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i-Minds: How Cell Phones, Computers, Gaming, and Social Media Are Changing Our Brains, Our Behavior, and the Evolution of Our Species

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Many of us would no more go out without our cell phone than we would leave the house without clothes. We live our lives on social media, and PDAs, tablets, computers and other devices are completely integrated into our global culture. From connectedness to accessibility and instant access to information, a wealth of benefits accompanies this digital revolution. But what ab Many of us would no more go out without our cell phone than we would leave the house without clothes. We live our lives on social media, and PDAs, tablets, computers and other devices are completely integrated into our global culture. From connectedness to accessibility and instant access to information, a wealth of benefits accompanies this digital revolution. But what about the cost? Weaving together history, popular literature, media and industry hype, sociology and psychology, and observations from over eighteen years of clinical practice and research, Dr. Mari Swingle explores the pervasive influence of i-technology. Engaging and entertaining yet scientifically rigorous, i-Minds demonstrates: How constant connectivity is rapidly changing our brains What dangers are posed to children and adults alike in this brave new world The positive steps we can take to embrace new technology while protecting our well-being and steering our future in a more human direction This extraordinary book is a virtually indispensable look at a revolution where the only constant is change—food for thought about which aspects of technology we should embrace, what we should unequivocally reject, and the many facets of the digital era that we should now be debating. Dr. Mari K. Swingle is a neurotherapist and behavioral specialist who practices at the highly-regarded Swingle Clinic. She holds a BA in Visual Arts, an MA in language education, and an MA and PhD in clinical psychology, and has won numerous awards for her post-doctoral work on the effects of i-technology on brain function.


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Many of us would no more go out without our cell phone than we would leave the house without clothes. We live our lives on social media, and PDAs, tablets, computers and other devices are completely integrated into our global culture. From connectedness to accessibility and instant access to information, a wealth of benefits accompanies this digital revolution. But what ab Many of us would no more go out without our cell phone than we would leave the house without clothes. We live our lives on social media, and PDAs, tablets, computers and other devices are completely integrated into our global culture. From connectedness to accessibility and instant access to information, a wealth of benefits accompanies this digital revolution. But what about the cost? Weaving together history, popular literature, media and industry hype, sociology and psychology, and observations from over eighteen years of clinical practice and research, Dr. Mari Swingle explores the pervasive influence of i-technology. Engaging and entertaining yet scientifically rigorous, i-Minds demonstrates: How constant connectivity is rapidly changing our brains What dangers are posed to children and adults alike in this brave new world The positive steps we can take to embrace new technology while protecting our well-being and steering our future in a more human direction This extraordinary book is a virtually indispensable look at a revolution where the only constant is change—food for thought about which aspects of technology we should embrace, what we should unequivocally reject, and the many facets of the digital era that we should now be debating. Dr. Mari K. Swingle is a neurotherapist and behavioral specialist who practices at the highly-regarded Swingle Clinic. She holds a BA in Visual Arts, an MA in language education, and an MA and PhD in clinical psychology, and has won numerous awards for her post-doctoral work on the effects of i-technology on brain function.

30 review for i-Minds: How Cell Phones, Computers, Gaming, and Social Media Are Changing Our Brains, Our Behavior, and the Evolution of Our Species

  1. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

    Swingle focuses more on childhood development and gaming than the book's title suggests and far less on cell phones and social media, so it did not quite live up to my expectations. The book does offer some interesting neurological insights into the effects of 'i-tech' on our brains and behavior, often paired with eerily familiar descriptions of (anti) social behaviors. But since Swingle is a practicing psychologist, it would be have useful for her to say more about her ideas or techniques for r Swingle focuses more on childhood development and gaming than the book's title suggests and far less on cell phones and social media, so it did not quite live up to my expectations. The book does offer some interesting neurological insights into the effects of 'i-tech' on our brains and behavior, often paired with eerily familiar descriptions of (anti) social behaviors. But since Swingle is a practicing psychologist, it would be have useful for her to say more about her ideas or techniques for resisting the neurological effects of i-tech. She does so a little bit, but tends to focus on how brains are changing and how those changes are manifested in behavior. "I-Minds" is written in an oddly casual tone. The ubiquity of incomplete sentences and single paragraph subsections makes it read more like a series of powerpoint slides than a book. This was often more amusing than annoying, and did make it easier to get the content very quickly. Recommended as a skim-read for parents and others concerned about our rather rapid and thoughtless adoption of digital technologies into every area of our lives.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jina

    I really appreciated the insight this author offered. There were parts of this book that I found really interesting, however I felt like there was a lot of repeated information as well as information I didn’t feel was necessary for this particular title. I worked at a recovery centre for a few months and had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing what addiction can do and the many ways it manifests itself. Technology, like smoking (and sadly, sometimes even drinking), is typically not considered an I really appreciated the insight this author offered. There were parts of this book that I found really interesting, however I felt like there was a lot of repeated information as well as information I didn’t feel was necessary for this particular title. I worked at a recovery centre for a few months and had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing what addiction can do and the many ways it manifests itself. Technology, like smoking (and sadly, sometimes even drinking), is typically not considered an addiction. These are things that are “socially acceptable” to partake in without people thinking you have a problem. Reading this book made me realize I know quite a few people that would be considered addicted to technology. I’m also concerned for my niece who is only just 2 years old and has been handed a smart phone for entertainment since before she could talk. Ultimately, humans need human interaction. We cannot replace such with technology without repercussions - sooner or later.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    As much as I could understand Swingle’s professional bewilderment over the rapid changes at the neurological and societal levels, there seemed to be something off with her defending a child’s right to play and pushing for more authentic parental involvement. It almost feels like her solution to the digital grasp reaching inside our minds is to have a cottage by a lake where all of us could detach from the Internet, grow organic vegetables and perhaps check our inboxes and social media connection As much as I could understand Swingle’s professional bewilderment over the rapid changes at the neurological and societal levels, there seemed to be something off with her defending a child’s right to play and pushing for more authentic parental involvement. It almost feels like her solution to the digital grasp reaching inside our minds is to have a cottage by a lake where all of us could detach from the Internet, grow organic vegetables and perhaps check our inboxes and social media connections for short intervals on a predetermined day each week. The reality is that hardly anyone can achieve this more balanced lifestyle, and the tech industry doesn’t want that to happen despite the millions spent on advertising educational apps and the sunny sense of freedom that comes with owning the latest gadget. Humanity is going through a rough, unpredictable stage of its evolution, and Dr. Mari’s cautionary advice only seems to be adding more fuel to Luddite bonefire.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sam Bregar

    Swingle goes into how technology usage effects both society and individuals. She talks about the robust yet powerfully influencive effect that i-tech has on the youth. In her analysis of i-tech, she moves into more niche specific categories within the broad spectrum such as pornography and video games on youth. This book is easy to follow and hard to put down. I highly suggest anyone to read this as they can learn both about how the technology effects society at large - but also how they can be m Swingle goes into how technology usage effects both society and individuals. She talks about the robust yet powerfully influencive effect that i-tech has on the youth. In her analysis of i-tech, she moves into more niche specific categories within the broad spectrum such as pornography and video games on youth. This book is easy to follow and hard to put down. I highly suggest anyone to read this as they can learn both about how the technology effects society at large - but also how they can be more mindful of their tech usage.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Des

    I am surprised that this book isn't more popular and doesn't have higher ratings, because I find it so informative in this technological age. Indeed, we are in an unprecedented era and many of us are underestimating the impacts of technology, because we think we are too smart to not know, but this book is quick to shatter this delusion. Love it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    A good read to understand how devices and the internet have taken hold of our lives. A must read if there are any infants or young children in your life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Neha Patel

    i-Minds is truly eye-opening. Dr. Mari Swingle provides valid research on how technology can become a hindrance to any age group. I enjoyed the way she made me question popular technological norms in our society today, such as social media, video gaming, and cell phone usage, while still maintaining an objective stance on the topic. One of the most heart-wrenching points of her book is her discussion on the relation of excessive i-tech usage with mental illness. She explains to her readers why a i-Minds is truly eye-opening. Dr. Mari Swingle provides valid research on how technology can become a hindrance to any age group. I enjoyed the way she made me question popular technological norms in our society today, such as social media, video gaming, and cell phone usage, while still maintaining an objective stance on the topic. One of the most heart-wrenching points of her book is her discussion on the relation of excessive i-tech usage with mental illness. She explains to her readers why and how spending significant amounts of time on digital platforms leads to ADHD, OCD, and aggression. She was convincing in her argument merely by her knowledge on the subject and her ability to provide valid evidence to support her claim. This book is a revolution. Through her writing, Dr. Mari Swingle pushes boundaries effectively without pointing fingers at any particular generation. She emphasizes that excessive technological use can put any age group at risk of developing behavioral issues, which is quite original compared to other authors who tend to accuse only the young of using too much i-tech. Dr. Mari Swingle has an extensive background in psychology and has performed electroencephalography (EEG) on numerous patients to make her a solid counselor on the subject. Her findings are truly extraordinary. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone from their teens to the extremely elderly. This book should be required reading simply for its astuteness in addressing a global concern that is unknown to most and could very well prove problematic for our species as a whole. This book is easy to follow and engaging throughout. I have no prior training in psychology, so I was hesitant at first on how well I would understand the author’s theories. However, Dr. Mari Swingle explains all her scientific findings in layman’s terms, so that anyone and everyone can understand her and the results of her research. This book deserves accolades, and I encourage everyone to pick up a copy and read it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    The short version would be 'I can't understand a thing, but I am far from still being 10. So I am going to weave a scare story and maybe together we can make things back like I remember them.' Scary, but very human, this is the personal story of a very frightened person who prefers delirium to learning. This is what cheap education can induce into young people: an irrational scare of anything that involves personal study.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Irene

  10. 4 out of 5

    Florence

  11. 4 out of 5

    Abbey Wilcox

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Bennett

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mags

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hussain

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rob Kall

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ine

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sara Washbush

  18. 4 out of 5

    Toomas Nigola

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jaakko

  20. 4 out of 5

    John

  21. 5 out of 5

    Justin Joyce

  22. 4 out of 5

    Henrik

  23. 4 out of 5

    Magdelanye

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy Dixon

  25. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Gao

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Moore

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathi Cameron

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julian

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