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I Need To Stop Scrolling - by Charlie Warzel - Galaxy Brain:

The anecdotal vantage of a phenomenon like covid is entirely overwhelming and disorienting. According to data in late July, 125,000 vaccinated Americans had tested positive for breakthrough cases of the virus. That’s a lot of people — until you look at the denominator (164.2 million vaccinated). But since 125,000 people is still, by any account a lot of humans, you’re going to see a lot of anecdotes from those humans. Any one of those anecdotes might be disconcerting to read but, taken together, it’s downright scary. A similar dynamic applies to even straight news articles about the pandemic when shared on social media. News headlines often get a lot of shit because they’re more salacious than the article itself. Social media posts of news stories usually go a step further. Eventually, the game of telephone collapses into itself and influences the way the media coverage works. It looks like this: Sober and detailed article —> Slightly Salacious headline —> Even more salacious tweet/post based off the slightly salacious headline —> Salacious tweets are collected and aggregated into fully salacious news story. I’m not breaking much new ground with these observations, but it’s been clarifying to remind myself of them. Personally, I think I need to stop all fast-twitch news consumption around covid news.

I took this approach late last year with COVID news, and I did the same with new about recounts and other election-related controversies a few weeks after the November election. I highly recommend it.

Stop scrolling Twitter and Facebook for the latest Delta variant news. They are not good sources of useful information, and they will only make you feel worse. another weblog