Monday, January 30, 2012

Owner of a Lonely Digital Heart

Dear Ms. Turkle,

         After reading your article "Alone Together," I would agree with you in that these new forms of communication create a sense of loneliness. Prevalent forms of communication like texting, email, social media, etc., allow for more constant connection. The way the message is sent is not where the problem stems, but the lack of recurrence in the messages we receive makes us feel alone in the world. Having so many options to communicate with other people leaves us in a position where we will always be waiting for the silly-sounding bike horn noise to go off notifying us of an incoming text.

     Regarding the subject of having relationships with robots, I'm not surprised in the least that this is considered by some as a viable option. Personally, my suspension of disbelief would not go that far. Yes, I can see robots serving functions to cater to our needs, but really, going that far? The story of the girl at the American Museum of Natural History was disheartening to hear with her expectations of what the tortoise should look like and act, as well as the tourists at DisneyWorld. If and when people obtain robots to cater to their needs, it takes away the basic foundation of what makes a good relationship. The spontaneousness of it is eliminated. With the path technology is taking, I would have to agree that robots will become accepted in society in that capacity, not in our lifetimes, but it will be a choice for those people to make.

- Kyle

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