“The Future of Feeling”

Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips

I was expecting this book to have more of a takeaway, more action items, but here at the end of it I don’t feel like I got that. It was a good overview of some of the issues in the tech industry, but as a member of that industry none of it was particularly news. Oh, technology isn’t magically solving problems, it’s just an amplifier for existing problems and solutions? shocking

But then, maybe I’m not the target demographic. I do remember that Netflix documentary about the problems of the social media algorithms, and that was apparently big news to a lot of people, but I was one of those who reacted with a yawn and a “yeah, I know!”

Which leaves me, again, wishing there’d been more of a call to action. I suppose that’s the failing of the book, for me: it established that this problem exists… but paired it with interviews and discussions with people who are working to solve those problems. It implies “oh, don’t worry, they’ve got this!” but I can’t help but think that’s the wrong implication. Sure, it’s good that there’s hope, but I want to feel like I’m being pointed towards how to help instead of complacency.

Ah, well. I’ll do what I can. And if you, unlike me, don’t already know about this stuff, the book is, as I said, a good overview of the topic, and worth a read.1

  1. This is a Bookshop affiliate link – if you buy it from here, I get a little bit of commission. It won’t hurt my feelings if you buy it elsewhere; honestly, I’d rather you check it out from your local library, or go to a local book store. I use Bookshop affiliate links instead of Amazon because they distribute a significant chunk of their profits to small, local book stores.