A previous post on Sherry Turkle discussed her views on the ‘subjective’ aspect of our relation to technology. Her most recent writing expresses misgivings about the health of this relationship. This is noticeable in Programmed for Love, an interview from the Chronicle Review, in which Turkle describes how internet usage and social networks can mask the need to cultivate real human relationships and real human community. “Because we grew up with the Net,” she says, “we assume that the Net is grown up.”
The occasion for the Chronicle interview is Sherry Turkle’s new book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, which remarks that “we talk about ‘spending’ hours on e-mail, but we too are being spent.” I also enjoyed the observation by Turkle’s daughter, that instead of a robot caretaker the professor “would rather have the complete works of Jane Austen played continuously.” Me too.