Magazine August 16, 2021, Issue

From The American Centuries: A History Of The United States From 2016 To 2060

(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

. . . an era defined by increasingly volatile election results and cultural polarization. Psychologists and social scientists during the Biden–Trump era collected data and research that suggested a frayed and disunified nation. Television audiences were inundated with angry and incendiary broadcasts, and for a while it seemed like the cultural fabric of the nation was tearing apart. [See Chapter XVI: “What Happened to the World Wide Web?”]

Social-media networks, which at the time were linked together through what was known as “the Internet,” amplified the trend toward angry exchanges, but in “real life” and within smaller, individual “applications” that were …

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