Elias Aboujaoude on our e-personalities’ offline effects

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February 22, 2011 · 2 comments

Elias Aboujaoude, a psychiatrist and author based at Stanford University, discusses his new book, Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality. Aboujaoude says that the internet has positive effects, but he’s worried that most of our day-to-day online activities are negatively affecting us. He explains how, in his view, behaviors like compulsive online shopping and angry commenting on blogs is seeping into our offline lives, with profound negative effects. He also talks about why he thinks the internet is different from previous technologies that caused techno-fear, why he thinks it’s often difficult for online norms to develop, and what he thinks proper roles are for medicine, psychiatry, and government in the online sphere.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/nicmart Nicolas Martin

    Aboujaoude is a psychiatrist, which is to say a quack. Much more interesting are the damaging effects of psychiatry on society, which Thomas Szasz has dutifully analyzed for the past 50 years. Aboujaoude is merely doing what psychiatrists do best: pathologize everyday life, and enlarge the range of mental illnesses that keep their incomes high.

  • Unicorn_Lady

    The interviewer is great – first time I have heard him, impressive. The guest is way off in so many of his deductions, in my humble opinion. Many people are, simply, themselves online just as they are offline and there is no dichotomy happening. Instead of looking for ways to improve experiences, the new ‘scientist’ seems to be looking for ways to justify grants for studies.