This discussion on Facebook hosted by the NY Times raises the question of whether young people today are more narcissistic than their elders and, if so, does social networking have anything to do with it.
You Like Me! You Really Like Me!
A Times article recently debated whether young people are more narcissistic than previous generations, mentioning Facebook as a possible factor. And a University of Michigan study, published in June, seems to support this theory.
Are social media like Facebook turning us into narcissists?
via Facebook and Narcissism – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.
9 Teenage Suicides In The Last Year Were Linked To Cyber-Bullying On Social Network Ask.fm
Wednesday morning a 12-year-old girl’s body was found after she leapt to her death at an abandoned cement silo, unable to take anonymous harassment anymore.
via 9 Teenage Suicides In The Last Year Were Linked To Cyber-Bullying On Social Network Ask.fm.
So, a couple of PhD students at MIT—finding themselves too addicted to do their actual research—developed a system that tracks your online activity and zaps you with a painful shock if it sees you’re spending too much time on Facebook.
They’re calling it the Pavlov Poke, after 19th century Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, famous for discovering classical conditioning—the concept of using positive or negative stimuli to encourage a behavior change. We employ the psychological trick all the time: Finish homework, get cookie, the homework gets done. Cat jumps on counter, gets sprayed with water bottle, it no longer jumps on counter. The Pavlov Poke works like an electric fence: youre the dog and Facebook is the neighbors yard.
“To be truly effective, many shock exposures are probably needed. Proper conditioning procedures should be followed,” wrote Robert Morris, one of the students, for an article on Medium. However after electrocuting themselves several times in the name of science, the pair decided the shocks were a bit too unpleasant, and decided to try a different approach: peer ridicule.They enlisted Amazons Mechanical Turk and paid strangers $1.40 to call them up and yell at them for wasting too much time Facebooking. The callers read from pre-written scripts: “Hey, stop using Facebook! What the hell is wrong with you? You lazy piece of garbage. Youre a dumb freaking idiot, you know that? Get it together!”
via This Project Breaks Your Facebook Habit With Electrocution and Ridicule | Motherboard.
But as more people wallpaper their Facebook pages with status updates, photographs, and video—more than half a petabyte of information flows through Facebook’s data warehouse on a daily basis—that question of ownership has taken a new and much-debated dimension: how much control do users actually have over Facebook’s policies and regulations?
The question exposes certain tensions inherent in Facebook’s very existence. On one hand, the social network needs to leverage user data in order to sell advertising. But if Facebook appears to disregard users’ privacy in the name of that advertising, it could provoke a brutal backlash. So as much as Facebook’s executives might like a free hand in setting policy, they also need to make a public show of responding to user concerns.
As such, Facebook is letting users vote on changes to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (Facebook users can vote via this link). The company will also host a live Webcast to answer questions at 9:30 AM PST. While Facebook provides access to the proposed Data Use Policy and other documents, it’s not wholly clear how the company will react if the vote doesn’t go its “way,” so to speak.
via Facebook Users Voting on Privacy, Instagram, Other Issues.
In recent months, some Facebook page owners have noticed that their accounts are driving much less traffic to their websites than they used to. In some cases, Facebook clickthroughs are down by as much as half, despite a huge growth in likes. Even worse, some brands noticed that this drop in traffic coincided with a new Facebook feature called “promoted posts” through which brands can pay cold hard cash to push their content out to more news feeds than they would normally reach—and the brands are not happy about it.
This juxtaposition of events makes it look like Facebook is artificially driving down traffic, then holding the old level of traffic hostage in order to generate some new revenue. But Facebook insists its doing nothing of the sort; instead, the company says that its just trying to keep its users Facebook feeds from getting too crufty with promotional posts they dont want to see. In other words, Facebook claims to be on the side of users against the advertisers, even if its making money on the deal.
The social network finds itself in a delicate position: for the first time, its trying to strike a balance between helping brands to reach users, keeping users returning to their news feeds, and making money of its own as pressure produce revenue rises.
via Is Facebook “broken on purpose” to sell promoted posts? | Ars Technica.
As if we needed more examples to demonstrate that ‘the digital’ & ‘the physical’ are part of the same larger world, it seems there’s no end to the applicability of demographic metaphors to trends in social media. I wrote about App.net and “white flight” from Facebook and Twitter last month, so you can imagine how my head broke on Monday when I first heard about “New MySpace.” My first question—after, “wait, what?”—was, “Is this like when the white people start moving back into urban cores to live in pricey loft conversions?”
via New Myspace: Bringing (Re)Gentrification Back? » Cyborgology.