Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stupid: Changing Feelings about Technology, from the Telegraph to Twitter

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"Technologies have been shaping our] emotional culture for more than a century, argue computer scientist Luke Fernandez and historian Susan Matt in this original study. Marshalling archival sources and interviews, they trace how norms (say, around loneliness) have shifted with technological change."

"A powerful story of how new forms of technology are continually integrated into the human experience...Anyone interested in seeing the digital age through a new perspective should be pleased with this rich account."
--Publishers Weekly

Facebook makes us lonely. Selfies breed narcissism. On Twitter, hostility reigns. Pundits and psychologists warn that digital technologies substantially alter our emotional states, but in this lively look at our evolving feelings about technology since the advent of the telegraph, we learn that the gadgets we use don't just affect how we feel--they can profoundly change our sense of self. When we say we're bored, we don't mean the same thing as a Victorian dandy. Could it be that political punditry has helped shape a new kind of anger? Luke Fernandez and Susan J. Matt take us back in time to consider how our feelings of loneliness, vanity, and anger have evolved in tandem with new technologies.

Harvard University Press