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Social Media and You:  Who’s in Charge?



Suggested Readings on Social Media Topics - Annotations are from Libraries and Amazon.


Abelson, Hal, Ken Ledeen and Harry Lewis.  Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty and Happiness after the Digital Explosion. 2008.

This is one of those books that will change the way you look at the world, or at least, your computer (which, as you'll learn, might be a lot more of the world than you think!). In a very readable prose, the authors explain how the world is fundamentally different now that so much information -- so many bits -- is being generated, monitored, and stored about nearly everything we do. The book covers not just how the internet  actually works but also weaves together many applicable examples from the worlds of commerce, entertainment, government, and law.
 It is one of those books that will cause you to share what you just read with whomever happens to be in the room, as it is filled with many gee-whiz moments. A great read.  


Aiken, Mary. The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behavior Changes Online.  2016

A groundbreaking exploration of how cyberspace is changing the way we think, feel and behave.

Ash, Timothy Garton. Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016.


Its companion web site is:   

These explore the complex and multifaceted free speech issues posed by social media. 

Bryfonski, Dedria. The Global Impact of Social Media. 2012.


Presents a collection of essays looking at social media services and their effects, including how they influence popular opinion, their censorship, and their potential.

Chomsky, Noam.  Interview. “Considering the Public Relations Industry and Social Media.”  

Dewey, Caitlin.  “The Surprising Truth about how Twitter Has Changed Your Brain.”

The Washington Post.  3/21/2016.

Elizabeth, Jane. “Fact Checkers: How to Improve Your Skills in Accountability Journalism.”    


American Press Institute.   


Gillin, Paul.  The New Influencers:  A Marketer's Guide to the New Social Media. Sanger, CA: Quill Driver Books, 2007.

Exploring how and why online forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs have gained such popularity--and credibility--with consumers.

Heffernan, Virginia. Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art.  Simon & Schuster, 2015.


Virginia Heffernan (called one of the “best living writers of English prose”) reveals the logic and aesthetics behind the Internet. Since its inception, the Internet has morphed from merely an extension of traditional media into its own full-fledged civilization. It is among mankind’s great masterpieces— ting place. But its deep logic, its cultural potential, and its societal impact often elude us. In this deep and thoughtful book,

Virginia Heffernan presents an original and far-reaching analysis of what the Internet isand does.
-----. “The Internet as Art, a Manifesto.”

Hess, Amanda. “Popular Nobodies: A Celebrity Underclass Is Now Feeding the Gossip Machine.” New York Times, 9/1/2016.

Marciniak, Kristin. Social Media: 12 Things You Need to Know. 2016.

Tech Smarts presents 12 interesting, relevant technology-use topics. With a question-and-answer format, each book provides the basics you need to know to be a smart consumer of media and technology today.

Mogolov, Lisa Scanlon. “Get with the Programming.” Wellesley Alumnae Magazine. Winter, 2016. How one women’s college has designed its tech-education curriculum.

O'Connor, Rory.  Friends, Followers, and the Future: How Social Media Are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2012.

Rushkoff.  Douglas. Generation Like. PBS 2014. [DVD].

FRONTLINE correspondent Douglas Rushkoff explores how the perennial teen quest for identity and connection has migrated to social media, and exposes the game of cat-and-mouse that corporations are playing with these young consumers. Here is a powerful examination of the evolving and complicated relationship between teens     and the companies that are increasingly working to target them.

Wortham, Jenna. “Black Tweets Matter.” Smithsonian, September 2016

Readings Suggested by Presenters

Back, Mitja D., Juliane M. Stopfer, Simine Vazire, Sam Gaddis, Stefan C. Schmukle, Boris Egloff and Samuel D. Gosling.

“Facebook Profiles Reflect Actual Personality, Not Self-Idealization.” Psychological Science, March 2010 21: 372-374, first published on January  29, 2010 doi: 10.1177/0956797609360756

Barberá, Pablo, John T. Jost, Jonathan Nagler, Joshua A. Tucker, and Richard Bonneau.


“Tweeting From Left to Right: Is Online Political Communication More Than an Echo Chamber?” Psychological Science, October 2015 26: 1531-1542, first published on August 21, 2015 doi:10.1177/0956797615594620

Manning, Charlene. “Communicating with the Millennial Generation.” IConnects%20Presentations/Communicating%20with%20the%20Millennial%20Generati on.pdf

Nadkarni, Ashwini, and Stefan G. Hofmann. "Why Do People Use Facebook?”


Personality and Individual Differences 52, no. 3 (2012): 243-249.

Pew Research Center, August 2016, “Social Media Conversations about Race”


Available at:

May 2016, “News Use across Social Media Platforms 2016”


at social-media-and- news_FINAL-1.pdf

Seidman, Gwendolyn. "Self-presentation and Belonging on Facebook: How Personality Influences Social Media Use and Motivations."


Personality and Individual Differences 54, no.3 (2013): 402-407.

Steinfield, Charles, Nicole B. Ellison, and Cliff Lampe. "Social Capital, Self-esteem, and Use of Online Social Network Sites: A Longitudinal Analysis."


Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 29, no. 6 (2008): 434-445.

The Center for Media and Social Impact’s 2015 report “Beyond the Hashtags: #Ferguson, #Blacklivesmatter, and the Online Struggle for Offline Justice.”

Wilson, Robert E., Samuel D. Gosling, and Lindsay T. Graham. "A Review of Facebook Research in  the Social Sciences." 


Perspectives on Psychological Science 7, no. 3 (2012): 203-220.


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