FIG Role Model: Sherry Turkle

These days, insecure in our relationships and anxious about intimacy, we look to technology for ways to be in relationships and protect ourselves from them at the same time.
— Sherry Turkle

Who is Sherry Turkle?

The “Margaret Mead of digital culture,” Professor Sherry Turkle is an incredibly accomplished person.  She is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, and the founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Because she has been studying people’s interaction with technology since the birth of the earliest personal computers, she is an incredible source of knowledge on the ways we use technology as a social tool and how it affects us as a part of our psychological lives.

Turkle has written five books –  Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital AgeAlone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each OtherThe Second Self: Computers and the Human SpiritLife on the Screen:  Identity in the Age of the InternetSimulation and Its Discontents, and Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud’s French Revolution. She is thoroughly researched and an expert in this field that she pioneered.

So what can we learn from her?

Technology As a Force

Yes, as with anything, too much technology can be bad for us – detrimental to our social and relationship-building skills. However, we can learn from Sherry Turkle that, in order to avoid an overwhelming dependency on computers, the Internet, and other modern technological advances, we must accept and understand technology as an integral part of our modern day lives.

In her most read works,  Turkle explores the concept that we have replaced true relationships with those we build online; that Facebook walls are confused with conversation; that the instant gratification of tweets has replaced intention and curiosity. As we become more connected online, she says, we actually fall deeper into solitude.

What Professor Turkle Means to FIG

Here at Future Image Group, we believe that technology has led to isolationism, which, in turn, has led to a systemic breakdown in communication, both personal and professional. We are proponents of the theory that the cure for technology is real, true personal and professional relationships based in curiosity, intention, and healthy boundaries.

Our entire mission is bridging the gap in intergenerational professional relationships and teaching individuals and companies how to develop meaningful, intentional face-to-face relationships with others. Sherry Turkle  is one of our role models because – like her – we believe that people of all generations can re-learn how to develop social skills and purposeful relationships.

We’ve developed a curriculum that addresses the issues that arise with a culture reliant on technology and that helps individuals face their social anxiety to become more successful relationship builders.  Want to learn more about our business communication curriculum? Contact us today!

Technology proposes itself as the architect of our intimacies.
— Sherry Turkle