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Book Report Hamlet's Blackberry

Tue, Feb 14, 2017 2-minute read

Title: Hamlet’s Blackberry Author: William Powers

I’ve been trying to get this book read for about the last 18 months. It had come highly recommended by a friend who found the book to be a good look into the technological overload of our modern times, and the inherent constant connectivity to the crowds provided by the Internet.

It took me quite a while to get into this book. Powers' continual assertion that the technology that we have come to rely on is disconnecting us from ourselves, and our reality. The same technology that we use to keep us connected and allow us to collaborate and communicate with people all around the globe was, in turn, not allowing us to actually experience and enjoy that connection because it’s giving us the attention span of a squirrel on speed.

Ultimately there’s more to it than that. Unfortunately Powers doesn’t get into most of the rest of the minutiae and the possibilities for managing the technology that tries to take over. It feels like 80-90% of the book is spent framing the problem and drilling it into your head over and over again without offering much in the way of strategies or tactics to deal with it.

Overall, this book is ok. It raises some valid points and will make you think about just how critical it is to have your phone on your bedside table (I use mine for an alarm clock, so I left it where it is) but it does little to help address these challenges.