Navigating Media

From the ever-expanding Googleverse to the snarky payoff of celebrity gossip, life is splintered and refracted in a million ways by contemporary communication tools. The media has a profound impact on how we perceive ourselves and our world. The smart media user will learn to consume information judiciously and employ social networking tools to enhance one's goals and complement one's personality, rather than being drowned in the Internet's flood of information.

Recent Posts on Media

The Body as (Part of) Protest

This entry explores the possible pros and cons of Brittany Mason's YouTube video, in which she protests the recent passing of the Religious Freedom Act in Indiana.

The Suicide-Mass Murder Connection: A Growing Epidemic

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
Negative and alienating social forces have made suicide the new murder as frustrated and fearful Americans turn their anger onto themselves and take their own lives in unprecedented numbers. These same social forces also explain the sharp rise in mass public shootings as fatalistic individuals increasingly kill themselves and others in catastrophic acts of violent rage.

Why Candy Crush Is Like Life

By Matthew Hutson on March 29, 2015 in Psyched!
Candy Crush is a lot like life. I don’t mean to say life is just a grid of colorful confections waiting to be destroyed by your pointer finger; I mean to say they both rely on the same set of cognitive processes. Here’s a rundown.

Stop Using Fear to Promote Treatment for Mental Illness

By David J Ley Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Women Who Stray
Today, the fear of the moment is the risk of violence from the mentally ill. Tragedies abound in our media, and sadly, many can be linked to mental illness. Particularly untreated mental illness.But, reactionary responses to mental illness merely guarantee more problems in the future.

Danger to Self and Others

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 28, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
The recent airline disaster involving a co-pilot crashing a plane highlights the need to rethink risk evaluations for suicide.

How Movies Fool Your Brain

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on March 27, 2015 in Creating in Flow
At our house, when we watch a movie that’s nothing more than an engaging time-waster, we think of it as brain-dead-movie time. But brains are most certainly not “dead” when watching a movie.

BattleKasting a Path to Literacy

How do you motivate kids to want to read a book? Extend a storyworld into other platforms, such as the mobile game BattleKasters to create multiple entry points into the story. Alane Adams set out targeting reading literacy, but she has created a training ground for essential 21st century literacies integrating reading, gaming and constructing transmedia narratives.

Help Researchers Hunt Down Trolls

Scientists are embarking on a new project designed to catch trolling comments and isolate them. Share trolling messages you've seen to help build the research database.

Brian Williams, Journalism, and Celebrity Culture

When journalists start living in a celebrity bubble, bad things can happen. Just ask Brian Williams. His downfall reminds us of the malleability of memory, and it also poses a cautionary tale to all journalists, particularly to the trend in journalism education to promote "entrepreneurial" journalism -- teaching aspiring journalists to cultivate their own "brand".

Is Digital Life Risky?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in The Human Beast
Young people who grew up with digital technologies and cannot conceive of a life without the Internet, digital games, and social media are sometimes called “digital natives” whereas older generations who acquired these technologies as adults are “digital immigrants.” Digital natives have many advantages but “addiction” to screens has its critics.

Is ADHD Genetically Influenced? Yes!

The evidence that ADHD behaviors have at least some genetic influence is absolutely overwhelming. Distorting and cherry picking research is not the way to advance good discussion on important topics.

Who is the Real Jodi Arias?

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on March 19, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
Despite all the hype, Jodi Arias is neither a monster nor is she a fallen angel. She is a convicted felon who has taken on criminal celebrity status and cultivated a massive public following due to her appearance, demeanor, and the severity of her crime, which all have been spun and stylized into a caricature by the news media.

What Do You Really Know About Online Dating?

It’s becoming socially more acceptable to admit to finding a mate online, but there remain many misconceptions about online dating. Find out your online dating IQ with this 8-item quiz that separates myth from reality.

Reservoir Dogs

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on March 16, 2015 in The Violent Mind
Why Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs paints the perfect portrait of the spectrum of psychopathic personalities.

Why Caring About Celebrities Can Be Good for You

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on March 16, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
When you cut away its many layers, our fixation on popular culture reflects an intense interest in the doings of other people; this preoccupation with the lives of others is a byproduct of the psychology that evolved in prehistoric times to make our ancestors socially successful. Thus, it appears that we are hardwired to be fascinated by gossip.

Find Out What Computers Know About You From Social Media

Try out some cutting edge artificial intelligence on your own social media profiles to see what you're secretly revealing through your posts, likes, and activities.

Eyes on the Prize: A Review of Selma (2014)

By Kyle D Killian Ph.D. on March 12, 2015 in Intersections
Films like Selma offer us an opportunity to consider where we are today in regards to race relations and civil rights.

Yik Yak

Yik Yak: Dangerous new app for bullying or harmless gossip site?

Vacation or Gaycation?

By Rick Miller LICSW on March 10, 2015 in Unwrapped
Gay men sometimes feel pressured to take “gay vacations” to resorts or on cruises, but these getaways can be as isolating as being in Disneyland surrounded by traditional families. The advantage of being out of the closet is being out of all closets, including those that are self-imposed.

Synchronicity

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on March 10, 2015 in Time Out
“There’s no such thing as co-incidence,” the midwife asserted with a knowing smile. Do you agree? Many folks do.

How Much Is Too Much to Share on Social Media?

We often talk about the problem of “oversharing” on social media. But what’s the difference between sharing and oversharing? Where do we draw the line, and how does what we share on social media affect how other people see us? Here are 5 research-backed tips about what we should, and shouldn't, be sharing on Facebook.

Live Long and Prosper

The recent death of Leonard Nimoy led me to ponder what we might glean from science fiction about the everyday hazards of the sort that are the focus of this blog. It seems that in the future, everyone will live in a world (more correctly, on worlds) where every household will be safe and all products on the market will be risk-free...

From Industrial Hell to Digital Paradise

Electronics factories can be hell to work in--toxic, soul-killing, and life-threatening. But without them there would be no digital paradise for high-tech companies and consumers. Though the technology has changed over the centuries, the basic relationship between worker hell and privileged paradise has remained unchanged. Take a look at 19th century papermaking...

Dancing Man Found: Dance Like No One Is Watching

#1 trending topic, #DancingManFound, proves there is still goodness in the world.

Oscar Surprises

The 2015 Oscars was filled with poignant messages of hope.

Facebook Introduces Suicide Prevention Support

People talk about sadness, depression, and even suicide on Facebook. This week, the social media giant rolled out new tools to offer help to those at risk.

Jodi Arias Wins

After a deadlocked jury, for Jodi Arias the death penalty is now off the table.

Diets: What We Don't Know

Sometimes you need a guide to the guidelines.

Where No Woman Has Gone Before? Empowerment in Prometheus

By Kyle D Killian Ph.D. on March 05, 2015 in Intersections
In the sci-fi future, gender stereotypes persist, and opportunities exist.

Jodi Arias Update

The Jodi Arias jury deliberations continue.