is what a friend, teacher, parent, lover, or co-worker just said, meant, felt.”
Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
“Human relationships are rich and they're messy and they're demanding. And we clean them up with technology. And when we do, one of the things that can happen is that we sacrifice conversation for mere connection. We short-change ourselves. And over time, we seem to forget this, or we seem to stop caring.”
Sherry Turkle
“We fill our days with ongoing connection, denying ourselves time to think and dream.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“In order to feel more, and to feel more like ourselves, we connect. But in our rush to connect, we flee solitude. In time, our ability to be separate and gather ourselves is diminished. If we don’t know who we are when we are alone, we turn to other people to support our sense of self. This makes it impossible to fully experience others as who they are. We take what we need from them in bits and pieces; it is as though we use them as spare parts to support our fragile selves.”
Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
“In solitude we don't reject the world but have the space to think our thoughts.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“When we let our minds wander, we set our brains free. Our brains are most productive when there is no demand that they be reactive.”
Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
“If behind popular fascination with Freudian theory there was a nervous, often guilty preoccupation with the self as sexual, behind increasing interest in computational interpretations of mind is an equally nervous preoccupation with the self as machine.”
Sherry Turkle
“The technology has become like a phantom limb, it is so much a part of them. These young people are among the first to grow up with an expectation of continuous connection: always on, and always on them. And they are among the first to grow up not necessarily thinking of simulation as second best. All of this makes them fluent with technology but brings a set of new insecurities.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“The web promises to make our world bigger. But as it works now, it also narrows our exposure to ideas. We can end up in a bubble in which we hear only the ideas we already know. Or already like.”
Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
“These days, insecure in our relationships and anxious about intimacy, we look to technology for ways to be in relationships and protect ourselves from them at the same time.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“Because you can text while doing something else, texting does not seem to take time but to give you time. This is more than welcome; it is magical.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“This is a new nonnegotiable: to feel safe, you have to be connected.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“this distinctive confusion: these days, whether you are online or not, it is easy for people to end up unsure if they are closer together or further apart.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“Relationships we complain about nevertheless keep us connected to life.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“As infants, we see the world in parts. There is the good—the things that feed and nourish us. There is the bad—the things that frustrate or deny us. As children mature, they come to see the world in more complex ways, realizing, for example, that beyond black and white, there are shades of gray. The same mother who feeds us may sometimes have no milk. Over time, we transform a collection of parts into a comprehension of wholes.4 With this integration, we learn to tolerate disappointment and ambiguity. And we learn that to sustain realistic relationships, one must accept others in their complexity. When we imagine a robot as a true companion, there is no need to do any of this work.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“The idea that we can be exactly what the other desires is a powerful fantasy.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“But when technology engineers intimacy, relationships can be reduced to mere connections. And then, easy connection becomes redefined as intimacy. Put otherwise, cyberintimacies slide into cybersolitudes. And with constant connection comes new anxieties of disconnection,”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“Technology proposes itself as the architect of our intimacies.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
“We are at a moment of temptation, ready to turn to machines for companionship even as we seem pained or inconvenienced to engage with each other in settings as simple as a grocery store. We want technology to step up as we ask people to step back.”
Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
“This is the experience of living full time on the Net, newly free in some ways, newly yoked in others. We are all cyborgs now.”
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

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