The Real Reason Social Media Grabs Us


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If social media platforms don’t directly cause polarization, they do, at least, give oxygen to smoldering divisions that can erupt into tragedies like the Myanmar genocide, Brexit, and January 6th. Why is social media so effective at unleashing the worst in us, and how do we break its hold? This episode’s guest, Christopher Bail, pursues those questions as the director of Duke University’s Polarization Lab. He’s also the author of Breaking the Social Media Prism, which was named one of the top five non-fiction books of 2021. Chris and host Eric Schurenberg discuss the role of status-seeking on social media, the personality types most susceptible to online radicalization, and an intriguing experimental platform his team designed that actually encouraged civil discourse.

19 episodes