Untangling the Web Paperback – 4 Jul 2013
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Who better to guide us through online culture than Aleks Krotoski? She has been examining this fast-changing frontier since the last century as journalist and social psychologist, and her new collection of essays is born of that long engagement with the Internet's opportunities ... [Krotoski's] informed positivity is a pragmatic way forward. (Metro)
The academia-meets-media credentials make for a tome that is both chatty and meaty. It is also free from the overplayed polemics that characterise all too many titles in this field ... [Krotoski's] combination of cautious academic rigour and geek-like enthusiasm makes a very valuable contribution to the debate and leads her to two refreshing conclusions. (Business Section Financial Times)
[Krotoski is a perceptive observer of our information ecosystem ...Untangling the Web is a collection of 17 thoughtful essays on the impact of comprehensive networking on our lives. These essays cover the spectrum of stuff we need to think about - from the obvious ones to topics to which we don't pay enough attention. Although she's a glamorous media "star", people underestimate Krotoski at their peril. She's a rare combination of academic, geek, reporter and fluent essayist. (John Naughton Observer)
Untangling the Web by Aleks Krotoski - award-winning social psychologist - gives us the truth about life in the age of the Internet.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book makes very good points about the different identities we have online, and also about the way things are changing as the anonymity of the early days of the web gets eroded, and past identities become harder to erase. It's great on the privacy implications of the web, how much people share online and how much other information can easily be discovered. And there's also a good discussion of the way the internet filters what you see based on the information that companies are building up based on your past usage:
"The commercial services that dominate the digital world - the Googles and the Facebooks - are trying to keep us brand-loyal by delivering services that meet our needs, so they confirm our biases by telling us things that we already want to hear."
This is a fascinating area, covered in more detail by Eli Pariser's The Filter Bubble. If you and I both Google "climate change", we'll get different results, and the results we see will likely reinforce our existing opinions. While it makes sense for the search companies to try to make our results more relevant, you can see the dangers of such an approach. As Krotoski puts it, "The vast ocean of information online is increasingly navigated by packs of like-minded people who really only see a little slice of what is available on the web." I'm not sure what a slice of an ocean looks like, but you get the point.
Krotoski returns to the point in a later chapter looking at extremism. The effect of what she calls "cyberbalkanization" is often pluralistic ignorance - the belief that everyone else thinks as we do.Read more ›
The first section - the shortest - is titled "Untangling Me" and contains chapters on how one can play with identity online, how our online presence can live on after our death, and how the web may (or may not) be affecting how we think. Krotoski warns that "every technological innovation introduces new behaviours that are pathologised by anxious people" and she points out that the web has only been around for two decades: "It's way too early to really identify any long-term trends, good or bad".
The second section is headed "Untangling Us" and features chapters on how online communities confirm our sense of social identity, how the web allows us to explore more freely our sexual identity, how children spend so much time on social networking sites, how friendship is handled online through sites like Facebook, how more and more people are finding partners online, and how the Net facilitates bullying, insults and hate speech.Read more ›
Well written and well researched this book is a must read for everyone living in the 21st century
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A really good read - thought provoking - and I've loaned it onwards for others to read ...
Worth reading her PhD thesis if this is your area of interest.
Have't read it yet but Kindle won't let me start reading it until I review it - go figure - but I'm sure it's great.Published on 21 Mar. 2014 by Steve
This book shows us how most parts of our lives have become entangled with the internet, the good and the bad - I would definitely recommend to read!Published on 24 Sept. 2013 by D. M. Wild