Phys .org: Research finds social media users actually calm down. “Contrary to conventional wisdom, people tend to wind down rather than whip themselves into a frenzy while browsing Facebook and Twitter, according to a prize-winning dissertation by a newly minted Ph.D. from UC Berkeley’s School of Information.”
Pacific Standard: Social Media Use Is Linked To A Fear Of Crime. “It has long been established that people who watch a lot of television tend to be more afraid of crime. Hours of watching police procedurals, courtroom dramas, and violence-heavy local news can lead one to conclude we live in a very scary world. A recently published, first-of-its-kind study updates this equation for the digital age. It reports that, for many people, time spent on social media appears to similarly heighten fears of being a crime victim.”
Lifehacker: How to Block All the Troubling Stories in Your Social Media Feeds. “On Saturdays and Sundays, I don’t look at any media, social or otherwise. Those are nice days! It’s like a spa treatment for the brain. But unfortunately, my brain is addicted to social media, so come Monday I’m clicking and swiping and freaking out at every piece of horrifying information that comes across the transom. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to keep up with family and friends, and even a bare minimum of news, without being forced to see every dreadful thing that the Facebook sidebar throws in your face?”
US News & World Report: The Social Media Answer to Stressful U.S Holiday: Friendsgiving. “Americans overwhelmed by crowded highways and the prospect of cooking a turkey and all the trimmings for the Thanksgiving holiday dinner are turning for relief to the latest social-media driven holiday – Friendsgiving.”
Select/All: The Future of College Is Facebook Meme Groups. “…shedding some well-needed light on the origins of the elite collegiate meme craze does not fully explain the bizarre nature of these groups’ sustained popularity. Why do so many students flock to these dedicated groups to share such oddly specific memes publicly when more well-established platforms like Tumblr, Twitter, or Reddit exist? … I reached out to a number of the admins and moderators of some of the most popular collegiate meme groups to see if they had any insights. And to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much — clear logic and memes don’t exactly go together — but, surprisingly, nearly every response I got mentioned a similar trend.”
This is one of those articles that I wish I could just grab your sleeve and drag you towards. It starts off with a discussion of Martin Shkreli’s apparently endless amounts of free time and then evolves into a serious look at memes and mental health.
Digital Trends: Google Home Can Play Soothing Nature Sounds To Help You Stay Productive. “Google Home, Google’s artificial intelligence-imbued smart home speaker, can walk you through recipes, place restaurant reservations, start your car, and recap the day’s most significant events. But that is not all it can do. Thanks to a recent update, Google Home can serve up soothing ambient sounds that reduce stress and aid in concentration.” It’s going to be funny if this ends up being Google Home’s killer app.
From Bloomberg, and the article is way better than the headline: Social Media Are Driving Americans Insane. “Social media use has skyrocketed from 7 percent of American adults in 2005 to 65 percent in 2015. For those in the 18-29 age range, the increase is larger, from 12 percent to a remarkable 90 percent. But while an increase in social media usage is hardly surprising, the number of people who just can’t tear themselves away is stark: Nowadays, 43 percent of Americans say they are checking their e-mails, texts, or social media accounts constantly. And their stress levels are paying for it: On a 10-point scale, constant checkers reported an average stress level of 5.3. For the rest of Americans, the average level is a 4.4.”