I knew I was in for an emotional read when I opened the book and stared at the name of the wonderful person it was dedicated to – Amanda Todd.
As a parent I thought I was doing something good for my daughter when I allowed her to begin using a computer when she was three. She took to it fast and loved playing the many educational games I bought her. Soon enough, she was online with her own little farm and friends. I never dreamed such a powerful communication tool could turn out to be as evil as it is good and contribute in such a big way to her ending her life years later.
Raffi does an good job of pulling apart the puzzle of our online lives and puts the pieces back in the places they should have been in all along. This book shouldn’t be missed if you’re a parent trying to navigate your children safely through the world of social media and the deadly monster it can be or if you’re concerned about the world and the impact electronic living has on it.
#lightwebdarkweb is divided into three parts: Safety, Intelligence, and Sustainability. All are interconnected and each comes with it’s own set of issues and problems.
Safety is of course vital for everyone, not just parents, and recent events have highlighted the importance of reforming how we use social media. Governments the world over are scrambling with ways to address the newest disease of cyperbullying. From the the United Kingdom to Japan, we’re trying to find ways to deal with a set of situations many of us couldn’t dream of a few short years ago. Sexting, child pornography by children, unrelenting bullying, and the horrific act of capturing sex crimes with a cellphone camera and sharing it with the world as if the victim meant nothing at all.
The Intelligence section goes into all the details many of us know but don’t talk about. We text it instead. Or share the link, save it as a bookmark for later, sum it up in 140 characters, and “Like” it. We can communicate with the world but are we really saying anything? Has social media made our world smaller or has it made us less intelligent? What impact is it having on our lives when we no longer socialize with others? Raffi’s social media pitfalls list includes dependency, addiction, conversation phobia, lack of exercise, weight gain, anxiety, sleep disruption, pornography, false intimacy, and more.
Before you grab for the newest device, stop and think about the sustainability of the environment and how it’s being effected. This section explores the consequences of iLiving and iSeeking the next fix.
The many dangers in our digital world can spread like a virus and Raffi does us all a service by offering his advice for the cure. Ignoring the impact social media is having on our lives is as irresponsible as letting children play with handguns. Get involved, be involved, stay involved. This book is too important to ignore and the “cost of not reforming social media is to high.”
Raffi sums it all up very nicely: “Compulsive social media use by the young compromises their security, alters their brains, and undermines family time. InfoTech titans sell new tech drugs to ever-dependent buyers. Cyber enthusiasts envision teacherless touch-screen learning as the future of education.”
We are at a crossroads as a civilization. Literally, we are “liking” ourselves to death.