Pick up a Great Book
Technology has become the architect of our intimacies. Online, we fall prey to the illusion of companionship, gathering thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends and confusing tweets and wall posts with authentic communication. But, as MIT technology and society specialist Sherry Turkle argues, this relentless connection leads to a new solitude. As technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down. Alone Together is the result of Turkle’s nearly fifteen-year exploration of our lives on the digital terrain. Based on hundreds of interviews, it describes new unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, parents, and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy, and solitude.
Lynn Schofield Clark, The Parent App (2012)
Ninety-five percent of American kids have Internet access by age 11; the average number of texts a teenager sends each month is well over 3,000. More families report that technology makes life with children more challenging, not less, as parents today struggle with questions previous generations never faced: Is my thirteen-year-old responsible enough for a Facebook page? What will happen if I give my nine year-old a cell phone?
Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project (2009)
Rubin’s “happiness project” no longer describes just a book or a blog; it’s a movement. Happiness Project groups, where people meet to discuss their happiness projects, have sprung up across the country–and across the world. Rights have been sold in more than 35 countries. Hundreds of book groups have discussed the book; professors, teachers, psychiatrists, and clergy assign it.