Reboot in Forbes
Reboot President Helen Lee Bouygues writes a regular column for Forbes on critical thinking, misinformation, and education.
Social Media’s Toll On Tweens & Teens Hits A Boiling Points for Educators & Legislators
Jan. 27, 2022
As much as the advent of social media has opened up new avenues for discourse, interaction, connection and commerce – there is a flip side to its takeover of popular culture. Left unchecked, social media platforms are now costing us – economically, socially and, most alarmingly – in how they are negatively affecting the mental health of young people.
Given this, it comes as no surprise that people are now launching locally-led and individual efforts to hold social media platforms accountable in the absence of any clear U.S. federal policy or oversight.
It’s past time for federal officials to join them in working to pass policies that both protect the use of social media while better managing its potential for harm. The work and collaboration must be nuanced; it will certainly be contested and controversial, but it can no longer go undone.
Forget the Gym. Make This Year’s Resolution All About Becoming a Better Critical Thinker
Jan. 9, 2022
It’s that time of the year again when people around the world collectively pledge to eat healthier,exercise more, or take some other action to improve themselves or their lives. However, this year with misinformation and mistrust on the rise, committing to become a stronger critical thinker – one who can decipher fact from fiction and truth from opinion – could be the most helpful New Year resolution one could make.
How Instagram Ads (And My Cognitive Bias) Convinced Me To Buy $100 Leggings
Dec. 15, 2022
A cognitive bias can be particularly troublesome when people are pressed for time, emotional, under stress, or feeling impulsive. In other words, during the holiday season. Everyone likes to believe that they have good judgment – be it about a political belief or confidence that they’ve made the best decision possible when purchasing goods or products. But the reality is that retailers and marketers have nearly perfected using our cognitive biases against us to drive sales and increase profits.
Understanding Data Will Help You Become A More Complete Critical Thinker
Nov. 29, 2022
Data has become the new “lubricant” that makes our modern economy hum. It’s why data is sometimes called the “new oil,” and like oil, it is essentially useless unless it is refined and turned into something of value to people and businesses. That’s why understanding data, especially how it is tracked, employed and manipulated, is key to navigating the world as a critical thinker. It is a skill we simply cannot neglect.
How Community Engagement Can Prevent Us From Being Misled During Election Season
Nov. 7, 2022
As Americans head to the polls for a critical mid-term election, a new Reboot report studying the impact of election misinformation – and how it may undermine confidence in the democratic process – explored what is possible when community engagement is authentic and practiced. Reboot’s research shows that people who are more engaged in their communities and government are better equipped to protect themselves from misinformation and feel more empowered to deal with it. Survey findings from the report, “Misinformed & Misled: Uncertainty, Mistrust and Disinformation Frustrate Voters,” found that engaged citizens were 67 percent more likely to identify election misinformation when compared to those with low community engagement. We defined engaged citizens as those who take steps like attending public meetings, protests and rallies, communicating with government officials, or working with others to solve local problems.
Reducing Polarization Through Critical Thinking and Common Ground
Oct. 4, 2022
Large swaths of the population are finding it more difficult to listen to – let alone seek out – someone who does not agree with them. The ability of citizens and leaders to compromise and find common ground has always been central to a robust and thriving democracy. That requires listening to and engaging with ideas one might not understand or agree with. This is a central tenet of critical thinking: The ability to expand your perspective by looking at problems in different ways, from different vantage points. This is particularly important when working with others. Urban Rural Action is reducing polarization with critical thinking by helping people see other points of view through dialogue and the building of media literacy skills.