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What Is The Internet Doing To Boomers’ Brains?

HuffingtonPost – Social media platforms are sucking a generation into a misinformation rabbit hole: “…It has become a familiar story: The older relative, the intensifying Fox News habit, the alarming Facebook posts, the inevitable detachment from reality. Losing a parent to the conservative cyber-swamp is such a common experience among millennials that it has produced an entire sub-genre of documentaries, books and online support groups. What it has not produced, however, is a satisfying answer to a simple question: What is the internet doing to our parents’ brains? So far, research indicates that older Americans are a major vector of misinformation.  “Older adults consume more misinformation and are more likely to share misinformation,” said Briony Swire-Thompson, a senior research scientist at Northeastern University who specializes in social media networks. During the 2016 election, users over 65 shared more fake news than any other age group and seven times more than users between 18 and 29. In 2020, Trump has dedicated almost half of his reelection campaign budget to Facebook ads — many of which include blatantmisinformation — to users over 65 years old. In the coming decades, this issue will only take on greater importance. America is about to embark on an unprecedented experiment in the political effects of an aging society. By 2030, one in five Americans will be over 65. By 2060, the ratio will be one in four. Over the next four decades, as the overall population grows by 25%, the number of people over 85 will nearly quadruple…”

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