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Unlocked

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349432939

Price: £16.99

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‘A welcome counterpoint to the technopanic that screen time is causing a mental health crisis’ Bruce Hood


‘A rare mix of trustworthy science, practical advice, and human stories … I’m going to recommend it to all the parents I know, and keep it handy for reference next time I see a scary headline about how technology is ruining our lives’ Timandra Harkness

Most of us spend a significant part of the day in front of a screen. Our work and social lives play out through our computers, tablets and phones: on email, social media, video conference calls and gaming servers. But what is all this screen time doing to our health, our sleep, and our relationships?

Professor Pete Etchells studies the way we use screens, and how they can affect us. In UNLOCKED, he delves into the real science behind the panic about our alleged device addiction and withering attention spans. Armed with the latest research, he reveals how little we have to fear, and the great deal we have to gain, by establishing a more positive relationship with our screens. That begins with asking ourselves some essential questions about how we use them.

Instead of clamouring for us to ditch our devices (before guiltily returning to the same old habits), UNLOCKED is a sustainable, realistic and vital guide to transforming our connection with technology.

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Reviews

Don't Panic! Written from a personal yet rigorous scientific perspective, Etchells' new book is a welcome counterpoint to the technopanic that screen time is causing a mental health crisis. If there are issues, he argues, then we need to ask better questions
Bruce Hood, Professor of Developmental Psychology at Bristol University and author of THE DOMESTICATED BRAIN, THE SELF ILLUSION and THE SCIENCE OF HAPPINESS
UNLOCKED is a rare mix of trustworthy science, practical advice, and human stories. Pete Etchells shares some very personal moments from his own life that illuminate his point: that it's a mistake to examine social media, or any of the technology we use, out of its human context. Thoroughly, and sometimes critically, examining all the research on screen time, Professor Etchells doesn't dismiss all worries about its effects, especially on children and teenagers, but he does offer well-founded reassurance, alongside tips for taking back control of our devices. This doesn't make it a dry read though - often funny, and occasionally heartbreaking, I read it in one go, with hardly even a break to check my smartphone! I'm going to recommend it to all the parents I know, and keep it handy for reference next time I see a scary headline about how technology is ruining our lives.
Timandra Harkness, broadcaster, statistician and author of TECHNOLOGY IS NOT THE PROBLEM
Punctures some of the most pernicious myths about our smartphone and screen-dominated lives, while offering good advice about how to improve the time we spend with screens ... a must-read. Its light prose adds a breezy style that mirrors the upside of similar books, while avoiding their downside by staying with the evidence ... UNLOCKED is like a good podcast or popular science radio or TV series: weighty, chummy, quirky and charming. It is also a corrective, providing a realistic tonic amid the doom and gloom. Above all, it is important. Etchells has benefited from his book being released at a time when smartphone and social media 'addiction' is being blamed for a multitude of social evils and tragedies ... But canny politicians (and the public) would do better to read UNLOCKED'
Chris Stokel-Walker, New Scientist