TMCP 99: Felicia Wu Song on Whether Smart Phones Do More Harm Than Good

TMCP 99: Felicia Wu Song on Whether Smart Phones Do More Harm Than Good

Felicia Song is a cultural sociologist who studies the place of digital technologies in contemporary life. Having trained in History, Communication Studies and Sociology from Yale, Northwestern, and University of Virginia, and taught at Louisiana State University’s Manship School for Mass Communication, her research is oriented around the rapidly evolving digital technology industry and how the adoption of social media and digital devices fundamentally alters the landscapes of family, community, and organizational life.

Her latest book Restless Devices: Recovering Personhood, Presence and Place in the Digital Age (Intervarsity Press Academic, published in 2021) explores how our contemporary digital habits fundamentally form us in ways that shape loves and imaginations of what it means to be human. This book binds sociology and theology together, arguing that both are needed for understanding how to live wisely in a digitally saturated society. Early research projects included studies of expectant women’s online information-seeking habits and the evolution of “mommy bloggers” as social media professionals. Her first book, Virtual Communities: Bowling Alone, Online Together (Peter Lang 2009),  examined the impact of online communities on democratic skills and dispositions. When she is not working, she enjoys tending the garden, learning to bake bread, and daydreaming about becoming proficient with the bass guitar.

Episode Talking Points

  • Felicia’s faith journey in a monoethnic church
  • Huxley and Orwell: How private companies and the state curate what we see
  • Curating information in a digital age
  • Technology and personhood
  • Fasting and cultivating awareness
  • Identifying sacred spaces


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