How does social media affect it?


Social media impacts society in several ways, particularly contributing to polarization, impacting mental health, and altering journalistic practices.

  1. Polarization and Crisis: According to , social media creates a sense of permanent crisis and alarm, which can contribute to polarization. It provides an echo chamber where users continually see content that confirms their beliefs, which can lead individuals to the edge of panic, affecting their perception of reality 1.

  2. Journalistic Impact: Social media has changed journalism by creating platforms where journalists share and argue over stories. This has a dual effect of demystifying journalism and fostering groupthink among journalists. However, it also acts as a forum that can deepen journalist interactions and peer engagement 1.

  3. Mental Health: Social media increases feelings of loneliness and anxiety, particularly among teenagers, according to . It offers a platform for "social snacking" — lightweight, digital socialization that doesn’t satisfy human needs for deep social interaction, increasing psychological distress 2.

  4. Addictive Qualities: notes that social media is designed to be highly addictive, engaging parts of the brain that make users reluctant to disengage. This can lead to sleep disturbances, reduced physical activity, and less meaningful social interactions 3.

    Social Media Impact

    Ross discusses the deranging effect of social media on journalism, highlighting how it perpetuates a sense of crisis and alarm. He reflects on the challenges of reassuring non-journalistic circles amidst constant panic-inducing news and groupthink dynamics among journalists on platforms like Twitter.

    Conversations with Tyler

    Ross Douthat on Narrative and Religion (Live at Mason) | Conversations with Tyler

These experts outline a range of effects of social media from altering public discourse and journalism to impacting psychological well-being.