The internet has changed the world in many ways. The globe, the giant sphere, the land of diverse species, and millions of miles of the surface have shrunk to fit into the pocket of a person (who owns a mobile phone). The world owes to the internet. The internet has become the root of all the developments that human civilisation has made in recent decades. However, many experts question the unprecedented speed with which the internet is taking over human minds. With the shrinking world, the dependency on the internet is increasing. From simple unit conversions to ethical questions, from complex medical conditions to humorous relationship issues, people are taking the help of the internet for answers. The question arises – where is the human mind? What is its role? How much does the internet influence our lives today?
In this article, I will share a few books you can read to understand the influence the internet has on human society today. Also, you can learn (by reading these books) how to minimise the negative and unnecessary impact of social media on your ‘social’ life. I have picked these books after carefully reading them. I am sure you will find these titles useful, helpful, and engaging.
- Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention by Johann Hari – Though this book is a broad case study of the problems that have caused a lack of attention among people in general, the emphasis on technological advancements is frightening. When you read this book, you will understand how big tech has changed how we think, act, crave attention, and can’t pay attention. You can jump to the sixth chapter and read the next one that continues the big tech intrusion in our lives. Otherwise, I recommend you should read the book from the beginning to the end. You can get a copy of the book from Amazon India by clicking this link: get a copy now.
- My Brain Has Too Many Tabs Open by Tanya Goodin – You can easily relate the title of this alarming book to the situation when you have multiple tabs open in your chrome browser. Isn’t that messy? Navigating through windows, tabs, applications, and work profiles can be tedious. This book by Tanya Goodin – a digital detox expert, analyses how technology has excessively intruded on our social, family and even private space. This book has problems and solutions, facts and figures, opinions and advice. You can buy a copy from Amazon India here – get the book by clicking here.
- A Social Media Survival Guide: How to Use the Most Popular Platforms and Protect Your Privacy by Melody Karle – This is a title for those who want to use social media for fun, leisure and connecting with friends and family without being exposed to the hazards of it. Melody has listed the basics of social media platforms in different chapters. She has also mentioned tips and tricks to stay safe, private and visible only to those who matter. Buy this guidebook from Amazon India – click here to go to the Amazon book page.
- Goodbye Phone, Hello World: 65 Ways to Disconnect from Tech and Reconnect to Joy by Paul Greenberg – This book impressed me (more than the others on this list). Illustrations, instances from the Sanskrit texts, ancient scriptures and literary works from various ancient cultures, and ideas by Paul Greenberg that may change the world for you complete this book. The author has presented facts, real-life examples, and solutions to phone problems attractively. Paul has suggested various activities one can perform to maintain distance from the smartphone (whenever applicable). Youths, parents, teenagers, kids, IT employees and anyone who has developed a smartphone addiction can utilise this book. Buy a copy from Amazon India and welcome a new world sans tech. Click here to get Paul’s book now!
- Ten arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now by Jaron Lanier – Jaron’s book is more than compelling! It is alarming. This book is like a beacon someone signalled in your bedroom, demanding instant reflexive action. Coming from someone who is himself a pioneer in the field of technology, the arguments are indeed important. If you are someone who survives on the count of likes, retweets and comments on your social media posts, you should read this book immediately (and act accordingly). Buy Lanier’s book now – click here to get a copy now.
Guys, this is the list of the most useful, direct, easy-to-read and understandable books about the internet, technology, and the impact these inventions have on our lives today. You can get one, two or all the books on the list. The point is reading such books and knowing about the state of affairs. While the findings and facts may be interesting (to know), they are equally alarming (to realise). And it is true that we have become dependent on our mobile phones. However, there MUST be a balanced approach that can save us from the perils of the internet and offer the riches of these global inventions.
By Alok Mishra
(Special feature for Indian Book Critics)