The Dead May Outnumber the Living on Facebook in 50 Years

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Findings from OII indicate that at least 1.4 billion Facebook members will die before the year 2100. In that scenario, based on last year’s user levels, experts believe the dead will surpass the living on the social media platform by 2070.

The report looks at this phenomenon in the extreme, predicting that the number of dead users could grow as high as 4.9 billion before the end of the century. Researchers believe dead profiles will proliferate from non-Western countries, particularly in Asia where numbers could raise to 2 billion by 2100.

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The weird and wonderful world of neighborhood Facebook groups

The Facebook logo.

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This community is peak Facebook neighborhood group. The dog poop disposal debates have slowed of late, but the urban turkey sightings, requests for recommendations that have already been given a dozen times, and earnest pleas for all fireworks to be canceled on Independence Day because they make little Fluffy-Poo scared will surely never die. Each year has its recurring rhythm of topics: gardening in the spring; crime in the summer; Halloween in the fall; snow removal in the winter. Then there are the perennial favorites, like solicitations of advice for handling various vermin or inquiries into whether you should call the cops because a man you do not know has knocked on your front door.

Facebook Seeks to Stop Asking Users to Wish Dead Friends Happy Birthday

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While Facebook has emerged as a remarkable tool to preserve cherished memories of departed friends and family, it has also served up these and other troubling — and often unexpected — notifications.

On Tuesday, Facebook announced several changes aimed at easing users’ grief. The social media company is using artificial intelligence “to minimize experiences that might be painful,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said in a statement posted to the company’s website.

Facebook: Where Friendships Go to Never Quite Die

A zombie hand giving the thumbs-up, à la a Facebook "like"

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The site has created an entirely new category of relationship, one that simply couldn’t have existed for most of human history—the vestigial friendship. It’s the one you’ve evolved out of, the one that would normally have faded out of your life, but which, thanks to Facebook, is instead still hanging around. Having access to this diffuse network of people you once knew can be pleasant—a curio cabinet of memories—or annoying; if those good memories get spoiled by an old friend’s new posts; or helpful, if you need to poll a large group for information. But it is, above all, new and unusual.

But users still have an “ambient awareness” of Facebook friends they aren’t communicating with. As one study defines it, this is “awareness of social others, arising from the frequent reception of fragmented personal information, such as status updates and various digital footprints, while browsing social media.” Basically, you probably know if any of your old high-school friends are pregnant right now, whether or not you’ve spoken with or even actively checked up on a given person, as long as you’re both on Facebook. You’re no longer sharing life experiences or creating memories with these weak ties, but as you live your separate lives, you’re forever in each other’s periphery.

This Is Your Brain Off Facebook

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Although four in 10 Facebook users say they have taken long breaks from it, the digital platform keeps growing. A recent study found that the average user would have to be paid $1,000 to $2,000 to be pried away for a year.

So what happens if you actually do quit? A new study, the most comprehensive to date, offers a preview.

Expect the consequences to be fairly immediate: More in-person time with friends and family. Less political knowledge, but also less partisan fever. A small bump in one’s daily moods and life satisfaction. And, for the average Facebook user, an extra hour a day of downtime.

 

He Reported on Facebook. Now He Approaches It With Caution.

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How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Nick Confessore, an investigative reporter, discussed the tech he’s using.

The social media app I really miss is Instagram. I always had a private account, and I accept requests only from real-life friends and family. So it’s an ocean of sanity and genuine relationships compared with Twitter, which is a hell of random angry people. But when I log in — once or twice a week at most, usually on my wife’s phone — I’m now hyper-conscious that every like, thumb click and scroll may go into my permanent Facebook record.

Is deleting Facebook an effective way to protect privacy?

Not in the slightest.

It may interfere with Facebook’s ability to track you as a consumer. But almost every website you visit or app you have on your phone is to some extent tracking where you go and what you do.

A divorce lawyer’s guide to staying together

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In the book, you call Facebook an “infidelity-generating machine.” How many divorces in your experience stem from social media?

James J. Sexton

It’s a huge factor now, and it’s getting worse every day. I can’t remember the last time I had a case where social media was not either a root cause or implicated in some way. And it’s always the same story: people maintaining affairs via social media or communicating with people they don’t have any business communicating with. Infidelity is so easy now, and it’s poisoning marriages.

The problem I have with Facebook specifically is that Facebook creates these very plausibly deniable reasons for you to be connecting with people emotionally in ways that are toxic to marriages. And people are using social media when they’re bored or vulnerable or in transition, not when they’re having a wonderful time with their spouse or enjoying life.

And what are we looking at? We’re looking at someone else’s carefully curated greatest hits, right? Because what do we put on our social media? We post our best moments. We put our coolest pictures where we look the best. We put our most exciting things.

We curate carefully what we put up there. So if I’m in a vulnerable, lonely, bored place looking at everyone else’s curated greatest hits, of course I’m going to think I’m doing worse than I’m doing. Of course I’m going to think my relationship isn’t as interesting as everyone else’s, or as happy as everyone else’s.