The Dangers Of Social Technology

The Dangers Of Social Technology

In her new book "Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other," MIT ethnographer Sherry Turkle explores the dangers of an overly tech-obsessed culture.

Dan Gould
  • 18 january 2011

Sherry Turkle, an ethnographer at MIT, has been studying the impact of technology on society for over thirty years. A recent focus of Turkle’s work has been sociable robots – everything from interactive toys to more complex devices which seem to mimic human traits.

In her new book Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, she explores human-robot interactions and the dangers of an overly tech-obsessed culture:

“We talk about ‘spending’ hours on e-mail, but we, too, are being spent,” Alone Together concludes. “We have invented inspiring and enhancing technologies, and yet we have allowed them to diminish us.”

In Turkle’s view, many of us are already a little too cozy with our machines—the smartphones and laptops we turn to for distraction and comfort so often that we can forget how to sit quietly with our own thoughts. In that way, she argues, science fiction has become reality: We are already cyborgs, reliant on digital devices in ways that many of us could not have imagined just a few years ago.

Perhaps it’s not so far-fetched to think that walking, talking machines will soon come a-courting—and that many people might welcome their advances.

The Chronicle Review : “Programmed for Love”

Sherry Turkle | MIT


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology Today

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online

Retail Today

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Gaming & Play Today

Nintendo’s New Console Pushes For Portable Gaming

The Switch allows gamers to seamlessly play on the go by themselves or with friends

Related Expert

Dustin Callif

Interactive Storytelling

Entertainment Today

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI Today

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important

Millennials Today

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Today

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs Today

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Food Today

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising Today

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Retail Today

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children Today

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants Today

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology Today

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology Today

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

Design & Architecture Today

Flower Pencils Create Cherry Blossom Petals When Sharpened

A Japanese stationary company developed the special implements in order to create unique shavings

No search results found.