Dear Miss Turkle,
I found that your article “Alone Together” effectively explained the immersion and dependence of humans in technology. Your article reminded me of MTV's show, True Life: I Live Another Life on the Web. In this episode, three young people embody alter-egos on line as they hide their true identities under a digital shell and they use second life as a buffer, but it begins to conflict with their real lives. Many of them suffer from social anxiety disorders because of their insecurities and they seek attention through the internet. There is no doubt that our society loves to socialize online, and in the virtual world, you can become anybody you want with a few strokes on the keyboard. I also found your point on Second Life very relevant to my beliefs. First it started out with SIMS, where the user had the freedom to create his or her own community and the people in it. In second life, the user is in complete control of one's identity, control ranging from eyelid thickness, body shape, skin color, height, and clothes. Also our avatars are thought to be better than any pet because “we are told they are lovable and responsive, don't require cleanup, and will never die.” Relating to robots makes us feel good because we feel more in control, and the real world can come off as intimidating.
I found your quote, “Technology is seductive when what it offers meets our human vulnerabilities. We are lonely but fearful of intimacy. Digital connections and the sociable robot may offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship,” extremely powerful. Technology promises to compensate for the missing human qualities and feelings we seek for. Human relationship involves coming to savor the surprises and the rough patches of looking at the world from another's point of view, shaped by history, biology, trauma, and joy, but technology guarantees the positive aspects in relationships. I also can relate to how people would rather e-mail than to encounter face-to-face because people would rather hide behind the buffer to avoid confrontation.