The Shallows bills itself as a book about how the internet is changing our brains, but it's about much more than that. Alluding to Socrates and Plato, The Shallows is about how our brain adapts to new tools and technologies, period.
The internet is merely another technology, the long line of which can be followed from speech and the development of spoken language, to writing, to the wide availability of books when Gutenberg invented his printing press, to radio and the telephone and ultimately through to the current era's always-on internet connectivity.
What The Shallows doesn't propose is a way to combat the negative parts of this. How can we use technology but not allow technology to use us?
I read Nir Eyal's Hooked last year, which outlines a methodology to trick people's brains into becoming addicted to digital products1. It's time people wised up to the negative aspects of habit-forming technology and took a stand against it.
Yes that's as gross as it sounds. ↩