Nostalgic narratives: the last of a generation

Author Adam Alter, launched his book titled Irresistible (Super Verslavend in Dutch)  amongst a panel discussion of internet critics and commentators in Amsterdam recently. There are similar antecedents for some of Irresistible’s key narratives — I’m thinking of Alone Together by Sherry Turkle and The Shallows by Nicolas Carr –offering a dystopian and unnerving perspective on technology and our relationship with devices. There’s definitely enough evidence to support Alter’s claims on mobile phone addiction, look no further than the statistics scattered throughout his book like, “75% of people can reach their smartphone without moving their feet”.  But, as I commented to Alter and the panel during this lecture, these kinds of narratives, that suggest that technology impacts us in ways that somehow corrode social cohesion, denies elements of human agency, while also supposing that using your phone doesn’t constitute a viable emerging form of sociability. Alter’s seems like a nostalgic narrative at best, one that even he admitted will disappear with our current generation (I think he’s referring to Generation X).

Irresistible Adam Alter