The beloved author of The Revenge of Analog lays out a case for a human future--not the false technological utopia we've been living.
For years, consumers have been promised a simple, carefree digital future. We could live, work, learn, and play from the comforts of our homes, and have whatever we desire brought to our door with the flick of a finger. Instant communication would bring us together. Technological convenience would give us more time to focus on what really mattered.
When the pandemic hit, that future transformed into the present, almost overnight. And the reviews aren't great. It turns out that leaving the house is underrated, instant communication spreads anger better than joy, and convenience takes away time rather than giving it to us. Oops.
But as David Sax argues in this insightful book, we've also had our eyes opened. There is nothing about the future that has to be digital, and embracing the reality of human experience doesn't mean resisting change. In chapters exploring work, school, leisure, and more, Sax asks perceptive and pointed questions: what happens to struggling students when they're not in a classroom? If our software is built for productivity, who tends to the social and cultural aspects of our jobs? Can you have religion without community?
For many people, the best parts of quarantine have been the least digital ones: baking bread, playing board games, going hiking. We used our hands and hugged our children and breathed fresh air. This book suggests that if we want a healthy future, we need to choose not convenience but community, not technology but humanity.
About the Author
David Sax is a writer, reporter, and speaker who specializes in business and culture. His book The Revenge of Analog was a #1 Washington Post bestseller, was selected as one of Michiko Kakutani's Top Ten books of 2016 for the New York Times, and has been translated into six languages. He is also the author of three other books: Save the Deli, which won a James Beard award, The Soul of an Entrepreneur, and The Tastemakers. He lives in Toronto.
“[A]pproachable, witty… [a] deft, colorful discussion."—Kirkus
“[P]rovocative… This up-close look at the costs of digital convenience delivers.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“David Sax convincingly argues that the dream of an effortless digital future is deeply flawed. If we learn anything lasting from the pandemic, it should be that a meaningful life requires messy, wonderful, analog connections with the world around us.”—Cal Newport, New York Times–bestselling author of Digital Minimalism and Deep Work
“Please read this book (the paper version if possible) and discuss it with friends and colleagues (in person over a coffee if possible).”—A.J. Jacobs, bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Puzzler
“There is magic in live. There is magic in real. There is magic in analog. This book is a loud and much-needed back crack for our twisted techno-obsessed society.”—Neil Pasricha, #1 bestselling author of author of The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesome
“The Future Is Analog is a must-read book if you want to return to what really matters in life: authentic connections, conversations, and depth of character. My only wish is I could have submitted this quote in pencil.”—Ari Wallach, author of Longpath
“Sax brilliantly investigated how we saw the future living online during the pandemic and were reminded of the ineffable beauty and humanity of being present without screens. The Future Is Analog is the perfect guide to help us stay focused on what matters in the blinding light of a technology-filled world.”—Tiffany Shlain, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, founder the Webby Awards, and author of national bestseller 24/6
In The Future is Analog, David Sax paints a sage and intimate portrait of our digital present, unpacks the promises of what comes next, and reminds us of the physical, un-virtual beauty of living in the analog world. It’s the book for right now.
—Nathan Englander, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank and Kaddish.com
Considering our abuse of the natural world, more pandemics are on the way. But with or without virulent viruses, the epidemic of human loneliness is bound to grow. No vaccine will be available for that chronic affliction, but in his fine book, The Future is Analog, David Sax prescribes ongoing treatments designed to physically reunite humans within the wider family of nature.
—Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle