Technologies and Human Life in Alone Together and Bumping into Mr. Ravioli
Technology nowadays is playing a major and unique role in everyone’s lives. Technology has both positive and negative effects on the people all over the world. Cell phones, I pad, laptops, etc. made the human’s life more efficient, but it has a negative side also. Nowadays, we have so many ways of communicating and connecting with our loved ones. We can use these easy and quick ways to interact with others like phone messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc. But the problem here is that we have become too reliant on technology or social media. Everyone, whether it’s a student, a businessman or a doctor, everyone is dependent on technology. Sherry Turkle, in her essay Alone Together talks about the relation between human beings and technology such as robots. The author also examines the concept of authenticity in her essay and she tell us how technology such as robots can replace humans to give us less painful and an excellent relationship with no heartbreaks and fighting. Apart from technology, there is a world of imagination also. Humans have a unique power of imagination. We humans have an ability to think about something which doesn’t exist. It can be a person, an event or any other fantasy. Adam Gopnik in his essay Bumping into Mr. Ravioli explains this idea of imagination and he also tells us about his daughter’s creative mind filled with imagination. In his essay, Gopnik provides a look at a modern American lifestyle, the life of the New Yorker. Turkle explains the impact technology has in our personal lives and people nowadays are so busy with their work and technology that they don’t have time to spend with their closed ones.
Adam Gopnik’s daughter Olivia, a young three-year-old girl growing up in New York, creates an imaginary friend, Charlie Ravioli, who she calls him as “Mr. Ravioli”. Her creative thinking illustrates the idea of imagination. Mr. Ravioli is always busy, he is never free to play with her. Olivia is just a three-year-old, so she doesn’t have a busy schedule like his parents and his seven and a half year old elder brother Luke, who Gopnik thought “might be the original of Charlie Ravioli” and he “has become a true New York child, with the schedule of a cabinet secretary: chess club on Monday, T-ball on Tuesday, tournament on Saturday, play dates and after-school conferences to fill in the gaps” (Gopnik 154). Olivia created this imaginary friend like his brother, as she wishes to have someone with her playing and interacting with her when she is alone. From his daughter’s creation of an imaginary playmate, Gopnik feels that nowadays people are so busy with their work and technology that they don’t have enough time to spend with their close and loved ones. Communicating through technology has made our relationships less understanding and with less sharing of feelings or expressing emotions. Through Technology, we are losing our authenticity. Turkle also talked about the idea of authenticity and she said: “Authenticity for me, follows from the ability to put oneself in the place of another, to relate to the other because of the shared store of human experiences; we are born, have families, and know the loss and the reality of death. A robot, however sophisticated, is patently out of this loop” (Turkle 267-8). Authenticity in this means that we can relate ourselves to the living creatures because we can share human experiences like expressing feelings of loss of death or feelings of happiness with them. For a better relationship with anyone, we should not lose authenticity and should always be sharing feelings with person rather than on technology.
The key to a real relationship is authenticity, which means being true to one’s self and to others about who one really is. Authenticity shows that two individuals have a mutual feeling for each other, but when one chooses to connect digitally, he/she can lose the authentic aspect of the relationship. In Gopnik’s essay, he talks about how “we build rhetorical baffles around our lives to keep the crowding out, only to find that we have let nobody we love in” (Gopnik 158). When Gopnik mentions “rhetorical baffles”, he means that by texting, email, fax, video chat, etc. he wants one to understand that people are building a barrier between themselves and their loved ones. Whether or not it’s intentional, that barrier is keeping those important people out of them lives. Gopnik also mentions “keeping the crowding out”. Every day, the number of people a person can meet would be so overwhelming that one might feel pressured and stressed. Electronic devices relieve some of that stress with the boundary that they create. With this boundary, on one side are the people in which one wants to keep close to and on the other side are people in which one wants to keep a distance from. Unfortunately, this can also result in ones loved ones being caught on the wrong side of the barrier. Similarly, Turkle believes that humans use electronic devices to keep one another at arm’s length. When Gopnik mentions “rhetorical baffles”, one might believe that he is talking about the boundaries that Turkle mentions when she says that, “As we instant-massage, email, text, and Twitter, technology redraws the boundaries between intimacy and solitude.” (Turkle 272).
In comparison to Bumping into Mr. Ravioli, Alone Together, by Sherry Turkle elaborates how imaginative thoughts serve as mechanisms that allow certain possibilities occur. These thoughts are desires one wishes could or could have happened, a part of human existence and an experience of reality. Imagination ultimately constitutes a large part of who we are that is stemmed off from one’s imagination and creativity, creating all individuals unique from each other. Gopnik’s essay pinpoints the communication through emails, texts, faxes, and tablets. Charlie Ravioli and the traveling mindset can be linked by imposing a new grid of interest through the work force of productivity, establishing connections along the way. Adam Gopnik points out that people occupied by work are always struggling to have fewer responsibilities and more time to do more work. Even though she is only three, Charlie Ravioli is what attracts her, so she decides to call him, however, he is always too busy. In Gopnik’s essay; he states, “She sighs, sometimes, at her inability to make their schedules mesh, but she accepts it as inevitable, just the way life is” (Gopnik 153). Charlie Ravioli plays an essential role in Olivia’s life, which makes it her personal grid of interest. This quote is significant because at a certain age, she understands the concept of being busy and obtaining a daily routine. She makes use of the phrase “accepts it as inevitable, just the way life is,” to enhance that everyone is busy. The connection between the two quotes connects their different outcome of interests.
So, at last I will say apart from technology, there is a world of imagination also. Individuals can differentiate humanity and fantasy through imagination. It allows one to make original choices, fluctuating thoughts from originality to creativity. Sherry Turkle tells us about the connections between technology such as robots, and human. In her essay, Turkle explores the idea of authenticity and how robots can offer humans better relationships as well as a better life. Adam Gopnik, illustrates this idea of imaginative thinking and its value through the act of being creative as a young child. One-way thoughts can run through one’s mind are solely influenced by different art forms in life.
Alone Together by Sherry Turkle: the Influence of Technologies on Human Interaction
Technology and social media have profound influence on human identity today; it has led to less human interaction and has suppressed human development. The accessibility that technology offers us has transformed the values we place on processes, experiences, and relationships with others.
In Chapter 6 Turkle expresses, “The robots’ special affordance is that they 1simulate listening; which meets a human vulnerability: people want to be heard” (Turkle, 11116). Although I find it helpful to get things off your chest, talking to a robot is just like 1riting in a journal or diary. Intimacy is being replaced by efficiency. Rather than enduring the tough conversations, the uncomfortable situations, humans opt to express themselves with a device in hand. Social media and messaging on digital platforms can strengthen friendship bonds that were formed in humane, personal interactions, but can they create those bonds? Although social media allows us to communicate with others, the frequency and quality may not have a positive impact on the quality of communication and relationships. Turkle explains, “If you practice sharing “feelings” with robot “creatures,” you become accustomed to the reduced “emotional” range that machines can offer” (Turkle, 125). These adaptations have serious consequences; our devices alter what emotions we express. Generation Z tends to keep themselves at a distance from their feelings, more focused on their outer appearance. The more we connect through technology and not face-t-face, the more our thoughts lean outwards rather than inwards.
When young people today use technology to distract themselves from feeling emotions and being in tough situations, they lose the opportunity to learn healthy coping skills. According to Adler, “Only such persons who are courageous, self-confident, and at home in the world can benefit both by the difficulties and by the advantages of life. They are never afraid. They know that there are difficulties, but they also know that they can overcome them” (Adler, 39). Adler emphasized the importance of overcoming obstacles as critical to the development of healthy human advancement. Social connectedness and empathy are very important for children to develop and experience. “But Generation Z may be using technology so frequently in order to avoid struggles in their offline lives or to find belonging by using escapism and fantasy to fill time and emotional voids” (Turner,2015). Solitude is a space for independent thoughts and discovery. Disconnecting is the only way to create this space. Social media has transformed the way humans interact with each other and created a disillusioned connectedness. Social media gives humans the impression of involvement in each other’s lives, but we aren’t physically involved. The perception that you are involved while being at home alone creates a dangerous cycle of self-isolation. Nothing can compare to the emotional feelings and intimacy experienced with real face to face connections.
But smartphones and social media have presented a shift in expectations of companionship and how to respond to feelings of boredom and loneliness. There’s always the possibility of instant gratification at your fingertips. This has created a hunger that yearns for endless affirmation. Rather than accepting imperfection and human frailty, the norm has shifted towards vanity masked as self-love. Digital communities alone will always be unfulfilling for human beings in the end.
The example that parents set with their smartphones should be considered as well. Putting down phones and interacting one-on-one is crucial to build up their sense of self. Children need to connect with other people in order to find a sense of purpose. Turkle writes, “We work so hard to give expressive voices to our robots but are content not to use our own.” This voice can and should be encouraged at home.
- Adler, A. (2011). The science of living. Mansfield Centre, CT: Martino. (Original work published 1930)
- Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Basic Books, 2017.
- Turner, Anthony. Generation Z: Technology and Social Interest. The Journal of Individual Psychology, vol. 71, no. 2, 2015, pp. 103–113.
Huxley and Turkle Synthesis
The evolution of technology has changed the modern day society in many ways. From the creation of the fundamental wheel to the latest iPhone XS, technology has made both a positive and negative impact on how people view life. The two texts Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and “Alone Together” by Sherry Turkle depict how society reacts to the excessive amount of technology they experience regularly. The futuristic novel by Huxley indicates that humans will be completely controlled by soma, the menacing drug developed by technology, and the non-fiction article by Turkle present circumstances where humans have already started being steered by this upcoming complication.
The use of soma and technology leads to the complete deterioration of the realism that comes from life because of the pseudo happiness created. The utilization of soma and technology are shown as continuous, which makes it convenient to get a hold of. Soma, in Huxley’s novel, plays a major role in maintaining citizens to be happy. As presented, “there is always soma, delicious soma” for when people start to feel unhappy or uncomfortable, they won’t start acting out of line. This shows how there is always soma present, especially when society gets overwhelmed and maybe on the verge of thinking for themselves. Soma stops its users from thinking and makes them happy, so that they wouldn’t realize that there is no reality in their life. Turkle also talks about this topic, but with how our phones are always on us, and how we constantly use them to escape reality. “If you’re spending three, four, five hours a day in an online game or virtual world (a time commitment that is not unusual), there’s got to be a place you’re not” (Turkle 273).
Unfortunately, there is no place we are not, because the convenience of technology has allowed us to spend hours upon hours of our lives in another world that isn’t our own. This takes away from the authenticity of our lives which we create ourselves, not some app for role playing. In addition to their convenience, soma and technology blur reality. When in discomfort, soma and technology are desired, which end up creating a sense of fabricated happiness. Soma, a pill which causes the human to all negative emotions is considered “the perfect drug. Euphoric, narcotic, [and] pleasantly hallucinant. ” This is considered a happy and pain-relieving drug which hallucinates its users. With fake happiness being created, this perfect drug blocks humans from understanding the highs and lows of life. Turkle’s text also revolves around how technology blurs reality by showing how fake happiness gets in the way of veracity of life. The truth is that many adults make fake accounts and lure kids into all sorts of awful things. All the kids however, “they nurture friendships on social-networking sites and then wonder if they are among friends. ” This shows that kids, who want to make friends in social media, believe they are happy, but do not know what making a friend truly is.
Despite making friends online, no one can be sure, whether they are “real” friends, and this blurs the sense of reality because no one can tell whether the people they interact with online are truly “real” or not. Soma and technology also create a gap from reality, which changes how people view the truth. Huxley demonstrates how soma makes its users escape from reality by “swallowing half an hour before closing time, the second dose of soma has raised a quite impenetrable wall between the actual universe and their minds. ” This shows that when citizens take soma, their mind is not stable and cannot view things accurately, which is a tremendous cause of the citizen’s inability to think. According to Huxley, a society that does not think, is not violent. The inability to think deteriorates the society’s perspective of real life. Turkle mentions technology as real vs. not real, and introduces if non reality affects humans. Turkle talks about how Rebecca and Turkle were visiting the Galapagos and how the tortoises were not moving. Rebecca “thought it was a shame to bring the turtle all this way from its island home in the Pacific, where it was just going to sit there in the museum, motionless, doing nothing. Rebecca was both concerned for the imprisoned turtle and unmoved by its authenticity”(Turkle 265). Rebecca believed that a fake tortoise would rather be suited better for a natural environment than a real tortoise.
This shows that her solution to making the tortoises be active is to make robotic ones.
The fact that people would go to visit the Galapagos Islands to see robotic turtles instead of real ones proves how technology takes away from the authenticity of our lives. Overall, both authors, Huxley and Turkle, portray technology in a powerful but negative manner to show how people are blinded to the realism that comes from life by the pseudo happiness technology creates. Soma and technology are shown as controlling and erroneous by how they create pseudo happiness, not giving its users even a glimpse of reality. Huxley and Turkle both warn their readers that technology will get to a point where it will be able to control people without them even questioning it.
Role of Modern Technology in Alone Together Novel
The use of technology is increasing day by day, we all depend on technology and we use various technologies to accomplish specific tasks in our lives. From an individual to big organizations, everyone uses technology. Today, we have various emerging technologies which impact our lives in different ways. Technology is being implemented in almost every section of our lives like business, communication education, and more importantly health. Sherry Turkle in her essay, “Alone Together” discusses how technology can be used by anyone to ease their life and how robots can take place instead of a person. Mariam, presented as a woman who is alone, forgotten by her family depends on a robot that serves as a friend for her. However, robots cannot be replaceable for humans because they do not have emotions or any kind of sense towards us. Lisa Belkin on the other side, in “The Made-to-Order Savior” talks about how using medical technology to help a woman produce a baby for the sole purpose of saving another one. The parents of two cancer patients have been trying to save their children for a long time. They face criticism while treating their children for using such a controversial method. But not taking any conflicts into consideration, they try to come of as many solutions they can to save their children. We live in a society where there are critics everywhere and are very judgemental. Sometimes, there are failures in bioethical implications of biological and medical procedures, technologies, and treatments. Regardless of these moral or bioethical complications, ‘lay’ people can be their own “experts” because any person has the right to use the technology whenever they want and utilize it in a right manner if they have enough knowledge.
Complication arises while using technology on who is using it and how it is being used but everyone has an equal right on it. Technology has given us opportunities to fix most of our life problems. In “The Made-to-Order Savior” there are few technologies introduced to cure a Fanconi child by a bone-marrow transplant from a matched sibling donor. These health technological development gave the parents of Molly and Henry to take a step forward to save their children. They went on with the treatment but instead they faced failures where researches/doctors gave up too. For instance, Dr. Wagner tried to help the parents but didn’t succeed, “You have to stop,…There is a point where I have to say: ‘It’s over. You’ve done it. You’ve done the best you could’” (Belkin 13). Dr. Wagner is a scientific director of clinical research in the Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Minnesota, he tried his best but couldn’t help Molly. Molly’s mother Lisa reacted as “I couldn’t hear the word no, No’ meant Molly could die” (Belkin 13). Lisa, Molly’s mother does not believe him and still try to go ahead with any health technological treatment possible, believing there is hope to save the sick child. People put their deepest trust in technology. Similarly, In Trukle’s essay Alone Together, Mariam an old woman has a robot named Paro as a mate because her son has broken all relationships with her. Turkle says “Encouraged, Mariam shows yet more affection for the little robot. In attempting to provide the comfort she believes it needs, she comforts herself” (Turkle 270). This quote means that Mariam is now relying on a robot who has no feelings yet she is using him by replacing his son to a robot because comforts and give her happiness. She basically used technology when she was facing moral complications. She did not fully understand that in the moment of apparent connection; robot did not comprehend anything, but it was still her decision and right to use it.
Even though technology is sometimes not affordable; it now has more great new software, features and apps that are being introduced all the time. The right to use still does not change on whoever or however they want to use it. Mark Hughes in “The Made-to-Order Savior”, known as a great researcher also undergoes hurdles while using technology for his research because “Congress banned all federal financing of embryo research, and Hughes was forced to continue his research with private funds only” (Belkin 6) . Hughes still continues his research “Hughes had certainly thought of the possibility of using PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) to determine HLA type” (Belkin 6), in spite all these complications, he has the right to use the technology however he wants it because he has enough knowledge. Sherry Turkle on the other side presents a case how nowadays people prefer technology over an actual human being. Anne a graduate student, in “Alone Together” whom the writer spoke to is in her mid-twenties and says ‘She would trade in her boyfriend ‘for a sophisticated Japanese robot” if the robot would produce what she called ‘caring behavior’…She said, ‘If the robot could provide the environment, I would be happy to help produce the illusion that there is somebody really with me.’ She was looking for a ‘no-risk relationship’ that would stave off loneliness” (Turkle 270-271). By depicting this, Turkle shows how she is making her own choices on how she wants to make the use of technology. She says she would prefer robot instead of another person that would not make feel lonely and instead it would be caring than an actual person who had feelings. From an expert to any ordinary person; has the right to use the technology where everyone put their trust into it whether it will work for them or not.
Consumer trusts technology with anything; when it comes to a ‘lay person’ who is in crisis, do not think about the outcome but go on with it to solve it. Consumers put their hope and believe technology is the solution to anything but at first may be they should take a look at what technology they have surrounded with is capable of and secure to solve their problems. In “The Made-to-Order-Savior” another patient Henry, who also is a cancer patient and needs a transplant. His parents tries their best to save him but their attempts always failed. Henry’s mom Laurie believes that science will fix everything and says “We worked with the world’s best doctors. We hoped. We believed. We were brave. We preserved. And despite all that didn’t work. I am left with my belief system intact. I believe in love and science. Nothing more, nothing less” (Belkin 16). By this quote, Laurie meant that even though she tried everything that was in her hands to save her child. She still does not lose hope and depends on technology to save her child. The man purpose of Belkin putting this quote by Laurie is to show how Laurie has the right to use technology even if she had incur failures throughout. Parents can make their own choices on a behalf of their sick child and make the use of technology as needed if they are guided properly. Likewise, Turkle also mentions how people have the same belief about robots/technology. Turkle says, “Putting hope in robots expresses as enduring technological optimism, a belief that as other things go wrong, science will go right. In a complicated world, robots seem a simple salvation” (Turkle 272). She means that as a right to use technology, people put their hope in technology which will always be right. If the problem is that technology is harming in any way, technology will yet be the solution to what’s causing the harm. There is no such thing as technology being used too much because everyday the world has something new to offer to better people’s lives.
People invest so much hope and trust while using technology. People rely on technology for everything: to chat, to pay bills, to save a sick child, or get rid of loneliness. Technology comforts people; robots are there when people feel lonely. It’s ludicrous how technology has improved equipments in health surgeries too. Now people are benefitted by implants and transplants to get better. Now, new discoveries in science and technology can help a sick child to improve his/her health conditions. People become dependent on robots and other types of technology to better themselves. Technology really ties us up that tight that we get addicted to it. The right to use technology is universal; no one should be banned to use it. When people are in crisis they depend on technology to get the solutions to their problems and no has the right to steak that right if it is being used in a right manner where none is harmed. ‘Lay’ people who are patents, parent of patents or consumers of any technology have the same right to use technology as of a doctor’s rights, the difference is just that doctor or researchers have more knowledge on how to use it. ‘Lay’ people can consume knowledge from the experts and make the use of technology. Mariam, who was using a robot to get rid of her loneliness, made her own decision to use it because her family had left her. She was happy and satisfied with it; so no one can question her about how she is using the robot.
Depiction of Technological Progress in Alone Together Book
Alone Together Research Essay
In today’s world technology plays a very important aspect of people’s day to day lives. It allows work to be done over the computer, flexible school schedule, and many more great activities. However, it can also have many negative aspects. In alone together the author Sherry Turkle describes technology as the plans of our relationships. She also describes how in the online world you can build a life that we all dream of and hope of having one day. She says, “Finally, a place to love your body, love your friends, and love your life” (Turkle 1). I find it ironic how she states the perfect life can only be created online. Life is tough, however great things can be achieved through knowledge. Has social media made us more social? Or has it made us alone together? Technology allows us to make connections with friends and family, work more efficiently. Technology is in a sense taken to a higher level where it’s become more than just face to face interactions. While Turkle uncovers to us some clear and basic issues with how we relate to the development of new technology, I believe some of her points are existent and are happening all around us. Research and data prove how online confession sites exist, how online life draws us away from our responsibilities, being online promotes a sense of fear, and that people prefer to text over talking.
The first point Turkle makes is that websites where people can go online to anonymously confess problems whether they are real or not in fact exists. However, a lot of the responses can be useful and have some meaning, while other times they are very cruel. A majority of the posts admitted are stunning, which is most likely why they are admitted on an anonymous site. “We cannot blame technology for this state of affairs. It is people who are disappointing each other. Technology merely enables us to create a mythology in which this does not matter” (Turkle 237). Turkle describes the evolutionary technology as leaving us vulnerable. I agree with Turkle here because it is the anonymous world of the internet that allows bullying to take place with no repercussions. I find it very interesting and curios to see why people share their stories in confession sites and ultimately sharing to someone we don’t know. Research shows it’s easier to be mean when you don’t have to say something to a person’s face. It’s hard for some people to vent their problems in person. In the article Why is everyone so angry on the internet it states how interacting on peoples comments lead to a feeling of accomplishment. “Unfortunately, mainstream media have made a fortune teaching people the wrong ways to talk to each other, offering up Jerry Springer, Crossfire, Bill O’Reilly. People understandably conclude rage is the political vernacular, that this is how public ideas are talked about” (Wasserman). This quote shows how there are media outlets that do not provide a higher standard of moral values. It seems like most of the programs are degrading everyone. “If on a website comments are left up that are making personal attacks in the nastiest way, you’re sending the message that this is acceptable human behavior.” It is now believed that insulting a person’s beliefs or actions is the correct behavior in our society. People tend to follow what others are doing, which leads to a community of outrage. Communication is about taking someone’s point of view, grasping there point and answering. Data and examples prove that confession sites are abundant and degrading.
The second point that Turkle argues is that online life is allows people to feel better about themselves than their real lives, by creating a false image. Consequently, they don’t realize that an online life can draw them away from their real life responsibilities. He also states that there is an addiction to the online world. According to turkle connecting with people becomes a craving, when we receive a text our central nervous systems respond by giving us a shot of dopamine.
Turkle uses the example of a gambler, who expresses that “To escape, gamblers flee to a machine zone where the goal is not to win but to be. Gambling addicts simply want to stay in the game, comfortable in a pattern where other things are shut out […] The gambler and video game player share a life of contradiction: you are overwhelmed, and so you disappear into the game” (Turkle 227). I tend to agree with Turkle because we go through negative life consequences such as job loss, family problems, financial issues, and many more. Most of the times we look for escape routes that diminish our problems. I look at it very similar to a drug addict who escapes reality by getting loaded day after day leading to addiction. For example Facebook users had lower Grade Point Averages and spent less time studying than students who did not use these social networking sites. “Of the 26% of students reporting an impact of their usage on their lives, three-quarters (74%) claimed that it had a negative impact, namely procrastination, distraction, and poor time-management” (Griffiths). The findings support the idea that Social networking sites are used by some people in order to cope with negative life events. The addiction side is proved by 24 year old women who used Facebook constantly for at least five hours a day and was fired from her job because she continuously checked her social media sites instead of working. It states that even during her interview, she used her mobile phone to access Facebook. However, there is a lot of evidence provided by researchers and interviews, which prove the claim that Turkle addresses of online lives can make us forget our priorities and allow addictions to occur a valid fact.
Turkle last point states that our generation today, especially the younger people who have grown up with mostly screen-based communication prefer texting over actual talking. Technolgoy is a great way to keep interactive with friends and family all around the globe. Turkle states that technology was once a way to ask a question or just too simply stay in touch. However, it has taken to another level where there are platforms such as email, texting, and instant messaging that change the way we communicate. Audrey who is sixteen, states “the phone, it’s awkward, I don’t see the point. Too much just a recap and sharing feelings. With a text… I can answer on my own time. I can respond. I can ignore it. So it really works with my mood. I’m not bound to anything. No commitment… I have control over the conversation and also more control over what I say” (Turkle 190). This quote shows the pressure people worry about when talking on the phone. This is because there’s more time to react to a text messages and plan out what you are going to say rather than being on the spot when talking. We as human beings, desire to relate to others. Cell phones play a big part in fulfilling our needs. For example whether you are dating someone or just meeting someone for the first time, there is a special feeling about face-to-face interactions. You can hear the tone in their voice change, see their facial expressions changed, and you can look them in the eye to see if you trust them. Based on the study they found that pleasure was a contributing factor to texting. Participants appeared to enjoyed texting as a means of escape from something distressful, such as talking where more you feel more pressure. The average frequency with which participants used voice calls was about 13 times and text messaging was about 82 times in a day. The study shows that text messaging seems to be a more prevalent choice to kids based on pressure motives. “Among those motives, affection, inclusion, and escape were relatively stronger motives than the others for both calling and texting, which suggests that people communicate through cell phones to exchange feelings of caring and connection” (Borae). The end goal most of us look for is for people that we can connect with. Based off the research the facts prove that turkles views on texting over talking are valid.
For the most part we can all agree on the impact social media has everyone’s day to day lives whether positive or negative. To prove this Turkle offers many different examples of the negative impacts different technologies seem to have on an individual’s life. She also uses many metaphors that describe technology as the way of our lives. She depicts how in the online world you can assemble an existence that we all fantasy of and any desire for having one day. She says, I think that its unexpected how she expresses the ideal life must be made on the web. Life is intense; however incredible things can be accomplished through information. Has online networking made us more social? Then again has it made only us together? Technology allows us to keep in contact with loved ones, and work more effectively. Technology is said to be taken to a larger amount where it’s turned out to be more than simply eye to eye conversations. We can see that Turkle implies that it is not that good to become tethered to the virtual world by providing us examples that indicate negative effects on people. I tend to agree with her in not allowing yourself to become a slave to technology. Though we may agree with the answers we hear, the fact is that technology is advancing, regardless of our opinions about those developments. “If you can’t find a good job, you can reimagine yourself as successful in the virtual. You can escape a depressing apartment to entertain guests in a simulated mansion” (Turkle 219). It’s hard to imagine that the virtual world holds so much power on you. It’s almost as people need it to escape reality, consequently it is proved to have many negative outcomes.
Depiction of Changes in Society Due to Technology in Alone Together Novel
In the book, “Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other”, Sherry Turkle focuses on how drastically our society is beginning to change with the progression of technology and the introduction of artificial intelligence. The evolution of technology has allowed society to be able to do anything from anywhere and with anyone. Although the current generation has developed the new versions of technology, the reliance society now has on technology is beginning to shape the way the population lives. Turkle makes a valid point that society prefers to treat inanimate machines as humans and treat each other as if they are robots, but she has been short sighted in the fact that society is ever changing and with artificial intelligence becoming more accepted, this may be the new standard. Technology has allowed people to fill a void by permitting them to be alone, yet having their peers at their fingertips. The current definitions of “humanity” and “relationships” may have to change in the near future based on our interactions with technology.
It is clear from the start of Turkle’s book that she wants to inform the reader of how technology truly affects their lives, from “Tomogatchi’s” to smartphones. Children grow up using toys with artificial intelligence such as “My Real Baby” and “Furby” so they are accustomed to robots from a young age. “Alone Together” gives the reader an insight of what technology may look like in the near future, allowing them to use this knowledge to get prepared. Turkle divides the book into two parts, with chapters in each part and different subheadings. Each chapter focuses on a different type of robot or technology. The tone of the book comes across as both personal an academic. The book is personalized with the author’s experiences with artificial intelligence and technology as well as her experiments. The academic tone comes in when Turkle talks about her work at MIT and her previous schooling. As a result of Turkle being a technology and society specialist at MIT, she includes real life observations and quotations from various people on the effects that robots have on the population. The first part of Turkle’s book focuses on different types robots and toys like Cog and Kismet, two robots being created. The second part of the book describes how technology is affecting the population and the different problems it causes, like anxiety in real life situations. There are a number of main ideas that Turkle returns to throughout the book. These main ideas include children’s robot toys such as “Tomogotchis”, “Furby’s” and “My Real Baby”, robots in nursing homes to keep elderly company, how children of different ages interact with artificial intelligence in different forms, the ethics that come with robots like romance and jobs, how technology is constantly on, the anxiety problems occurring in the real world due to technology and how the evolution of technology is affecting the younger generations. These main ideas are discussed many times in the book and reinforce the fact that technology and artificial intelligence is changing society.
When it comes to the arguments presented in Sherry Turkle’s book, a prominent statement she makes is “we seem determined to give human qualities to objects and content to treat each other as things” (Turkle, XIV).