Quartz: Instagram CTO says they do not withhold “likes” to keep users coming back for more. “Who doesn’t like Instagram ‘likes?’ Watching those little hearts racking up after posting a photo has the potential to deliver feelings ranging from validation that our picture has been noted and approved, to an all-round fuzzy sense of being loved. Instagram knows that, of course, and it is allegedly exploiting it to increase the frequency of visits to its platform, according to a Jan. 6 report in the Globe and Mail.” As you might guess from the headline, Instagram is denying this.
Digital Trends: Obsessive selfie-taking is now a mental disorder called ‘selfitis’. “Selfitis was a term originally coined in a fake news story but that didn’t stop psychologists from actually researching the possibility. A group from Nottingham Trent University and Thiagarajar School of Management recently confirmed that selfitis is an actual mental behavior that leads to obsessive selfie-taking, publishing a research report on its findings in the International Journal of Mental Health Addiction.”
University of Connecticut: Losing Face on Facebook. “Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, assistant professor of communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, recently published the study ‘Face threats, identity, and the audience on Facebook’ in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, with colleagues Jeremy Birnholtz of Northwestern University and Jeffrey Hancock of Stanford University. The study showed that something as simple as a Facebook post by a friend can produce strong emotional and nonverbal responses. She spoke with UConn Today about the study.”
The Daily Dot: This is why Facebook arguments don’t work—according to science . “Next time you’re inclined to spend hours arguing with a Facebook friend, or even a stranger, in the comments of a post, take a moment to close your laptop or shut off your phone screen. Why, you ask? Because according to science, you’d be better off listening to each other—literally—instead.”
Slate: One way to improve cybersecurity: Make users slow down.. “On Sept. 26, 1983, a Soviet military officer by the name of Stanislav Petrov avoided ending the world by taking a few extra seconds to think. The computer screen he sat before ordered him to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States after the Soviet missile detection system picked up five missiles heading their way. The system reported he had 20 minutes before total annihilation so every second of hesitation mattered. Had Petrov received the same noncivilian training as his comrades in arms, he may have simply reacted to the order, initiating the nuclear holocaust. Instead, he correctly judged that if the United States had actually fired their missiles, they would have likely sent many more than five. Petrov decided to ignore the computer system, and in doing so, avoided World War III. Since the world learned about the incident, it’s become a famous example of the importance of slowing down to think in the face of a critical decision.”
Phys.org: Keeping score of ‘friends’ on Facebook and Instagram may be harmful to your health. “Ever felt like your peers have more pals than you do? These days, with the rise of social media apps like Facebook and Instagram, it is easier than ever to benchmark the number of ‘friends’ you have against your peers. So, if you find yourself wondering how your social networks compare with other people’s, our latest research, published in Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, suggests that you are far from alone. Furthermore, we found that believing that your peers have more pals than you do – even if demonstrably false – can be harmful to your health.”
Popular Science: A psychologist explains why those Facebook product ads are so darn compelling . “You probably want to own a mattress you’ve seen advertised on Facebook. Or maybe it’s not a mattress you crave, maybe it’s that reinvented bra. It’s the wool shoes. It’s the super soft modal undies. It’s whatever ad (or 20) you’ve been targeted with for the past year. The product itself isn’t even relevant—it’s the marketing strategy that gets you.”