Social media has fast-forwarded our lives. Nothing else caused a faster transformation in life practices than social media. Fifteen years ago, it barely existed; today, it has taken over a significant portion of our lives. Social media has touched people even in their most intimate conceptions of themselves, their political inclinations, their relations with other people, their sexuality even their basic livelihood.
At its inception, social media was primarily used to share meaningful posts and stay connected with family and friends. Now, it’s a black hole of information, and most of its creations are making money out of users’ time expenditure on it. While we didn’t learn the ins and outs of social media, we’ve compiled a list of books that will help social media users understand how it is affecting our life in worse ways, what can be done to use it mindfully and where to get started.
Trick Mirror Reflections on Self-Delusion
Author: Jia Tolentino
This book is a collection of essays that focuses on how various cultures have made us feel that we are not enough and urges the reader to self-reflect. The book is mentioned on this list for the first essay, titled “The I in the Internet“, an informative read for social media users. The essay examines how social media consumption has led to a disconnection from others and ourselves. The author identifies 2012 as the last moment of balance: “Where we were free to be ourselves online, compared to now that we have chained ourselves to the online world.” Tolentino also acknowledges the significant contributions of social media – including the #MeToo movement. However, her conclusions are pessimistic about social media and its future with it.
The book has a 4.4 rating on Amazon with over 1,830 reviews.
Stop Checking Your Likes
Shake Off the Need for Approval and Live an Incredible Life
Author: Susie Moore
Living in the age of social media, it is common to find people obsessing over their social presence and engagement. The number of followers, comments, likes, shares, and other stats has suddenly converted into digital tokens seeking popularity. This unhealthy habit of placing self-worth on what pops up on the screen can lead to self-confidence problems. Addressing this harmful behaviour, the book identifies it as a symptom of a deeper problem: the constant need for approval. The book would work as a guide for all those who feel stuck in the vicious circle of popularity and validation on social media. The author shows how to escape the approval trap and build unshakeable confidence through her 14 key principles and build self-acceptance.
The book has a 4.7 rating on Amazon with over 500 reviews.
The Accidental Billionaires
The Founding of Facebook
Author: Ben Mezrich
The famous movie “The Social Network” gained popularity among young adults as soon as it came out. The reason was curiosity about Facebook’s existence. The movie depicts this book; however, it is way better than how it was shown in the film. Through a gripping story plot, the author will take you through Facebook’s founding and the vague ideas of shy computer geniuses who want to build an online social life. Read this book to understand how we lost innocence to the creation of a company that revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people relate and connect to one another.
The book has a 4.5 rating on Amazon with over 1000 reviews.
The Twittering Machine
Author: Richard Seymour
Seymour shares his analysis of the destructive effects of the “social industry” on political and personal life. Through this book, he expresses his anti-social-media “techlash” to focus on malicious design choices and business models designed to keep users hooked on social media platforms. The author explains how the variable rewards of social media perpetuate depressive and addictive cycles of engagement, manipulating people into thinking of themselves as micro-celebrity and providing everyone with an individual brand that needs constant maintenance. The addictive use of social media has poisoned private life, is leading to the degradation of information and has many ill effects. The book is ideal for understanding the addictive nature of social media and why and how people are stuck and unable to break free from constant social media usage.
The Twittering Machine “confronts us with a string of calamities,” among them increasing depression, fake news, the alt-right, and fast-food brands tweeting on fleek. And yet, despite the apparent fact that it’s awful for us, we, and about half the earth’s population, remain its inhabitants. Why do we stay on—just to pick an example—Twitter while also referring to it as the “hell site”? “We must be getting something out of it,” Seymour writes.
The book has a 4.4 rating on Amazon with over 200 reviews.
Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life
Author: Katherine Ormerod
This book will give you a look at what social media is doing to us as a society, how it is taking us away from reality and what we must do to deconstruct the online fantasy and change our attitudes about it. The author, with the help of specialists concerned with constructing and fighting the addiction to social media, including clinical psychologists, professors, influencers and plastic surgeons, discloses how our exposure to social media has rewired our brain and behavioural outline and has altered our self-confidence, and wrecked our attention spans. The book is a must-read for people who find it hard to let go of the fantasy world that social media has created where everything has to be “PERFECT” and find peace in reality.
The book has a 4.3 rating on Amazon with over 200 reviews.
The debate on the pros and cons of social media is endless. While there is no finite answer to the question of using social media, we recommend striking a balance and being mindful of its usage.
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Also Read: Must-Read Books on Digital Minimalism