Culture & Criticism Since 2003
It’s no secret to anyone at all aware that the advent of the Smart Phone has caused the global population to lose touch with itself. Simply, people are connected to their phones every minute of the day – they text when they’re driving and crossing the street, they text when they’re in church and at the movies. The obsession has become an epidemic. In turn, the concepts of quiet time and reflection have been lost. In Michael Harris’ debut The End Of Absence, readers are confronted with the picture of what they are doing and then given clear and salient direction on what they should do to reignite a relationship with the buried self. Rather than just scold and lecture on the depersonalization of society, Harris adeptly shows that the mission should be to balance our dependency on technology with the innate need for silence and solitude. The End Of Absence is note-worthy for its original and imaginative approach to correcting the inevitable negative ramifications that shadow a computerized culture.
Inspired by Harris’ The End Of Absence, Current/Penguin is hosting an Analog August this summer — unplugging from technology for any single August weekend, the publisher is inviting readers across the globe to do the same. Analog August sets a strict platform: no Internet, no cell phones, no insipid celebrity tweets. Instead, participants are encouraged to break from technology and reconnect with the solitary joys of reading or face-to-face communication. For more information go here.