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Sherry Turkle. Alone Together. Why We Expect More. Chapter 8

The chapter is a good depiction of how we became addicted to the new media technologies, old and young. Cyborgs use to epitomize this addiction. Now it looks like we all became a prototype of Cyborgs.
One of the most powerful sentences in the article is perhaps this one: “I feel invincible, sociable, better prepared. I am naked without it. With it, I’m a better person.” (p. 152)
This troubling acknowledgement is well reflected in the title, Alone Together: solitude in an ever extending and demographically growing world.
While reading the article, I kept thinking about the videos posted by many young people lamenting about pseudo-social life and fake friends found on Facebook. Youtube has a plethora of social anxiety stories such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpO63arqCk8
I very much like the part of the article discussing the absence of direct and real interaction among people in public spaces. While fully engaged in our “private” conversations, we act towards others as if they were absent and we want them to disappear from our sight and act as if they were not part of our space.
Second Life, where people could have an ideal life using avatars of their choice is a form of life by substitution. People can become very creative in designing a world of their dreams. But isn’t Second Life a testament to the disenchantment with our world?
So busy are we that each of us could say: “I don’t have time alone with myself.” (p. 167) We are constantly in touch with devices trying to communicate with others. Ironically, we are, as Roland Barthes would say, at the degree zero of communication. Communicating, remaining visible and active on the “virtual” space loses its meaning and content. We are trapped. While many are aware of this perverse outcome, only few have decided to act upon it.
I thought that this reading was a smooth introduction to the next meeting discussion about Facebook refusals, quitters or “holdouts.”

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