Is social media responsible for our democracy’s current crisis? An increasing amount of political information (and misinformation) gets disseminated online, and many Americans do not trust the media, do not trust Congress and do not trust the president. By many measures, voters are as polarized now as they have ever been in recent memory. Many observers — even, before he left office, President Barack Obama — have tagged social media as a key driver of this crisis. The digital world offers no shortage of potential villains: targeted Russian ads shadowy purveyors of fake news political consultants like Cambridge Analytica wielding big data and cutting edge psychology and formerly fringe media players like Breitbart leaping into the mainstream. But we risk giving too much weight to the newest and most frightening media technologies.
If any media platform is to blame, it is not the web. It is more likely television, which is a more important source of political information. Growing polarization may also result from structural economic changes, like rising inequality, that have occurred in recent decades. A few facts can help keep the role of social media in perspective. The share of Americans who use social media as their primary source of political news and information is rising fast but remains relatively small. On the other hand, 57 percent of American adults said that TV (cable, network or local) was their most important source.
It’s also important which demographic groups use social media. In a paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, we show that polarization has been growing as fast or faster among elderly Americans — those least likely to use social media — as among those aged 68 to 89. This applies across a broader set of demographic groups: Polarization increased as fast or faster among the Americans least likely to use the internet compared with those who are most likely. We’re here to help you and your child create a little calm amid the chaos using reading, writing and counting activities. Reading can be double the fun when there’s two of you turning the pages.
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So why not try some of these quick and easy ideas to help your children read at home, and keep them busy and entertained? Lots of kids love writing – and showing off what they can do. It’s easy to combine writing with everyday activities. If you add in bright crayons, colouring pens and markers, chalks and paint sets, and even glue and glitter, you’ll keep your child’s mind busy, and have lots of fun together too. Being a parent can be great fun, and as children get a bit older and their needs, tastes and moods change, it can be challenge to keep up. But we’re here to help.
Simple tools help you build books in minutes. Let the art inspire and surprise you as you write. Readers will encourage you along the way. Storybird has any type of book for any type of reader. Follow along as memorable stories emerge. Comment on books you enjoy to interact with their creators.
Find favorite new books and authors. Find new friends from across the globe, and discover their stories too. See Storybird used in creative new ways every day. And your poetry, too! Make and share beautiful poems with a unique mix of art and words. Maintain bonds, share traditions, unite generations.