Culture Clips: An Expert Asks, ‘Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?’

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Culture clips and smartphones

How are the combined influences of smartphones and social media shaping the lives of children growing up today? In her new article “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” in The Atlantic, author and psychologist Jean M. Twenge (Generation Me, iGen) argues that these technological advancements are having a revolutionary—and mostly negative—impact on young people today. Twenge’s […]

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Culture Clips: Is 13 Reasons Why Really Dangerous? Science Says …

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13 Reasons Why

Oh, Netflix. How did we manage to fill this blog without thee? Last week, we wrote about your newest controversial show, To the Bone. This week, you’re back in the news again for 13 Reasons Why—and for a rather unfortunate reason. When 13 Reasons Why was released earlier this spring, many viewers and health experts […]

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Culture Clips: If You Can’t Beat a Shark, Jump It

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Each summer, Discovery Channel faces a unique programming challenge: making its “Shark Week” programming feel fresh. That’s no small challenge, given the fact that this annual ode to dorsal fins and sharp teeth has been airing since 1988. This year, the cable network began teasing one of its sharkiest gambits yet: pitting Olympic swimming legend […]

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Culture Clips: Game of Thrones Conquers Millions, Facebook Billions

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Game of Thrones

Winter is coming. In, like, about five and a half months or something. In the meantime, HBO’s Game of Thrones is coming, too. Its seventh season begins July 16. The show has become about the closest thing to “must-see TV” in today’s fragmented television landscape: Time tossed it on its cover this week and called […]

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Culture Clips: The Blow Out Those Virtual Candles Edition

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iphone birthday

If you’re reading this on an iPhone, pause a minute and wish your device a happy birthday. It officially turns 10 on June 29. (Well, not your phone, of course. If your phone is turning 10, you may want to look at your wireless contract.) The original iPhone revolutionized the tech industry and transformed the […]

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Culture Clips: The ‘It’s Tough to Be Famous’ Edition

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katy perry

Ah, celebrity, that fickle bestie of the entertainment world. One minute, you’re all, like, hangin’ out together at posh banquets, dressed to the nines and accepting awards. The next you’re wondering what’s the point of awards at all. “All the awards shows are fake,” singer (and frequent award winner) Katy Perry told The New York […]

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Culture Clips: The Kids Aren’t All Right

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More and more young people are struggling with suicidal thoughts and actually taking their own lives, according to recent research reported by USA Today. The suicide rate for children ages 10 to 14 doubled between 2007 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And a new Vanderbilt study that analyzed data […]

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Culture Clips: Why Are Political Dramas Tanking?

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Have American viewers grown weary of fictional political dramas on TV? The answer seems to be yes, according to a Huffpost article analyzing declining ratings for the genre. Writer Stephanie Marcus notes that virtually every politically themed series—including Scandal, The Americans, Homeland, Madame Secretary, Quantico and Designated Survivor—has seen viewership decline since the election of […]

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Culture Clips: We’re Consuming More, More Media

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Pssst! Hey, you. Yes, that’s right—you there, the one staring at me on that screen of yours. Just what do you think you’re doing? Well, I’ll tell you: You’re consuming media, that’s what. Right at this very second. And you’re hardly alone. According to a study by eMarketer, the average adult spends more than 12 […]

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Culture Clips: Emma Watson, Post-Gender Awards Darling

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MTV has savvily generated awards-show headlines for nearly 35 years now. This year was no different at network’s annual movie (and this year for the first time, TV) awards. What was different was the reason the broadcast made news: it’s elimination of separate gender categories for awards. Actress Emma Watson (Beauty and the Beast, Harry […]

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Culture Clips: Revenge of the Books

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books

It wasn’t that long ago that the much-ballyhooed advent of e-books triggered fretting and nail-biting regarding the future of the printed variety. Would people still want old-fashioned, analog books? Or would everyone gravitate toward their electronic versions? Would the citizens of the future even know what a real book was? A perhaps surprising sales trend […]

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Culture Clips: The Fate of the Free World (and Vin Diesel) Edition

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Fate of the Furious cars flying

We have so much serious stuff to get to in our latest edition of Culture Clips. But before we get too grim, let me share with you my reaction to The Fate of the Furious’ mammoth $532.5 million worldwide take on Monday. “Wha??!” Turns out, though, I’m just an old curmudgeon. The Washington Post suggests […]

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Culture Clips: Clowns Are Scared of It

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A clown hiding behind a balloon.

Professional clowns are not happy about yet another cinematic remake of Stephen King’s seriously creepy 1986 horror novel It. The titular It in question here takes the form of a scary, nasty clown named Pennywise. And given the recent scary, nasty clown sightings in the real world last fall, those who still put on colorful […]

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Culture Clips: The Influence of the ‘Princess Industrial Complex’

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If you haven’t noticed, there are princesses everywhere these days. Disney princesses, that is. There’s the classic trio (Aurora, Cinderella and Snow White), the so-called Disney Renaissance princesses (Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan). Then we have the millennial members of this hallowed animated court: Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, Elsa and Moana. That’s a lot […]

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