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Offline: Free Your Mind from Smartphone and Social Media Stress



Offline: Free Your Mind from Smartphone and Social Media Stress

Imran Rashid, Soren Kenner

ISBN: 978-0-857-08793-5 February 2019 Capstone 216 Pages

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Authors Imran Rashid and Soren Kenner have sparked an international debate by revealing the “mind hacks” Facebook, Apple, Google, and Instagram use to get you and your children hooked on their products.

In Offline, they deliver an eye-opening research-based journey into the world of tech giants, smartphones, social engineering, and subconscious manipulation. This provocative work shows you how digital devices change individuals and communities for better and worse.

A must-read if you or your kids use smartphones or tablets and spend time browsing social networks, playing online games or even just browsing sites with news and entertainment.  

Learn how to recognize ‘mind hacks’ and avoid the potentially disastrous side-effects of digital pollution. Unplug from the matrix. Learn digital habits that work for you.

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: Offline 1

Are You Being Digitally Manipulated? 5

Access to Your Attention Has Become a Commodity 8

Technology Is Good. But Use it Carefully! 10

HowThis Book Is Structured 15

Chapter One 17

A Tsunami of Technological Transformation 17

Imperceptible Change 19

Because Your Eyeballs Are Worth It 21

Social Media: The Global Village 23

Tackling the Onslaught of Information 26

Chapter Two 30

A Fire upon the Deep 30

Developing Bigger Brains Was an Evolutionary Gamble 31

The Three Layers of Your Brain 33

Prefiltering and Neuroplasticity: Your Adaptable Brain 45

Is Your Consciousness Time-Shifted? 47

To Be or Not to Be Conscious 49

Out of Control 51

Is Consciousness a Question of Being in the Spotlight? 53

Models Are Not Reality 54

The Hard Question of Consciousness 55

The Social Brain 56

Chapter Three 63

The Billion Dollar Question 63

Dopamine: Sex, Drugs, and Rock ’n’ Roll? 65

Oxytocin: Humans Need Humans 67

Does Your Family Suffer from Technoference? 69

Being Able to Defer Gratification Is Crucial 72

What We Actually Do Know about Impulse Control—and About Losing It! 74

Do Smartphones Affect Human Self-Control? 76

Chapter Four 80

The Human Information Factory 82

The Limited Working Memory 82

The Sorting Task 83

Information Processing 84

Would You Dare to Be a Passenger in a Car Driven by a Distracted You? 86

Excuse Me, Do You Have a Minute? 87

Smartphones and Feelings 88

A Quick Pit-Stop before Heading into the Land of Dragons 89

Chapter Five 95

One Great Big Online Market 95

B.J. Fogg and the Stanford Persuasion Lab 96

Let’s Take a Look at B.J. Fogg’s Model as It Is Being Used Today… 98

Your Phone Is a Slot Machine! 101

What Do the Companies Targeting You See? 103

Your Personality Can Be Predicted with Great Accuracy 107

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal 109

How You Are Captured and Converted 111

Multivariate Testing—Helping Consumers Capture Themselves 113

The StrangeWorld of Tracking Pixels, Cookies and Remarketing 115

All aboard the Consumer Journey Train 118

The Horrible Dark Patterns 120

How Google Skews Your Search Results 121

Chapter Six 125

Stress, Low Self-Esteem, Anxiety and Sleep Disturbances 126

Smartphones and Social Media Can Lead to ADHD in Adolescents 128

Can Use of Social Media Be Addictive? 128

When Addictive Design and Basic Human Social Traits Clash 130

The Effects Are Not Just Physiological or Psychological 132

Echo Chambers and Confirmation Bias 133

When Confirmation Bias Leads to Cognitive Dissonance 138

The Sharp Decline in Empathy 141

The Changing World of Youngsters 144

Cyberbullying 146

In Conclusion: The Road Ahead Is All About the Choices You Make! 148

Chapter Seven 157

Making Changes Is Not Easy! 157

Change Means Doing Things Differently 159

Step 1: Life Stories 160

Step 2: Mapping out Your Habits and How You Spend Your Time 164

Step 3: Identify Triggers & Cues 164

Step 4: Plan Your Countermove and Start Acting 167

Troubleshoot Failure 169

In Summary: It’s Not Rocket Science, but it’s Not All That Easy Either 170

Teaching Your Children Sensible and Healthy Digital Habits 172

The Underlying Psychological Principles 174

Entering the Zone—Learning to Focus 177

Deliberate Practice 179

In Conclusion: It’s Simple, but it’s Not Easy 182

Epilogue 187

Index 193