EurekAlert: Significant otter helps couples communicate from the heart. “[Fannie] Liu was part of a team from CMU, Snap and the University of Washington that built Significant Otter, an app designed primarily for smart watches that allows couples to communicate with each other based on their sensed heart rate. The team presented their work this month at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) Conference.”
MeetingsNet: New One-on-One Networking Tool for Virtual Meetings, Remote Teams. “In brief, Twine pairs up people for condensed but productive one-on-one online conversations. Company cofounder and CEO Lawrence Coburn likens the experience to the chance encounters an attendee might have walking into a reception. However, unlike a cocktail party, Twine events are designed to cut through the small talk and get people to connect more deeply.”
CNET: As jails and prisons face coronavirus, a new app tries to bridge the mail gap. “More than half of all Americans have had a family member in jail or prison, according to a 2018 survey. Yet the cost of making phone calls with prisoners has skyrocketed, leaving families to bear the burden of hefty fees to get critical information past prison walls. Even sending mail to a prisoner can become expensive to families in need. Amid the urgent COVID-19 crisis in jails and prisons, a nonprofit tech company is stepping up to help bridge the communications gap between those behind bars and their loved ones outside.”
The Conversation: Why people post ‘couple photos’ as their social media profile pictures. “We are social psychology researchers interested in understanding people’s behavior in close relationships and on social media. Our research and that of other scholars provides insight into why people use these types of ‘I’m part of a couple!’ displays on social media. Choosing profile photos that include their romantic partner, posting their relationship status and mentioning their partner in their updates can all be signs of how people feel in their relationship – and may send an important message to potential rivals.”
The Atlantic: Inside R/Relationships, the Unbearably Human Corner of Reddit. “There are more than 1 million subreddits on Reddit, though the number of active communities is somewhere around 140,000. With more than 2.6 million members, r/relationships is currently number 74 on the site by size—a little less popular than basketball, a little more popular than tattoos. Last month, it recorded more than 40 million pageviews, and added an average of 1,516 new members each day.”
Esquire ME: How to be an Instagram Husband (by an Instagram Husband). “The term was first coined by a viral video in 2015, mocked up as a PSA for reluctant, photo-snapping boyfriends, and three years later it’s practically become a pre-requisite for countless modern relationships. Of course, you’re not a true Instagram husband unless you risk life and limb, perching on slippery walls and craning off cliffs, in the hunt for a few extra likes. Unless you let meals go cold finding the right angle, and then mouldy as you fiddle with the lighting levels.” Oh dear. I think my IRL husband would head for the hills.
PR Newswire: Smartphone and Social Media Use Is Correlated with Lower Relationship Quality, New National Survey Shows (PRESS RELEASE)
PR Newswire: Smartphone and Social Media Use Is Correlated with Lower Relationship Quality, New National Survey Shows (PRESS RELEASE). “A comprehensive national poll released today reveals how new communication technology is affecting American families. Results indicate nearly half of Americans report that mobile phones have a positive effect on their relationships with family members, and a similar number say it has no effect. These generally positive self-reports on technology, however, contrast with other findings of the survey, which show the more time people reported that they spend on the phone, the higher the likelihood that they also reported concerns about their relationships in the past two years.”
Gizmodo: How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met. “In real life, in the natural course of conversation, it is not uncommon to talk about a person you may know. You meet someone and say, ‘I’m from Sarasota,’ and they say, ‘Oh, I have a grandparent in Sarasota,’ and they tell you where they live and their name, and you may or may not recognize them. You might assume Facebook’s friend recommendations would work the same way: You tell the social network who you are, and it tells you who you might know in the online world. But Facebook’s machinery operates on a scale far beyond normal human interactions.”
On Academia.edu: Liquid Love, Facebook and Friendship: a case study. “According to Bauman’s Liquid Love (2003), the advance in virtual proximity makes human connections frequent and shallower and simultaneously intense and shorter. It makes us wonder if ‘friendships’ on social networks are for ‘the good, the pleasant or useful’ (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII ).The aim of this study is to investigate three different types of relationships between young Internet users; exclusive Facebook friend, recently added Facebook friend and exclusive face-to-face friend with regard to social attraction,self-disclosure, predictability, trust, gender, length of relationship, self-esteem and sociability.” You have to wade through a really long TOC and acknowledgements, but keep going and you’ll get to the paper.
It’s 2016 and there’s social media and therefore relationships are complicated. “I know it’s tempting, but maybe don’t Facebook friend request that new guy [or girl – RB] you’re dating. The Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking recently published a study that suggests connecting on social media too early can negatively affect a person’s view of his or her SO.”
UNC research: use of social media in young adulthood may blunt development of social and relationship skills. “A new study by researchers at the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill and N.C. State University finds that when it comes to romance, the more adolescents communicate online with their boyfriends and girlfriends, the worse they manage conflict and asserting themselves in romantic relationships at a time when kids are developing complex interpersonal skills.”
Research: We’ll stay friends with people on Facebook after they die. I have two friends on Facebook who have passed and I wouldn’t dream of unfriending them. “The survey found that only 8 percent of people would unfriend their connection soon afterwards when someone they know on Facebook dies. 40 percent would maintain the friend connection. The survey also found that 50 percent of people did not agree that Facebook is a good way of sharing news of a death beyond the immediate circle of family and friends.”