[S.I.] : Hachette Book Group, 2019.
At the crossroads between THE SHALLOWS and NUDGE, HIVEMIND is a provocative exploration of our ultrasocial selves during a challenging era. We have always been a remarkably social species - our moods, ideas, and even our perceptions of reality effortlessly synchronize. The advent of social media and smartphones has amplified these tendencies in ways that spell both promise and peril. Tribes can coalesce around any topic, belief structure, or shared experience. This in-group bonding can be positive, as in the case of crowd funded campaigns to support natural disaster victims, but it can also send us down a path of echo chambers and political polarization and conspiracy theories. Leading a narrative journey from a New England apiary to Charlottesville, from zombies to casinos to the boardrooms of Facebook, Cavanagh leaves no stone unturned in her quest to understand how social technology is reshaping our collective selves - and what we can do to come back from the polarized brink. Our emotions and decisions are tremendously influenced by the stories told by our self-selected communities, the narratives that shape our reality. Cavanagh's fascinating book samples work from as divergent fields as neuroscience and speculative fiction to find ways to cut through our online tribalism and move us back to the larger world. With compelling storytelling and shocking research, Hivemind is a must read for anyone struggling to make sense of the dissonance around us.
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