Over two billion people around the globe, from Peterborough to Pretoria, from Torquay to Timbuktu, from Amersham to Abu Dhabi, use the Web. There are over 2.5 billion searches for information and insight on Google every day. 800,000 people connect and share on the world’s largest social network, Facebook. And millions of people tell friends, lovers, strangers and stalkers what they had for breakfast on Twitter. In the blink of an evolutionary eye – a mere two decades – the Web has become inextricably tangled into the fabric of our lives.
Over the last year, I’ve published a fortnightly column in The Observer newspaper called Untangling the Web, blogging my research process at The Guardian. In each column, I sought to answer a question that dominates headlines, cafe conversations and dinner parties about how the Web is changing out personal and social worlds. I’ve untangled many of the topics that affect parents, policy makers, business owners and content creators.
In pursuit of knowledge about how the Web is transforming our social, political and psychological lives, I’ve uncovered how much humanity has – and hasn’t – changed because of our increasingly co-dependent relationship with the computer.
This book is a compendium of the twenty most important Untangling the Web topics extended to chapter length, plus five exclusive new essays. Together, they untangle the Web from our connected lives from birth to death: who we are as human beings as we move into the second decade of the 21st century.
Untangling the Web: What the virtual revolution is doing to you tells the story of how the network is woven into our lives, and what it means to be alive in the age of the Internet.
Catch up with the last year of background research on the Untangling the Web tumblog and keep your eyes here for updates as the book progresses.
Untangling the Web: What the virtual revolution is doing to you will be published by Guardian Books in September 2012 and is available to pre-order now.