Out of Touch: How to Survive an Intimacy Famine (Hardcover)

Out of Touch: How to Survive an Intimacy Famine By Michelle Drouin Cover Image
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A behavioral scientist explores love, belongingness, and fulfillment, focusing on how modern technology can both help and hinder our need to connect. A Next Big Idea Club nominee.

Millions of people around the world are not getting the physical, emotional, and intellectual intimacy they crave. Through the wonders of modern technology, we are connecting with more people more often than ever before, but are these connections what we long for? Pandemic isolation has made us even more alone. In Out of Touch, Professor of Psychology Michelle Drouin investigates what she calls our intimacy famine, exploring love, belongingness, and fulfillment and considering why relationships carried out on technological platforms may leave us starving for physical connection. Drouin puts it this way: when most of our interactions are through social media, we are taking tiny hits of dopamine rather than the huge shots of oxytocin that an intimate in-person relationship would provide.
Drouin explains that intimacy is not just sex—although of course sex is an important part of intimacy. But how important? Drouin reports on surveys that millennials (perhaps distracted by constant Tinder-swiping) have less sex than previous generations. She discusses pandemic puppies, professional cuddlers, the importance of touch, “desire discrepancy” in marriage, and the value of friendships. Online dating, she suggests, might give users too many options; and the internet facilitates “infidelity-related behaviors.” Some technological advances will help us develop and maintain intimate relationships—our phones, for example, can be bridges to emotional support. Some, on the other hand, might leave us out of touch. Drouin explores both of these possibilities.

About the Author

Michelle Drouin is a behavioral psychologist and expert on technology, relationships, couples, and sexuality whose work has been featured or cited in the New York Times, CBS News, CNN, NPR, and other media outlets. She is Professor of Psychology at Purdue University–Fort Wayne and Senior Research Scientist at the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation. 

Praise For…

"Drouin offers tips for how to embrace the online world without jeopardising real-life experiences, from limiting screen-time to dating more decisively. Using cold, hard statistics (the average person reportedly touches their phone 2,617 times a day), personal anecdotes and colourful analogies (Tinder swiping is like a sushi conveyor belt), she proves that intimacy is crucial to our health and happiness and compels us not to lose it to accidental tech addiction." –New Statesman
Product Details
ISBN: 9780262046671
ISBN-10: 0262046679
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: February 1st, 2022
Pages: 288
Language: English