Books

With technology evolving at a breakneck pace, it’s difficult to keep up with the ways that it is affecting our lives, society, and relationships. Here are several book recommendations that tackle these issues in both helpful and thought-provoking ways. I’ve sprinkled in a few parenting books that I like as well.

 1. The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in a Digital Age By Catherine Steiner-Adair and Teresa H. Barker

Clinical psychologist Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair explains how everyday life is undergoing a massive transformation in this digital age. Easy access to social media and the Internet has made it almost impossible to shield children from damaging adult material. Parent child relationships are falling apart and children are left feeling lonely. Written about real-life stories with her clinical and consulting work, Stiener-Adair provides parents a way to manage with confidence the tech revolution in their household.


2. You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier

Jaron Lanier was a programmer, musician and one of the first to predict how the technology revolution would affect our commerce and culture. This national bestseller discusses the problems that have risen from programming choices made at the birth of the digital world. It focuses in on how intelligence of individuals is being overseen by computer algorithms.  Lanier’s message could not be more urgent.


3. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

This novel discusses how the human thought has been shaped for centuries by tools such as maps, clocks and computers. Carr includes fascinating neuroscience research that has proven that the way we use technology- storing and sharing- can literally rewire our brain pathways. Instead of focusing and examining, the Internet has trained us to scan and skim. Consequently, it appears that we are losing our ability to reflect and concentrate.


4. Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal

McGonigal is a visionary game designer who’s mission is to produce games to boost world happiness. Instead of using games to escape, McGonigal wants to harness the power of games to fix what is wrong with our social world- medical issues such as depression and obesity, even tackling global issues like climate change. By introducing the world to cutting edge games that are already changing our world, her hope is that the future will be lead by those          who understand and play games


5. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by Danah Boyd

Youth culture and technology expert Danah Boyd discusses the truth behind teens and their social media use. She explores topics from identity to privacy, as well as dangers such as cyberbullying. This book argues that our society has failed our youth by not preparing them to be engaged citizens through their internet use. Boyd finds that teens often manage to form an identity through online engagement. With more than a decade of original fieldwork, the book concludes that kids are actually on the right track but acknowledging  life in a technological era is complicated.


6. Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) by Lenore Skenazy

After the uproar from parent groups, bloggers, and the media about Lenore Skenazy allowing her 9 year old to ride the subway alone in NYC, her book became a national movement. In today’s age, Skenazy says, parents see any risk as a fartoo large of a risk.  Parents must realize that the biggest danger for a child is growing up without choice or independence.


7. How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kids for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims

Julie Lythcott, as a mother and student dean herself, shows how overparenting can harm children, their parents and society as a whole. Engaging in conversations with admission advisors and educators, Lythcott offers an alternative strategy that allows kids to make mistakes and to develop their own determination for success. This book is a call to produce generations that can take control of their own lives with complete confidence.


8. The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us by Nicholas Carr

Nicholas Carr explores the hidden costs of technology domination over our work and lives. Carr dives into psychological and neurological studies that demonstrate how people’s happiness and satisfaction are tied to performing in the real world. The book reveals how shifting our world to computer screens produces a generation that is disconnected. Carr cites some of the latest research to show how technology can be used not to expand, rather than diminish, human experience.


9. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle

Turkle, a psychologist and professor at M.I.T. uses her fascinating qualitiative research findings to explorehow we interact with social robots, social media, and other forms of technology.  She explores how the concept of the self is being altered by technology, sometimes in alarming ways. She suggests that the development of healthy, need-satisfying relationships are being compromised in the digital age.


10. Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong by Patrick Markey and Christopher Ferguson

Today millions of children are living in virtual words though violent video games such as Call of Duty, Halo, and Grand Theft Auto. These violent games have been targeted as the influence for society’s great evils. But In Moral Combat, psychologist Markey and Ferguson investigate how video games can have a positive impact on social skills, stress, and even moral sensitivity.


11. iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us by Jean Twenge

Renowned psychologist and author of Generation Me, explains how young adults born in the mid-1990s (iGen) are seperate from the Millennial, as they have spent their entire life in the age of technology. Could this explain why iGen is experiencing rising levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness? With iGen being the leaders of the future, it is vital to understand this generation, unlike any other.


12. Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Nicholas Carr compels us to question if our technological future is truly a positive thing after all. Utopia Is Creepy questions how technology affects our relationships, political discourse, and more though science and sociological findings.


13. The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson

Neuropsychiatrist, Daniel Siegel, and parenting expert, Tina Bryson, present a revolutionary approach to help foster healthy brain development that lead to healthier, happier kids. With twelve key strategies, The Whole-Brain Child will help you explore everyday parenting ideas that foster growth for a balanced, meaningful child-parent relationship.


14. No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson

Neuropsychiatrist, Daniel Siegel, and parenting expert, Tina Bryson explain how to reach your child though instruction and not reprimanding. With their advice, you will help your child redirect emotions and help overcome meltdowns. Learn to master the best methods to navigate behavioral learning experiences with your children.


15. Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel Siegel

Siegel challenges popular misconceptions about teenager’s active and evolving brains. Brainstorm offers tools to help guide your teenager to healthy, happy, and involved relationships. Finally understand the depth and spirit of today’s teenagers though Siegel’s professional insight.


16. For Parents and Teenagers: Dissolving the Barrier Between You and Your Teen by William Classer

Therapist, William Classer, teaches strategies that offer a different approach to parenting teens. For Parents and Teenagers lays out several deadly habits that parents practice and how these goals can be accomplished though changing parent’s behavior. Overall, Classer helps build strong relationships full of love and respect between parents and children.