Five books to understand what is happening in the digital world

Over the years, the habits we were used to have undergone a transformation. We have gone from reading the printed press to consuming information through our tablets, from interacting face to face to also establishing contact through social networks and from carrying out face-to-face work to turning towards teleworking. Words like “cash”, “teletext” or “fax” have given way to other more common ones on a day-to-day basis, such as “mobile phone”, “artificial intelligence” or “Twitter”. Customs, like the collective dictionary, have changed.

The appearance of technology has accelerated major vital processes and has transformed the society in which we live into a more fluid, accessible and virtual one. Thus, the analog life – cards, payment with coins, meeting someone physically – has resulted in a digital one – a text message, paying with the mobile, or dating applications.

In this article, we recommend five books that will allow you to better understand what is happening in the digital world and what is to come.

The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything, by Matthew Ball (2022)

From Horizon Worlds to Roblox or Minecraft, the metaverse has emerged in the digital sphere as a virtual place to experiment, play and connect with users. But what is it exactly? The author of this book and executive director of Epyllion, Matthew Ball, defines it as the successor to the internet known until now.

With the metaverse, the internet will no longer just be at our fingertips, but permeate our lives: every industry and function, from finance to healthcare to product sales, will take its place in the metaverse. The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize It everything provides the keys to understanding the technology of a million-dollar industry and how it will drive a radical transformation of society.

The Game – Alessandro Barico (2019)

The Italian Alessandro Baricco, author of numerous articles, essays and novels, has reflected on other occasions on the role that technology plays in society. In The gamethe writer shares a chronological review of how the human being has evolved together with the internet in a new system defined by the writer as a “game”.

Baricco describes how today’s digital civilization has been shaped and what are the new rules of the game in postmodern society, where social networks, mobile devices, artificial intelligence and video games converge.

Schedule or be scheduled. Ten Commandments for a Digital Age – Douglas Rushkoff (2020)

Is it the human being who dominates technology or is it the one who controls us? In the programmed sphere in which we live, we can create the software or we can be. Douglas Rushkoff, an author who studies human autonomy in the digital age, writes: “Choose the first and you will have access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you ever make.”

Through ten chapters, made up of ten “commandments” accompanied by illustrations, the writer, who correctly predicted the rise of the Internet, the boom and bust of the dotcoms or the financial crisis, provides both Internet enthusiasts like the most tech-savvy, the keys to navigating this new world and regaining control of your digital life.

Digital Minimalism: In Defense of Attention in a Noisy World, by Cal Newport (2021)

Cal Newport, a professor of computer science at Georgetown University, a New York Times bestselling author, and a contributor to a variety of major media outlets, defines digital minimalists as “relaxed people who can have long conversations, lose themselves in a good book, do crafts or go for a run without your eyes constantly escaping to your mobile phone”.

In Digital Minimalism: Defending attention in a noisy world, the author names this silent movement and defends its importance in an environment full of notifications and notices. Thus, Newport proposes a reflective method based on tools and strategies that propose teaching to distinguish the moments in which to use technology and when to do without it to fully enjoy the analog world.

Irresistible: Who Made Us Tech Junkies?, by Adam Alter (2017)

Who has turned us into technological junkies? We stare at our mobile phone, obsess over the like count on the latest photo posted, and compulsively refresh the email page for a new notification.

In Irresistible: Who has turned us into technological junkies?, New York University Professor of Psychology and Marketing Adam Alter investigates the rise of addictive behaviors, shares how to put obsessive products to good use and avoid their harmful effects. He is, in short, a guide to understand why so many of the products we consume today are irresistible to us and what their risks are.

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