Book Review: The Hyperlinked Life



The Hyperlinked Life: Live with Wisdom in an Age of Information Overload by Jun Young and David Kinnaman.

What is this book about?

Everyone has heard that we are well into the digital revolution. But how about the knowledge revolution?

We still have access to information produced for mass consumption. But the knowledge revolution- with information now available through interconnected digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers- is about personalized knowledge. It’s not simply information for the masses; it’s customized, personalized, on-demand information.

As we think about how people communicate, what kinds of information is out there in Internet land, how we get that information, what we are responsible to know, and what we are responsible to do after we know, it can all get a bit overwhelming. With the overabundance of information, how do we make decisions? What do we believe? How much time do we feel like we need to know? Is it ever okay to not know, even though the information is available to us?

The authors introduce the idea of Christ followers developing a theology of information to guide our thinking, knowing, communicating, and acting. They encourage readers to ask questions like:

  • As a hyperlinked people, what kinds of relationships with technology and information are beneficial, ethical and godly?
  • How does being hyperlinked affect our relationships, our minds, and our souls?
  • How can we avoid the cynicism of the transparent digital world in a way that enhances rather than tears down organizations and institutions?
  • What will define wisdom in a digital world where an immense amount of knowledge can be accessed so quickly? (p. 34-35)

Whew, huh? Munch on those questions awhile.

Why did I choose to review this?

I’m a blogger, so much of my world is about contributing to this knowledge revolution. How do I do so ethically? I too often feel overwhelmed by the amount of information, and because I love to connect people with resources, I’m always on the look out for great articles, books, websites, organizations, people in various fields, etc. You can only imagine how some days I feel overloaded with digital junk and have a hard time focusing on thinking long, deep thoughts about one thing (I’m sure this also has something to do with being around 4 little kids all day ;)). I wanted some framework to work with as to how to receive information as well as contribution information well.

My takeaway:

Because we are not going back to a non-digital age, I’m in need of creating boundaries that are going to allow me to engage in the newness, while also maintaining a sense of Sabbath and “real-time” presentness. I think more than ever, some of the age-old disciplines of solitude, silence, prayer, and meditation are ones that will be very important in maintaining a sense of spiritual sensitivity and relational connectedness.

Questions I’m now asking:

  • What healthy boundaries do I need to make with “always being present and available”?
  • What healthy boundaries do I need to make in my intake of information?
  • How can I help my children to create boundaries for themselves while still engaging in the digital reality that we live in?
  • How do I communicate a real me online? The temptation is to create an online presence that is intelligent with an expertise in a certain area. This often means that my online presence is edited. For bloggers, this can be a tricky area. How much do we reveal? How do we stay in our niche while also communicating that we are a whole person?
  • How do I use my unique giftings and talents to make the digital world (and hopefully the physical world) a better place?

Where you can go to find more: 

You can learn more about Barna Frames, and also about the two authors, Jun Young and David Kinnaman

Thanks to Booklook Bloggers for providing this mini book in exchange for an honest review. 

**Some of the above links are affiliate links.** 


One thought on “Book Review: The Hyperlinked Life

  1. hey, Tiffany – thanks for this very kind review and for checking out several of the other Barna FRAMES. Good recap of 20 and Something and Wonder Women. Really – much thanks! David

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