Always On: Hope and Fear in the Social Smartphone Era (Hardback)
  • Always On: Hope and Fear in the Social Smartphone Era (Hardback)
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Always On: Hope and Fear in the Social Smartphone Era (Hardback)

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£18.99 £16.99
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 13/05/2021
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Waterstones Says

From the launch of the iPhone to the unstoppable rise of social media; the liberation, disruption and oppression of the smartphone era enthrallingly recounted by the BBC’s technology correspondent.

We live at a time when billions have access to unbelievably powerful technology. The most extraordinary tool that has been invented in the last century, the smartphone, is forcing radical changes in the way we live and work - and unlike previous technologies it is in the hands of just about everyone.

Coupled with the rise of social media, this has ushered in a new era of deeply personal technology, where individuals now have the ability to work, create and communicate on their own terms, rather than wait for permission from giant corporations or governments. At least that is the optimistic view.

This book takes readers on an entertaining ride through this turbulent era, as related by an author with a ringside seat to the key moments of the technology revolution. We remember the excitement and wonder that came with the arrival of Apple's iPhone with all the promise it offered. We see tech empires rise and fall as these devices send shockwaves through every industry and leave the corporate titans of the analogue era floundering in their wake. We see that early utopianism about the potential of the mobile social revolution to transform society for the better fade, as criminals, bullies and predators poison the well of social media. And we hear from those at the forefront of the tech revolution, including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Tim Berners-Lee, Martha Lane-Fox and Jimmy Wales, to gain their unique insights and predictions for what may be to come.

Always On immerses the reader in the most important story of our times - the dramatic impact of hyperconnectivity, the smartphone and social media on everything from our democracy to our employment and our health. The final section of the book draws on the author's own personal experience with technology and medicine, considering how COVID-19 made us look again to computing in our battle to confront the greatest challenge of modern times.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781472981196
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 600 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'This delightfully insightful and intensely readable history combines the personal with the objective. From Jobs to Musk, from Facebook to fake news, from Snapchat to bitcoin by way of Raspberries, Blackberries and Apples there is an energy and drama to Rory's writing which nonetheless leaves space for us, the reader, to make up our minds.' - Stephen Fry 

'Cellan-Jones weaves together the broad story of the smartphone era with the personal element. By showing how technology has touched - and altered - him for good and bad he shows how it has affected us all.' - Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia *

'Who better to tell us this story than the arch technology storyteller himself? From the first smartphone to test and trace, Rory has seen it all and interviewed everyone. Putting it all together makes for a fascinating and beautifully written story of our times' - Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computer Science, University of Southampton

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