Revealed: the more time that children chat on social media, the less happy they feel

Researchers have found that the more time children spend chatting online, the less happy they feel about their life overall.

Excerpt from this article:

Perhaps Facebook should carry a health warning. A study has revealed that the children who spend more time on online social networks feel less happy in almost all aspects of their lives.

The research by a team of economists at the University of Sheffield, to be presented at this week’s Royal Economic Society annual conference in Bristol, shows that the more time children spend chatting on Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram, the less happy they feel about their school work, the school they attend, their appearance, their family and their life overall. However, they do feel happier about their friendships.

Economists found that spending just one hour a day on social networks reduces the probability of a child being completely happy with his or her life overall by around 14%. They found that this was three times as high as the estimated adverse effect on wellbeing of being in a single-parent household – and larger than the effect of playing truant.

Cool It: You Don’t Have to Be on Every Social Media App

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Excerpt from this article:

Are you obligated to try new social media apps? Not at all. Use what you enjoy. Try what you think you’d enjoy. Or don’t. You alone get to map out the borders of your online life. But you are, I think, obligated to stay open to exploring new social media apps—to keep yourself from becoming too jaded, too dismissive—and to always entertain the possibility that one of them might become meaningful and useful to you. I mean, I sunk a lot of time into Friendster back in the day, and I don’t regret it.

The Seven Deadly Social Networks

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“Social networks do best when they tap into one of the seven deadly sins,” the LinkedIn co-founder [Reid Hoffman] and venture capitalist said. “Zynga is sloth. LinkedIn is greed. With Facebook, it’s vanity, and how people choose to present themselves to their friends.”

On to Greed. According to Dante, the greedy and avaricious are condemned to joust with each other using enormous heavy boulders, forever. What’s more, they are rendered unrecognizable—each soul appears as the blandest, dullest version of itself. Does that sound like LinkedIn or what? Mandelbaum’s translation put it particularly well:

… I saw multitudes
to every side of me; their howls were loud
while, wheeling weights, they used their chests to push.
They struck against each other; at that point,
each turned around and, wheeling back those weights,
cried out: “Hi, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Sloth was Zynga once, per Hoffman, but Zynga is no more. Now sloth is Netflix. I know that’s not a social network, but, eh.

Wrath, according to Dante, was a twin sin to sullenness. He wrote that they both came from the same essential error: Wrath is rage expressed, sullenness is rage unexpressed. And he condemned both the sullen and the wrathful to the Fifth Circle—where, in a foul marsh, the wrathful attacked each other unendingly, without ever winning; while the sullen sat beneath the murk and stewed and scowled and acted aloof. Rarely has there been a better description of Twitter.

Others:

  • Gluttony = Instagram
  • Envy = Pinterest
  • Lust = Tinder
  • Pride = Medium
  • Vanity or Vainglory = Facebook
  • Acedia (“cousin to boredom”) = Tumblr

 

Safer Internet Day: Young ignore ‘social media age limit’

Using a mobile phone

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The reason that most social media platforms have set 13 years as their cut-off point is a US law called Coppa (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), which dates back to 1998.

It mandated that online services would have to seek “verifiable parental consent” from younger users and would then be restricted as to how they could use the data.

Many apps subsequently decided it would not be worth their while.

Facebook was the most popular with under-13s, with 49% claiming to be users.

Instagram was used by 41% of 10 to 12 year olds and the company said “keeping the community safe” online was its “number one priority”

Among 16 to 18 year olds, two in five had used social media to spread gossip and a quarter had used it to say something “unkind” or “rude” to someone else online.

Related: Here is an article about a platform designed for kids under 13.

For Refugees, a Digital Passage to Europe

Stranded migrants charge their phones on a field with electricity provided by a generator at the Greek-Macedonian border near the Greek village of Idomeni, November 24, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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While many of us might feel we cannot live without the Internet or our cell phones, for refugees access to digital technologies can be a matter of life or death.

Numerous media reports have highlighted how smartphones are essential and vital for refugees as they travel along perilous routes, contact lost family members, or find safe places before dark.

But focusing on one technology misses the bigger picture. Social media, mobile apps, online maps, instant messaging, translation websites, wire money transfers, cell phone charging stations, and Wi-Fi hotspots have created a new infrastructure for movement as critical as roads or railways.

Together, these technologies make up a digital passage that is accelerating the massive flow of people from places like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to Greece, Germany, and Norway. The tools that underpin this passage provide many benefits, yet are also used to exploit refugees and raise questions about surveillance.

Governments and refugee agencies need to establish trust when collecting data from refugees. Technology companies should acknowledge their platforms are used by refugees and smugglers alike and create better user safety measures.

As governments and leaders coordinate a response to the crisis, appropriate safeguards around data and technology need to be put in place to ensure the digital passage is safe and secure.

 

 

Introducing The Social Network For Dogs

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Excerpt from this article on OgilvyDO:

“Dogs are becoming the new celebrities,” says Cory. “They have millions of followers, and people trust them. It’s not like if a celebrity is selling a product.” These doggy accounts, most of which started out as just amateur photographers and their pets, have morphed into media brands. “They have agents, book deals, apparel… On the flipside, there are these volunteer-run shelters trying to save dogs with very little time or resources.” Cory and Jane wanted to find a way to combine this love of storytelling with a way to do good, and so together they founded Dogly.

It works simply enough; you download the app and share images and stories with the Dogly community. When another member loves one of your photos (it’s all about the loves, not likes) that counts as a donation towards your chosen shelter. The more creative your content, the more loves you get, and the more good you do. Shelters also use Dogly to post updates on adoptable dogs, and the shelter with the most loves at the end of the month receives a $1,000 donation.

“Status Update” Episode on This American Life Podcast

This American Life

The latest episode of the always excellent This American Life podcast opens with a story about young girls interacting with Instagram. Here is part 1 and here is part 2, worth a good listen.

Three teenage girls explain why they are constantly telling their friends they are beautiful on Instagram… [before] describing the complex social map that is constantly changing in their phones.