Book review: Alone Together

Friday, November 11th, 2011

In her book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Each Other (2011), Sherry Turkle, a technology and society specialist at MIT, addresses the question of whether we as humans will determine how to keep busy the cyber technology that  automates our lives and disrupts, or acts as an impervious substitute for, genuine human interaction. 

From social media to robots, Turkle observes that we are a society experimenting with a simulated, superficial existence that denigrates our humanity.

            “Actually, we have agreed to a series of experiments: robots for children and the elderly, technologies that denigrate and deny privacy, seductive simulations that propose themselves as places to live.

We deserve better. When we remind ourselves that it is we who decide how to keep technology busy, we shall have better.” (p.296)

Alone Together offers tremendous insight and eloquently qualifies longing for genuine, nurturing relationships in the network culture. Something from which Internet powered communications and texting distracts us.   Accordingly, this edition of Banana Moments focuses on a theme critical to family life addressed by Turkle: undivided attention for loved ones, be they children or aging parents.

            For more see: Life interrupted: Are our children starving for attention? p.2 And Introducing “Elder Care Corner” in the Fall 2011 edition of Banana Moments: Family Business Quarterly.

            For more reading on how to overcome the cyber disconnect of family life, check out Joanna’s e-book: The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture – A Parent’s Voice in the Cyber Wilderness. (2011).

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna (jullien@surewest.net) and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.

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