Members in the Media
From: The Atlantic

The Cost of Engaging With the Miserable

Every morning, I wake up and grab my doom machine. My phone is a piece of revolutionary technology that puts the entire world a scroll away, its every pixel an industrial miracle. It’s also a cataclysm-delivery device.

I roll over and click the blue “f” logo to watch older friends and relatives grow angry and entrenched in their politics. I click on Twitter and drown in a torrent of terrible news delivered by shouting messengers. On apps like Citizen, push alerts warn me of violence and petty crimes happening right now in my area, while neighborhood narcs and NIMBYs feud and name-call on Nextdoor.

On the doom machine, feeling helpless and hopeless is easier than ever. Our politics, institutions, and reality itself seem fractured. Perhaps the only salve is to fight on the doom machine over who’s to blame. Inevitably, this makes us feel worse instead of better. So why do we keep doing it? It seems that many of the extremely online are drawn to the doom, and that should make us concerned about the health and future of our public digital spaces.

Read the whole story (subscription may be required): The Atlantic

More of our Members in the Media >

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.