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Business & Economics General

The Internet Trap

Five Costs of Living Online

by (author) Ashesh Mukherjee

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2018
General, General, Social Aspects, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2018
    List Price

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Whether we are checking emails, following friends on Facebook and Twitter, catching up on gossip from TMZ, planning holidays on TripAdvisor, arranging dates on, watching videos on Youtube, or simply browsing for deals on Amazon, the internet pervades our professional and personal environments. The internet has revolutionized our lives, but at what cost?

In The Internet Trap, Ashesh Mukherjee uses the latest research in consumer psychology to highlight five hidden costs of living online: too many temptations, too much information, too much customization, too many comparisons, and too little privacy. The book uses everyday examples to explain these costs including how surfing the internet anonymously can encourage bad behavior, using social media can make us envious and unhappy, and doing online research can devalue the product finally chosen. The book also provides actionable solutions to minimize these costs. For example, the book reveals how deciding not to choose is as important as deciding what to choose, setting up structural barriers to temptation can reduce overspending on e-commerce websites, and comparisons with others on social media websites needs to be cold rather than hot. The Internet Trap provides a new perspective on the dark side of the internet, and gives readers the tools to become smarter users of the internet.

About the author

Ashesh Mukherjee is an associate professor of marketing in the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University.

Ashesh Mukherjee's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Five traps to watch out for relate to temptation, information, customization, comparison, and privacy … How can traps be avoided? Mukherjee says an occasional "internet detox" may be in order … Recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, researchers/faculty, and practitioners."

Choice Vol 55:12: August 2018