Chances are that you have a smartphone, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and a Facebook page and that you have found yourself ignoring a friend or family member who is in the same room as you because you are totally engrossed in your social technology. That technology means never having to feel alone or bored. Yet ironically, it can make us less attentive to the people closest to us and even make it hard for us to simply be with ourselves. Many of us are afraid to make this admission. “We're still in a romance with these technologies,” says Sherry Turkle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “We're like young lovers who are afraid that talking about it will spoil it.” Turkle has interviewed, at length, hundreds of individuals of all ages about their interactions with smartphones, tablets, social media, avatars and robots. Unlike previous disruptive innovations such as the printing press or television, the latest “always on, always on you” technology, she says, threatens to undermine some basic human strengths that we need to thrive. In the conversation that follows, which has been edited for space, Turkle explains her concerns, as well as her cautious optimism that the youngest among us could actually resolve the challenges.