Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich

IKMZ - Department of Communication and Media Research

Media Change & Innovation Division

Andreasstrasse 15
CH-8050 Zurich
Phone +41 (0)44 635 20 92
Fax +41 (0)44 634 49 34

Digitalization as Socio-Technical Transformation: Conceptual Frameworks and Theoretical Elaborations

How can the ubiquitous digitalization in the early twenty-first century be grasped and characterized?


The article “The Digital Trinity—Controllable Human Evolution—Implicit Everyday Religion” (German version) characterizes the socio-technical transformation of digitalization. It looks behind the sober technological facade of digitalization from a media-change perspective that understands change as an innovation-driven, co- evolutionary process under complex conditions (Latzer 2013).


Digitalization is conceptualized as a co-evolutionary Digital Trinitiy, with datafication, algorithmization, and platformization as its core, and as a privatized, social form of religion (implicit everyday religion), which performs religion-like functions in digital societies and follows transhumanist visions.


For an interview with Michael Latzer on the Digital Trinity (May 2023) see here. (for a German version, here)


For a video that explains The Digital Trinity see here (for a German version, here).


Empirical case studies on the Implicit Everyday Religion (of users and content creators on social media) and on Cyborgization as indicator of a religion-like digitalization are ongoing.


Everyday Digital Religion and Cyborgization in Switzerland - World Internet Project 2023


  • Internet use is becoming an everyday religion especially among young people in Switzerland (German)
  • Cyborg technologies for self-optimization are still in their early stages in Switzerland (German)

Exhibition on the project: “Art + Science + Digitalization = Planet Digital”

From February to June 2022, the interactive, immersive exhibition "Planet Digital" about the omnipresent digitalization of our world took place at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich. Michael Latzer was represented with the project “The Digital Trinity”. This installation was created in collaboration with Jonas Voegeli (Visual Communication, Zurich University of the Arts) and Hubertus Design. For details on the installation see here.

Project Outputs

  • Latzer, Michael / Festic, Noemi / Kappeler, Kiran / Odermatt, Céline (2023): Mensch-Technik-Beziehung im Wandel: Digitale Alltagsreligion und Cyborgisierung in der Schweiz. Spezialbericht aus dem World Internet Project – Switzerland 2023. Zürich: Universität Zürich. [pdf]
  • Latzer, Michael (2022): The Digital Trinity—Controllable Human Evolution—Implicit Everyday Religion. Characteristics of the Socio-Technical Transformation of Digitalization. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11577-022-00841-8 [more] [pdf]


  • Latzer, M. (2023, June): Religionsartige Digitalisierung. Wissenschaftskongress, Der Mensch im Zentrum der Digitalisierung, Frauenfeld, Schweiz.
  • Latzer, M. (2022, May): The Digital Trinity: Datafication – Algorithmization – Platformization. International Digital Security Forum 2022, Vienna, Austria.