We’re being formed by our devices. Today’s digital technologies are designed to captivate our attention and encroach on our boundaries, shaping how we relate to time and space, to ourselves and others, even to God. Our natural longing for relationship makes us vulnerable to the “industrializing” effects of social media. While we enjoy the benefits of digital tech, many of us feel troubled with its power and exhausted by its demands for permanent connectivity. Yet even as we grow disenchanted, attempting to resist the digital “powers that be” might seem like a losing battle.
Sociologist Felicia Wu Song has spent years considering the personal and collective dynamics of living in digital ecosystems. In this book she combines psychological, neurological, and sociological insights with theological reflection to explore two major questions:
Song unpacks the soft tyranny of the digital age, including the values embedded in our apps and the economic systems that drive our habits and their subtle yet pervasive effects. She then explores pathways of meaningful resistance that can be found in Christian tradition, especially counter-narratives about human worth, embodiment, relationality, and time. Considering digital practices through the lens of “liturgy” and formation, she offers practical experiments for individual and communal change.
In our current digital ecologies, small behavioral shifts are not enough to give us freedom. We need a sober and motivating vision of our prospects to help us imagine what kind of life we hope to live—and how we can get there.
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“While we are so grateful and even love so much of what we get from our digital technologies, we often feel frustrated, harassed, and exhausted by them. And we don’t know what to do about it.” (Page 4)
“Katy Perry lamented in Cosmopolitan magazine, ‘I wish there was a thing like Shabbat … a worldwide day where we’re not on our phones … an actual day of real rest.’” (Page 8)
“But Turkle points out that it can also serve as a crutch when we grow to become people incapable of solitude, fearful of being alone with ourselves, and prone to turning to our screens and away from our immediate surroundings whenever we feel awkward, bored, or anxious.” (Page 21)
“What we need most is a realistic and motivating vision of our circumstances that helps us imagine what kind of life we are hoping to live and how it is we can get there.” (Page 12)
“These disciplines and practices are only sustainable when practiced not as an individual but together in community” (Page 13)
In the Logos Reader Edition, this volume is enhanced to best fit the content. Scripture references are hand-tagged to integrate with powerful functionality in Logos Bible Software. Page milestones and internal citation tagging provide accurate points of reference. Search important words across resources to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive tools for reading digital content are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Heris Noel Soto