Dear Ms. Sherry Turkle,
I find that your analyzation of people to be correct to a point. I myself would rather text someone than call him/her. I agree that humans are lonely but fearful of intimacy (or rejection). I agree that sociable robots give the illusion of companionship, but I disagree in that digital connections are the same. You can make friends via digital means and they provide companionship, but they also come with the same demands of a friendship that come from a friendship you made normally in real life. In the case of Ellen and her grandmother, I don’t feel that all people are like that. If she gave the skype calls her full attention instead of using it to also do another task on the side, I don’t think she would feel guilty and it would be as good as if the person was really there. I think that if you heard the story from her grandmother’s side, the grandmother would be thrilled and say that it was just as good.
I thought it was funny that your daughter would suggest that they replace the Galapagos tortoises with robots. I agree with how you pointed out that aesthetic inconvenience that the living tortoise had and people’s opinions toward them. Most animals to satisfy people it seems, would have to be more active and fit into what people believe how they should act.
Thanks for writing your article and thanks for taking the time to read this letter.