Are we forgetting how to talk to each other? That’s the premise of a recent story in the U.K.’s Daily Mail, which turned to a professor from M.I.T. for some insight into this potential social game-changer. According to Professor Sherry Turkle, we are becoming used to online conversations that allow us time to prepare our remarks in advance and at the same time ignore those who bore us. Then, when we enter real life social situations, we are unable to engage in actual conversation.

Professor Turkle recently authored a book on the subject titled “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.” It addresses a kind of isolation that is caused by social networks. She warns that if the technology begins to dominate our lives, it may create a sense of isolation that can make us less social, and thus less human.

It seems obvious when you consider how many times you can look around a restaurant and see people sitting at a table in silence, each busily interacting with their smartphone instead of each other. Even business meetings are losing their impact as attendees glance at their tablets and phones. The professor cited extremes such as mourners at a funeral checking their iPhones.

With people adopting technology at earlier ages, children are becoming attached to their devices. This is evident at any multi-generational gathering where you see older family members talking and listening to each other, while the younger members are busy texting each other – often texting others in the same room. Turkle is worried that if we begin avoiding certain parts of human conversation, we might forget what makes conversations human. Something to consider the next time you join a party.