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The Teenage Guide to Life Online Paperback – 24 May 2018
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About the Author
Nicola Morgan has written over a hundred books. Her previous titles for Walker include The Teenage Guide to Stress, winner of the School Library Association Award 2015, with both the judges’ and readers’ awards, Blame My Brain, which was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize for Science, The Teenage Guide to Friends and the novel Wasted, which won the Scottish Children's Book Award and other awards and shortlistings. Nicola speaks in schools and at conferences all over the world about issues concerning teenagers and creates original resources for teachers. She is a former dyslexia specialist and is an Ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland. Visit Nicola's website at www.nicolamorgan.com.
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Not sure he will read the book ,more likely his parents will .
I think it's important to first note that this book isn't intended to make you feel small, to make you feel bad or worried about the use of your social media accounts, the amount of time you spend on your phone or just the internet in general. Because if it was, this review wouldn't even exist, and probably neither would the book! Moreover, the author is (I think) trying to just give us impressionable social media addicts a little eye opener to how we can perhaps try and counteract some of the negative elements to life online. Because, it's true - we don't use online resources as we should always, and we absolutely do (speaking for myself!) allow it to distract us from what is actually out there. But actually, some of us do use it as a tool too - and that's really well acknowledged in this book.
The potential for life online to take over your reality is closer than you think. I really think this book is a nice eye-opener for people who are wanting to understand their own wellbeing more so than how social media affects people. Because this book looks at how the use of online technology, which has exponentially grown over the past 10 years or so, can affect our mental health, our relationships, the way in which we communicate, view ourselves (because who doesn't shamelessly check how many likes their witty comment has had?), how our sleep is affected and the overall ease at which we are exposed to news within seconds of it happening.
There are pros and cons, but this book does a good job of covering all bases without seeming overly critical or negative, and is a great educational tool for teenagers but also for many adults with just as much of a problem unsticking that smart phone from their hand as the average teenager. I have to admit, I didn't learn anything I didn't already know, but it was a quick and informative read for a refresher.
Food for thought!
ARC provided free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
I really like how easy this book is to read and how interesting everything is. Learning a brief history of the internet was interesting as it shows just how much the world has changed in the last few years. Being online so often, especially on a smartphone, just didn't happen when I was younger (and I'm not old!) but so much has changed and this book has been such an insight into how being online is affecting everyone, even me. With the introduction you get a quick quiz which tests if you are addicted to your smartphone. This was fun (although it did show how I might be a little addicted). It's the following chapters however which I really found fascinating.
Every chapter in the book discusses what effect being online has on us but it's done in a way that makes us think about our time online and we're encouraged to make our own minds up with the information that's given. There are lots of positives listed on why being online can be good for things like our social life, creativity, etc. Positives like chatting with people we wouldn't usually be able to in real life or having support from others when we feel down, for example, but along with lots of positives, there are also the negatives. There are often a lot of negatives listed but after them are tips on how we can avoid them. Each chapter also has lots of interesting facts, many from studies by different people or organisations. The information is so easy to understand and unlike lots of other books and texts about these things, it never felt boring or difficult to read. Each chapter reads like a friend telling you about their own experiences and research and it's this that makes the book so appealing to read, especially for teens.
Along with positives and negatives in each chapter there is a summary and then resources at the end, links to many websites and a few book titles so we can read up on all the fascinating information for ourselves if we want to. Although there are only a few chapters in the book it does cover so many different topics. These include things like fake news, sexting and online privacy. There's a lot of advice on how to avoid the negatives and lots of encouragement to keep safe and seek out adult help if things are getting difficult or upsetting.
The book is brilliant. It never feels like it's lecturing to teens, and although it's aimed at the teen market I think adults would benefit from reading this especially as many of us don't realise that being online so much these days can have such a negative impact on our mood and especially our sleep! It's certainly a book I would have read as a teenager, if the internet was as big as it is today, and I'd recommend it to everyone.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.