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CDL - Alone Together: Technology as the Architect of Our Intimacies

CISE Distinguished Lecture Series

April 4, 2012 2:00 PM  to 
April 4, 2012 3:00 PM
Room 110, NSF


Technology proposes itself an architect of our intimacies. And these days, technology offers us substitutes for direct face-to-face connection with people in a world of machine-mediated relationships on networked devices. As we instant message, e-mail, text, and Twitter, technology redraws the boundaries between intimacy and solitude. As we instant message, e-mail, text, and Twitter, technology redraws the boundaries between intimacy and solitude. We talk of getting "rid" of our e-mails, as though these notes were so much excess baggage. Besides, it takes too long; across the generations, we would rather text than talk.

The world of our connections comes with so many bounties. But we begin to see that some things are amiss: sometimes we are too busy communicating to think, too busy communicating to create, and paradoxically, too busy communicating to connect with the people who matter. This has implications for children as they grow up, for grownups as they form relationships, and for institutions as they try to do their work.

The goals of this presentation is to sketch out the most important challenges facing both individuals and institutions as we face the new challenges of our digital age and to provide new tools for thinking through and addressing these issues. It is time to start a new kind of conversation - in our families, in our places of business, in our political institutions.


Sherry Turkle is  the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.   Prof. Turkle has published eight books, including "Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other." Prof. Turkle writes on the "subjective side" of people's relationships with technology, is an expert on mobile technology, social networking, and sociable robotics.  She has been named "woman of the year" by Ms. Magazine and among the "forty under forty" who are changing the nation by Esquire.

To Join the Webinar:

The Webinar will be held from 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST on April 4, 2012 in Room 110.

To attend virtually, please register by April 3, 23:59 PDT at: https://mmancusa.webex.com/mmancusa/j.php?ED=180283052&RG=1&UID=0&RT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D

After your registration is accepted, you will get an email with a URL to join the meeting. Please be sure to join a few minutes before the start of the webinar. This system does not establish a voice connection on your computer; instead, your acceptance message will have a toll-free phone number that you will be prompted to call after joining.  Please note that this registration is a manual process; therefore, do not expect an immediate acceptance.  In the event the number of requests exceeds the capacity, some requests may have to be denied.


This event is part of Webinars/Webcasts.

Meeting Type

Amanda Shea, (703) 292-4384, ashea@nsf.gov

NSF Related Organizations
Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

Public Attachments
Flyer for Sherry Turkle


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