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Digital Vertigo

How Today's Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


"Digital Vertigo provides an articulate, measured, contrarian voice against a sea of hype about social media. As an avowed technology optimist, I'm grateful for Keen who makes me stop and think before committing myself fully to the social revolution." —Larry Downes, author of The Killer App

In Digital Vertigo, Andrew Keen presents today's social media revolution as the most wrenching cultural transformation since the Industrial Revolution. Fusing a fast-paced historical narrative with front-line stories from today's online networking revolution and critiques of "social" companies like Groupon, Zynga and LinkedIn, Keen argues that the social media transformation is weakening, disorienting and dividing us rather than establishing the dawn of a new egalitarian and communal age. The tragic paradox of life in the social media age, Keen says, is the incompatibility between our internet longings for community and friendship and our equally powerful desire for online individual freedom. By exposing the shallow core of social networks, Andrew Keen shows us that the more electronically connected we become, the lonelier and less powerful we seem to be.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 19, 2012 – With Jeremy Bentham s Panopticon in mind, self-appointed tech Anti-Christ Keen (The Cult of the Amateur) presents his deepest Orwellian pessimism of a socially-mediated future and laments an increasing lack of privacy as Facebook, Twitter, and a dizzying array of wannabes come to dominate our interconnected world. Unfortunately, his obsession with privacy and authority blinds him to real problems of media illiteracy or a dearth of truly public space. A public figure with more than 11,000 Twitter followers, Keen also seems to miss the point that one can opt out of social media entirely, while his alarmist stance willfully ignores their potential benefits. His inherently conservative, fearful position is constructed upon a foundation of fallacies, strawman arguments, and a woefully inadequate understanding of basic sociology. He also tends to pass off assumptions as fact and make claims to universality that are questionable at best. Even Keen s appeals to some static ideal of personhood and human-ness that is being erased betray an ignorance of modern psychology or neuroscience. This is not to say that social media is without problems or above criticism, but those leveled here make it difficult to see the book as more than paranoid technophobia.

Customer Reviews

Could've been shorter

Author could have driven his points in under 30 pages.

Digital Vertigo
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Business & Personal Finance
  • Published: May 22, 2012
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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