A Crisis Line That Calms With Texting and Data

Excerpt from this article :

Right now, algorithms are scouring vast data sets to determine the news you’ll be exposed to today on social media, the advertisements that will appear alongside your search results and what you’ll end up being charged for your next car ride. But can algorithms be used to address more urgent social and individual problems, like how to build trust or provide effective care? Can algorithms be used to increase the love and kindness in the world?

These are the sort of questions that the people at the Crisis Text Line — a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention 24 hours a day via text messaging to the number 741741 — have been focusing on for four years. Their goal is to improve their own crisis counseling, shed light on the pain and suffering that Americans are experiencing every day and show how we can all find ways to respond better. Given the alarming rates of anxiety, loneliness, suicidal ideation, depression and substance abuse nationwide, this work warrants major attention.

 

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Look left, look right — but not at your cell phone in Honolulu crosswalks

Excerpt from this article:

When you cross the street in Honolulu, look both ways — but NOT at the life-changing text your best friend just sent.

The city just approved a law making it illegal for pedestrians to “cross a street or highway while viewing a mobile electronic device.” The law covers video games, pagers and laptops, and the ubiquitous smartphones.

Everyone Makes Mistakes: Teaching Kids How to Fix Things When Texting Goes Awry

Instagram, texting, kids and cellphones, tweens and smartphones, friendship

Excerpt from this article:

As parents or teachers we can get too focused on PREVENTING digital mistakes that can ruin friendships and reputations. We need to offer mentorship to our kids on how to repair things (when possible). We can model this in our own social media lives.

In my student workshops, I ask kids to brainstorm about how to correct such a mistake. A common problem is an “overshare,” where they have shared something too personal about themselves. Another is when your child shares a friend’s good news—or even a secret.

They know that they can’t put the overshare or secret “back in the box,” but kids’ instincts are to try to limit the damage. Quickly. In these workshops, they suggest taking down the offending post, deleting the picture, and apologizing, or at least letting people know that it was a mistake.

But how can they make it right? In many settings, from youth groups to religious schools to public schools student propose solutions that are concerning or ill-advised. For example,  many kids will try to “spread some lies” to cover up when they’ve shared someone’s secret and that person is upset with them. Another bad idea: “I’ll let them get revenge.For example: I’ll let my friend spread a rumor about me. As a parent and educator, I find myself shaking my head! But,  when embroiled in a social error, kids feel an urgency to take further steps to fix it “for good,” quickly.

These problem-solving techniques came from 5th and 6th graders who are just learning how to negotiate complicated social relationships. Many of these kids are just getting their first communication device, which adds another layer of complexity to the equation. It is important to look at where these kids are developmentally when we consider getting them a smartphone.

We have to help kids understand that rumors, lies, and revenge strategies just exacerbate the situation. Kids are focused on the immediate issue, and often have trouble seeing the larger picture. Sometimes when the parameters of trust in a relationship change, it takes time to fix—and your child can actually make it worse by trying to fix it in one gesture.

Men, You Don’t Have To Write “Haha” At The End Of Statements

Following up on this post last week, here’s an excerpt from this article:

Here is an example of what I’m talking about:

Person 1: What’s up?
Man: Just at home haha

Hm? Excuse me? Hm, what? That you are at home is not funny. That you are at home is just a fact that is normal and fine. I understand you want to appear chill and don’t have the tools to appear chill in text so you have resorted to punctuating your statement with the onomatopoeia used for when something is funny but I’m going to have to give you this advice as a friend and confidant: don’t. 🙂

Here is another example:

Person 1: Did you have a good weekend?
Man: Yeah I went to the beach haha

Woman In Group Text Suspicious There’s Another Group Text

Texting - Reductress

Excerpt from this article (it’s a spoof, but pointed):

After nearly two years in a group text of college friends, 26-year-old Kyla Gray is beginning to suspect that there’s another group text that contains everyone from the current group text except her.

“I started noticing little things like Tanya bringing up something we hadn’t been talking about and no one responding,” says Gray. “Is there something I did? Should I text someone and ask?”