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This is a highly informative exploration of the impact technologies and systems built for communication have on language and social interaction. With her background in linguistics, Baron assesses the effects digital communication devices have on language and how technology has often either altered the use of language or created, as the need arised, for new vocabulary. Throughout the book, the prevalence of historical vignettes present a historical context in which to assess the impact technology has had in the past from the advent of the telephone to the current (at the time of the writing) communication technologies. Though by today’s standards the contemporary technologies discussed seem out of date, Baron realizing the ephemeral nature of technology, attempts to assess the potential for technology not only affecting language’s functionality, but human behavior as well.
Baron pioneers a topic of which determinations cannot as of yet be fully realized. Culling from empirical data gathered studying American college students with some reference to foreign cultures such as Japan or the Philippines in which the use of electronically mediated devices have a higher development, Baron is able to speculate authoritively the potential tribulations such technology is capable of and open a discussion for the possibilities digital communication has for altering fundamental aspects of human social and cognitive behavior.
Without exclusively focusing on the negative aspects inflicted on personal, cognitive or sociable behavior, Baron tenuously concludes with the pondering as to whether technology is to blame or is the ability to be “always on” a conscious decision. All in all very important research and it is a safe assumption that Baron will be at the forefront of the investigation as only time and introspection can reveal the true consequences, if any, as to the effects the digital age will actually have on humanity at large.
Anton Chavez

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Helpful to see some empirical data and lots of thought applied to how we adapt to and absorb smart phones.
Taking a different view, over 55, I wrote about this process on my blog, MyPersonalPhone
I remember getting TV. Looking back, I think we just sat down and started watching. It was years before we tamed the demands of their schedule.
Apps may do the same for the smart phone.

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Just 4 stars because the internet and online scenario is ever changing and quite frequently. Good modern study from relevant publisher.

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All reviews - 4
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All reviews - 4