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Publisher's Summary

A penetrating examination of the insidious effects of the Internet on our personalities - online and off.
Whether sharing photos or following financial markets, many of us spend a shocking amount of time online. While the Internet can enhance well-being, Elias Aboujaoude has spent years treating patients whose lives have been profoundly disturbed by it. Part of the danger lies in how the Internet allows us to act with exaggerated confidence, sexiness, and charisma. This new self, which Aboujaoude dubs our "e-personality", manifests itself in every curt email we send, Facebook "friend" we make, and "buy now" button we click. Too potent to be confined online, however, e-personality traits seep offline, too, making us impatient, unfocused, and urge-driven, even after we log off.
Virtually You uses examples from Aboujaoude's personal and professional experience to highlight this new phenomenon. The first scrutiny of the virtual world's transformative power on our psychology, Virtually You shows us how real life is being reconfigured in the image of a chat room, and how our identity increasingly resembles that of our avatar.
©2011 Elias Aboujaoude, MD (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Instantly engaging and eminently accessible, Aboujaoude offers an enlightening and cautionary exploration of an increasingly intrusive aspect of modern society." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Roy on 03-02-11

Very Informative

The internet has infiltrated every aspect of our lives and we can no longer ignore it or get on without it. Reading everything I can find on the relationships between the internet and its impact on people behaviorally and psychology, I added Elias Aboujaoude’s “Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality” to the stack. I have been pleasantly surprised by the volume and greatly rewarded for reading it. A psychiatrist, Aboujaoude aptly relates what is known about the effects of the internet on behavior and presents it in a way easily accessed by anyone. This is the first volume that I have come across that discusses, for example, the difference between the personalities and identities of persons deeply experiencing virtual environments. Psychological implications are covered from a number of perspectives. Aboujaoude admits that the internet and our “virtual selves” are here to stay. His book cautions readers to pay attention to the implications of these new relationships. This book is well written, an excellent orientation, and the reading of Teddy Canez is excellent. The only caution I would add is that this literature is nascent and formative in nature. Aboujaoude tells you what you need to know at this point. I hope he will follow up with other books and writings soon.

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17 of 19 people found this review helpful


By SAMA on 07-19-11

Fear Mongering Book

This is one of the few books I had to force myself to listen to after the first chapter. It feels like a Luddite talking about how the Internet and everything related to it, from the iPhone to Facebook to Second Life to emails etc.

What I take from this book is the author looking down at Internet users, talking about virtual personalities attacking and taking over our real life personalities. Granted, some people are addicted, but the way the book is written, everyone with a Facebook account might as well be narcissistic, everybody who sends emails might as well be inconsiderate jerks and everybody who reads news online is isolated.

Full of outlier stories, the book speaks of addicts and socially troubled people in such ways as to make people believe that everybody online has psychological problems. Save your credit.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 04-25-11

Great book, lost a star for narration

This is a really interesting book from someone who has clearly thought a lot about the subject. It's just a shame it appears to be narrated by a robot. Seriously, when I first started playing it, I thought they had used a computer and synthesised words, which I suppose would fit with the topic.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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