Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don’t need to be frantic

According to Author Sue Thomas who wrote the book Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace there’s an intimate relationship between the language we use online: clouds, rivers, streams, viruses, and bugs and the way that we use our devices to reconnect with nature.

Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don't need to be franticAccording to Thomas, technobiophilia is the ‘innate attraction to life and lifelike processes as they appear in technology’.

The restorative qualities of biophilia can alleviate mental fatigue and enhance our capacity for directed attention, soothing our connected minds and easing our relationship with computers.

This interesting book encounters what has become an enduring trend on the internet – people’s reappropriation of language for describing digital phenomena and people’s novel ways of using technology to reconnect with the natural world.

Rather than thinking of technology as taking us further away from nature, perhaps we can instead think of and use technology in novel ways in order to feel more connected to natural spaces. No matter where we are in the world – whether it’s a tiny city apartment or a remote log cabin in a forest.

So here are some digital escapes. Although a few involve the man-made environment, the ones that seem the most powerful and enduring are natural.

Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don't need to be frantic



This is a beautifully immersive website that’s especially designed to give computer-bound workers some much needed meditation time. There’s also an app for Android and iPhone.  This is possibly my favourite as there’s a visual and aural dimension with a full screen tranquil film that matches the sound. Rated 10/10. Click below to view.

 Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don't need to be frantic


A sleek and elegantly designed website that allows you to choose between different ambient sounds like a children’s playground, a train carriage, crackling fire, the ocean, a cafe, and the night time. The most beguiling and satisfying for me was the night time sounds. Turn on several different soundscapes simultaneously for an interesting experience. Rated 9/10. Click to view. 

Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don't need to be frantic


Play a rain storm and get all snuggled up wherever you are. This is sublimely comforting, especially if you happen to be reading a book in bed. Compared to other rainy ambient music websites this one is the most minimalist, sleek and the sound quality is the best. Rated 9/10. Click below to view. 

Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don't need to be frantic

If you adore the sound of rain then this website gives you plenty of options. There everything from the tiny tinkle of rain, to a strong downpour, to a tropical hurricane. This is great because you can set a timer and a pause time and also download an Android and Apple app. Although the website itself is busy and bright and seems to be too distracting to make for a decent relaxation experience. Rated 4/10. Click to view.

Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don't need to be frantic

Snowy Mood

Inspired by the ever popular Rainy Mood, this is the crackling, unmistakably wintery sound of snow boots in heavy snow. It’s evocative of a time and a place but I wouldn’t say immediately recognisable as the sound of feet walking in snow, nor is it particularly comforting. Rated 4/1o. Click to view.

Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don't need to be frantic


That old trick where you listen to a busy cafe and suddenly feel motivated to do work. There’s also the option of choosing between different times of the day within a cafe, or choosing to listen to cafe chatter in Paris or Brazil. However you will need to pay in order to unlock these other more exotic cafe sounds. Why anybody would do that is pretty baffling. Rated 3/10. Click below to view. 

Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don't need to be frantic


Shower time

This is possibly the weirdest incarnation of all ambient music websites. You can pretend that you’re in a shower (why? when you can just have a shower). You can also change the temperature of the water (not sure how how hot water sounds different), change the size of the room and add a radio in there. Probably not very relaxing but it was possibly created as a joke anyway. Rated 2/10. Click below to view.

Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don't need to be frantic

Was there one that you enjoyed more than others?

On a more serious note. Do you think that the internet is a location where people can feel closer to nature or is it a false economy? 

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

7 thoughts on “Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don’t need to be frantic

  1. I had never heard of calm (although I am a frequent user of rainymood!). Great find.

    An interesting question here is, what is nature? I think as technology improves our definition of nature will change. To illustrate the point clearer get in an argument with someone about what ‘real’ camping is. Some claim RV camping is camping, others say the line is cut off at sleeping in your car, others still say you have to backpack/pitch a tent. And even more extreme are those who forgo the expensive equipment and use only cheap, minimalist materials. I am interested in your thoughts here

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll give a few of those sound sites a go, I think, to give me a break from Classic FM which I have on pretty much 24 hours a day. But that book sounds very interesting — I hadn’t really thought of the language of technology in that way before.


    1. Glad you will give the book a go. Yes very interesting around how words that are familiar in nature are reworked into technology. I wrote this post ages ago, so hopefully the sound sites are still operating now. If not there should be many others out there to try.


      1. Well, the book’s free sample should appear on my Kindle the next time it connects (I’ll never wean myself off Amazon, it’s just too convenient), and I’m currently listening to background coffee shop noise, here in the office. The rainy ones just make me feel cold, but this ambient cafe backing track is keeping the tinnitus at bay, for now. I’ve got another tab open with something from Cafe Music BGM’s YouTube channel so all’s good…


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