Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less from Each Other.
After discussing it with some of her colleagues, they decided it might be a good idea for me to talk to a few classes about the changes in publishing and bookselling over the past 25 years, with special notice paid to online vs. bricks-and-mortar bookstores, and ebooks vs. physical books,.
In part two, she looks at the rise of less personal forms of communication, from text and instant messaging, to social networks like Facebook. At the same time, she investigates folks who spend time on Second Life and World of Warcraft. Connected or not? Well, it’s Turkle’s thesis that Facebook and even texting are just another avatar, a place to reinvent yourself. And in both cases, what were once personal connections get reduced to data. Those former connections—the personal interactions, particularly phone calls, are shunned.
One thing I note about bookstores is that when you take price out of the equation (and you do have to take price out, as the prices are not "true" in a market sense—our major online competitor loses money on books to build market share), the major hurdle for competition is convenience. And I suspect folks make the decision about whether to shop online or at a physical bookstore for comparably priced items depends on how close a bookstore is and how much they like it.
So now it is up to the Holy Cross students, faculty and staff. Can they still stay connected without their technology? I’ll find out afterwards and who knows, maybe I’ll try to duplicate the experiment back in Milwaukee.