This Is Your Brain on Social Media

Benjamin Radford

Think Before You Like: Social Media’s Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed. By Guy P. Harrison. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2017. ISBN: 978-1633883512. 380 pp. Softcover, $18.00.

The use of social media has risen dramatically in recent years, but our ability to responsibly handle it has not kept pace. Guy Harrison is author of many skeptical books, including Think: Why You Should Question EverythingGood Thinking: What You Need to Know to Be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser; and 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True.

In Think Before You Like, Harrison examines the ways in which social media reinforce our biases, cloud our judgment, and spawn and perpetuate misinformation. He offers practical advice on media literacy and cyber self-defense, as well as insight into issues of privacy, psychology, and personal identity in the digital age. Chapter 2, “Welcome to Your Very Own Customized, Biased Bubble of Psychological Reinforcement, Manipulation, and Lies,” is perhaps the most relevant to skeptics hoping to understand the psychological and social consequences of social media.

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