Everyone knows what social media is, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to define! You know it when you see it, right? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat – that kind of thing? But what about Wikipedia? Or WhatsApp? Are they social media too? If not, why not?
This book is about the psychology of social media. It’s about trying to explain how so much of our everyday lives and modern culture came to be saturated with these incredibly popular and absorbing services. Chapter 1 opens with these… Read More »Introducing ‘The Psychology of Social Media’
Read More »Review of ‘The Psychology of Social Media’ by Karen Key
…your book is accessible and valuable and at the same time rigorous academically – it is a very important contribution to your field and beyond.
Read More »Review of ‘The Psychology of Social Media’ by Shawn Day
…the author demonstrates mastery and delivers a product of what is clearly extensive and exhaustive reflection and translation into a hard-hitting and widely informative must-read.
What are the values of social media? The last chapter of The Psychology of Social Media begins by repeating the book’s psychological definition of social media. In other words, the idea that these online services encourage us to digitise previously private personal information.
Fundamentally, Chapter 7 is concerned with two meanings of the word ‘values’ and how this relates to understanding social media. Values can mean numbers and digits, but it can also mean morals and ethics. I argue that to understand the psychology of social media, it is essential to realise that social media’s principles are essentially quantitative.
To illustrate this point, discussion moves to a historic tragedy on the Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link, and how the idea of commodifying our selves helps understand social media. This brings us to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the psychometric personality research behind it.
However, this kind of research assumes that social media accurately reflects human behaviour. I question this by exploring censorship, fake accounts and black markets for upvotes and comments. This also highlights how little users understand about how social media services operate.
While it might seem a long way off at present, I hope that in the future we will develop not only better methods of managing social media, but better understanding of our selves as a result. We need to clarify our own values, and for social media to better help us to do so.Read More »Values