Social media, politics, and the bubble of distraction

When the President changes our country so drastically, will we have a new concept of what’s normal? If our social media feeds consist of people who think just like us, how can we expect social change? And why do we always assume the future will be better than the past? In the latest episode of the Interesting People in Interesting Times podcast, Maria Konnikova, author of The Confidence Game, explains what Trump’s lies do to your brain, why we fall for the same tricks every time, and how humanity is hardwired for hope–and why that’s problematic. 
Konnikova discusses the idea of changing norms: how we behave as a society, where we get our ideas about how to act, and how fixed vs. malleable they are. She explains that what drives all human behavior is simple. We would much rather be liked, than we would to be right. “Throughout history, human beings want to go with the majority, rather than be the lone person doing the morally right thing to do,” she says. 
While social norms can change very quickly — and especially so, when driven by someone in a position of authority — biases, on the other hand, are deeply set. And believe it or not, the most problematic bias we have as a society is our optimism. Humanity is hardwired for hope, and that’s what keeps getting us into trouble. 
“Look at the Mueller investigations,” Konnikova says. “[Our reaction to that is] ‘Oh, well, this time, something’s actually going to stick.’ You could see it happening even before the election. People saying Donald Trump is never going to win the nomination. After that, it was: ‘Oh, he’s never going to accept.’ Then it was ‘Oh, but he’s not actually going to win.’  [Then it became] ‘he’s not going to accept the presidency.’ And now ‘he’s going to be impeached.’ This is all a complete delusion. We’re all still hopelessly optimistic. The fact that we think tomorrow is going to be better than today is what gets us out of bed. Unfortunately, it’s also what’s going to keep Trump in office.” 

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/Brian A. Jackson

Speaking of what’s going to keep Trump in office, Konnikova talks about Facebook and the bubble of distraction that technology builds around us. She describes the concept of cognitive load: your brain can only handle so much, and when you can’t sift through everything, you start to just accept it. “Companies like Facebook have a responsibility to recognize that their platforms are incredibly powerful. Who reads my feed? People who agree with me. So with something like gun control, [if we want to drive change] we need to get leaders within key communities — Republicans, members of the NRA, gun owners, to speak out. We can’t keep talking to one another and think we’re making a difference.” 
“The genius of Trump’s approach is that he figures out the version of the world that would make you happy. We’re losing jobs? I’ll give you jobs. You feel that the country is about people who are the liberal elite? Well, I’m not the liberal elite, I’m about you. So he looks everyone in the eye and he tells them their version of the world [is the right one.] That’s what the best con artists do. And what are you going to do when someone tells you the world is exactly how you suspected? You’re going to say “There you go, that’s exactly what I’ve been saying all these years.” 
One of the ways in which Trump is able to do what he does is through sheer repetition. When you say something that’s false over and over and over, people start thinking it’s actually true, because the brain gets used to it. “Humans are lazy,” Konnikova adds. “We like the status quo. It’s nice to be told ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ve got it handled. It will all be fine.”
Interesting People in Interesting Times is a podcast hosted by Tom Goodwin and Adriana Stan. This episode was recorded last month at Soho House New York. 
Listen to the podcast here. 

Views: 19

Latest Activity

Raz Putin commented on Diana's photo
2 minutes ago
Raz Putin favorited Diana's photo
4 minutes ago
Deep Space commented on dogitydog's photo

Hogg is Lanza

"Scott Tenorman"
4 minutes ago
cheeki kea replied to Mrs. Tif Morgan's discussion Bill to Abolish the IRS Enters Congress – Media Blackout
"The irs should be removed from power, the way they treat citizen workers off shore is appalling, no other countries citizens on work visa come with 'conditions' to their detriment, and loss of normal privacy rights. "
9 minutes ago
cheeki kea favorited Mrs. Tif Morgan's discussion Bill to Abolish the IRS Enters Congress – Media Blackout
35 minutes ago
cheeki kea commented on dogitydog's photo

Hogg is Lanza

"Hey, It's super hero, Flash Hogg, Last seen acting up in new movie "False flag -Old School". "
36 minutes ago
Less Prone left a comment for Tim Janssen
"Welcome to a revolutionary concept in public communication, the truth. Only well informed citizens can maintain a meaningful resistance against the powers seeking to destroy us. However, when we get to know the truth we must not let it stop there.…"
38 minutes ago
Mrs. Tif Morgan posted a discussion

Bill to Abolish the IRS Enters Congress – Media Blackout

A new bill to abolish the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been introduced to Congress, amid a total mainstream media blackout. Some is not right about this, they are up to no good.On January 3rd, 2019,…See More
46 minutes ago
cheeki kea favorited Boris's page Southern Poverty Law Center Slapped with Racketeering Suit Over ‘False Hate Group Designation !!!!***** SPLC is a farce !!!
55 minutes ago
Dr. Frederick Meekins posted a blog post

Megachurch Laments Results When Skimping On Sunday School Teachers

In a SermonAudio podcast, the staff of Berean Baptist Church lamented how the average Sunday School teacher does not go beyond the printed curriculum.But isn't that for two basic reasons?Number one, if teachers stick to the curriculum, they have at…See More
1 hour ago
Sam Sammy commented on Boris's video
1 hour ago
canadianjoe favorited Diana's photo
1 hour ago
Diana commented on Central Scrutinizer's blog post 10YO DRAG QUEEN POSING WITH NAKED ADULT MAN IS “BEAUTIFUL” AND “NOT SEXUALIZED”
"This is so revolting.  Why is this child still with his mentally unstable parents?  "
1 hour ago
Joe+Wendy commented on Boris's blog post Simon Mol has slept with over 300 Polish girls and infected over 40 of them with HIV - Many of them were activists in Poland’s human rights and antifa
"Christine please learn to parse words. DIS as in not or as in opposition or opposed to. EASE as in easy or as in painless or as in free of sickness. Disease is exactly the word that fits my post. It is your interpretation that is lacking. "You…"
1 hour ago
oldranger_68 favorited Diana's photo
1 hour ago
oldranger_68 favorited Diana's photo
1 hour ago

Please remember this website is supported by your donations...

© 2019   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 2007-2015 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted