Social media may be bad for us, just not in the way most people think

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“The Social Dilemma”

Late last month I started getting emails from students in my media psychology classes. Had I seen The Social Dilemma, the new Netflix documentary on social media? And if so, what did I think?

I hadn’t seen it, having let my Netflix account lapse, but I gave them some general advice: documentaries chase their own version of clickbait audience engagement and generally are poor sources of information. Typically, they exaggerate the significance of a topic to score dramatic points. Few documentaries find success arguing that some factor or other is a tiny issue we shouldn’t worry about too much but might want to keep an eye on. …


I think you make my point for me sir with your language. You have a nice day.


We need a language of inclusion, not polarization, to move forward with racial progress

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(Getty)

Remember the halcyon days when the election of Barack Obama as America’s first African-American president in 2008 led many to believe that the United States was on the threshold of a post-racial period — a genuinely colorblind society in which people, be they black, white, or any other color, would not be judged on the basis of race or ethnicity? To be sure, such a vision may have been too optimistic, born perhaps from a desire for America to extricate itself from the original sin of slavery. After all, racist groups still existed; Obama himself was the target of racist conspiracy theories, including “birtherism” promoted by our current president; and, for all the progress made since the civil rights era, significant racial disparities in education, employment, and treatment by the criminal justice system remained. …


There’s no good evidence video games increase aggression

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(Getty)

As with past moral panics regarding rock music, comic books, or Dungeons & Dragons, it is increasingly clear that video games play little role in violent crime or even prank-level aggressive behaviors. As various studies show, there is no long-term association between aggressive video games and violent crime. If anything, studies suggest that playing popular violent games like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto is associated with reduced crime in society.

Examinations of this issue by the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. School Safety Commission, as well as reviews by the governments of Australia, Sweden, and the U.K., …

About

Christopher J. Ferguson

Psychology Professor by day. D&D hero by night. Author: Suicide Kings, Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong and How Madness Shaped History.

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