Keep Calm and Log On
Your Handbook for Surviving the Digital Revolution
368 pp., 7 x 9 in, 78 b&w illus.
- Published: April 14, 2020
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Published: March 20, 2020
- Publisher: The MIT Press
How to survive the digital revolution without getting trampled: your guide to online mindfulness, digital self-empowerment, cybersecurity, creepy ads, trustworthy information, and more.
Feeling overwhelmed by an avalanche of online content? Anxious about identity theft? Unsettled by the proliferation of fake news? Welcome to the digital revolution. Wait—wasn't the digital revolution supposed to make our lives better? It was going to be fun and put the world at our fingertips. What happened? Keep Calm and Log On is a survival handbook that will help you achieve online mindfulness and overcome online helplessness—the feeling that tech is out of your control—with tips for handling cybersecurity, creepy ads, untrustworthy information, and much more.
Taking a cue from the famous World War II morale-boosting slogan (“Keep Calm and Carry On”), Gus Andrews shows us how to adapt the techniques our ancestors used to survive hard times, so we can live our best lives online. She explains why media and technology stress us out, and offers empowering tools for coping. Mindfulness practices can help us stay calm and conserve our attention purposefully. Andrews shares the secret of understanding our own opinions'' “family trees” in order to identify misleading “fake news.” She provides tools for unplugging occasionally, overcoming feelings that we are “bad at technology,” and taking charge of our security and privacy. Andrews explains how social media algorithms keep us from information we need and why “creepy ads” seem to follow us online. Most importantly, she urges us to work to rebuild the trust in our communities that the internet has broken.
A refreshing, accessible, and informative primer for the digital revolution.
Meredith Broussard, author of Artificial Unintelligence
Supremely readable and engaging. This book is sure to help readers be more strategic, intentional, and secure in all aspects of their digital lives.
Renee Hobbs, Professor, Harrington School of Communication and Media, University of Rhode Island
Empowering, practical, and profound, Andrews has written the survival manual for our age.
Finn Brunton, Associate Professor, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU; author of Digital Cash
Keep Calm and Log On is a fine collection of digital age skills we all need to equip ourselves with in order to survive and thrive in a world swimming with information.
Dan Gillmor, Cofounder, ASU News Co/Lab, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University
Keep Calm and Log On is pragmatic in its approach, offering appropriate solutions for the problems of contemporary digital media. It is exceptionally valuable.
Robert W. Gehl, Fulbright Canada Research Chair of Communication, Media, and Film, University of Calgary
Though presented as a how-to manual on safe computer and smartphone use targeted to older, tech-phobic users, this essential crash course also has useful guidance on media literacy and critical thinking. Andrews, producer of the YouTube series The Media Show, believes that technological advances, combined with distrust in information and authorities, have overwhelmed users into a “learned helplessness” and made them more susceptible to manipulation. Discussing how to manage one's exposure to digital media and to meaningfully evaluate information, she uses photos from the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, and other historical events as examples of times when communities had to pull together, as she believes everyone must do now in the face of technological change. There is practical, technical help in these pages about online privacy, with details on how to create strong passwords and interact with others safely online, as well as a tools to help readers fact-check information encountered online and understand what kinds of intellectual authority professional qualifications do and don't confer. This should be required reading for both admitted luddites and longtime digital denizens.
Andrews provides a timely handbook for surviving the digital revolution. Readers will learn tips for mindfulness, cybersecurity, and how to determine what information to trust...Readers who are skeptical about “Big Brother watching you” and those who want a safer, more autonomous experience on the web will appreciate this book.
This handbook is crammed with practical information, from understanding bias to figuring out who owns a particular website. Andrews points out that the digital revolution—with its promise of connecting us all, extending access, and generally spreading more fun—often makes us feel more disconnected and proliferates disinformation. Her book is for those of us who feel “bad at” technology, addicted to it, or at a loss for how best to navigate a world dominated by it. She addresses FAQs around privacy, online etiquette, critical thinking, intimate online relationships, and more. Worksheets, practices, advice, and resources for further reading make this guide valuable for anyone who wants to better understand one of the defining revolutions of our time.
An accessible, well structured and often funny cyber-security manual. Let's face it: despite the proliferation of similar digital self-help titles, most are tedious and hard-to-comprehend. This one is different though, because it is fun to read.
"[This book] is likely to help readers feeling powerless in connection with using social media and the web. Even though it was written before the pandemic unfolded, 'Keep Calm and Log On' resonates now with its encouraging and uplifting message."