on air now

American psychologist explains why we’re ‘drowning in outrage’ over social media use

American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt says we’re living in an “age of outrage”.

Mr Haidt, who is a Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University, thinks people’s curation of their own social media feed leads them to taking offence at things they see online.

“We are drowning in outrage,” he said.

“I actually think liberal democracy may be incompatible with social media.

“The reason we are drowning in offence is because social media gives us a customised offence feed.”

Mr Haidt said social media allowed certain voices to become dominant and take control of the narrative.

“It’s not about the average person has lost his or her mind,” he said.

“It’s about a change in dynamics brought into all of our systems by social media.

“There have always been a range of opinion and people might share those opinions but now because certain opinions and sub-groups get to be dominant and intimidate others.

“Social media has amplified the voices of the extremes, most people are still quite reasonable but they’re afraid to say so and stand up.”

Click PLAY to hear the full interview with Neil Mitchell

Jonathan is speaking at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on July 21. Tickets available at’