A Consumer’s Guide to Information: How to Avoid Losing Your Mind on the Internet is about how to use the basic critical thinking skills that I teach every day to navigate the onslaught of information brought to us by the internet and our mobile devices.
The book, published December 17, 2016, was inspired primarily by the recent Stanford study about the difficulty young people have distinguishing fake news from real. This reflects problems I see in my students every day, but in many other places, too. There is increasing awareness about fake news and viral guides to avoiding it, but I believe the problem is a much wider one, where many of us (not just young people!) have trouble navigating the constantly changing landscape of the information revolution we’re just beginning to recognize is moving the earth beneath our feet.
The book is about spotting fake news, but also problems in real news and weaknesses in articles presenting opinion and analysis. It’s about interacting with people online productively and safely. It’s about not getting conned, and keeping our sanity. I believe that all these skills are interrelated, and that as important as it is to realize how much of what we see online is “fake,” it’s much more important to think critically about all the ways we process information.
Please check it out, and if you like it, recommend it to your friends! Share widely! Now available for Kindle from Amazon, and in all ebook formats from Smashwords.com. Distribution to most other ebook vendors and a paperback edition will appear soon. See my blog or like the book on Facebook for updates.