New York Times: Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain

New York Times: Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain. “I’ve been a heavy phone user for my entire adult life. But sometime last year, I crossed the invisible line into problem territory. My symptoms were all the typical ones: I found myself incapable of reading books, watching full-length movies or having long uninterrupted conversations. Social media made me angry and anxious, and even the digital spaces I once found soothing (group texts, podcasts, YouTube k-holes) weren’t helping. I tried various tricks to curb my usage, like deleting Twitter every weekend, turning my screen grayscale and installing app-blockers. But I always relapsed.”

SFGate: Your friends’ social media posts are making you spend more money, researchers say

SFGate: Your friends’ social media posts are making you spend more money, researchers say. “…a team of American and Canadian economists have proposed a new explanation for the declining savings rate, one rooted in individual psychology. At its heart lies a simple observation: Personal spending is a lot more visible to others than not spending. Changes in the media landscape have made other people’s spending more visible than ever. That, in turn, is making all of us spend even more – and save even less.”

Nieman Lab: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing — no, seriously, it is, according to this new research

Nieman Lab: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing — no, seriously, it is, according to this new research. “People who’ve scanned Facebook for news gain a little knowledge. Why do some of them think they’ve gained a lot? Consider statements like ‘I feel that I need to experience strong emotions regularly’ and ‘I feel like I need a good cry every now and then.’ How much do these statements apply to you?”

The Verge: YouTube wants ‘dislike mobs’ to stop weaponizing the dislike button

The Verge: YouTube wants ‘dislike mobs’ to stop weaponizing the dislike button. “‘Dislike mobs’ are the YouTube equivalent to review bombings on Steam — a group of people who are upset with a certain creator or game decide to execute an organized attack and downvote or negatively review a game or video into oblivion. It’s an issue on YouTube as well, and one that creators have spoken out against many times in the past. Reports have suggested that a video with a high number of dislikes — that outweighs the number of positive likes — is less likely to be recommended, and could therefore hurt the creator’s channel.”

EurekAlert: People think and behave differently in virtual reality than they do in real life

EurekAlert: People think and behave differently in virtual reality than they do in real life . “Immersive virtual reality (VR) can be remarkably lifelike, but new UBC research has found a yawning gap between how people respond psychologically in VR and how they respond in real life.”

ScienceBlog: Research Reveals Strategies For Combating Science Misinformation

ScienceBlog: Research Reveals Strategies For Combating Science Misinformation. “Just as the scientific community was reaching a consensus on the dangerous reality of climate change, the partisan divide on climate change began to widen, a new study finds. That might seem like a paradox, but it’s also no coincidence, according to Justin Farrell, a professor of sociology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). It was around this time that an organized network, funded by organizations with a lot to lose in a transition to a low-carbon economy, started to coalesce around the goal of undercutting the legitimacy of climate science, Farrell said.”

Bustle: Social Media Posts About Exercise Discourage Many Of Us From Working Out, New Study Finds

Bustle: Social Media Posts About Exercise Discourage Many Of Us From Working Out, New Study Finds. “It’s the most common time of year to join a new gym or to commit yourself to fitness routine. The festive period is long gone, and a feeling of determination for the new year is most likely sweeping through most of us. Many of us may feel encouraged by things we see on social media, from motivational quotes to commentaries on how working out can help our mental health as well as our physical health. However, new research has unfortunately suggested that users find social media posts about exercise are more harmful than good, in the majority of cases.”