The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection

Book cover: The End of Absence

Michael Harris, a Canadian journalist, has written a well-researched but highly readable book that explores the differences in life before and after the Internet. He indicates that in a few years no one will remember what life was like before the Internet. Harris sees 1985 as a cut-off date for living in both worlds – if you were born before 1985 you lived at least some time as an adult in a pre-Internet world. Right now we have an opportunity to explore the differences of life before and after. He shares anecdotes from his life and others’, but also includes information on research about the effects of constant connectedness on memory and brain function and other topics, including a couple of mentions of a research done at U-M. He explores life with no free-time in a constantly connected world and compares the changes now to the ones experienced in other major technological changes such as the widespread use of the printing press or improvements in transportation networks. 

The End of Absence is available from the Shapiro Undergraduate Library Browsing Collection and the Art, Architecture, and Engineering Library’s Recreational Reading Collection.