This app helps you find and cheer up the saddest people on Twitter

Excerpt from this article:

A lot of people are probably having a crappy day and are tweeting about just how horrible they are feeling… Using Twitter’s API and MetaMind’s sentiment analysis API, [CheerUpper] culls the social media platform for downer tweets. When you click on the “Cheer someone up!” button, you are given a random, sad tweet to respond to.

And here’s a radio excerpt (audio) about this phenomenon, which is where I first heard about this app.

Editorial note: We will be taking a short break from posting while your digital insights blogger takes some vacation days (so no CheerUppering needed here!). Back after the UK bank holiday weekend with more fun, fascinating content.

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Social Peacocking and the Shadow

Excerpt from this article:

I’ve long spoken of the idea that much social media has turned into “social peacocking” — showing yourself in a favorable light online, presenting only the happy moments, a “highlights reel” of your life, so to speak, and how this leads to FOMO in others. Look at me: here I am doing cool things, in interesting places, with beautiful people.

…It occurred to me that the real problem was not the showing off. The eminence grise that was Carl Jung showed us what can happen to those who stay on the sunny side, and only on the sunny side of life. Jung posited the idea of The Shadow, the dark side of one’s character. The Shadow is not only what is evil, but what is petty, selfish, childish, annoying, and usually unconscious. The more a person acknowledges his shadow, and brings it into consciousness, the healthier and more whole the person will be. But if driven underground and sent into hiding, The Shadow will take on a life of its own, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

…Social peacocking is life on the internet without the shadow. It is an incomplete representation of a life, a half of a person, a fraction of the wholeness of a human being. It’s the lonely crowd, the network and society, and not the community… We have to bring The Shadow back into our technology if we are to live there and find our humanity reflected back to us. In our strivings to be better, we must not forget to be whole.

Coke’s Super Bowl Ad Puts Spotlight On Cyberbullying – UPDATED

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With this ad Coca-Cola launches its #MakeItHappy campaign, which the company describes as a “movement to add more happiness to the Web and offset negativity.”

 Internet negativity is not news to anyone, and at the extreme end of this negativity, cyberbullying has had tragic effects on the lives of many. According to StopBullying.gov, a 2013 study revealed that 15 percent of high school students have experienced electronic bullying. But the Coca-Cola ad, addressing Internet negativity, and criticizing it, takes a step into the corporate mainstream.

UPDATE: Tricked Into Quoting Hitler, Coca-Cola Suspends Automated Tweet Campaign

The debacle illustrates that major brands like Coke can’t make campaigns featuring automatic tweets without the expectation that it will likely get highjacked…

Megabucks breed mega insecurity: just ask the Rich Kids of Instagram

Illustration by Andrzej Krauze

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On the internet, it is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone unable to admire someone else must be jealous of them. So please excuse what follows as the bitter delusions of someone yet to arrive at the self-awareness that characterises all social media interaction.

But I cannot look upon the works of the Rich Kids of Instagram without feeling pity for the eponymous Rich Kids. For those unfamiliar with them, they are a mostly self-identifying tribe of super-rich youngsters who post frequent pictures of their mandatorily enviable lifestyles. This basically translates as a lot of snaps of them posing on super yachts, or on private jets, or in their drive-through shoe cupboards and whatnot.

What Sex, Food, And Selfies Have To Do With Effective Social Marketing

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In 2010, researchers found that 80% of social media posts were announcements about people’s immediate experiences–Facebook status updates like Joe’s “OMG that is A LOT of snow” are the norm in social feeds. So in 2012, two researchers at Harvard were curious about this and decided to see how self-disclosure affects the brain.

It turns out that talking about our own thoughts and experiences activates the rewards system of the brain, providing that same shot of dopamine we get from sex, food, and exercise. The reward activity in the brain is also much greater when people get to share their thoughts with others.

Simply put, Joe’s wake-up tweet gave his brain pleasure.

Selfie-Loathing

Joyful woman in bikini runs to the sea

Excerpt from this article:

The Human–Computer Institute at Carnegie Mellon has found that your “passive consumption” of your friends’ feeds and your own “broadcasts to wider audiences” on Facebook correlate with feelings of loneliness and even depression. Earlier this year, two German universities showed that “passive following” on Facebook triggers states of envy and resentment in many users, with vacation photos standing out as a prime trigger. Yet another study, this one of 425 undergrads in Utah, carried the self-explanatory title “ ‘They Are Happier and Having Better Lives Than I Am’: The Impact of Using Facebook on Perceptions of Others’ Lives.” Even the positive effects of Facebook can be double-edged: Viewing your profile can increase your self-esteem, but it also lowers your ability to ace a serial subtraction task.