Dear Sherry Turkle,
After reading your introduction to Alone Together, I just wanted to say that I can really see where you are coming from and that I do agree with you that technology is not substituting for the real thing. I know plenty of people who rather than speaking to each other on the phone or in person, would much rather text each other on their cell phones. You make a great point in saying that digital connections offer this illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. It’s completely true, this allows for people to physically hide from people and escape to a place where they now have control over the context of what they say and what they do.
Using technology at all times has become a socially accepted thing. I have seen plenty of friends hanging out with each other and their noses are buried in their cell phones, the entire time. People substitute real relationships in the virtual world, like friendships and more intimate ones. It’s become very popular to meet someone online, talk to them all the time via email and texting; some people can go years before ever meeting in person. And when they do eventually meet, there have been times where it didn’t work out because they preferred the person they met online. You talk about the beautiful girl Anna who would turn her boyfriend in for a sophisticated robot if it would produce caring behavior. I think that this is a scary step that people can feel so lonely they are turning to technology and think of that as better comfort than a real human being.
Ana Luisa Suarez