Book Review: Alone Together

by @edent | # #

People staring at their phones.

Technology has become the architect of our intimacies. Online, we fall prey to the illusion of companionship, gathering thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends, and confusing tweets and wall posts with authentic communication. But this relentless connection leads to a deep solitude. MIT professor Sherry Turkle argues that as technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down.

A profound and moving book. It neatly describes how online socialising tickles some parts of our needy brains, without actually fulfilling them. At times, this book is touchingly naive – we’re no closer to having the social robots that it predicted – but the sentiment is completely correct. We all want to be loved and will anthropomorphise anything we can.

The strength comes from the narrative encounters with the book’s subjects. Each statistic is neatly paired with an emotional anecdote.

It will absolutely change the relationship you have with the little dopamine-spurting icons you see in your social media feed.

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