Where Does FOMO Come From?

MIT’s Sherry Turkle, author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, tells Zócalo Public Square Publisher Gregory Rodriguez how social media has heightened our fear of missing out. Turkle, who was accepting the sixth annual Zócalo Book Prize, explained that social media can make people jealous of other people’s glamorized version of their lives–and it can also alienate us from our own selves, as we struggle to live up to the Facebook versions of ourselves.

Why We Believe in the Illusory Promise of a New Year

The Most Secular and Universal of Holidays Is Also the Most Magical

I love New Year’s. It’s as if everyone had the same birthday and we all have complete license to wish each and every one of us—even the strangest of strangers—well. …

Christmas Is a Subversive Parable

The Tale of Refugees, Infanticide, and the Exaltation of a Humble Child Urges Us to Take Sides

The news out of the Middle East is relentlessly disheartening these days, but the other day I reread this amazing story from a while back about a child in the …

Why Americans Care More About Paris Than Other Terrorist Targets

Race and Ethnicity Are Factors, But the Primary Reason Is the Way Empathy Works

A terrorist attack on a familiar city can inspire a response among global observers not unlike that of motorists passing by a horrible car accident. We slow down to look, …

Longing for L.A.

How Nostalgia, Memory, and Jet Lag Connect Me to the City

I ran away from home at 14 years old. I didn’t grab a backpack and go sleep at a friend’s. I didn’t steal away in the middle of the night. …