Farhad Manjoo, writing in the New York Times:
The prominence of commentary over news online and on cable news feels backward, and dangerously so. It is exactly our fealty to the crowd — to what other people are saying about the news, rather than the news itself — that makes us susceptible to misinformation.
The rush to snap judgements is huge across social media. As I’ve stepped away from them in my day-to-day life, I’ve noticed I can pause and gain perspective. I still feel everything strongly, and in many ways I’m just as stressed, but I find myself better able to brace the world, and see just how differently I’m able to take things in from a broader perspective.
It all comes back, in the end, to attention. Cable news thrives on attention. Social media requires attention. And the current president demands attention and uses it to try to drive the narrative. Stepping back and getting distance before jumping in, having polarizing debates, and calling out names benefits no one except those who seek to divide (and try to conquer).
Our attention might be more powerful than we think.