Reddit’s RoastMe Forum Is the Anti-Instagram

Though it might seem to be just another place for angry trolls to encounter potential victims, RoastMe is something a bit stranger. Within thehall of mirrors that polite society creates and that most social media amplifies, the subreddit provides a safe space in which one might receive a response to that ur-question: What do people really think of me? Posters’ continued demands to hear the truth about themselves (a sampling: 'Don’t hold back'; 'Do your worst'; 'Please be brutal'; 'Make me cry'; 'Roast me on a skewer like a burnt turkey') suggest a desire to draft a different kind of contract for online relationships. In this new scenario, you might get hurt, but at least you’ll get some clarifying honesty.

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A History of the Influencer, from Shakespeare to Instagram

Influence works best when it’s wielded obscurely, in the shadows and behind thescenes, and this has clear social consequences for a society engaged in building a digital-influence economy. Based on the available evidence, it seems that we can’t construct an influence economy without stoking a culture of skepticism and paranoia.The fear of being influenced affects our sense of reality and our ability to trust our own judgments about what is true.

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The Rise of Live-Streamer Style

Other gamers are spending much more on their looks. 'The professional players have probably spent $500 to $1,000 on what they’re wearing,' Mr. Haag said. 'They’ve got Gucci and Balenciaga. It’s absolutely ridiculous.' And, he said, 'as soon as the players started elevating their wardrobe, that’s when all the fans started doing it too.' Since its founding in 2017, 100 Thieves has attracted high-profile investors like Drake and Scooter Braun. The last time thecompany held a merch 'drop,' Mr. Haag said, theonline storefront sold out in 'about 18 minutes.'

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Why is everyone so obsessed with AOC? Let's analyze the memes

This sense of familiarity allows people to find themselves and one another in the narratives she creates. In many ways, a lot of theconversation about her has moved away from the concrete day-to-day policies she talks about to what she represents to people. And that translates into collective community building through social sharing and remixing of that same narrative. [...] 'The fan practices we see — like fan art, fanfiction, cosplay — these same practices are about community.'

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My TED talk: How I took on the tech titans in their lair

I walked among the tech gods last week. I don’t think they set out to enable massacres to be live-streamed. Or massive electoral fraud in a once-in-a-lifetime, knife-edge vote. But they did. If they don’t feel guilt, shame and remorse, if they don’t have a burning desire to make amends, their boards, shareholders, investors, employees and family members need to get them out."

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The existential crisis plaguing online extremism researchers

Other approaches, like media literacy programs, may be ineffective, and place too much responsibility on users. Both sets of tactics ignore messier, less quantifiable parts of the problem, like the polarized digital economy where success is predicated on attracting the most eyeballs, how rejecting 'mainstream' truths has become a form of social identity, or the challenges of determining the impact of disinformation. 'It's not that one of our systems is broken; it's not even that all of our systems are broken,' says Phillips. 'It's that all of our systems are working ... toward thespread of polluted information and theundermining of democratic participation.'

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Americans are some of the most stressed-out people in the world

"The Gallup report, in keeping with prior studies, found that younger Americans (defined in thereport as those between the ages of 15 and 49) were the most likely to feel stressed, worried or angry. The American Psychological Association in 2018 found that Generation Z is the most stressed-out age group due to factors such as violence, political turmoil, finances and health. And Millennials and Gen Z are known to have disproportionately high rates of anxiety, loneliness and depression, which can be tied to stress."

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Why men are falling in love with self-care

"The World Health Organization defines self-care as, 'the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote, maintain health, prevent disease, and to cope with illness with or without the support of a health care provider.' Some men may have trouble with self-care because independence and self-sufficiency are usually associated with male role expectations. Gender norms assume that men want to take care of others, often at theexpense of taking care of themselves. However, a study in the American Journal of Men's Health showed that many men are indeed interested in feeling supported and socially connected."

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How the news took over reality

"According to a principle dating back to theEnlightenment, responsible democratic citizens are those who strive to keep informed about the nation and the wider world – a duty that has been held to be especially critical during times of rising authoritarianism. Today, though, this principle is often taken to imply a duty not to turn away from the news. The instinct to look elsewhere is treated as both a sign of privilege and an obliviousness to that luxury. If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. It is increasingly taken as a given that in order to help, or even just signal solidarity with, those most directly affected by the events reported in the news – undocumented immigrants facing the Trump administration’s cruelties, say – it is morally obligatory to remain immersed in thenews itself."

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Why extreme wellness is so popular

"These trends suggest that many people in theU.S. are pushing themselves to potentially unhealthy extremes in search of self-improvement. The terms 'wellness' and 'health' are often used interchangeably, but they have different connotations. These days it seems wellness means more than having sound physical and mental health; to be truly well, you need also be slim, happy, energetic, attractive, strong, optimistic, present, engaged, and mentally sharp — and to maintain consistent levels of all these attributes."

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The End Of Empathy

"Breithaupt called his new book The Dark Sides of Empathy, because there's a point at which empathy doesn't even look like the kind of universal empathy I was taught in school. There is a natural way that empathy gets triggered in the brain — your pain centers light up when you see another person suffering. But out in the world it starts to look more like tribalism, a way to keep reinforcing your own point of view and blocking out."

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