Book Reviews

Digital Work and Work Life Balance

These books are recommended further reading on ways to optimise your digital work and your work-life balance.

Indistractable & Hooked (Nir Eyal)

 

In his latest book, Nir walks through how technology is making us more and more distractable and has numerous suggestions on how we can claw back time in every area of our lives. 

Nir is also the author of Hooked, a book that has been widely read throughout the tech industry. It is an insightful read into how technology is purposefully engineered to capture your attention and keep you hooked. 

Reading through the book will help you to understand the mechanisms that are used within technology and help you to find personal strategies to unhook yourself from the technology you use. 

You can read a more extensive review of both Hooked and Indistractable in this Guardian article. If you aren’t able to access the article, you can read a PDF of the article here.

About the Author:

Nir is an author and lecturer who specialises in behavioural engineering, using behavioural science that creates habit forming products. Nir’s philosophy is that tech companies should not be regulated, but rather it is up to the individual to regulate their own behaviour around their technology use. You can read more about him at his website or follow him on Twitter.

Tech @ Home

These books are recommended further reading on ways to optimise how you engage with technology at home or for personal use.

The Cyber Effect (Mary Aiken)

Published in 2017, The Cyber Effect is one of the first CyberPsychology books to be written specifically for the general public. 

An inspiring book that everyone should read. It will open your eyes to the potential opportunities and dangers that exist online.

About the Author:

Professor Mary Aiken is a Professor in Forensic Cyberpsychology at UEL. Go directly to her website or follow her on Twitter.

iGen (Jean Twenge)

iGen is that latest in a series of books Jean Twenge has written based on her decades of research into generational differences and the impact of technology on younger generations.  

Her iGen book outlines her most recent findings on the younger generation having grown up as ‘Digital Natives’. Like the interpretation of any research results, she makes some insightful links between the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the behaviours and mental health of the younger generation. 

Although there are a number of critics of the conclusions she draws from her research, there are stem startling warning bells we should all take note off to some degree.

About the Author:

Jean Twenge is a professor of psychologist based at San Diego State University in the USA. She is a leading expert and researcher in how technology is changing the way children and teens are behaving in addition to generational behaviour and childhood development. She has a number of concerns about the adults of the future. 

She has written a number of books on the subject including: 

  • Generation Me
  • The Narcissism Epidemic

Go directly to her website or follow her on Twitter

Tech @ Work

These books are recommended further reading on ways to help you become more focussed and reduce the stress and anxiety that comes from using tech for work.

Deep Work (Cal Newport)

Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, USA. He has published a number of non-fiction books and conducts a lot of research around the interaction of humans and technology. 

His main hypothesis is that ‘the ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.’

In this book, Cal dives into the research around how our use of digital media is reducing our ability to concentrate and focus on important work. He provides the evidence around how digital technology is changing how we think, but also ways to shift ourselves back to a place where we rekindle our ability to think and work ‘deeply’. 

About the Author:

Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, USA. He has published a number of non-fiction books and conducts a lot of research around the interaction of humans and technology. You can find out more about him on his website.

Online Narratives and Expressions

These books cover how we express ourselves online: in images, words, emoji’s and narratives.

Because Internet (Gretchen McCullough)

Because Internet is an exploration of how the language used on the internet, and in particular on social media and text messaging, has changed how we communicate with others. 

The book explores how language and communication has evolved, even exploring how it changed with the advent of the landline. It also analyses the differences in languages between the generations and those who are familiar with the use of ‘digital language’ and those who are less so. 

About the Author:

Gretchen is ‘an internet linguist. She analyses the language of the internet, for the people of the internet’. You can find her website here. 

Introductory Texts to CyberPsychology

These books are recommended for those interested in diving deeper into the academic research and theoretical concepts of CyberPsychology.

Issues and Debates in CyberPsychology (Dr Linda Kaye)

 

Released in January 2022, Issues and Debates in CyberPsychology takes a look at the current debates in CyberPsychology from an academic perspective. In her book, Dr Kaye gives a thorough overview of the concepts and discusses the current narratives around CyberPsychology. 

If you are new to CyberPsychology, or thinking about the discipline as a career choice, this book is more than a must-have for your bookshelf, it is a must-read as a great entry-point into a deeper understanding.

You can download a sample of the book that includes the introduction and the first few pages of Chapter 2. You can also watch Dr Kaye introduce her book in this quick YouTube video. 

Watch the remainder of her chapter videos directly on her website page

You can also watch a video of a recent interview Dr Kaye did with Chris from ‘Psyched’ talking about her new book.

About the Author:

Dr Linda Kaye specialises in gaming and online behaviour. She is a founding member of the British Psychology Society CyberPsychology Section. She is also a TEDx Speaker and Educator.

You can watch her TEDx talk on ‘What Your Emoji Says About You’ within her expert profile and you can follow her on Twitter.