No social media algorithm rewards grace
Chris Martin · Jun 24, 2020
In the December 2019 issue of The Atlantic, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and technology-ethics writer Tobias Rose-Stockwell concluded an article titled “The Dark Psychology of Social Media” with the following thoughts:
If we want our democracy to succeed—indeed, if we want the idea of democracy to regain respect in an age when dissatisfaction with democracies is rising—we’ll need to understand the many ways in which today’s social-media platforms create conditions that may be hostile to democracy’s success. And then we’ll have to take decisive action to improve social media.
Social-media platforms have transformed over time to reward mob mentalities instead of civil discourse. Haidt and Rose-Stockwell go so far as to say that today’s social-media platforms “create conditions that may be hostile to democracy’s success.”
Likewise, today’s social-media platforms create conditions that may be hostile to considerate, Christlike communication. While social media can be a place to learn and grow in our Christian faith, it often feels like a black hole, resembling an endless void of darkness that can’t be penetrated by any kind of light.
What are Christians to do?