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Alone Together Book Review Essay Technology has grown greatly in the past years, we have things now that people used to dream of. There are phones that react to the simple touch of a finger, 3D televisions and even things like lawn mowers that mow themselves! Since there has been such a vast growth in technology many people rely on it for their day-to-day lives. But is there a limit to how much technology someone can take before it comes insane? Well Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together, Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, captures that question perfectly, but is there a real answer to that question?
There are many good things about technology, along with many bad things. But it is safe to say that many things are much better because of this vast improvement. The cure for cancer is closer than ever and trust me there would be no way of getting this close without our rapid technological stretch. Also, it is a lot easier to get ahold of family members, friends, workers, and etc. “People love their new technologies of connection they have made parents and children feel more secure and have revolutionized business, education, scholarship, and medicine. ” (152).
This comes in handy if someone has gotten in a car crash, you used to have to dial a number to call the police and explain everything while you are shaken up. Now, your car can detect if you have been in an accident and in an instant the police are on their way to your location. The growth of this has made it very easy to access people especially through emergencies, or vacations, or even when you are just out with friends. This world is an unpredictable place and you never know what could happen, that is why it’s so important to be able to reach people when you need them. …With a daughter studying abroad who expects to reach me when she wants to reach me, I am grateful to be tethered to her through the net. ” (153). One thing I feel that has gives technology a bad wrap are parents. “We have seen them feeling more alive when connected…” (265). They see their kid constantly on their phones and they see it as we aren’t interested in anything other than our telephones and that’s all we do at school. Well, I’ll have you know that 99% of the information I learn from school I can find on my smart phone.
Smart phones and texting have not only made it easier to communicate but have made it easier for students to access information for just about anything. Directions, homework, recipes; you name it, smart phones have it! “I was wrong. Texting has evolved into a space for confessions, breakups, and declarations of love. ” (268). Some people don’t understand how much easier life is with smart phones, instead of calling and possibly have that awful 30 minute long conversation with aunt Linda, you can just shoot her a text and there is no way she will know if you are ignoring her. Its genius I must say.
Although, there is a time and a place to be on your phone and some people abuse that privilege, they still have very many pros. It has given people a chance to be themselves although they may be shy in real life. It gets rid of the worrying if you have food stuck in your teeth while talking to a cute guy, all you have to do with texting is to think of some flirty thing to say back to him without worrying if your hair looks good or bad. “If you are willing to send in an actor, why not send in a robot? ” (74). Just like everything in this world, there are things that people take way too far.
This being an example, apparently, there is this new thing about robots; people use them as babysitters, friends, and children, even LOVERS! Now, I’m not one to judge how other people get through their day but using a robot as a babysitter, I mean come on, what if he runs out of batteries? Then what do you do? I think that robot babysitters may be a little too much for me, and a whole lot of dangerous. Now, on the other hand, using robots for children. “It will cry if its bored; when it gets its bottle, it will be happy. ” (74).
I am not exactly against this idea; I think that using a robot as a child would be amazing practice for young adults. If there was a program for people who are expecting a child and they could have robot child to prepare them for parenthood, that could be a very good idea and could probably save a lot of parents some stress. Another thing that could get dangerous, are virtual lives, these people get wrapped into them that they put it before their actual life; also, it makes them sick not being on their computer. “If I’m not in touch, I feel almost dizzy. As though something is wrong, something terrible is wrong. (269). People don’t understand that it is all-fake, no matter how many friends you have on your second life, it is not real. Though the people you are interacting with are real, that does not make it okay to completely consume your life into these cyber worlds. “You can escape a depressing apartment to entertain guests in a simulated mansion. But while for some the virtual may subdue discontents, for others it seems just a way to escape doldrums. ” (219). Many people that suffer from depression use these websites to escape reality, just like any other problem, you try to ignore it until it goes away.
People try and use the Internet to make up for things they wish they had or things they were never able to get, ultimately making things harder. People know that it’s real they just cant admit it, knowing it and ignoring it brings more self loathing because they become embarrassed with themselves. “Older people—say over thirty-five—talk about online confession as a substitute for things they want and don’t have (like a trusted pastor or friend). ” (231). Instead of relying on Internet people should go out there and try and meet new people.
The only problem with that is, people get so used to the Internet lifestyle that they bring it out into reality. They talk to people as if they are on chatting online, or on their fake world. This could be bad because we all know dramatic situations are drastically heightened on the Internet, as opposed to in person when people are rarely as outspoken because it is hard looking someone in the face and being so blunt or rude about situations. “Sometimes people try to make life with others resemble simulation. They try to heighten real-life drama or control those around them. ” (288).
I think this book is definitely worth the money, and definitely worth the read especially for researchers. The author has very well established credibility and uses extensive examples that would be great material to use to support an argument. Reading this book didn’t educate me on new things but it opened my mind to bigger problems and also strengthened my argument on the good and bad on technology. There is no answer for is technology is good or bad because its all about the person using it. You can drink alcohol but if you abuse it you can become addicted, same goes for Internet. Know your limit.