This is the third of The School of Life series of book that I just finished. The other two How to Age and How to Worry Less about Money were also good reads, and like those, this third one was also a good one time read for me.
What I like about this book is that it’s not a self-help book. It doesn’t tell you what to do, or give you any tips or exercises to go through. Instead, the book reads more like a short philosophical essay, which brings out some great ideas.
Split over eight chapter, Tom Chatfield takes us through a short history of media and how it hooks us, then through the times when technology became more apparent to helping us see ways in which we can embrace technology and yet thrive.
The things that stood out for me the most was his acknoledgement that technology/ social media/ cell phones are here to stay. At one time, we would do things separately, but the cell phone has combined everything together and hooked us on to it. Our cellular devices are phones, texting, emailing, a calculator, an alarm clock, a daily planner, our access to the internet, a camera, a photo album, a music player, a fitness device, playing games, checking the weather and so many other things. The makers of the cell phones have done a marvellous job of getting of all us hooked on to a cell phone device.
So there is no way we can live our lives without our cell phones. People from all backgrounds have a cell phone. I see a street sweeper playing on his cell phone, I see a maid carrying a phone, I see a driver holding two phones, I mean my cook himself has two phones. So everyone has one. There is just no way we can live without one.
This is where this books comes in handy because it shows us how we can live and thrive in such an age where technology has become so deeply imbibed in all of our lives. There are two chapters on how the gaming industry and the pornography industry has brought a lot of people under its control. So what does one do? It’s not easy to go cold turkey, especially if one is addicted, but there are ways to live around it.
There are some philosophical thoughts in the book too, which may be little heavy for some, but it does give some insight and detailed background about why we humans are the way we are. This is not a self help book but rather a short essay about technology and how we can learn to live with it.
This is where the book hits the jackpot: we can become more human amidst the technology onslaught, and learn to live to thrive in this digital age.