In her presentation Professor Turkle illustrates several of the most compelling issues from her recent book, Alone Together. Shepoints out that technology may give us an illusion of togetherness with others, but she challenges us to understand that digital connectedness is not a substitute for person-to-person interaction.
Are we hiding from each other even as we are connected?
With fewer face-to-face conversations with one another are we less able to learn how to have conversations with ourselves?
Do feelings that no one is really listening to us make us want to spend more time with machines that make us feel like these devices are listening to us?
Are people increasingly willing to settle for the pretend empathy of devices and robots?
The graphic below shows daily use of a variety of communication technologies – and suggests that while text messaging as a daily activity for teens has grown astronomically over the past three years, other communicative technologies have remained relatively stable or have declined slightly, suggesting that the increase in texting has layered on top of the other modes of communication that teens employ.