Digital Inferno by Paul Levy

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Digital Inferno by Paul Levy

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Category: Lifestyle
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: A practical guide with plenty of tips for staying in control in today's digital world.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: October 2014
Publisher: Clairview Books
ISBN: 9781905570744

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You know how it goes. You have a pressing job that requires your immediate attention, but decide to treat yourself to a five minute tea break surfing the internet. One link leads to another and before you know it, your short tea break has swallowed up a whole hour. Or maybe you are at an important meeting and you feel the phone vibrate in your pocket, signalling an incoming text. Is it rude to check your messages when your full attention should really be elsewhere? If you feel that meaningful communication with the family has been replaced with a glut of hastily-typed x's, LOLs and emoticons, this book may be just what you need. Digital Inferno aims to help its readers reclaim their place in the digital world and gain mastery over all of those pieces of tech that seem to demand so much of us.

The digital world seems to be reaching outwards with a spidery grasp, infiltrating almost every aspect of our lives. Books like Digital Inferno have never been more relevant and timely. The book contains plenty of useful suggestions to put the user firmly back in control instead of being a slave to the machine. Levy looks at various aspects of the digital world and examines how we can slowly break free from its grasp. He cites real-life interviews and examples and includes clever tips and exercises that are easy to implement and apply. He also urges restraint; cutting out all digital media at once is an unwise and extreme course of action. He recommends starting slowly, looking at the placement of items within the home and reassessing how we react to them For example, to we 'have' to pick up that phone every time it vibrates, or could we allocate a specific time each day for reading and responding to texts? Another suggestion is to keep all digital media away from sleeping and eating areas in order to reclaim some digital-free space in the home.

The book really got me thinking about some of my own bad habits when it comes to the digital realm. Yes, I am sadly one of those people who automatically responds to messages with xoxo or LOL, even though I would not consider kissing and hugging the person in the real world or literally laughing out loud at their comments. I liked the suggestion about reading messages out loud and really thinking about the content before pressing that send button.

The only drawback of the book was that Levy seemed to write in three distinct voices: The 'practical' (have a single charging spot for all of your devices), the 'tree-hugger' (get off your computer and smell a plant) and the 'prophet of doom' (we are all going to turn into mute cyborgs with spider fingers). I found the transition between these voices quite jarring and I much preferred the authors 'practical' voice over the other two. Sadly the latter seemed to dominate most of the book.

I enjoyed reading Digital Inferno and will be applying most of the tips included in the book in my own life. As regards the format of the book, I would have preferred a shorter book with more practical tips and less in the way of personal opinion.

Now excuse me while I go outside to smell a plant. xoxoxo

For more about the dangers of the Internet, we recommend The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You by Eli Pariser

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Buy Digital Inferno by Paul Levy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Digital Inferno by Paul Levy at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Digital Inferno by Paul Levy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Digital Inferno by Paul Levy at


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