Culture Clips: The Vexing Conundrum of Social Media

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Ah, social media. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Seems like there’s a bit of truth in that old, unfunny saying I just co-opted and twisted for my own Culture Clips purposes. Researchers are talking a lot these days about how Instagram, Facebook and the like can negatively impact our lives. But scientists […]

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Sorry, WikiLeaks. The CIA Doesn’t Need Our TVs to Get to Know Us

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The CIA can spy on us through our televisions and phones. At least that’s what a huge cache of leaked documents recently published on WikiLeaks alleges. That’s right: While there’s no evidence they’re using these tools on us, the CIA apparently has the means to surveil what we say and do at any given moment. […]

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Culture Clips: And the Oscar Goes To … No, Wait!

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Yep, we’re still talking about the Oscar gaffe. And let’s face it: It was a doozy. Thanks to an envelope mix-up, the world thought for about two minutes that the musical La La Land had won the Academy Awards’ Best Picture honors. Not so: The coming-of-age drama Moonlight was the real winner, and some say […]

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Are Teens Replacing One Drug With Another?

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News that today’s teens are drinking and taking drugs less than ever can’t be anything but good news, right? Yes, obviously the drop in teen substance abuse, as reported by the University of Michigan’s latest Monitoring the Future study,  is a very good thing. But the question remains, why? Are today’s adolescents more risk-averse? Are […]

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Easy Instagram Perfection … Not

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Your Instagram account got you down? You know, the fact that it feels like all your pals have such casually picture-perfect lives while your impromptu shots always make you look like a disheveled version of near-death on a cracker? Well, here’s a little vid that suggests that “picture-perfect” isn’t quite as casual as it looks, […]

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Down the ‘Portable Rabbit Hole’

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There’s a lot of stuff on the internet. But every now and then, I’ll come across something that just flat stops me in my tracks. That happened to me recently with Andrew Sullivan’s New York Magazine article “I Used to Be a Human Being.” The piece’s subtitle spells out Sullivan’s subject matter: “An endless bombardment […]

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Is It Possible to Unplug Anymore? Even on Vacation?

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Ah, vacations. A time to unplug, unwind and get away from our frazzled, workaday, always online world. Only apparently, we don’t. According to a survey conducted by Intel Security, most of us still check emails, post funny videos on Facebook and do, well, pretty much everything we do online when we’re at home or work. […]

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What Is Google Trying to Tell Us?

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We’re coming up to the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death (May 3). It seemed like a good opportunity to talk about England’s most famous Elizabethan bard, and I was thinking about writing a piece about Shakespeare’s faith: Do his plays and sonnets give us any insight into his spiritual beliefs? Naturally, my first research […]

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Are You an Infomaniac?

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My kids have probably heard me say this sentence hundreds of times: “I just need to check one more thing.” I’m talking, of course, about the semi-compulsive (or, maybe if I’m being really honest, flat-out compulsive) urge to engage with information almost constantly. I just need to check one more thing, I frequently tell them […]

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How Selfies Feed Narcissism

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Once upon a time, we used to take pictures of other people. But with the arrival of a front-facing camera on Apple’s iPhone 4 in 2010, we began taking pictures of ourselves en masse. Selfies, they were called—a fluffy, innocuous-sounding descriptor. Six years later, we’re taking more pictures of ourselves than ever. And the younger […]

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