Connected, but Alone? A Review of Interpersonal Relationships

Connected, but Alone? is an interesting observation of how quickly technology infiltrated society. Sherry Turkle (2012) discusses complex relationships in her speech when she says, “Human relationships are rich and they’re messy and they’re demanding. And we clean them up with technology” (para. 10). Relationships are complicated even further through online dating because getting to know a person through a computer seems much more complicated than traditional face-to-face dating. People who use online dating are often inadvertently hypercritical of someone showing interest and they are constant cultivating their profiles in an effort to present only their best qualities. Online dating cannot be an easy activity because so much non-verbal communication is lost through text only.

Current communication patterns parallel the communication theory, fundamental attribution error, which is “the tendency to overestimate the influence of internal factors while underestimating the impact of external factors in explaining behavior” (Sullivan, 2009, p. 33). Senders tend to think receivers are communicating synchronously because digital messaging is instant and the senders are in communication mode. During communications, senders attribute their personal time and availability to the receiver and do not recognize that the external environment of the receiver may not allow for instant communications. As media focalizes, the communicative situation of fundamental attribution error will diminish because more people will realize that even though digital information transfers instantly, humans are still busy.


Sullivan, L. E. (2009). The SAGE Glossary of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. London: SAGE Publications, Inc. Retrieved from,ip,url,cpid&custid=shapiro&db=e000xna&AN=474685&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_33

Turkle, S., (2012, February). TEDTalk: Connected, but Alone? [Video file] Retrieved from


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