Acton Institute Powerblog

Acton Line podcast: Using social media for good with Daniel Darling

On February 4th, 2004, a sophomore at Harvard University by the name of Mark Zuckerberg launched TheFacebook. At the time, the social networking website was limited to only students at Harvard. And while other social networking platforms like MySpace and Friendster predated the launch of Facebook, it was that February day in Cambridge, Massachusetts that the age of social media was truly born.

Today, Facebook boasts 2.5 billion active users, is available in 111 languages, and is the 4th most trafficked website in the world. And from there, other platforms followed: Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Pintrest and, most recently, TikTok.

While these platforms were launched with a promise of connecting the entire world together in conversation, today they also have a reputation for fostering hate, animosity, vitriol, conspiracy mongering, outrage mobs and a litany of other negative societal impacts.

Does social media have to be this way? Or can we be better?

In this episode, Daniel Darling, Senior Vice President for Communications at National Religious Broadcasters and author of the new book A Way With Words, discusses the promise of social media, where it went wrong, what our social media habits say about us, and how we can use our online conversations for good.

Daniel Darling’s website

The Way Home Podcast with Daniel Darling

A Way with Words: Using Our Online Conversations for Good – Daniel Darling

A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream – Yuval Levin

Is social media the source of our social problems? – Dan Hugger

How to drain the poison of outrage out of social media – Dan Hugger

Religion & Liberty Winter 2019: Social Media

Eric Kohn

Eric Kohn is director of communications at the Acton Institute. In that role, he works to bring Acton's vision of a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles to a wider audience. Prior to joining Acton, Eric was director of community management at the Illinois Policy Institute, one of the nation's premier state-based think tanks. He was also the founder and CEO of Curious Task Strategies, a public affairs consulting firm. Eric is the leader of the Chicago chapter of America’s Future Foundation, an organization dedicated to developing the next generation of classical liberal leaders in Chicago. Along with Joe Kaiser, Eric hosts Sources with Knowledge, which airs Sundays at 3pm on News/Talk 560 The Answer in Chicago and is available on numerous podcast feeds. He previously hosted The Eric Kohn Program on 1530-AM WJJG, and has guest-hosted the nationally syndicated The Guy Benson Show, Illinois Watchdog Radio on Cities 92.9FM in Bloomington-Normal, and Chicago’s Morning Answer on News/Talk 560 The Answer. He has appeared as a commentator on Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont, Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg, The Michael Koolidge Show, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, and numerous news broadcasts in the Chicagoland area. Eric’s writings have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Belleville News-Democrat and other publications. Eric grew up in Belleville, Ill., and is a graduate of Millikin University in Decatur, Ill.