What Google can show us about our reaction to mass shootings

12-08-2015

Excerpt from this article:

You and millions of others turn to Google, where you type in the location of this shooting. You tweet or update Facebook about your rage, your frustration that this has happened again, your despair that politicians will still do nothing to protect you or anyone else from the next mass shooting. Because there will be more. The pattern will repeat itself. We know this. We’ve seen this.

Then you probably forget about it for a bit. Until news about the next mass shooting breaks.

According to Google Trends, interest in a mass shooting peaks on the day of or the day after, and then almost immediately drops off the day after that.

We care about these tragedies. We care about gun control. Why do we lose interest so fast?

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Social media’s a trap, but I can’t bear to get out

'It would hardly be appropriate Joseph Cannataci to have an online account consisting of uploads of his morning #avotoast.'

Avocado on toast. Photograph: bonappetit.com

Excerpt from this article:

Increasingly, the technologically equipped world appears to be divided largely into two categories of people: those who are all over social media like the rash they just uploaded a photo of to Twitter, and those who choose not to use it. Then there’s the third, smaller category, to which I belong – the reluctant users, who signed up at the beginning with guileless enthusiasm and now bitterly regret that decision, wishing we belonged to the infinitely cooler (and probably happier) group of people who never bothered at all.

I know I’m not the only one with social media fatigue. It seems to be common amongst my age group – the “bridge” generation who came of age as the internet was taking off but can just about remember what life was like before it. Initially we did everything out in the open on Facebook – explicit conversations about what happened last night that anyone could eavesdrop on. Now, people only post major life events, and I only ever log on to check my messages or tell someone that their baby is nice. I use it even less than my dad, who is 57 and only ever seems to use his Facebook to post links to his profile about how poor Facebook’s privacy settings are.

This is the social media trap – I care about enough of the people on it to keep it going, however much I hate the thing itself.

US Teens Are Deserting Facebook Faster Than Ever

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Excerpt from this article:

A new report has found that Americans aged 13 to 17 who use social media are leaving Facebook faster than ever, with the percentage of those with accounts dropping six points from 94% last year to 88% in 2014…  teens are spending more time on messaging apps and even Twitter, which now boasts 48% engagement in that age group. Part of their attraction to newer services like Snapchat and messaging apps are their youthful user base. After all, with parents and even grandparents on the social network, no wonder teens are saying thanks but no thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s friend request.