social media

Americans don't agree on much these days. But one thing upon which we do agree is that something is deeply broken in our society.

Consider the right track/wrong track poll, as aggregated by RealClearPolitics. This is perhaps the simplest gauge of how Americans feel about their country. The numbers aren't just negative; they are overwhelmingly and embarrassingly negative. And it's been that way for years. Americans, internationally renowned for being an optimistic people, have been uncharacteristically pessimistic for quite some time. Why?

It's difficult to escape the conclusion that our culture has changed, both dramatically and for the worse. I believe three factors...

'Do as I say, not as I do,' said every plugged-in parent ever.

Mom and dad are just as guilty — if not more — of soaking up screen time than their offspring, a new study found. A national report from the Common Sense Census analyzed how parents manage their kids' — and their own — media use. Surveys from more than 1,700 parents of children between the ages of 8 and 18 showed that while parents actively limit the use of their tweens and teens media time, parents themselves rack up more than nine hours per day with computers, e-readers, smartphones, and other devices. And, 82 percent of the time the screen is...

For a recent 15-year stretch, one trend line had been moving downward. During that same period, another had been moving upward. The first charts unintentional activity; the second, deliberate action. And since these disturbing graph lines have crossed, the data serves as a strong signal for parents to take notice, particularly for the sake of their young adolescents.

What we're talking about is suicide, and its sharp increase among children aged 10 to 14. Since 1999, the incidence rate for this group has nearly doubled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in 2014 it was just as likely that a child took his or her own life than it was that he/she died in a traffic...

The American Council on Science and Health has just launched a new page on Pinterest. (Please follow us!) As part of our mission to serve as trusted guides on complex science and health issues, we felt that it was imperative for us to have a visible and active presence on one of the world's most popular social media sites.

And wow, do we have our work cut out for us.

After just a few minutes on Pinterest, it was crystal clear that the site served as a gigantic sewer pipe for the worst sort of anti-science propaganda and paranoia that the Internet can vomit up.

Take vaccines, for instance. When I searched for "vaccines," these were the top five posts:

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