It’s no secret that social media’s influence on us is designed to be invisible. It can tell whatever story it wants, affecting not only what you think but how you think—and ultimately how you behave in the world.
So how do we thwart the algorithmic overlords from abusing the infrastructure that is beginning to rule the world?
Here to help us unpack these important ideas is Max Fisher, a New York Times investigative reporter, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and author of a brand new, vitally important book entitled, The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World—a referendum on Big Tech and the social media platforms that have come to monopolize our attention, foment division and fracture our world.
I’ve become increasingly convinced that the impact of social media and technology on our lives and the lives of our children is one of the great existential threats to social cohesion, and today Max and I go deep on all ways these platforms are turning society against itself—and what you can do to insulate yourself.
“Social media acts like a drug and people should think of it as one.”
– MAX FISHER
This conversation covers Max’s journey to reporting on social media and politics, the specific ways social media changes its users’ morality, and how algorithms can make users more prone to violence.
We also dive into cutting-edge research on how social media inculcates a super-exaggerated feeling of outrage and intolerance, making users more likely to believe misinformation and the complicated role of free speech in it all.
Finally, we discuss the implications of data harvesting human behavior—and why social media addiction is so terrifying.
This is an admittedly scary but crucial conversation about how social media’s reach and impact run far deeper than we have previously understood.
I hope you learn as much as I did—and adjust your screen time accordingly.
Peace + Plants,
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- Connect with Max: Twitter
- Book: The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World
- New York Times: Max Fisher
- New York Times: The Interpreter
- New York Times: How Social Media Influences Our Behavior, and Vice Versa
- New York Times: Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech
- Publisher’s Weekly: The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World
- Kirkus: The Chaos Machine
- The Verge: YouTube’s recommendations pushed election denial content to election deniers
- Journal of Online Trust & Safety: Election Fraud, YouTube, and Public Perception of the Legitimacy of President Biden
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