From the world's leading expert in forensic cyberpsychology - a discipline that combines psychology, forensics and technology - comes a groundbreaking exploration of the impact of technology on human behaviour.
The average person now checks their phone over 200 times a day. That's a serious addiction - but because we're all doing it all the time, it doesn't seem quite so scary. And, like all addicts, we have avoided thinking about the implications of the cyber effect.
But now, at last, there is someone who can explain what is happening to us, how it works and what we can do about it. In this, the first book of its kind, Dr Mary Aiken applies her expertise in cyber-behavioural analysis to a range of subjects including criminal activity on the Deep Web and Darknet; deviant behaviour; internet addictions; the impact of technology on the developing child; teenagers and the Web; cyber romance and cyber friendships; cyberchrondria; the future of artificial intelligence; and the positive effects on our digital selves, such as online altruism.
Packed with vivid stories, eye-opening insights and surprising statistics, The Cyber Effect offers us a fascinating guide through a new future that it's not too late to do something about.
©2016 Mary Aiken (P)2016 Penguin Random House Audio
The Cyber Effect covers an important topic and offers some helpful insights. However I found it let down by the author's particular moral view of the world. As she admits, many of her concerns are based not on science but her own feelings and intuition. I found myself in disagreement with her moral assumptions on many issues, which made many of conclusions irrelevant. For example, she described peer to peer file sharing of copyrighted material as "theft" - the morality of this is debatable but it is clearly not theft in a traditional sense as there is it does not deprive an original owner of property. She also seems to have little faith in the ability of children to distinguish reality when using technology, citing a few isolated incidents as evidence of this.
In places it was also factually misleading, for example describing Tim Berners-Lee as "father of the Internet" when he in fact invented the World Wide Web (not the Internet). It is not clear whether she understands the distinction, yet in the same chapter she argues that the design if the Internet is fundamentally flawed.
Despite these flaws, she is right to encourage thought about the social and psychological effects of the cyber environment on humans - any contribution in this area is helpful so it may be worth a read / listen.
A fascinating account of the unintended consequences of the digital age - especially the Dark Net - with suggestions for how to protect ourselves.
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