Author(s): William Powers
At a time when everyone, from big businesses to ordinary individuals, is trying to make sense of their connected lives, Hamlet's BlackBerry presents a bold new paradigm for understanding the devices that now demand so much of our time and attention. It shows how our computers and mobile devices are changing the way we think, feel, and relate to others. While these technologies are tremendously helpful, they are also becoming our greatest burden, making it harder for us to focus and think clearly, do our best work and achieve the depth and fulfillment we crave. It argues that we have surrendered too much of our lives to our screens, by following a philosophy the author calls digital maximalism. He offers an alternative approach that any individual or organisation can use to manage their connectedness more wisely. Drawing on the ideas of some of the most brilliant thinkers in the history of human connectedness, from Socrates to Shakespeare and Ben Franklin to Marshall McLuhan, this new philosophy proceeds from the simple notion that connectedness serves us best when it is offset by its opposite, disconnectedness. There are ways to strike a healthy balance between the two, and Hamlet's BlackBerry shows how, using concrete examples from everyday life.