The platform has cast itself as the internet’s kindest place. But users argue harassment is rampant, and employees say efforts to stem it aren’t funded well or prioritized. When Brandon Farbstein first joined Instagram in 2014, he was 14 and optimistic.
The alleged killing of a Washington Post columnist on the orders of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has triggered many rethinks—and not least a rethinking of the lavishly flattering journalism that hailed the crown prince’s rise to supreme power.
Does everyone already know the story of Paul McCartney and the milkman? I think I only just heard it, although at the same time it feels like a story I was told long ago, magical-indelible, back in the wavy chambers of my childhood.
More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis. One day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas.
The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it. What is the Islamic State?
Should you drink more coffee? Should you take melatonin? Can you train yourself to need less sleep? A physician’s guide to sleep in a stressful age. During residency, I worked hospital shifts that could last 36 hours, without sleep, often without breaks of more than a few minutes.
She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was. Alex Tizon passed away in March. He was a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and the author of Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self.
A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution. A trio of boys tramps along the length of a wooden fence, back and forth, shouting like carnival barkers.
The preconditions are present in the U.S. today. Here’s the playbook Donald Trump could use to set the country down a path toward illiberalism. It’s 2021, and President Donald Trump will shortly be sworn in for his second term. The 45th president has visibly aged over the past four years.
Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth.
Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them. Since 2013, the Federal Reserve Board has conducted a survey to “monitor the financial and economic status of American consumers.
In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health. Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities.
Step into an American preschool classroom today and you are likely to be bombarded with what we educators call a print-rich environment, every surface festooned with alphabet charts, bar graphs, word walls, instructional posters, classroom rules, calendars, schedules, and motivational platitude
What makes things cool? Several decades before he became the father of industrial design, Raymond Loewy boarded the SS France in 1919 to sail across the Atlantic from his devastated continent to the United States.
In her new book No One Understands You and What To Do About It, Heidi Grant Halvorson tells readers a story about her friend, Tim. When Tim started a new job as a manager, one of his top priorities was communicating to his team that he valued each member’s input.
There are three things, once one’s basic needs are satisfied, that academic literature points to as the ingredients for happiness: having meaningful social relationships, being good at whatever it is one spends one’s days doing, and having the freedom to make life decisions independently.
Google knows the questions that people wouldn’t dare ask aloud, and it silently offers reams of answers. But it is a mistake to think of a search engine as an oracle for anonymous queries. It isn’t. Not even close.
If you use Netflix, you've probably wondered about the specific genres that it suggests to you. Some of them just seem so specific that it's absurd. Emotional Fight-the-System Documentaries? Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life? Foreign Satanic Stories from the 1980s?
I’m a lucky man. Perhaps the most extreme example of my considerable good fortune occurred one chilly Ithaca morning in November 2007, while I was playing tennis with my longtime friend and collaborator, the Cornell psychologist Tom Gilovich.
On October 10, 2011, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that women who took supplemental multivitamins died at rates higher than those who didn't.
Put down the talking stick. Stop fruitlessly seeking "closure" with your peevish co-worker. And please, don't bother telling your spouse how annoying you find their tongue-clicking habit—sometimes honesty is less like a breath of fresh air and more like a fart.
There were six hours during the night of April 10, 2014, when the entire population of Washington State had no 911 service. People who called for help got a busy signal. One Seattle woman dialed 911 at least 37 times while a stranger was trying to break into her house.
Humans have been creating images of sex and genitalia for millions of years, but it is only in the past few centuries—since the 1600s, according to historians—that these representations started meeting academics’ preferred definition of pornography, which involves both the violation of ta
Elite tennis players have an uncanny ability to clear their heads after making errors. They constantly move on and start fresh for the next point. They can’t afford to dwell on mistakes. Peter Strick is not a professional tennis player.
While lots of attention is directed toward identifying the next great start-up, the defining tech-industry story of the last decade has been the rise of Apple and Google. In terms of wealth creation, there is no comparison.
Even in big cities like Tokyo, small children take the subway and run errands by themselves. The reason has a lot to do with group dynamics. It’s a common sight on Japanese mass transit: Children troop through train cars, singly or in small groups, looking for seats.
What is the typical life experience for an American on the verge of turning 30? This is a hard question to answer, no matter who is asking. But it’s become especially difficult for an industry responsible with providing the answers: the national press.
Kanye West wants freedom—white freedom. I could only have seen it there, on the waxed hardwood floor of my elementary-school auditorium, because I was young then, barely 7 years old, and cable had not yet come to the city, and if it had, my father would not have believed in it.
This month, many of the nation's best and brightest high school seniors will receive thick envelopes in the mail announcing their admission to the college of their dreams. According to a 2011 survey, about 60 percent of them will go to their first-choice schools.
Almost everyone has something they want to change about their personality. In 2014, a study that traced people’s goals for personality change found that the vast majority of its subjects wanted to be more extraverted, agreeable, emotionally stable, and open to new experiences.
Trump’s supporters backed a time-honored American political tradition, disavowing racism while promising to enact a broad agenda of discrimination. THIRTY YEARS AGO, nearly half of Louisiana voted for a Klansman, and the media struggled to explain why.
I remembered the hallway I had been wheeled down, and the doctor’s office where I told the psychiatrist he was the devil, but not this room. I forced myself up and stumbled, grabbing the chair and the bathroom doorknob for balance.
Ever since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, evolution has been the grand unifying theory of biology. Yet one of our most important biological traits, consciousness, is rarely studied in the context of evolution.
Scott Santens has been thinking a lot about fish lately. Specifically, he’s been reflecting on the aphorism, “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for life.
Inspired to make a meaningful donation, I wondered: What is the best charitable cause in the world, and was it crazy to think I could find it? Last winter, William MacAskill and his wife Amanda moved into a Union Square apartment that I was sharing with several friends in New York.
For the millions of adults who grew up watching him on public television, Fred Rogers represents the most important human values: respect, compassion, kindness, integrity, humility.
One of the most commonly taught stories American schoolchildren learn is that of Ragged Dick, Horatio Alger’s 19th-century tale of a poor, ambitious teenaged boy in New York City who works hard and eventually secures himself a respectable, middle-class life.
I am not surprised by President Donald Trump’s antics this week. Not by the big splashy pronouncements such as announcing a wall that he would force Mexico to pay for, even as the Mexican foreign minister held talks with American officials in Washington.
The question that most people ask themselves as they walk into their boss's office to negotiate their salaries is likely some variant of "What am I going to say?" But according to hostage negotiator Chris Voss, that might be the least important thing to keep in mind when negotiating.
The philosophers he influenced set the stage for the technological revolution that remade our world. THE HISTORY Of computers is often told as a history of objects, from the abacus to the Babbage engine up through the code-breaking machines of World War II.
A ship lands on an alien shore and a young man, desperate to prove himself, is tasked with befriending the inhabitants and extracting their secrets. Enchanted by their way of life, he falls in love with a local girl and starts to distrust his masters.
I have been in school for more than 40 years. First preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, and high school. Then a bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley, followed by a doctoral program at Princeton.
In the time of the Facebook thumbs up, what does it mean to “like” something? What is it that makes humans decide they prefer one thing over another, so that you click replay on one song all day and cover your ears whenever you hear another in public? And how do Netflix and Spotify and othe
There’s a meme aimed at Millennial catharsis called “Old Economy Steve.” It’s a series of pictures of a late-70s teenager, who presumably is now a middle-aged man, that mocks some of the messages Millennials say they hear from older generations—and shows why they’re deeply janky.
Shakespeare said that all the world’s a stage, but the sociologist Erving Goffman added that most of the interesting stuff lies behind the scenes, in what he called the “backstage” areas of everyday life.
A hotly contested, supposedly ancient manuscript suggests Christ was married. But believing its origin story—a real-life Da Vinci Code, involving a Harvard professor, a onetime Florida pornographer, and an escape from East Germany—requires a big leap of faith.
What is happening to America’s white working class? The group’s important, and perhaps decisive, role in this year’s presidential election sparked a slew of commentary focused on, on the one hand, its nativism, racism, and sexism, and, on the other, its various economic woes.
I’m commiserating with a friend who recently left the technology industry to return to entertainment. “I’m not a programmer,” he begins, explaining some of the frustrations of his former workplace, before correcting himself, “—oh, engineer, in tech-bro speak.
But we’re better off believing in it anyway. For centuries, philosophers and theologians have almost unanimously held that civilization as we know it depends on a widespread belief in free will—and that losing this belief could be calamitous.
From rural strip-malls to Manhattan’s avenues, it has been a disastrous two years for retail. There have been nine retail bankruptcies in 2017—as many as all of 2016. J.C. Penney, RadioShack, Macy’s, and Sears have each announced more than 100 store closures.
A few months ago, I presented the following scenario to my junior English students: Your boyfriend or girlfriend has committed a felony, during which other people were badly harmed. Should you or should you not turn him or her into the police? The class immediately erupted with commentary.
The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.
When Donald Trump tweeted that he was a “very stable genius,” he was accused of lacking self-awareness by journalists and comedians. But the truth is that no one has perfect self-awareness—you probably believe more than a few things about yourself that are false.
Can training the mind make us more attentive, altruistic, and serene? Can we learn to manage our disturbing emotions in an optimal way? What are the transformations that occur in the brain when we practice meditation? In a new book titled Beyond the Self, two friends—Matthieu Ricard, who left
A bar of gold. A disk of iron. A chain of beads. A card of plastic. A slip of cotton-linen paper. These things are worthless. One cannot eat them, or drink them, or use them as a blanket. But they are valuable, too. Their value comes from the simplest thing.
It’s a question that often plagues people after a painful break-up: What went wrong? As they work to figure out the answer, people typically create new relationship stories, analyzing the events leading up to the breakup and using them to build a cohesive narrative.
Tristan Harris believes Silicon Valley is addicting us to our phones. He’s determined to make it stop. Harris had just arrived at Unplug SF, a “digital detox experiment” held in honor of the National Day of Unplugging, and the organizers had banned real names.
The tangled affair now known as Watergate began 45 years ago, before most of today’s U.S. population had even been born. (The median age of Americans is about 38, so most people in the country were born in 1979 or thereafter.
A mother leaves her son in the car while popping into a store at a strip mall. She is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A high school senior complains to her Facebook friends about a teacher and is suspended for “cyberbullying.
A lot of factors have contributed to American inequality: slavery, economic policy, technological change, the power of lobbying, globalization, and so on. In their wake, what’s left?
When tech culture only celebrates creation, it risks ignoring those who teach, criticize, and take care of others. Every once in a while, I am asked what I “make.” A hack day might require it, or a conference might ask me to describe “what I make” so it can go on my name tag.