I’m currently writing two books on psychology and social media:

 

Psychology and Social Media: Becoming Digital (Routledge, due spring 2018)

  • This is a scholarly monograph, aimed at the academic sector (roughly 100k words).
    • Psychology and Social Media: Becoming Digital is a critical analysis of the subjective experience of those online services known as social media. By situating it historically, and scrutinizing it carefully, the proposed book argues that social media is encouraging the development of a new form of psychology.
    • Psychology and Social Media: Becoming Digital argues that social media services are defined by their encouragement of users to digitize and publicly share previously private personal information. In fact, the fundamental experience of being involved in social media is to parse one’s very being – our names, our ages, our physical appearance, our friendships, our relationships status, our political opinions, our daily habits and so much more – into digitized quanta, each with a timestamp and certain numerical value. In effect, social media renders psychology machine-readable.

 

The Psychology of Social Media (Routledge, ‘The Psychology of Everything’ series, due autumn 2018)

  • This is a shorter book (roughly 30k words), aimed at the interested undergraduate and general public.
    • The Psychology of Social Media is designed to fit within Routledge and Psychology Press’s new ‘Psychology of Everything’ series of concise, engaging, and accessible books on areas of popular interest. As part of this series the book focuses on the potential of psychology to enrich our understanding of humanity and modern life.
    • The Psychology of Social Media will examine the core features of social media services – profiles, newsfeeds, connections, media and so on – and explain the psychological aspects of how they are used. It will answer such questions as:
      • Do our profiles really reflect who we are? Why is it difficult to express our ‘true selves’ in our profiles? What does feel like to be fraped ?
      • How do the features of social media services sometimes make it easier, and sometimes make it harder, to communicate?
      • How do we decide what to post, and what not to post, when we don’t know who will see it?
      • And why do we feel like we need privacy – and yet so much public information?
      • What is the psychology of FOMO?
      • How many friends is too many? How many is just right?
      • Which social media services are best for developing meaningful friendships?
      • Is stalking on social media harmful, or just a bit of fun?
      • Are trolls really very different from the rest of social media users?
      • Why do we like sharing photographs and videos? Why does it feel so good to get notifications? And yet why do we struggle to stay on top of them?
      • How do social media algorithms work? And what do they want from us?
    • In so doing, the proposed book will refer to social media services readers probably use every day, like Facebook and Twitter, some they may have used in the past, like Friendster and Bebo, and some they might be starting to use in the future, like YouNow and Shots.  The Psychology of Social Media will also make sure that readers are familiar with social media beyond across the globe, including Asian services like Mixi and Latin American services like Taringa. As such, The Psychology of Social Media will give readers an unprecedented and incisive view into the human science of these fascinating online services.