Tag Archives: cellphones

There’s a link between obsessive Facebook checking and sleep-deprivation

Are you obsessed with checking Facebook? If you find yourself looking at Facebook many times a day, it may be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. A new study finds a link between obsessive Facebook checking and sleep-deprivation; correlating exhaustion, irritability, attention span with reliance on Facebook browsing.

Sleep deprivation linked with obsession with checking Facebook. Image from The Telegraph.
Sleep deprivation linked with obsession in checking Facebook. Image from The Telegraph.

“When you get less sleep, you’re more prone to distraction,” said head of research Gloria Mark, a University of California, Irvine (UCI) informatics professor. “If you’re being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It’s lightweight, it’s easy, and you’re tired.”

Specialists in the field of interplay between humans and computers seek to answer how lack of sleep impacts individuals so they can design better technologies and commodities.

“There have been lots of studies on how information technology affects sleep. We did the opposite: We looked at how sleep duration influences IT usage,” said Mark.

The research team gathered informational data from 76 UCI students — 42 females and 34 males — for seven days amid the spring semester in 2014. The study controlled for undergraduates’ course load, homework due dates, age and gender, and depended on sensors to impartially measure their conduct, activities and anxiety levels.

Undergraduates’ cellphones and laptops were rigged with a logging program, and time stamps were documented when research participants moved from one application window to the next and when they answered a call on their smartphone or texted a friend. They were requested to complete a survey of their sleep every morning and an end-of-day survey before going to bed.

Study subjects also completed a general questionnaire before the study and sat for an end-of-study assessment. Routinely during the week, they were presented with examining queries from the studies’ analysts with reference to their mood, the apparent difficulty of the chore that was at hand, and their status of activity in their work.

Mark said the research’s discoveries additionally found that the less sleep individuals have, the more periodically their concentration shifts between separate computer windows, which implies elevated inability to maintain one’s attention.

Mark’s UCI colleagues on the research were Melissa Niiya and Stephanie Reich from the School of Education and Yiran Wang from the Department of Informatics. The study was supported financially by the National Science Foundation.

Mark will present the discoveries of the research at a leading computer-human interaction conference in May.

From our perspective: Our generation needs to improve their communication skills

“Wut r u up 2?” “Chillin. U?” “Me 2.” Srsly?

Our generation is by far one of the smartest and most privileged to date. Yet we’re completely inept when it comes to communicating with one another. It’s so simple to prove; just walk around campus. There are thousands of students milling around with their noses in their phones, paying no attention to their surroundings.

The staff at Whim thinks it’s become a bit of a problem. Most college students are supposed to be super social creatures (haven’t you seen “Animal House”?) and we are. Kind of. College students average 12 hours a day with some sort of media outlet, be it Facebook, Twitter or cellphones.

Kathleen Bigelow on the phone. Photo by Austin Tuley.

What that’s saying is we’ll tweet you but we won’t talk to you in person. One of the funniest things to do is to watch the social interactions in Starbucks. Most of these people know each other since it’s a pretty small campus, but they rarely talk to each other for long. There’s an awkward greeting and then the phone comes out. Our ability to create small talk is gone.

We’ve all committed these communication crimes. We all have Facebook friends we’ve met a few times, but when you see each other in public you don’t even acknowledge them. Honestly, it’s a bit embarrassing. We almost create these alternate lives.

Ariel Long on the phone. Photo by Brian Hollingsworth.

It’s not even just our inability to have a decent conversation. You don’t even need gumption or guts to stand up to someone anymore. Just a few years ago fighting via text message was frowned upon. Now, it’s a daily habit. Heck, some Whim staffers have probably been feuding with their boyfriends or roommates during our budget meetings!

This is just one way technology is changing our entire culture. We used to value confidence and quick thinking. Now during an argument or debate, you have plenty of time to think of what to say. You don’t even have to answer. This certain anonymity makes a person braver than usual.

If this continues to happen, what else is going to become socially acceptable? We can slowly see it happening — entire romantic relationships can begin and end with a text message. And we’re beginning to think this is OK.

Technology is a great thing and brings people together in ways that have never been achieved before. But we’re beginning to believe it’s being used too often to mask how we really feel or to do emotionally difficult things for us. Who knows, we might be hearing about a marriage proposal text message soon.