Wouter van Noort / Wouter van Noort – Is Anybody There?

Wouter van Noort – Is Anybody There?

Wouter van Noort – Is Anybody There?

Read our sample translation of Is Anybody There?


About the book

We text, email, google, post pictures on Instagram and tweet all day long. Meanwhile we spend more time on Facebook than we do eating. A growing body of research shows that excessive smartphone use is not only bad for our concentration, but also our stress levels and it even changes our brains. Stronger still: there are an increasing number of indications that our smartphone behaviour has all the characteristics of a collective addiction. In Is Anybody There?,  NRC-journalist Wouter van Noort investigates his own smartphone use and how that behaviour influences his life, work and relationships. He also speaks with intellectuals in the fields of psychology, economics and technology and visits the most powerful tech companies in the world to try and figure out how exactly the smartphone intervenes in our relationships, our work—our happiness. This is a personal quest after the way in which the smartphone is changing our lives.

Van Noort writes accessibly and offers, using astute examples, insight into questions like the power held by Facebook, which can manipulate user emotions via algorithms, and the importance of data, which prevents heart attacks, but could also make human decision-making redundant. – Elsevier

As unadulterated, striking as it is legitimate data-dystopian rumbling. – Hans Schnitzler, philosopher and author of The Digital Proletariat

A fun book, but also disconcerting (Artificial Intelligence) and confronting (addiction). –Robert Went, Scientific Council for the Dutch government policy

The bible for smartphone-addicts. – Vance.nl

A fascinating look into Silicon Valley’s addiction industry. – de Volkskrant

A must read. – Casper Meijer, host NOS tech podcast

Put your smartphone away this instant, and read this book. – Internet researcher Chris van 't Hof

Powerful book: confronting and frightening.’ –Roelof Hemmen, host BNR Nieuwsradio


Wouter van Noort (b. 1985) is a journalist. He writes about technology and economics for the NRC Handelsblad, and has worked for Elsevier and The NOS. He is frequently asked to lecture as guest and speaker at, among other venues, the popular Dutch talk show De Wereld Draait Door and the Univeristy of Leiden. His debut title Is Anybody There? will be published in April.


Additional book information

  • Non-fiction
  • ISBN 9789400407336
  • Number of pages: 224
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 16,99
  • English sample available