Social media is the primary news source for over 60% of the population. Why? Because it’s fast and it’s easy. This week on BetterWorldians Radio we’re joined by Dr. Pamela Rutledge, a media psychologist. She studies how we use media and how we can use it better.

Dr. Rutledge says using social media as a primary news source does present some real risk. “It is very hard to determine what is the truth and what is fiction,” Dr. Rutledge explains. And, because our brains are hardwired to pay attention to bad news, we start to understand the world as being more dangerous than it really is.

The antidote? Humor.

Those funny cat videos and silly political memes can actually have a real, positive impact on your brain. Dr. Rutledge explains that something that makes you laugh changes your body chemistry and it can change how you interpret the next piece of news you consume by resetting and recharging your brain. “It can do you a world of good,” says Rutledge.

Dr. Rutledge also talked about the positive power of gaming and how parents can become a safe space for their children to bring questions or concerns about technology. She also shares her interesting take on “selfies” and explains why they can be a useful way to explore self-image.

As Dr. Rutledge says, “Technology is a tool and like any tool we can use it well or we can use it poorly.”

Tune in to this episode of BetterWorldians Radio to hear more about how to use technology well (and to hear Greg tell a bonafide “dad joke.” I’ll admit it, I laughed!).