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Why We Need Balanced Digital Lives


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Rob Kitchin and Alistair Fraser


Bristol U.P. - Policy Press



Rights available:

All except China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan


Rob Kitchin is a Professor in the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, Ireland. He is author/editor of a number of books about technology and society, and is a recipient of the Royal Irish Academy’s Gold Medal for the Social Sciences. Alistair Fraser is a Lecturer in Geography in Maynooth University, Ireland. His research engages diverse themes, including rural change, food, music, and digital life.





Digital technologies should be making life easier. And to a large degree they are, transforming everyday tasks of work, consumption, communication, travel and play. But they are also accelerating and fragmenting our lives affecting our well-being and exposing us to extensive data extraction and profiling that helps determine our life chances. Initially, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown seemed to create new opportunities for people to practice ‘slow computing’, but it quickly became clear that it was as difficult, if not more so, than during normal times. Is it then possible to experience the joy and benefits of computing, but to do so in a way that asserts individual and collective autonomy over our time and data? Drawing on the ideas of the ‘slow movement’, Slow Computing sets out numerous practical and political means to take back control and counter the more pernicious effects of living digital lives.


"Responding to the pace of our dizzying tech-dominated lifestyles, this stunningly crafted book helps the reader to think, reflect and keep their balance."  -David Beer, University of York  "It is increasingly clear that computers are compressing our lives in damaging ways, but we cannot live without them, so we must find a route to a more moderated way of digital. The wide ranging analysis in Slow Computing provides the best available route maps."  -Martin Dodge, University of Manchester  "Fraser and Kitchin’s work at the intersection of digital technologies and society continues to reshape the ways we think through and engage with these powerful devices."   -Jim Thatcher, University of Washington Tacoma  “We urgently need strategies for reclaiming contr...