Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Scrolling Alone

 American Affairs: Michael Toscano reviews The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt. An excerpt:

One cannot understand the character of social media without considering that it comes after mass media. What television replaced was an endless panoply of local folk cultures, where art was performed by and for the community. Mass culture swept these local practices of storytelling and beautification away, consolidating the attention of whole national populations around a set of centralized media points. In the United States, Hollywood, New York, and, with the rise of political celebrity, even Washington, D.C., dominated the national mind. Later, social media shattered this concentration of culture, but rather than allowing for local, embodied culture to reemerge, . . . it commodified its fragmentation.

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