How the Internet Normalized Donald Trump and Broke American Politics

The distinction between the online world and real life is thinner than we imagine. So when comment trolls run rampant, our national discourse cannot help but be changed.

Videos

The distinction frequently made between the online world and real life doesn't hold up under scrutiny, says cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken. What we do in the real world reflects online, and what happens online invariably seeps into our daily life, if not overwhelming it from time to time. This plasma membrane, which separates online and real life, is mediated in one direction by what is called "cyber migration," i.e. the transaction in which what we do on the Internet affects our real lives.

Keep reading Show less

How Online Dating Changed the Psychology of Sexual Intimacy

When dating online, people disclose personal details more readily than in real life. This leads to a false sense of intimacy that can result in serious misunderstandings over sexual desire.

Videos

The UK's National Crime Agency recently reported that sexual assault associated with online dating had increased by six-hundred percent. That's a shocking statistic at odds with what has become an accepted way to meet people romantically. And while many individuals have had pleasant, or at least neutral experiences with online dating, those promoting the activity are often simultaneously selling it.

Keep reading Show less

Cyberchondria or Coincidence? How Iatrogenic Death Shadows the Growth of the Internet

1% of all Google searches are health queries. Cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken explains how artificial intelligence diagnostics lead to psychosomatic symptoms, and potentially explain the fourfold increase in iatrogenic death in the US since 1999.

Technology & Innovation

The internet is full of information. It is a data piñata so stuffed that if you hit it, your baseball bat would split in two. But remember that old adage about quality vs. quantity? It’s never been more relevant than now, in the age of digital health searches and rampant self-diagnosis.

Keep reading Show less