Summary of “The age of envy: how to be happy when everyone else’s life looks perfect”

To explore the role that envy plays in our use of social media, Kross and his team designed a study to consider the relationship between passive Facebook use – “Just voyeuristically scrolling,” as he puts it – and envy and mood from moment to moment.
The results were striking, he says: “The more you’re on there scrolling away, the more that elicits feelings of envy, which in turn predicts drops in how good you feel”.
No age group or social class is immune from envy, according to Andrew.
In her consulting room she sees young women, self-conscious about how they look, who begin to follow certain accounts on Instagram to find hair inspiration or makeup techniques, and end up envying the women they follow and feeling even worse about themselves.
While we are busy finding the perfect camera angle, our lives become a dazzling, flawless carapace, empty inside but for the envy of others and ourselves, in a world where black cats languish in animal shelters because they are not “Selfie-friendly”.
“Envy is wanting to destroy what someone else has. Not just wanting it for yourself, but wanting other people not to have it. It’s a deep-rooted issue, where you are very, very resentful of another person’s wellbeing – whether that be their looks, their position or the car they have. It is silent, destructive, underhand – it is pure malice, pure hatred,” she says.
She believes envy is not innate; that it starts with an experience of early deprivation, when a mother cannot bond with her baby, and that child’s self-esteem is not nourished through his or her life.
Perhaps each of us also needs to think more carefully when we do use social media actively, about what we are trying to say and why – and how the curation of our online personas can contribute to this age of envy in which we live.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Should you delete your social media?”

Should you delete your social media accounts right now? The title of Jaron Lanier’s excellent recent polemic, Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, leaves no doubt which side he’s on.
The thorny issue here – when it comes to whether you, personally, should abandon social media – is that the latter viewpoint has plenty of truth to it, yet also serves as a convenient excuse.
While some people may genuinely face social isolation by deleting Facebook, or professional ruin by leaving LinkedIn, chances are you’re not among them – even if you feel pretty sure you are.
It’s more likely you’re telling yourself that story to spare yourself being deprived of social media’s comfortably sedative effects, and being left alone with your thoughts instead. Of course, that’s easy for me to say.
Sometimes the glib advice it’s easy for columnists to dispense is the right advice for you, even if you’d rather it weren’t.
Every individual-level “Happiness hack”, from digital detoxes to meditation to therapy, is open to the retort that what we really need is a fairer, more humane society – and self-help just serves to make us more accepting of the status quo.
The truth is, you could choose, right now, to jettison social media, or indeed many other unfulfilling aspects of your life.
Even telling yourself you don’t have a choice is a choice.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Dave Rubin and the rise of YouTube’s reactionary right”

A third was to Rebecca Lewis’s new Data & Society report mapping the rise and functioning of YouTube’s “Reactionary right,” which I described as “One of the must underestimated forces in politics right now.”
The coalition being built by that backlash, the coalition Rubin is a part of, is best understood as a reactionary movement because, well, that’s what it is – a movement united by opposition to changes it loathes.
Lewis’s report is trying to map the emergence of a new coalition on the right, one driven by a reactionary impulse and centered on YouTube.
Lewis’s argument, which I agree with, is that the core, unshakable agreement uniting the reactionary right is their intense loathing of “The social justice left,” of political correctness, of threats to free speech as they define it.
Reactionary movements, then and now This brings us to Rubin’s challenge: How can he, or anyone, support same-sex marriage and legal pot and be described as a member of the reactionary right? Rubin is libertarian-ish, and certainly not an establishment Republican, so how could Lewis group him, and others like him, under this label?
Lewis’s interest in Rubin is in the way his show acts as a node between the most respectable side of the YouTube right and its more fringe elements.
My guess is that there are dynamics on the reactionary right that will crack under different political structures.
The new reactionary right is bigger than people realize and is only going to become more important in the future.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tim Wu says the future of humanity depends on design ethics”

How many nights have you stayed up too late because you were scrolling through Instagram or Facebook? It’s not just your lack of self-control: Social media sites are designed to keep you hooked for as long as possible.
According to media scholar Tim Wu, this toxic design conditions us to behave in ways that defy our best interests.
For Wu, who has written extensively about today’s attention economy and how platforms like Facebook and Google make money by aggregating large amounts of attention and selling it to the highest bidder, design is what sets the terms of any online interaction-he calls it the “Agenda-setter.” But instead of helping users achieve their goals, design often is used to exploit their weaknesses.
In particular, are designed to create what he calls “False loops,” where you never reach the end of what you can do on the platform.
What might a design that provides closure look like? Take the world of dating apps.
Instead, designers-and companies-need to put users first and design tools that work for them, not against them.
“Very few things are more important now to the future of humanity than design ethics,” Wu says.
“Design is the determinant, along with your will. But design creates the way you exercise choices.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “America’s Social Infrastructure Is Falling Apart”

A recent study by the Harvard sociologist Mario Small found that a day care center that encouraged parents to walk in and wait for their children, often inside the classroom and generally at the same time, fostered more social connections than one where parents came in on their own schedules and hurried through drop-off and pickup so they could quickly return to their private lives.
It’s extraordinary, Small observed, how quickly parents – even those with different backgrounds – began to trust and support one another when they had a place to gather.
Just as certain hard infrastructures, such as those for power and water, are “Lifeline systems” that make modern societies possible, so too are certain social infrastructures especially crucial for democratic life.
Good schools teach us how to get along; bad schools leave us ill-prepared for the challenges of civic life.
Libraries are not the kinds of institutions that social scientists, policy makers, and community leaders usually bring up when they discuss social capital and how to build it.
They’re among the most critical, and undervalued, forms of social infrastructure that we have.
Whether the libraries I visited were in tony suburbs like Palo Alto, California, cities like Austin, Texas, or small towns like Suffern, New York, I always saw a surprisingly diverse set of people: all ages, different races and ethnicities, a range of social classes and political persuasions.
Spending time in social infrastructures requires learning to deal with these differences in a civil manner.

The orginal article.

Summary of “NPR Choice page”

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Summary of “How to win friends”

What have we done, will my sons start taking spice, why is York obsessed with bubble tea and Harry Potter, where did all these seagulls come from? One that recurs frequently, late at night, as the birds shriek outside my window is: will I make friends here?
“While old friends may link us to happy old memories, they also link us to the bad times. When we move it gives us a chance to ‘start again’, so if there’s a chance old friends will prevent our reinvention, it might feel safer to leave them behind.”
Recent research from the University of Kansas gives an indication of how long it takes to forge friendship bonds: to move from acquaintance to casual friend takes approximately 50 hours of socialising and it takes 200 hours to cement a “Close” friendship.
Science can explain why I need friends, but can it also help me make some? I decided to try applying research findings to improve my friend tally.
Research from America showed that renewing contact with former friends can generate concrete social benefits and is, in the cold language of an academic paper abstract, “Fairly efficient” compared to making new ones.
The classic advice on making friends – join a group doing something you enjoy – is backed by evidence that friends display similar preferences and personality traits, and by research this year demonstrating that friends have similar neural responses to a range of videos.
I don’t feel I deserve new friends until I learn to look after the few I have.
If I were my friends, I’d be sourly sceptical about this miraculous conversion; thankfully, they’re far better friends than I am.

The orginal article.

Summary of “NPR Choice page”

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The orginal article.

Summary of “NPR Choice page”

By choosing “I agree” below, you agree that NPR’s sites use cookies, similar tracking and storage technologies, and information about the device you use to access our sites to enhance your viewing, listening and user experience, personalize content, personalize messages from NPR’s sponsors, provide social media features, and analyze NPR’s traffic.
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The orginal article.

Summary of “NPR Choice page”

By choosing “I agree” below, you agree that NPR’s sites use cookies, similar tracking and storage technologies, and information about the device you use to access our sites to enhance your viewing, listening and user experience, personalize content, personalize messages from NPR’s sponsors, provide social media features, and analyze NPR’s traffic.
This information is shared with social media services, sponsorship, analytics and other third-party service providers.

The orginal article.