The book is based on meta-analyses of individual and family studies and her own interviews with 300 children and 150 adults.Turkle maintains that people who choose to devote large portions of their time to connecting online are more isolated than ever in their non-virtual lives, leading to emotional disconnection, mental fatigue and anxiety.These days, however, when this difficult moment comes, each 15-year-old simply retreats onto Facebook.Whether or not they physically leave the birthday party, they have “left.” When teens tell me that they’d rather text than talk, they are expressing another aspect of the new psychological affordances of the new technology — the possibility of our hiding from each other.People today are more connected to one another than ever before in human history, thanks to Internet-based social networking sites and text messaging.But they’re also more lonely and distant from one another in their unplugged lives, says Massachusetts Institute of Technology social psychologist Sherry Turkle, Ph D.The spoke to Turkle about her research and what it means for the Facebook generation.
There is, however, another trend in which people “friend” people they don’t know or where they are unsure of the nature of their connection.We Facebook-friend people who do not know their commitment to us and similarly, we are unsure of what commitment we have to them.So, it can be as simple as what happens when 15-year-olds gather for a birthday party.As anyone who has ever been 15 knows, there is a moment at such events when everyone wants to leave. It is, however, very important that everyone stay and learn to get along with each other.
This is not only changing the way we interact online, it’s straining our personal relationships, as well.
Turkle’s new book, “Alone Together” (Basic Books, 2011), explores the ways online social networks and texting culture are changing how people relate to society, their parents and friends.