Policy Press

Publishing with Purpose

Slow Computing

Why We Need Balanced Digital Lives

By Rob Kitchin and Alistair Fraser


24 Sep 2020

Page count

224 pages




216 x 148 mm


Bristol University Press
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%) Pre-order


24 Sep 2020

Page count

224 pages





Bristol University Press
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)
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    Digital technologies should be making life easier. And to a large degree they are, transforming everyday tasks of work, consumption, communication, travel and play. But they are also accelerating and fragmenting our lives affecting our well-being and exposing us to extensive data extraction and profiling that helps determine our life chances.

    Is it then possible to experience the joy and benefits of computing, but to do so in a way that asserts individual and collective autonomy over our time and data?

    Drawing on the ideas of the ‘slow movement’, Slow Computing sets out numerous practical and political means to take back control and counter the more pernicious effects of living digital lives.

    "Responding to the pace of our dizzying tech-dominated lifestyles, this stunningly crafted book helps the reader to think, reflect and keep their balance." David Beer, University of York

    "It is increasingly clear that computers are compressing our lives in damaging ways, but we cannot live without them, so we must find a route to a more moderated way of digital. The wide ranging analysis in Slow Computing provides the best available route maps." Martin Dodge, University of Manchester

    "Fraser and Kitchin’s work at the intersection of digital technologies and society continues to reshape the ways we think through and engage with these powerful devices." Jim Thatcher, University of Washington Tacoma

    “We urgently need strategies for reclaiming control over our digital lives. Slow Computing offers exactly that. A powerful manifesto for a kinder, calmer, and fairer digital future.” Mark Graham, Oxford University

    "No one knows yet where the digital acceleration of our lives will lead – this is a most powerful and illuminating plea for us citizens to take back control!" Hartmut Rosa, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena

    "A timely, critical and vital manifesto on how we can break free of the trance-like state our digital devices and platforms hold us in and take back control of computing."

    Leighton Evans, Swansea University

    “Offers a rallying call for digital balance and practical steps to becoming more politically aware in the use of digital devices. A remarkable and timely read.” James Ash, Newcastle University

    “An important contribution to understanding our technological present and future. It handles complicated matters with a deft touch, without minimizing the scholarly arguments.” Paul Dourish, University of California

    "While new processors and networking protocols promise ever-faster computational power, Kitchen and Fraser prompt us to ask whether speed is an inherent good. Computing slowly can offer both individual and collective means of countering over-extension, exhaustion, exploitation, acceleration, extraction, and injustice." Shannon Mattern, The New School, New York

    "This perceptive and engaging book provides a clear diagnosis and a thoughtful prescription for taking back control of our digital lives"." Teresa Scassa, University of Ottawa

    “Convincingly demonstrates how finding the 'right speed' can enhance the pleasure of using digital technologies and bring agency and balance back into people's lives.” Deborah Lupton, UNSW Sydney, Australia

    "Two world-class digital scholars explain brilliantly why and how we, as individuals and as society, need to slow down our digital pace." Liesbet van Zoonen, Erasmus University Rotterdam

    Rob Kitchin is a Professor in the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, Ireland. He is author/editor of a number of books about technology and society, and is a recipient of the Royal Irish Academy’s Gold Medal for the Social Sciences.

    Alistair Fraser is a Lecturer in Geography in Maynooth University, Ireland. His research engages diverse themes, including rural change, food, music, and digital life.

    Living Digital Lives

    Accelerating Life

    Monitoring Life

    Personal Strategies of Slow Computing

    Slow Computing Collectively

    An Ethics of Digital Care

    Towards a More Balanced Digital Society