A Compulsive Audience and a Complicit News Media

In 2007, two years after the launch of The Huffington Post and two weeks before the incorporation of Twitter, Arianna Huffington collapsed in her office from fatigue. She regained consciousness in a pool of blood with a broken cheekbone and an epiphany about the internet. Her exhaustion was symptomatic of a public health crisis, she declared: Our addiction to modern technology creates the need for “digital detoxing.” Since then, the soon-to-be-former head of one of the most popular and prolific news websites has campaigned for a health awakening rooted in the belief that digital media, consumed in large doses, are, effectively, toxic.

Time is money on the internet, and The Huffington Post thrives in an online economy where “free” products are most profitable when they occupy, or divert, our attention the longest.

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