So Much, So Fast, So Little Time
Coming to Terms with Rapid Change and Its Consequences
by Michael St. Clair
August 2011, 235pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39275-7
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39276-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Ubiquitous connectivity via Internet and WiFi. iPads and iPods. Smart phones with apps that do more than the computers of just a few years ago. The rapid technology advances we enjoy today provide benefits and conveniences, but have troubling consequences: they change us and how we perceive our world, how we experience time, and how we relate to each other.

This book examines the extraordinary changes that technology brings and how these affect all of us and our families—at home, at school, and at our work places—with profound consequences for society.

Twenty-first-century technology opens up fabulous opportunities, but also changes how we relate to each other and warps our sense of time, reality, duty, and privacy. Technologies and time-saving devices make everything happen faster, with the result that we feel busier than ever before. “Free time” seems in danger of extinction. So Much, So Fast, So Little Time: Coming to Terms with Rapid Change and Its Consequences provides fascinating insights about how our changing world is changing our families and our personal relationships; how we travel, behave as consumers, and communicate; and how we entertain ourselves and deal with our anxieties.

Written in a popular, accessible style, this book describes seven areas of significant societal change, providing concrete examples and engaging stories to illustrate how drastically our right-now mindset has shifted our perception and experience of the world. In the last chapter, the author makes some practical suggestions on how to take thoughtful action to respond to the onslaught of inevitable change.

Michael St. Clair, PhD, is emeritus professor of psychology at Emmanuel College, Boston, MA. His published works include several books and articles, among them: Object Relations and Self Psychology: An Introduction and Millenarian Movements in Historical Context.


2012 Outstanding Academic Title—Choice, January 1, 2013


"Quite inspiring as a map of the multidimensionality of contemporary social change."—PsycCRITIQUES, June 17, 2012

"St. Clair addresses monumentally important issues. This reader is confident that anyone over the age of 30 has wondered about the very matters this book raises. But St. Clair does not just wonder; he explores the issues of rapid technological changes and their impact on 'us' individually and collectively. The thought-provoking introduction establishes seven important areas in which research on the consequences of rapid change could be organized: information and the Internet; communication, entertainment, and stimulation; work and how work changes individuals; social behavior and values; speed and altered time; family and personal relationships; and contradictory social trends and fewer shared experiences. In all these areas, rapid change—especially rapid technological change—is changing forever who we are, what we do, what we value, and how we approach each other as a society. This is a must-read, including for parents and teachers who need to understand the 'Google generation' and 'digital natives' sitting in their classrooms and/or living rooms. Summing up: Essential. All readers."—Choice, January 1, 2012

"Michael St. Clair’s luxurious evocation, explanation and celebration of change in virtually every feature of contemporary life is masterful. His is a comprehensive identification of a great range of serendipitous changes neural, technical, cultural and more, joined to fascinating and provocative report of how we humans are being changed by change. Not without cautions about some change and the rapidity of change, St. Clair nevertheless views change as–quite literally–marvelous. He takes his place in a long line of seers who counsel thoughtfully embracing change; for 'To live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often.' (John Henry Newman) If Shaw’s wonderfully droll aphorism is true, if 'There are always two games being played: the one you are playing and the one that is being played,' the game being played is change, and Michael St. Clair is your sure guide." —Padraic O’Hare, Professor of Religious and Theological Studies, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA

"Reading this book is like looking into a mirror then seeing my life as a working professional and mother unfold. St. Clair implores readers to examine the quality of their lives today while pondering the future in this quickly changing world. A must read for everyone wondering where all their free-time went!" —Jennifer Nepper Fiebig, PhD, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago

"Michael St. Clair offers an easy reading look at the impact of digital technology on how we go about our daily lives, whether we are a Digital Native or a Digital Immigrant, as he calls himself. He comments on the 'digital impact' on our way of reading, and our changing patterns of brain activity as we respond to imagines and text on a computer screen." —Frederick H. Abernathy, Abbott and James Lawrence Research Professor of Engineering and Gordon McKay Research Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Harvard University

"Michael St. Clair tackles the problem of change with verve and honest reflection. His book helps us understand why we sometimes feel so dizzy with the pace of change all around us."—Alan Wolfe, Boston College

"This is a lively and thoughtful book that captures in a readable manner the ever-accelerating pace of our lives. By organizing the data into meaningful categories, he allows us all to see clearly what is happening in our lives as well as how it affects us, and suggests helpful ways of coping. As a psychologist, I can think of many clients and students, to say nothing of friends, who will find this book mind-expanding and fascinating."—Frances K. Grossman, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Department of Psychology, Boston University

"For many of us in the humanities, the present moment represents change that can be compared to no other: a dizzying combination of overabundant choice, excessive speed, and an occasional acute sense of loss. In this excellent book, Michael St. Clair views our disconcerting world with both realism and hope. Despite a deep regard for the past, he resists nostalgia; and, while he embraces many aspects of our digital era, he manifests an acute sense of how life, in any age, can be lived wisely."—Susan Keane, PhD, Associate Professor of French, Emerita, Simmons College, Boston, MA
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