Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace
by Sue Thomas
- Buy at Amazon and Googleplay
- At Aeon Technobiophilia: We surf the net, stream our films and save stuff in the cloud. Can we get all the nature we need from the digital world?
- At Slate Gazing at Virtual Nature Is Good for Your Psychological Well-Being
- The old Technobiophilia blog is archived here
- Follow Technobiophilia on the blog and #technobiophilia on Twitter.
- View the videos discussed in the book
“This book is for anyone who uses the internet, from beginners to the obsessed. It is also, you may be surprised to learn, for nature lovers everywhere. But rest assured: I am not going to tell you to turn off your computer and go outside, which may be what you are expecting. Instead, I plan to demonstrate the ways in which nature intertwines with the wired life to provide unexpected benefits such as an improved attention span, a rested mind, and enhanced creativity. I will show that the natural world has been woven into the internet since its earliest beginnings and that there need not be an either/or choice between technology and well-being.”
Why are there so many nature metaphors – clouds, rivers, streams, viruses, and bugs – in the language of the internet? Why do we adorn our screens with exotic images of forests, waterfalls, animals and beaches?
In Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace, Sue Thomas interrogates the prevalence online of nature-derived metaphors and imagery and come to a surprising conclusion. The root of this trend, she believes, lies in biophilia, defined by biologist E.O. Wilson as ‘the innate attraction to life and lifelike processes’. In this wide-ranging transdisciplinary study she explores the strong thread of biophilia which runs through our online lives, a phenomenon she calls ‘technobiophilia’, or, the ‘innate attraction to life and lifelike processes as they appear in technology’. The restorative qualities of biophilia can alleviate mental fatigue and enhance our capacity for directed attention, soothing our connected minds and easing our relationship with computers.
This book offers new insights on what is commonly known as ‘work-life balance’. It draws on a long history of literature on nature and technology to explore ways in which we might make our peace with technology-induced anxiety and achieve a ‘tech-nature balance’ through practical experiments designed to enhance our digital lives indoors, outdoors, and online.
1. A place so new that some things still lack names
2. How nature soothes our connected minds
3. Cybernetic meadows: The California connection
4. An enormous, unbounded world
6. Living deliberately
Press queries about Technobiophilia: nature and cyberspace should go to Bloomsbury Publishing:
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