Untangling the Web: What the Internet Is Doing to You is officially available in all good book shops today, both the digital and the bricks ‘n mortar variety. It’s been an adventure across TV, my MSc and PhD research, print and online journalism and radio, digging through decades of research in order to understand the true effects of the Web on our social and psychological lives.
I’m hugely proud of the book, which was – as everything in life is – a team effort. I would not have been possible without the help, advice and support of the following folks (from the book’s Acknowledgements):
This book is the product of thirteen years of research, as a journalist and as an academic. The chapters have appeared, some in more similar guises than others, in The Observer, The Guardian, on the BBC website, on BBC2’s The Virtual Revolution, on Radio 4’s Digital Human, on the Digital Media and Learning blog and in The Political Quarterly. Some had their first iterations as lectures at the University of Glasgow, the London School of Economics, University of Oxford, University of Nottingham, The Economist, Google, the Royal Institution and the Internet Advertising Bureau. Most importantly to my personal sense of completion, several chapters have been adapted from my PhD.
Therefore, it is unsurprising that there are many people who contributed to these pages. I’d like to thank my editors Charles Arthur, Caspar Llewellyn-Smith, Killian Fox, Ian Tucker and Phil Daoust for harnessing my verbosity, my research supervisors Julie Barnett and Evanthia Lyons for keeping me on target, my parents Danuta, Wojciech and Judy for their continuing and enduring support, my friends Amber Templemore-Finlayson, Devina Sivagurunathan, Marie Campbell, Kate Bevan, Sam Pinney, Denise Hanrahan, Roslyn Smith and Kaitlin Thaney for reading early versions of these chapters, and Gregor and Ally McMurtrie for the loan of their home in idyllic Findochty, Scotland to hammer out draft two, and Ben Hammersley for helping me cross the finish line.
Please don’t forget to dive into the Untangling the Web blog to learn more more more about all the topics I covered in the book. And do read The Observer columns that were the kernel, just to see how they evolved from one dead tree format to another.