Sherry Turkle

Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology
Director, MIT Initiative on Technology and Self
Program in Science, Technology, and Society
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program in Science, Technology, and Society
E51-296C
Cambridge, MA 02139

sturkle@media.mit.edu

 

Photo 2010

Sherry Turkle received her Bachelors of Arts summa cum laude in Social Studies from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Sociology and Personality Psychology from Harvard University.

 

Interviews, Profiles, and Commentary

 

Media appearances and interviews in which Sherry Turkle discusses her new book, Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other (NY: Basic Books, January 2011), as well as her research in general :

Scientific American – “The Networked Primate” (Vol. 311, Issue 3, September 2014).   ‘For the first time in the history of our species, we are never alone and never bored. Have we lost something fundamental about being human?’   Prof. Turkle is interviewed by Mark Fischetti.   http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sherry-turkle-explains-why-social-technologies-are-making-us-less-social/?print=true

The Atlantic Magazine – “Saving the Lost Art of Conversation: In a fast-paced digital age, an MIT psychologist tries to slow us down” (January/February 2014).  A profile by Megan Garber.  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/01/the-eavesdropper/355727/

Moyers & Company (PBS) – "Sherry Turkle on Being Alone Together" (October 18, 2013). Sherry tells Bill Moyers: "What concerns me as a developmental psychologist is watching children grow in this new world where being bored is something that never has to be tolerated for a moment." http://billmoyers.com/segment/sherry-turkle-on-being-alone-together/

On Point with Ted Ashbrook (NPR) – “The Programmable World” (June 4, 2013).   Sherry Turkle discusses wiring the physical world and how we’ll live when everything is online. 
http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/06/04/the-programmable-world

CBS This Morning, with Charlie Rose and Gayle King – “More Wired, Less Connected: Is Your Smart Phone Making You Lonely?” (Sunday, April 3, 2013).  Sherry Turkle, Barbara Fredrickson, and Nick Bilton discuss the pros and cons of mobile phones.  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50144131n

TED Radio Hour (NPR) – “Are We Plugged-In, Connected, but Alone?” (March 15, 2013).  With Guy Raz.  “Sherry Turkle looks at how technology redefines human connection and what we expect from each other.”  http://www.npr.org/2013/02/25/172900833/do-we-need-humans

Weekend Edition Sunday (NPR) – “’We Need to Talk’: Missed Connections with Hyperconnectivity” (February 10, 2013). Sherry Turkle tells Rachel Martin “We all get to keep our phones and love our phones, but now that we’re into a more mature use of the technology, we also need to be able to say, ‘For this conversation, we need to talk.’” http://www.npr.org/2013/02/10/171490660/we-need-to-talk-missed-connections-with-hyper-connectivity

Fresh Air with Terry Gross (NPR) -- "In Turkle's interviews with adults and teenagers, she found people of all ages are drawn to their devices for a similar reason: 'What is so seductive about texting, about keeping that phone on, about that little red light on the BlackBerry, is you want to know who wants you'" (October 18, 2012).

CBS News -- "Texting: Can we pull the plug on our obsession?" In a Cover Story, Susan Spencer speaks with Sherry Turkle about our push-button compulsions (September 30, 2012). http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-57523072/texting-can-we-pull-the-plug-on-our-obsession/

TED Conference 2012 (Technology, Engineering, Design)
Mainstage
Connected, but Alone?
Long Beach, CA  March 2012.

The Colbert Report (Comedy Central) -- "Sherry Turkle doesn't want to get rid of technology, but she thinks it's time to put it in its place" (January 17, 2011).

Morning Edition (NPR) -- "Social robots raise moral, ethical questions" (March 11, 2011). With Ari Shapiro.

The Economist's Human Potential summit (video) -- Sherry Turkle argues that society needs to move away from multitasking in favor of "unitasking" during 'The New Office' session moderated by Matthew Bishop, U.S. business editor for The Economist (September 14, 2011, New York City).

On Being with Krista Tippett (American Public Media) -- "Alive Enough? Reflecting on Our Technology" (April 7, 2011). "And here is the starting point for the conversation [Sherry Turkle] would encourage all of us to have within ourselves, within our workplaces, and especially within our families: just because we've grown up with the Internet doesn't mean the Internet is grown up." [on-air interview plus transcript]

Science Friday (NPR) -- "Have we grown too fond of technology?" (February 25, 2011). With Ira Flatow.

Sunday Morning (CBS News) -- "Can Robots Love?" (February 20, 2011).

The Takeaway (NPR/WNYC FM) -- "Is technology tearing us apart?" (January 18, 2011). With John Hockenberry.

Here and Now (NPR/WBUR FM) -- "MIT professor calls for facing the true costs of technology" (January 14, 2011). With Robin Young.

Frontline (PBS tv/web report) -- "Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier" (February 2, 2010). Interview with Sherry Turkle. (Website also contains edited transcript of that interview, conducted on September 22, 2009.)

The BBC -- "The Virtual Revolution: How 20 years of the web has reshaped our lives" (November 27, 2009). Sherry Turkle talks with Aleks Krotoski about privacy, communication, and identity in the web-connected world.

A Conversation with Sherry Turkle,” James Nolan, The Hedgehog Review (Spring 2012).  Prof. Turkle discusses her new book, Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. 

"Alone in the Crowd," Michael Price, Monitor on Psychology (June 2011). "Sherry Turkle says social networking is eroding our ability to live comfortably offline."

"Room for Online Optimism," Christopher Muther, The Boston Globe (March 17, 2011). "[Sherry Turkle] was the poster girl for our 1990s life online. Cut to 2011."

"Alone Together: So busy communicating, we neglect each other," MIT Spectrum [Massachusetts Institute of Techology] (Spring 2011). "Prof. Sherry Turkle says if you don't teach your children how to be alone, they only know how to be lonely."

"Programmed for Love," Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education (The Chronicle Review, January 14, 2011). "In a skeptical turn, the MIT ethnographer Sherry Turkle warns of the dangers of social technology."

"Is Technology Making Us Lonelier?" Meredith Melnick, Time magazine (January 10, 2011). "In late December, Turkle sat with TIME to discuss robot puppies, teen texting and what 'full attention' means in an age of smart phones."

"Cyberspaced," Mary Sykes Wylie and Rich Simon, Psychotherapy Networker (January/February 2011). "Sherry Turkle Sees e-Life at the Crossroads."

"Will Small Step for Robots Lead to Giant Leap for Robotkind?" a PBS NewsHour report (October 29, 2010). Science Correspondent Miles O'Brien interviews a panel of experts on efforts to engineer robots that are eerily similar to humans and animals.

"The Way We Live Now: I Tweet, Therefore I Am," Peggy Orenstein, New York Times Magazine (July 30, 2010). "On Twitter or Facebook you're trying to express something real about who you are, [Sherry Turkle] explained. But because you're also creating something for others' consumption, you find yourself imagining and playing to your audience more and more."

"Robots That Care: Advances in Technological Therapy," Jerome Groopman, The New Yorker (November 2, 2009). "Robots, Turkle argues, risk distorting the meaning of relationships, the bonds of love, and the types of emotional accommodation required to form authentic human attachments."

"The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In," Julie Scelfo, New York Times (June 10, 2010, Home & Garden section). "In her studies, Dr. Turkle said, 'Over and over, kids raised the same three examples of feeling hurt and not wanting to show it when their mom or dad would be on their devices instead of paying attention to them: at meals, during pickup after either school or an extracurricular activity, and during sports events.' "

"The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In" -- Readers' Comments, New York Times (June 10, 2010, Home & Garden section). Parents' use of smartphones and laptops is becoming a source of concern to researchers. Here, Sherry Turkle responds to readers' comments re Julie Scelfo's article.

"Call Me! But Not on Skype or Any Other Videophone," Joel Stein, Time Magazine (January 18, 2010). The author complains that "Skype breaks the century-old social contract of the phone: we pay close attention while we're talking and zone out while you are."

"Texting May Be Taking a Toll," Katie Hafner, New York Times (May 26, 2009). Discussion of the cost of texting among teenagers.

"She Studies our Affection for Objects," Billy Baker, Boston Globe (November 17, 2008). How Sherry Turkle became a trailblazer in bringing a social scientist's view into computers and technology. Discusses her "object trilogy" as well as her forthcoming book about what happens "when our technology is always on and always on us."

"MIT's Sherry Turkle on Our Robot Love," Akiko Bush, I.D. The International Design Magazine (February 27, 2008). A conversation about one of contemporary culture's biggest crushes: the android.

"Really Thinking About Things," Penelope Green, The New York Times (November 8, 2007, Home & Garden section). "Sherry Turkle, who has studied people's relationships with computers, has turned her focus to how people relate to common items."

Living online: I’ll have to ask my friends,” Liz Else, New Scientist (September 20, 2006, Vol. 191/2569).  "Sociologist Sherry Turkle worries [that being constantly plugged into social networks] is transforming human psychology."

"Technology and Human Vulnerability: A Conversation with MIT's Sherry Turkle," Diane L. Coutu, Harvard Business Review (September 2003, Vol. 81/9).

"People, Information, and Mediating Technologies," Open Door, the MIT online alumni magazine (July/August 2003). Interview with Sherry Turkle.

"Discover Dialogue: Social Scientist Sherry Turkle a Psychologist in Cyberspace," Discover (June 2003, Vol. 24/6). An extended version, exclusive to the Discover website, of the article that appeared in the April 2003 magazine.

"What Do You Mean, 'It's Just Like a Real Dog?'; As Robot Pets and Dolls Multiply, Children React in New Ways to Things That Are 'Almost Alive'," Katie Hafner, New York Times (May 25, 2000, Circuits section).

"At the Heart of a Cyberstudy, the Human Essence [Interview]," Katie Hafner, New York Times (June 18, 1998). "Dr. Turkle was an early proponent of the idea, now commonly accepted, that identity on the Internet is fluid."

"An Ethnologist in Cyberspace [Profile]," Marguerite Holloway, Scientific American (April 1998).

"Sex, Lies and Avatars," Pamela McCorduck, Wired Magazine (1996, Vol. 4.04). "For Sherry Turkle, author of the provocative Life on the Screen -- the first serious look at the multiple personalities we live in cyberspace -- we are experiencing that historical, liminal moment when the old has begun to die and the new has not yet arrived."