42 episodes

Now that the internet, social media, and AI are integrated into much of our lives, it’s easy to lose our grip on reality. In this season of How to Know What’s Real, co-hosts Megan Garber and Andrea Valdez explore the proliferation of misinformation and the rise of deepfakes and even illusions, hoping to understand what’s real and what’s not.

How to Know What's Real The Atlantic

    • Education
    • 4.2 • 1.3K Ratings

Now that the internet, social media, and AI are integrated into much of our lives, it’s easy to lose our grip on reality. In this season of How to Know What’s Real, co-hosts Megan Garber and Andrea Valdez explore the proliferation of misinformation and the rise of deepfakes and even illusions, hoping to understand what’s real and what’s not.

    Introducing: How to Know What's Real

    Introducing: How to Know What's Real

    What is “real life,” now that the internet and AI are integrated into so much that we do? In the new season of The Atlantic’s popular How To series, co-hosts Megan Garber and Andrea Valdez explore deepfakes, illusions, and misinformation, and how to make sense of where things are really happening. How to Know What’s Real examines how technology has altered our sense of connectedness and how to determine what is authentic and true.

    Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com.
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    • 2 min
    How to Know Who’s Real

    How to Know Who’s Real

    Social media has made it easier to build more parasocial relationships with celebrities and influencers. What impact are those connections having on our relationships IRL? And how do they shift our understanding and expectations of intimacy and trust? 
    Florida State University assistant professor Arienne Ferchaud defines parasocial relationships and discusses how new technologies are changing the role of entertainment in our lives.
    Music by Forever Sunset (“Spring Dance”), baegel (“Cyber Wham”), Etienne Roussel (“Twilight”), Dip Diet (“Sidelined”), Ben Elson (“Darkwave”), and Rob Smierciak (“Whistle”).

    Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. 
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    • 28 min
    How to Live in a Digital City

    How to Live in a Digital City

    While the vibrance, innovation, and cacophony of online life can feel completely unlike anything humanity has ever created before, its newness isn’t wholly unprecedented. Humans reckoned with many similar challenges to life as they knew it while navigating a different kind of social web: the city.  
    In this episode, Danah Boyd, a partner researcher at Microsoft Research and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, explains how the sociological work conducted during a time of rapid urbanization in the United States reveals a lot about human behavior and what we need to feel safe, secure, and inspired.
    Music by Forever Sunset (“Spring Dance”), baegel (“Cyber Wham”), Etienne Roussel (“Twilight”), Dip Diet (“Sidelined”), Ben Elson (“Darkwave”), and Rob Smierciak (“Whistle Jazz”).
    Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com


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    • 28 min
    How to Trust Your Brain Online

    How to Trust Your Brain Online

    This episode explores the web’s effects on our brains and how narrative, repetition, and even a focus on replaying memories can muddy our ability to separate fact from fiction. 
    How do we come to believe the things we do? Why do conspiracy theories flourish? And how can we train our brains to recognize misinformation online? 
    Lisa Fazio, an associate psychology professor at Vanderbilt University, explains how people process information and disinformation, and how to debunk and pre-bunk in ways that can help discern the real from the fake.
    Music by Forever Sunset (“Spring Dance”), baegel (“Cyber Wham”), Etienne Roussel (“Twilight”), Dip Diet (“Sidelined”), Ben Elson (“Darkwave”), and Rob Smierciak (“Whistle Jazz”).
    Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 33 min
    How to Waste Time

    How to Waste Time

    Co-hosts Becca Rashid and Ian Bogost explore our relationship with time and how to reclaim it. Why is it so important to be productive? Why can it feel like there’s never enough time in a day? Why are so many of us conditioned to believe that being more productive makes us better people? Author Oliver Burkman offers some insights.
    This episode was co-hosted by Becca Rashid and Ian Bogost. Becca Rashid also produces the show. Editing by Jocelyn Frank and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Rob Smierciak. The managing editor of How to Keep Time is Andrea Valdez. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. 
    Music from by Dylan Sitts (“On the Fritz”), Gavin Luke (“Time Zones”), Martin Guaffin (“The Time”), and Rob Smierciak (“Slow Money,” “Guitar Time”).
    Want to share unlimited access to The Atlantic with your loved ones? Give a gift today at theatlantic.com/podgift. For a limited time, select new subscriptions will come with the bold Atlantic tote bag as a free holiday bonus.
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    • 34 min
    How to Look Busy

    How to Look Busy

    Many of us complain about being too busy—and about not having enough time to do the things we really want to do. But has busyness become an excuse for our inability to focus on what matters? 
    According to Neeru Paharia, a marketing professor at Arizona State University, time is a sort of luxury good—the more of it you have, the more valuable you are. But her research also revealed that, for many Americans, having less time and being busy can be a status symbol for others to notice. And when it comes to the signals we create for ourselves, sociologist Melissa Mazmanian reveals a few myths that may be keeping us from living the lives we want with the meaningful connections we crave. 
    Music by Dylan Sitts (“On the Fritz”) and Rob Smierciak (“Slow Money,” “Guitar Time,” “Ambient Time”).
    This episode was co-hosted by Becca Rashid and Ian Bogost. Becca Rashid also produces the show. Editing by Jocelyn Frank and Claudine Ebeid. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Engineering by Rob Smierciak. The managing editor of How to Keep Time is Andrea Valdez. Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. 
    Want to share unlimited access to The Atlantic with your loved ones? Give a gift today at theatlantic.com/podgift. For a limited time, select new subscriptions will come with the bold Atlantic tote bag as a free holiday bonus.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
1.3K Ratings

1.3K Ratings

Diano ,

hmmm

excited to listen as

ela jean ,

Overall tone deaf and missing all the points

This is a show about big, important topics, told through the lens of a couple of people living in a bubble. It has that production style that makes you think you’re listening to a smart, well-produced podcast that’s going to be enlightening. It’s not though.

It is shocking that so much content can be produced on a topic without even touching on the meat and potatoes of it.

coleyt11 ,

So thought-provoking

Each series has struck me in such a different way. I share episodes with people all the time, and strike up conversations with people about topics from the show. I actually got so panicked at one point about the idea that this could go away some day that I did ask for a digital subscription to the Atlantic for my birthday, so I added my support in that way and now I love reading the Atlantic “for free” and doing the crosswords. Thank you so much for this podcast, it really enriches my life!

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