Connected but alone?

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Connected but alone?
Thu, 04-12-2012 - 8:47am

I saw this TED talk on the Quirkyalone website entitled "Connected but alone?" The talk is given by MIT professor Sherry Turkle who studies the impact of the cyber world (such as Twitter and Facebook) on our psyche. Some interesting quotes:

We are "hiding from each other even as we're all constantly connected to each other."
"People can't get enough of each other if and only if they can have each other at a distance in amounts they can control."

She says that real conversation equals connection, that we aren't getting to know each other through tweets and status updates. She says that "no one is listening."

I went to a new coffee place in another part of town yesterday, to get out of the house and delay starting work. Typically I go to a Starbucks near my house, and the scenario was the same in this new place as in Starbucks: people, mostly alone, riveted to their laptops/iPhones/iPads, wearing headphones. I suppose you could say this is no worse than when people read the paper in a coffee house, but the headphones are isolating. It makes me wonder: why do they even go into Starbucks? I'm in a suburban area, and there isn't much real foot traffic, so it's not like they are just ducking in to grab a cup of coffee on their way to the subway. People have to make an effort to go there. Why not just stay at home and cruise the Internet?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Thu, 04-12-2012 - 9:40am

Nice info Florida and yes I also think that the social media has its good and bad points.

It is unfortunate that the internet has become a way of socializing.. I do enjoy it though and I like facebook. I use facebook a few times a day like you.. Not because I need a break from

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 04-12-2012 - 11:20am

I go into the Barnes & Noble a lot to sit in the cafe, have a drink & read all the magazines for free.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Thu, 04-12-2012 - 7:21pm

Florida, I have said it till I'm blue in the face, I think as great as our technological advances have been and with as many positive things as it offers, there is a downside.

Avatar for mhash
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 04-13-2012 - 10:01am

I saw this TED talk as well.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Fri, 04-13-2012 - 11:35am

It is interesting how people would text rather than talk.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2011
Sun, 04-15-2012 - 11:04am
I think that the sad truth is that most people don't have a whole lot of interesting things to say to begin with, so what little there is to say can be extended out in texts or email strings but real conversation situations expose shortcomings too quickly for some. And it also helps avoid the worst talk offenders in our lives who repeat things ten different ways without a breath in between to listen to anything else.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Sun, 04-15-2012 - 11:19am

funny I was in a third world country once and the people were more into technology than the US.. when I was in italy years ago I was amazed at how many people while walking were on two cell phones at once.. someone told me they are talking to their moms and their wives and gfriends.. I wondered about that.

Overseas there are more internet cafes I believe than there are here in the US.. please correct me.. Now I think maybe it is a way to connect to outside world.. Just hanging out in the cafes and being around people I guess is better than sitting at home on a laptop as I do..

Anyway; anyone could hype up their life on facebook.. If I said I lived in a nice house near a beach and lots to do and I date and see men and have parties in summer and have friends it would all be true. I would just have to hype it up a bit and it would sound so much more appealing to others on facebook.