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Social Media and Your Brain: Web-Based Communication Is Changing How We Think and Express Ourselves

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The ubiquitous use of the Internet and social media is changing our society--in some ways, for the worse. Use of social media, the Internet, and other purely digital and less-personal communication methods are distorting the intellectual and social maturation of teens and preteens in particular--those among us who were born into and raised with Internet technology. People's ability to read facial expressions, interpret subtle differences in spoken intonation, and perceive body language is in significant decline due to the use of social media and the Internet largely replacing direct, face-to-face contact with other human beings.

This book documents how changes in our daily behavior caused by the proliferation of social media are reshaping individuals' personalities and causing an evolution of the character of our society as a whole. Readers will understand how these important changes came about and how more connectivity all too often leads to more ignorance and less comprehension, and will consider solutions that could counter the negative effects of being "too connected, too often."

176 pages, Hardcover

Published November 21, 2016

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C.G. Prado

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Profile Image for Molly.
534 reviews27 followers
October 14, 2022
My oldest kid was assigned this book to read for his media studies class in college. I had some spare time tonight, saw it on the floor, and ended up reading the whole thing in a single sitting (I did slightly skim a couple of the chapters). Overall, the material was familiar, but I really enjoyed the chapter on the effect on argument/academic discourse. I noted a couple of things: the association of social media use with “the young.” I have two teenagers myself and a 12 year old and NONE of them use the social media channels that this book laments about (indeed, they would fall into the “Facebook is for old people” camp). I think it is often convenient to assume or bemoan social media use as a plague of the young, but evidence (and personal experience) would indicate that it is increasingly a middle-aged problem. In my own household, my kids definitely play computer games—a LOT of them—and spend more time than I would personally like on screens playing games, but they do little in the way of social media (some Steam chat and Reddit is all). It is ME who struggles with social media overuse and I saw myself—and my friends—in this book’s evaluation of social media’s deleterious impact on critical thought, attention span, and capacity to sustain meaningful, deep relationships (instead becoming a sort of “low calorie” relational substitute or stand in).

One minor critique or odd observation, perhaps due to single sitting reading or due to the fact that I, personally, have retained my capacity to concentrate deeply/analyze the written word, I was really surprised to find a full half page of completely replicated information in two completely different essays in the book—with ostensibly completely different authors. Perhaps a failure in editing (a transposed copy and paste, perhaps) or else a super blatant occurrence of plagiarism that somehow escaped notice. Either way, it was odd.
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