Social media has more than two billion users and continues to grow. Its widespread appeal as a means of staying in touch with friends and keeping up with daily news masks some serious pitfalls-- misinformation, pseudoscience, fraud, and irrational beliefs, for example, often presented in a seductively attractive form. This book will teach you how to resist the psychological and behavioral manipulation of social media and avoid the mistakes that millions have already made and now regret.
Guy P. Harrison, an enthusiastic promoter of critical thinking, presents scientific studies that show why your subconscious mind loves social media and how that can work against your ability to critically evaluate information. Among other things, social media reinforces your biases, clouds your judgment with images that leave a false impression, and fills your brain with anecdotes that become cheap substitutes for objective data. The very nature of the technology keeps you in a bubble; by tracking your preferences it sends only filtered newsfeeds, so that you rarely see anything that might challenge your set notions.
Harrison explores the implications of having digital "friends" and the effects on mood, self-esteem, and the cultivation of friendship in the real world. He discusses how social media affects attention spans and the ability to consider issues in depth. And he suggests ways to protect yourself against privacy invasion, cyberstalking, catfishing, trolls, misuse of photos, and fake news masquerading as credible journalism.
While making clear that social media is here to stay, Harrison demonstrates how critical thinking can enhance its benefits while giving users the skills to guard against its dangers.
About the Author:
Guy P. Harrison is an award-winning journalist and the author of Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to Be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser; Think: Why You Should Question Everything; 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian; 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True; 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God; and Race and Reality: What Everyone Should Know about Our Biological Diversity.