There’s an intriguing new book out by professor Sherry Turkle called Alone Together: why we expect more from technology and less from each other. She’s exploring how use of technology shapes our relationships, wondering what will be the impact of importing “the technologies of efficiency into our intimacies.” My take is that she’s not real sunny about what she’s seeing; and, well, who can blame her – the notion of “friend” has been pretty much drained of its heart by Facebook.
Canada’s Globe and Mail did an interview with her here. She’s worried that much of the social media technology produces narcissists, a soul who does not feel okay to be alone, needing constant validation, “a self so fragile that it needs constant support.” She not a neo-Luddite, arguing we drop these technologies, but more simply insisting they be put in their proper place.
I’m thinking this might be a good read alongside of my planned sabbatical reading of Albert Borgmann’s Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life (I remember Eugene Peterson recommending this book as the one book to read if you wanted a good overview of the impact of technology on human life). Here’s an interview with Borgmann that will give you a sense of his thinking.
So is Turkle on the money in her assessment? What are your thoughts on how technology/social media impact human relationships (with others and God)? What is it doing? How is it shaping us?