The Forgotten Art of Being Ordinary: A Human Manifesto in the Age of the Metaverse

Matt Holt: BenBella. Sept. 2023. 260p. ISBN 9781637743171. $25. SELF-HELP
Casciotta’s (Get Weird: Discover the Surprising Secret to Making a Difference) book is a philosophical look at how various aspects of technology have harmed or stunted the growth of society, and how “branding” works today and in the past. He shows how information can be twisted and adjusted to fit different narratives, using historical precedent as well. He counters these points with his crafted “beatitudes” that can guide readers with their digital usage and improve upon it to develop better real-life relationships with those around them. The aim is to rethink one’s relationship with media. He points out and names the kinds of performances people exhibit when they’re online and how they can lead to more harmful behaviors, or at least an unfulfilling existence. While not a complete road map to making change, the book offers solid suggestions to start the journey away from being a “brand” image one presents to being more ordinary, balanced, and relaxed. There is a Christian perspective throughout the book, but it’s not overwhelming.
VERDICT This is a thought-provoking title that will stimulate book-group discussions.
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