Reboot in the News
News coverage, Reboot writings, and mentions of our work from around the globe.
Have a Better 2022 With These Tech Resolutions
By Tanya Basu in MIT Technology Review
Dec. 31, 2021
The Reboot Foundation suggests parents keep an eye on their children’s social media use in the New Year, and gives tips and pointers on how users can improve their media literacy by keeping their emotions in check when reading the news and by questioning the sources cited articles.
Teaching media literacy seen as positive, but schools slow to add it
By Mark Pattison for The Catholic News Service
Nov. 20, 2021
In an interview with The Catholic News Service, Reboot President Helen Lee Bouygues argues that social media use, especially among young people, is a public health crisis and the best way to combat it is to teach critical thinking and media literacy skills, starting at a young age.
The question of “how” to teach critical thinking skills has proven to be elusive, especially in this era of standardized curriculum and test-driven accountability for schools. How can teachers also ensure they’re supporting critical thinking in their students? It turns out they can do this by adding one simple step in their daily routine – a critical thinking challenge or query to kickstart students’ brains and encourage them to better analyze the information before them.
It turns out that cultivating critical thinking skills can be difficult, even though many educators believe “that’s the point of what we’re training our students to be able to do,” says Ben Motz, a research scientist in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University.
Perhaps education has been missing a key ingredient when it comes to teaching students to detect faulty reasoning: practice. That’s the hypothesis that Motz and other psychology researchers from Indiana University tested in a study, funded by the Reboot Foundation, whose findings they believe point to a promising method for strengthening critical-thinking muscles.
Taking a social media sabbatical has given me a healthier perspective already. It’s made me a lot more aware of the time I spent online – sometimes with total strangers – rather than having deeper, more meaningful conversations with my husband and daughter. They’ve both told me more than once in recent years that it seems I care more about Instagram or Facebook than paying attention to them.
In a recent article that looks at social media as a pending public health crisis, founder and president of the Reboot Foundation, Helen Lee Bouygues, writes, “Social media is currently designed for … addiction. People may willingly share their data in exchange for a free service that they value. But they have not agreed to submit to experimental manipulation that encourages slot machine-like behavior and can drive feelings of anxiety and depression. It’s time we started treating social media for what it is: an addictive activity with serious health implications.”
More than half of people Reboot surveyed acknowledged that their social media use intensified their feelings of anxiety, depression or loneliness. Yet despite recognizing these deleterious effects, only about a third said they had taken steps to limit their social media use, such as deleting or suspending social media accounts, turning off their phones or limiting time on their feeds.
I find it incredible that even though users know the harm social media is having on their mental health, they’re unwilling – or unable – to limit their use of these platforms. It’s a lot like smokers and their cigarettes. We should treat it that way.