5 Books for Rethinking Our Relationship With Technology

By Nicolas Cole for Inc.com
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Twenty years ago, the thought of being able to send each other pictures across this thing called The internet seemed almost incomprehensible. In fact, there is a family video somewhere of my dad and his two brothers sitting down in front of their brand new laptop, and one of them saying, “Pretty soon, we’re just going to hit a button, and the picture is going to go sheeeewwmmm, and then it’ll appear on your laptop.” Then they all laugh, assuming it would be decades before we had that sort of feature.

It has only been recently that the masses have begun to talk at length about the true impact of technology, specifically on our habits as human beings. Sure, the conversation has been there all along, but we are finally getting to a point where some of the glamor of our devices has worn off. We’ve become used to them in our lives, and now we’re beginning to realize that for every improvement, there is a new distraction.

Technology, we are beginning to learn, has its costs. These books are tackling the subject:

1. Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter

This is easily the best book I’ve read so far this year–I breezed through it in a matter of days. The introduction alone makes it impossible to put down: one of the first scenes depicts Steve Jobs unveiling the iPad to a drooling audience, only to state in an interview not long after that he heavily restricts his own children’s use of the device. Alter goes on to point out that the very people dreaming up our most used technological devices are simultaneously aware of their impact.

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