In Real Life: What is technology?

In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times. A book by Jon Mitchell available now from Parallax Press.

Posted by Jon Mitchell ๛ writing on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times

By Jon Mitchell

Published by Parallax Press

One of the best books I’ve read about the meaning and use of technology. It’s well-written, informed, humble, savvy, entertaining, direct, and useful.
— Howard Rheingold, tech author, teacher and artist
Can there be ‘sacred technology?’ Jon Mitchell convinces us that it is possible in this provocative and deeply spiritual exploration of our high-tech times.
— Rabbi David Wolpe, author and spiritual leader
Very highly recommended.
— Midwest Book Review

This is a book about the present moment and what we can do right now to improve our relationship with technology. This isn’t a “pro-technology” or “anti-technology” book. Being “pro-” or “anti-technology” is like being “pro-” or “anti-air.” It doesn’t matter how we feel about technology; it’s there, and it will always be there. Maybe the notions of “pro-technology” and “anti-technology” exist because we don’t have a clear understanding of what technology is.

Technology, as defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “a machine, piece of equipment, or method that is created using science and engineering.” In mainstream tech media, where I work as a journalist, we describe technology as an environmental and economic force that drives human progress and standards of living. Regardless of your opinion about it or how you define it, chances are you’re using technology in some way every day, so it might be beneficial to have an intentional relationship with it and know more about what you’re doing.

As a technology writer, I’ve been carefully observing one of the fastest, broadest revolutions in human history: the advent of mobile, networked computing. I think out loud about it and try to help others understand it as I’ve tried to understand it myself. But my exploration of technology has always had a spiritual motivation. Technology provides humankind with a “how,” but spirituality provides a “why,” which I believe must come first. After exploring different approaches to creating a more intentional relationship with the new tools we use, I offer this simple manifesto: Let’s keep our technology in tune with the human heart so that it amplifies the best things in our nature.

About the Author

Jon Mitchell is a graduate of Brown University, where he created an independent concentration in Music and Mind. He’s the editor of Inside Apple. He was publisher at Burning Man for five years and wrote for ReadWrite and other tech publications. He recorded a rock album called Portal. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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