Social Media Is Hurting Democracy

Liberals and conservatives have one thing in common: zero interest in learning how and what those they disagree with actually think. Click.

“Talking past each other is deeply unhealthy for our entire political system. A functioning democracy requires that citizens make informed choices — which voters can’t do if their information sources are ideologically monochromatic. Motivated ignorance replaces the marketplace of ideas with two isolated, noncompeting monopolies. It’s a scary situation if, in this deeply partisan moment in U.S. history, the one thing both sides have in common is a lack of curiosity about what the other thinks.”

Jeremy Frimer is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Winnipeg. Linda J. Skitka is a psychology professor and Matt Motyl is an assistant psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

On social media, it’s important to follow smart people with whom you disagree. How social media hurts democracy.

NPR’s Kelly McEvers speaks to Cass Sunstein about his new book, #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media. He says democracy needs people to come across a variety of viewpoints, and much of social media limits that exposure.



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