This compact, stand-alone title unsuccessfully attempts to explain how digital technologies have radically transformed all facets of society.
The content is organized into five chapters: The first examines how digital technologies are impacting individual communication and interaction, but the treatment of the subject is obvious and lacking in insight. The second chapter, discussing the rise and impact of the sharing economy, is equally lacking in edification. A chapter on information overload offers only cursory and perfunctory treatments of subjects like fake news and how search engines work. The fourth chapter examines privacy issues. The last chapter speculates on future developments and impacts of digital technologies. Hulick (Coral Reefs, 2018, etc.) uses quotes from people who have done important research on many of these subjects, such as Sherry Turkle, but the significance of their findings is not discussed. Critical voices like Jarod Lanier and Tim Wu are absent. Text boxes offer quotes on related topics as well as anecdotes about cyberspace (such as one in which online bullying contributed to the suicide of a young teen or an example of phishing). The book takes an evenhanded approach, highlighting some of the downsides of technology as well as describing the positives that have emerged, such as the increased ability for activists to organize worldwide.
Although accessibly written, the content is too broad and lacking in context to be useful. (photos, sources notes, resource list, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)