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Alexandra Samuel

Alexandra Samuel is a technology writer, researcher and speaker. She is the author of Work Smarter with Social Media (Harvard Business Review Press, 2015), and is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and The Wall Street Journal. Alex holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University and a B.A. from Oberlin College. You can find her on Twitter as @awsamuel and on her own site, alexandrasamuel.com.

Homura Akemi fandom

3 Questions to Ask About Online Fandom (and Teen Fans)

The internet has played a large role in fostering intense fan communities. But are these high-octane, super-specific interests healthy? Or...interesting?
Mechanical Turk

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has Reinvented Research

Online services like Amazon's "Mechanical Turk" have ushered in a golden age in survey research. But is it ethical for researchers to use them?
Congress internet facebook

What Congress Should Know About the Internet

Facebook's privacy and ad preferences settings are a privacy placebo: they trick us into feeling a little better, but they don't treat the underlying disease.
Deleting Facebook

Why Deleting Facebook isn’t the Answer to Data-Driven Targeting

We have to become smarter news and advertising consumers, and learn to resist the unceasing stream of slanted messages that come our way.
Newspaper boxes

To Save Congress, Restore Local News

Since Donald Trump was elected, national news stories dominate our attention and our social media feeds—at the expense of local news.
Teenagers texting

What Parkland Tells us About Teens and Social Media

While America’s parents have been wringing their hands over online safety, kids have steadily taken to social media, smartphones, and other digitally-enabled technologies to seek and promote their physical safety.
Email friendship

How Facebook Revived the Epistolary Friendship

Would today's online, social media-based friendships look familiar to the letter-writing friends of earlier centuries, when epistolary friendships were also common?
Selfie in Paris

What to Do When Social Media Inspires Envy

In the case of envy, social media works in three closely related ways: by increasing proximity, by eliminating encapsulation and by rejecting concealment.
Dating algorithm

How to Build the Netflix of Love

There's no shortage of online dating sites and apps. But there’s one common problem with these services: they’re all looking at the wrong data. Dating apps should take a hint from Netflix's algorithm.
Woman using computer in the 1970s

Better Writing Begins with the Right Tools

Word processing software has not only changed the way we write; it's changed the way we read. It pays to think about what we want from our writing tools.
Online distress

The Internet Needs a “Handle With Care” Protocol

Emotion can be difficult to parse online. Why not adopt a common protocol that lets our fellow internet citizens know our emotional state?
technology gift

What Gift-Giving Research Tells Us About Giving Tech Gadgets

Whatever the gift, it’s worth stopping to think about how much we really want to entangle our gift-giving with the digital realm.
Charlie Rose Louis C.K. Kevin Spacey

#MeToo and the New Era of Internet Celebrity

We may want to support the #MeToo victims, but many of us also feel allegiance to our favorite celebrity. And the internet is at the heart of that dynamic.
Librarian computer lab

How Librarians Can Be Digital Mentors for Teens

The role of librarians, archivists, media trainers, and other information professionals in fostering a healthy digital world for the next generation.
speech bubbles me too

Finding the Words We Need to Talk About Sexual Assault and Harassment

"Me too." As the conversation around sexual assault has spread, it's become clear that not everybody is prepared to talk about such a difficult issue.
Facebook Thumbs Down

Can We Build a Better Facebook?

Is it time to turn our back on Facebook? And if so, what social network could possibly replace it?
Star Trek: Discovery

What Star Trek: Discovery Can Tell Us About Tech and Social Progress

What makes Star Trek essential for any contemporary tech user is its role in helping us understand our relationship to technology.
frame capture

Facing Ourselves Online

The photographic pressure to curate our faces is inextricable from the online pressure to curate our lives; to present and perform.
Hurricane Harvey

Does the Internet Help or Harm Our Ability to Weather Natural Disasters?

Does our technology help us deal with disaster? Or does it put us at risk by creating the illusion that we are immune from disaster?
Mother and daughter using smartphone

6 Ways to be a Digital Mentor to Your Kids

What’s involved in being a digital mentor? People have been asking me various version of this question in ...

Yes, Smartphones Are Destroying a Generation, But Not of Kids

Why parents need to embrace our role as digital mentors: offering kids and teens ongoing support and guidance in how to use the internet appropriately.
Be Here Now

The End of “Here And Now”

Thanks to the miracle of contemporary connectivity, I can be here, in one place physically, another place mentally, still others visually or financially.
Too Many Tabs

Browser Tab Clutter Is The New Hoarding

How having a million browser tabs open is akin to hoarding...and a couple ways you can clean up this particular kind of digital clutter.
Whole Foods

Eat the Rich: What Amazon and Whole Foods Tell Us about Internet-Era Eating

The internet has already transformed how Americans eat; the Amazon/Whole Foods deal is just the culmination of this transformation.
LGBTQ Pride Online

9 Reasons for the LGBTQ Community to Take Pride Online

Today, gay teens don't have to feel alone because the internet makes it possible to connect with other LGBTQ people all over the world. Right?