Think Before You Like: A controversial look at the effect of social media on our brains

Think Before You Like: A controversial look at the effect of social media on our brains

By Guy P Harrison

It is an undeniable fact that social media has become an integral part of our lives. From posting photos of our pets to sharing live a concert we attend or scrolling through news our friends shared on our newsfeed, to check the profile of professional contact,  our activities on social media are endless.

We are social creatures, and we have a strong desire to connect with one another. The digital age has reshaped our societies, culture and how we communicate.

Despite the ways social media has enriched our lives, scientists are warning us of the unseen dangers of this digital revolution.

In this book, Guy Harrison explores the controversy that arose around different platforms, and how these new digital channels manipulate our brains and exploit the time we spend online. He uses critical thinking to navigate social media, employing studies, discussions and observations. Harrison shares his insights on how our hard-wired brains to reward mechanisms, which social media manipulates and exploit.

Harrison also gives some practical advice and recommendations on how to cut down the time you spend on social media and shares some new technologies that help us become more aware of our online habits.

He uses the analogy of slot machines to explain how social media notifications stimulate our brains, especially when it comes to getting likes to a photo we posted or a status we shared. The response of our minds to the ‘likes’ and such an intermittent variable reward system keeps us posting and sharing and consumed by these platforms.

After reading the book, we believe that you start – critically – thinking of and considering how to use social media more smartly to enrich your life. You will learn about, what Harrison call, the bias bubble and the root cause of social media addiction.

Harrison does not attack or undermine the value of social media; on the contrary, he suggests some ways to reap the positive benefit of our online interactions. He draws our attention to the concept of privacy, and how as human beings, we used to live in close-knitted communities that left too little room for personal privacy. However, the way we evolved, shaped our communities and privacy has become more desirable. He discusses how new generations have a different perception of privacy and how they deal with their unerasable digital footprints.

Originally posted 2018-01-22 20:20:23.

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