Cover image for
Social media and your brain : web-based communication is changing how we think and express ourselves / C.G. Prado, PhD, FRSC, editor.
Santa Barbara, California : Praeger, An Imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, [2017]
xv,154 pages ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages137-147) and index.
Other Authors:
Prado, C. G., editor.
144085453X (alk. paper)

9781440854538 (alk. paper)

9781440854545 (ebook)


Material Type
Call Number
Book HM851.S678smy

On Order



While society has widely condemned the effects on preteens and teens' natural social maturation of digitally enabled communication, such as texting and messaging, and of social media apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat, these forms of communication are adversely affecting everyone, including adults. This book examines how social media and modern communication methods are isolating users socially, jeopardizing their intellectual habits, and, as a result, decreasing their chances of achieving social and professional success.

* Focuses on the effects of the Internet and social media overall on the specific groups most affected: 'tweens, teens, and college students, individuals who take to the use of such modern communication methods naturally but who are also ill-equipped to use self-control to resist the instant gratification, constant distraction, and addictive behaviors that come with social media

* Alerts readers to consequences of social media and Internet use of which they are likely unaware

* Identifies practical solutions that can serve to counter the wide-reaching negative effects of excessive use of and reliance on social media

Author Notes

C.G. Prado , PhD, FRSC, is emeritus professor of philosophy at Queen's University, a two-time elected Visiting Fellow at Princeton University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In Prado's anthology, contributors examine the internet's impact on human brains and thinking styles. Articles express a gamut of concerns. For example, Bruce McNaughton explains that he uses the newest gadgets and media but lacks the compulsive fetishistic fanaticism of younger users. Editor Prado fears "netness" when he writes, "People are being subtly and not so subtly changed by use of the internet and social media." He sees danger in the "sociopsychological effects" of web obsession. Viewers see it when in the BBC's popular Sherlock, the title character obsessively responds to text messages concerning cases. Mark Kingswell discusses the obsession with interfaces more than with actual content, Khadija Coxon explores the "attention economy" and faces fears that "social media degenerates apparently real relationships by over-orienting users to virtual worlds," and Juan Bermudez considers the dangers of instant gratification caused by the web's erosion of the sense of self-control. Alex Leitch discusses the attractions and problems of exclusive spaces and labor cults that fixate people on sites and work-related topics. In the end, Prado and company believe, social media has not been properly analyzed and may have unknown and uncalculated consequences. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --Stuart Lenig, Columbia State Community College

Table of Contents

C. G. PradoC. G. PradoMark KingwellKhadija CoxonJuan Pablo BermĂșdezChris BeemanAlex LeitchPaul FairfieldLawrie McFarlaneBruce MacNaughton
Chapter Synopsesp. ix
Introductionp. xiii
Chapter 1 The Role of Habitp. 1
Chapter 2 Bored, Addicted, or Both: How We Use Social Media Nowp. 15
Chapter 3 Attention, Emotion, and Desire in the Age of Social Mediap. 37
Chapter 4 Social Media and Self-Control: The Vices and Virtues of Attentionp. 57
Chapter 5 Does Social Media Interfere with the Capacity to Make Reasoned Arguments?p. 75
Chapter 6 Exclusive Spacesp. 89
Chapter 7 Social Media and Communicative Unlearning: Learning to Forget in Communicatingp. 105
Chapter 8 Prices Paid for Social Media Usep. 119
Afterword: Realizing the Consequences of Internet and Social Media Usagep. 133
Bibliographyp. 137
About the Editor and Contributorsp. 145
Indexp. 149