Does blaming “media” help us avoid responsibility?, with Elizaveta Friesem

Elizaveta Friesem ( thinks and writes about media and our relationship to it. Her recently published book is Media Is Us and it examines the idea that media is not something “out there” but more something that is part of us, something that happens internally, similar to any other human communication. And perhaps this means that acting as if “media” (of whatever sort) is to blame for various problems we have is a simplistic way to view the world. And maybe it’s also a tempting way to see the world as it lets us humans off the hook for being responsible for what we believe and share.

Elizaveta opens her book with something we can all probably relate to: she shared an angry take on social media (in this case, about a Dove soap ad that was accused of being racist), but it turned out to be a bad take, based on something that was wrong and taken out of context. So we talk about that story, and how that phenomenon seems so common , with social media aiding so many people in over-reacting to bad or distorted or outright false information. We also talk about power dynamics in society, and how power is defined. And we talk about the power of empathy and understanding others.