Facebook and the Age of Manipulation

Facebook as a nimble, idealistic upstart has steadily eroded, as Mark Zuckerberg has strained to make changes that would protect user privacy nd prevent the spread of disinformation. From the outset, Facebook pitched itself as something new and good—a revolutionary force for transparency and accountability. In early interviews with David Kirkpatrick, the author of “The Facebook Effect,” Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s co-founder and C.E.O., envisioned a challenge to the tools of corporate and political camouflage. “When there’s more openness, with everyone being able to express their opinion very quickly,” he said, “it puts the onus on companies and organizations to be more good, and more trustworthy.”

Read

Advertisements
Posted in Facebook | Tagged

Digital Devices Make us More Distracted, Distant and Drained

Our digital lives may be making us more distracted, distant and drained, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

For instance, even minor phone use during a meal with friends was enough to make the diners feel distracted and reduced their enjoyment of the experience, one study found.

“People who were allowed to use their phones during dinner had more trouble staying present in the moment,” said Ryan Dwyer, MA, of the University of British Columbia, lead author of a study that was presented during a symposium on how digital technology is affecting relationships. “Decades of research on happiness tell us that engaging positively with others is critical for our well-being. Modern technology may be wonderful, but it can easily sidetrack us and take away from the special moments we have with friends and family in person.”

Read

Posted in Digital devices | Tagged

Reimagining the Internet as a mosaic of regional cultures

Most online maps of the Internet are architectural plans, engineering blueprints, anatomical drawings or statistical graphics. For example, the Internet has been represented as millions of devices connected to each other by 300 “[c]ables lying on the seafloor” with its center in a huge hotel in Manhattan.

The Internet can also be viewed as a network of hyperlinks between world languages used to produce online content or represented through Wikipedia as a map of human knowledge.

Read

Posted in Culture, Internet | Tagged ,

The effect of sleep quality on academic performance is mediated by Internet use time

The aims of the present study were to analyze the association of sleep patterns with academic and cognitive performance in adolescents and to test the potential mediating effect of different activities of screen media usage on this association.

The association between sleep quality and academic performance in adolescents is mediated by time of Internet use. Overall, reducing Internet use in adolescents could be an achievable intervention for improving sleep quality, with potentially positive effects on academic performance.

Read

Posted in Academic, Adolescent, Internet | Tagged , ,

Associations between screen time and lower psychological well-being among children and adolescents

Previous research on associations between screen time and psychological well-being among children and adolescents has been conflicting, leading some researchers to question the limits on screen time suggested by physician organizations. We examined a large (n = 40,337) national random sample of 2- to 17-year-old children and adolescents in the U.S. in 2016 that included comprehensive measures of screen time (including cell phones, computers, electronic devices, electronic games, and TV) and an array of psychological well-being measures. After 1 h/day of use, more hours of daily screen time were associated with lower psychological well-being, including less curiosity, lower self-control, more distractibility, more difficulty making friends, less emotional stability, is more difficult to care for, and inability to finish tasks. Among 14- to 17-year-olds, high users of screens (7+ h/day vs. low users of 1 h/day) were more than twice as likely to ever have been diagnosed with depression (RR 2.39, 95% CI 1.54, 3.70), ever diagnosed with anxiety (RR 2.26, CI 1.59, 3.22), treated by a mental health professional (RR 2.22, CI 1.62, 3.03) or have taken medication for a psychological or behavioral issue (RR 2.99, CI 1.94, 4.62) in the last 12 months. Moderate use of screens (4 h/day) was also associated with lower psychological well-being. Non-users and low users of screens generally did not differ in well-being. Associations between screen time and lower psychological well-being were larger among adolescents than younger children.

Read

Posted in Adolescent, Children, screen time | Tagged , ,

This Is Your Brain on the Internet

We know where to find information — we just can’t remember it anymore.

The Earth has never witnessed a more seamless tool for knowledge-sharing than the internet. Word-of-mouth is a great way to send knowledge from one brain to another, and the internet allows us to do this with practically any source of information in an instant, from one side of the world to the other. But as Uncle Ben says in Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Read

Posted in Internet, Knowledge | Tagged ,

The Best Private Search Engines — Alternatives to Google

Private search engines have seen huge growth over the past few years. Until recently, it was unthinkable that anyone could compete with Google in the search realm. However, there are now many smaller players in the search game that are growing rapidly. Google’s market share has declined from 78.7 percent in February 2017 to slightly below 70 percent in February 2018.

A few of these search engines, including DuckDuckGo and StartPage began as normal search engines with no privacy enhancements. However, after they realized the massive risk associated with storing so much data, they decided to take a different approach.

Read

Read also: Search Engines for Academic Research

Searching for Lost Knowledge in the Age of Intelligent Machines

Posted in Search engines | Tagged

Activism in the Social Media Age

As the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag turns 5 years old, a look at its evolution on Twitter and how Americans view social media’s impact on political and civic engagement.

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, which was first coined following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. In the course of those five years, #BlackLivesMatter has become an archetypal example of modern protests and political engagement on social media: A new Pew Research Center analysis of public tweets finds the hashtag has been used nearly 30 million times on Twitter – an average of 17,002 times per day – as of May 1, 2018.

Read

Posted in Activism, Social media | Tagged ,

Digital media use linked to behavioral problems in kids

Are children who spend lots of time using digital devices prone to psychiatric problems? A team of USC scientists says yes in a new study that appears today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Teens who are heavy users of digital devices are twice as likely as infrequent users to show symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the study finds. The association is persistent as researchers tracked nearly 2,600 teenagers for two years.

Read

Posted in Children, Digital media | Tagged ,

Smartphones and Cognition: A Review of Research

While smartphones and related mobile technologies are recognized as flexible and powerful tools that, when used prudently, can augment human cognition, there is also a growing perception that habitual involvement with these devices may have a negative and lasting impact on users’ ability to think, remember, pay attention, and regulate emotion. The present review considers an intensifying, though still limited, area of research exploring the potential cognitive impacts of smartphone-related habits, and seeks to determine in which domains of functioning there is accruing evidence of a significant relationship between smartphone technology and cognitive performance, and in which domains the scientific literature is not yet mature enough to endorse any firm conclusions. We focus our review primarily on three facets of cognition that are clearly implicated in public discourse regarding the impacts of mobile technology – attention, memory, and delay of gratification – and then consider evidence regarding the broader relationships between smartphone habits and everyday cognitive functioning. Along the way, we highlight compelling findings, discuss limitations with respect to empirical methodology and interpretation, and offer suggestions for how the field might progress toward a more coherent and robust area of scientific inquiry.

Read

Posted in Cognition, Smartphone | Tagged ,