How many hours have you already spent looking at a screen today? Nowadays, the universal answer to this question seems to be “too much.” As the internet becomes more deeply ingrained in every aspect of our lives, it gets trickier and trickier to find responsible ways of engaging with the online world without getting lost in it. This issue became even more challenging for many people during the pandemic. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, for example, found that young people now spend an average of 7.7 hours of their daily free time in front of screens – twice as much as they did pre-COVID. Why is the internet so wickedly tempting, and how can we establish healthier digital habits?
Dave Eggers’s bestselling tech dystopia, The Circle (2013), has finally received a sequel. While The Circle described the rise of a fictitious tech and social media company and its protagonist’s steady descent into the maelstrom of surveillance culture, The Every now picks up a couple of years later, after the Circle has acquired a big online retailer “named after a South American jungle.” The resulting mega corporation, called the Every, is pretty much the monopolist in all things digital tech – from apps to online shopping to cutting edge hardware. Of course, it’s every bit as scary and unlikeable as one would imagine it to be.
Usually, the spouses of vice presidents of the United States don’t attract much public attention. Many Americans probably can’t even name more than two or three second ladies, but that is just a guess. Yet Doug Emhoff is the husband of Kamala Harris, the first female African American, South Asian American Vice President of the United States. He’s becoming a household name and breaking down barriers as America’s first Second Gentleman as well as the first Jewish spouse of any vice president. Does that really matter, you might ask yourself? It shouldn’t, but it does. Let’s take a look at a clip from an interview taking social media by storm that gives us insight into his popularity:
So is he ‘just’ a father as well as a charming and supportive husband of a ‘Powerfrau,’ as we would say in German? Or will he play a real role in American life and politics? What can we expect of a man in the role of Second Gentleman?
How much do celebrities, influencers, and social media actually impact us? The way we consume media has changed dramatically over the past decade, and while many of these changes come with a multitude of new challenges, social media has also enabled us to communicate on a global scale. Celebrities, influencers, artists and the work they promote and produce directly and indirectly influence our society and our behavior towards our planet.
A while back, rapper Lil Dickey released a song in collaboration with thirty famous artists and celebrities in order to raise awareness for the issue of climate change and the damages it produces. Lil Dickey’s song immediately went viral, and millions of people watched it. But what is this song actually good for? Will it change anything at all?