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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 40

Good Vibes Only

A primer on toxic positivity. Words by Rebecca Liu. Photograph by Evelyn Hofer of Saul Steinberg in New York, 1978.

One of the more perverse features of social media is that it often produces the opposite of its stated intentions. It claims to bring us closer together; it leaves us divided and angry. It professes to be a transmitter of knowledge; it has convinced your grandfather that Bill Gates is Satan incarnate. And, while social media aims to be a supportive space, its relentless cheeriness often curdles into something sinister—a monomaniacal valorization of good vibes above all else. Now, there’s

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