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Influenced: The Impact of Social Media on Our Perception
Brian Bower Wachler, MD | Foreword by Tony Youn, MD
Rowman & Littlefield (trade) / Hardcover / Nov 2022
9781538164198 (ISBN-10: 1538164191)
Psychology & Technology
price: $35.99
320 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

“This engaging, eye-opening book covers everything anyone would ever want to know about social media influencers." —Booklist, Starred Review

Unpacks and pulls the curtain back on what happens to our brains and our behaviors each time we addictively engage social media and the influencers we encounter there.

Individuals seeking to widen their tribes of friends, fans, and followers have an abundance of resources for building their digital footprints and social media popularity. All of this seems well and good from the perspective of revenue, exposure, and perhaps ego-building, but what is the impact of this on the human brain and our behavior? Is anyone paying attention to the lurking side effects of the social media influencer revolution?

As “Dr. Brian” Boxer Wachler—one of the world’s most esteemed authorities on human perception—reveals in Influenced: The Impact of Social Media on Our Perception, we are oblivious to the mental evolution that is already in process. Science is proving that our addictive reliance upon social media and its influencers is having a demonstrable impact on how we think, feel, and perceive everything around us— and even how we react to stimuli. One might think that a “Like” is nothing more than a split-second tap on a device. However, brain scans tell a different story. Our brains literally light up with every buzz, ding, alert, and ring in anticipation of how our network is responding to us. As we tap away at our devices, we anxiously seek the approval of others—often people we don’t know.

Influenced unpacks what happens to our brains and our behaviors each time we click “Like”; follow an influencer; consume a video; share or reshare an article; post or repost a photograph; write a comment; pile on a trend;; just scroll for new content; and why do we keep coming back for more. Dr. Boxer Wachler includes his own social and medical findings and highlights them with interviews with top influencers, the latest studies, and pop-culture anecdotes.

Table of Contents:


Foreword by Tony Youn, MD


Prologue: Confession of an Influencer

Introduction: We Are All Under the Influence

Chapter 1: Hooked on Clicks

What is a social media influencer?
Chapter 2: Following the Herd

How is our Perceptual Intelligence (PI) being hijacked by influencers?

Chapter 3: Brain Cravings

Are smartphones better than sex?

Chapter 4: Easy Prey

Why are our young so susceptible to influencers?

Chapter 5: It’s All an Illusion

How some influencers misrepresent themselves—and the facts

Chapter 6: Imminent Danger

What serious threats are hidden in plain sight with social media influence?

Chapter 7: Celebrity Sells

How social media influencers are a different breed than the traditional celebs we’ve loved all these years

Chapter 8: Sexual Solicitations

Are influencers turning us into sex addicts?
Chapter 9: Driven to Distraction

Are we unfocused and unproductive because of social media influence?

Chapter 10: Clicks and Cults

When does an influencer’s following become a cult?

Chapter 11: So, You Want to Be an Influencer

How to be a responsible, successful influencer and lead a balanced life

Chapter 12: Living with Social Media

How users, influencers, platforms, and businesses can safely coexist.

Conclusion: The Future of Social Media Influence


Appendix A: Glossary

Appendix B: Hidden Meanings of Common Social Media Emojis




About the Author


This engaging, eye-opening book covers everything anyone would ever want to know about social media influencers. Boxer Wachler (Perceptual Intelligence, 2017) is a surgeon, social media luminary, and overall astute observer. He started creating medical videos that catapulted him to influencer status, and here shares how this virtual fame has affected his life.... Boxer Wachler also includes helpful advice on how to become a successful influencer. His final observation? Social media is here to stay, and it influences everyone, even individuals who have no online involvement. Readers will appreciate both Boxer Wachler's entertaining style and his enlightening insights. [Even] teens will recognize themselves in Boxer Wachler's descriptions of online behavior and enjoy the behind-the-scenes stories about popular influencers.

— Booklist, Starred Review

I loved Dr. Brian's new book. A lot of gems in there that people can learn and apply to their life when it comes to dealing with social media. Grab your copy today. No cap!

— Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, NFL football star

As someone with extensive experience in social media, I can say Influenced is the book you must read to understand social media and how it’s shaping our world in ways you don’t even know.

— Sandra Lee, MD, Dr. Pimple Popper

Dr. Brian’s book Influenced should be essential reading for any parent whose child has a smartphone. To stick your head in the sand and say ‘I don’t get social medial’ may have been okay 10 years ago, but the savvy parent/consumer/educator knows that social media is how many people receive their information these days. If you had told me I’d be an influencer or a ‘Real Housewife’ the year I graduated from medical school, I would have laughed. Well, I guess the joke is on me because now I understand the power of social media and hope to use my platforms to educate, inspire, and entertain.

— Tiffany Moon, MD, Real Housewives of Dallas

Dr. Boxer Wachler's book takes a deep dive into all facets of social media in its current state and beyond. This book is a great read for anyone wanting to enter the digital world and navigate it as a thoughtful creator while still being wary of its downfalls. These discussions are needed if we’re to continue to grow as our culture intertwines with technology.

— Ben Winters, DDS, aka The Bentist

Dr Brian shares his great insight into the science of influence in today’s world of social media and he backs it up with latest research and real world examples. This book is essential in understanding social media and learning how to live with it whether you're an influencer or not! I loved reading this book and highly recommend it.

— Siyamak Saleh, MD

Dr. Brian delves into the nitty gritty of how social media hacks our brains to leave us in an endless Scroll Hole! In this detailed book he investigates how social media and its "Influencers" have shaped our modern day society---for better and for worse! An addictive read!

— Karan Raj, MD

An insider’s detailed and honest perspective on what it means to be an influencer in today’s world. Dr. Boxer Wachler provides a candid look into the true effects of social media.

— Jess Andrade, MD

This was a great look about what goes on behind the scenes- the good the bad and everything in between!The book I didn’t know I needed until now. The raw and unfiltered life of a influencer.

— Dana Brems, MD, Footdocdana

As a physician who accidentally grew up to become a social media influencer, Influenced is truly eye-opening. Brian impeccably lifts the veil to deliver powerful insight that’s life-changing. Beautifully written, it leaves you with sensible knowledge on social media, how to manage it and understand it. A must-read for anyone and everyone.

— Azadeh Shirazi, MD

This book is a must-read if you are curious about insights into what we all go through using social media for fun or for business. You will begin to realize that no matter how big or small your account, we all have a grave responsibility to ourselves and our followers in order to preserve mental health.

— Ricky J. Brown, M.D., FACS

Influenced is amazing!! A fascinating book with multiple unique perspectives on how social media affects our lives. Dr. Brian is able to weave in his own experiences and the experience of others to tell a compelling story of how we are all 'influenced' - no cap.

— Muneeb Shah, MD, DermDoctor

Through his own experiences, anecdotes of other influencers, and utilizing the science of psychology, Dr. Brian powerfully and thoughtfully reveals how social media has become simultaneously a constructive and destructive force.

He then clearly maps out how to retain balance and control in our lives amidst the social media tempest. Influenced is more than a “must-read”. It is a “must-live!"

— William Dorfman, FAACD, NY Times Best Selling Author, Philanthropist

With social media being embedded in everything we do in todays world, this is a MUST READ! From the beginner to the seasoned content creator, or to the parent of a teen who has a phone this book will provide incredible insight and value! I have been actively involved in social media for 10+ years and it was still incredibly eye opening!

— Tommy Martin, MD

Influenced is one of the first books that I have come across that really dove into the world of an influencer. Not just from a consumer’s perspective, but the creators themselves. Shedding light on both the positives and negatives of this emerging market.

— Fayez Ajib, MD, LifeofaDoctor

Influenced is such an impactful piece of literature! Everyone who gets their hands on this book is going to be so attached - it's absolutely brilliant!

— Krysten Mayers, Co- Founder of Krysmay L.P

Brilliantly written book highlighting how social media can be used for positive influence in the world, and also gives a very honest look at some of the harmful effects of social media as well. Great read by someone I truly admire and respect. Enjoy!

— Grant Collins, Influencer and Dentist

I think there is a fairy tale ideology around social media that's just not true. Whether you are a creator, consumer, inspiring creator, everything online is carefully constructed just like movies, TV shows, and commercials. As social media becomes more and more intertwined into our lives it's important to educate ourselves on how to handle it properly to live the best lives we can live and I wish Influenced was around when I started my own career in social media five years ago.

— Caleb Simpson, Influencer

An incredibly insightful book that dives into the effects of social media on our minds, written by one of the most impactful leaders in the creator economy. Highly recommend!

— Josh Otusanya, Influencer and Comedian

Influenced is truly revolutionary as it really gives an insider perspective on what an influencer is and the responsibilities involved.

— Jermaine and Jeremy Hogstrom, MDs, aka Twin.Doctors.J

Influenced is a must-read for anyone living in the age of social media. I read it for a deeper understanding of the world our kids are growing up in, but found it just as relevant and informative for adults. If you want to navigate the landscape of a world with social media then this book is the North Star you need to move through it in an informed, thoughtful way.

— Matt Bomber, Actor

About the Author:

Brian Boxer Wachler, MD, has devoted his career to the physical and mental intersection of how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. As the medical director of his eponymous institute in Beverly Hills and a staff physician at the famed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he is one of the most sought-after surgeons in the world. Dr. Boxer Wachler has patented treatments, set industry guidelines, investigated procedures for the FDA, written numerous articles, and authored four medical books read by hundreds of thousands. He has been featured by Vogue, The New York Times, Time, TEDx, and various national morning shows, including performing surgery live on The Today Show. He is a featured expert on The Doctors. Dr. Boxer Wachler lives in Los Angeles with his wife and twin teenage daughters

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