Tag Archives: Social Media

The Dead to Outnumber the Living in Facebook by 2070

Most of us do not know this, but the death rate throughout the world is increasing. While it is not at the point where humans are dying faster than being born, it eventually will happen sooner than you think. Just take a look at the users of Facebook.

According to data from Oxford University, the number of dead Facebook users could outnumber the living by 2070. This would leave a vast amount of historical archives and importance that needs archivists to be brought in and save the information said the university.

Currently, the global social media site has around 2.27 billion members, but 1.4 billion will die before 2100, according to the new calculations.

 This means that within 50 or so years from now, the number of dead could pass the living. This would be a milestone that has important implications for what should or could happen with the huge archives of digital history.

By the turn of the 22nd century, the number of decreased profiles could reach as high as 4.9 billion and it would be a huge representation of the heritage in the 21st century.

Lead author Carl Ohman, a doctoral candidate from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) warned there were problems with a single commercial company holding the largest archive of human behavior ever assembled.

“It may be of enormous benefit to future generations, and to historians especially,” said Mr. Ohman. “However, Facebook is a private company and is thus guided by what is commercially, not historically, valuable… Why would Facebook bother to store up to five billion dead profiles on their servers if there were no commercial inventive to do so? The problem is not that Facebook is a commercial company, it is rather the increasing concentration of historical data. Too few control too much.”

As of now, the process after a person dies, there two options for their accounts on Facebook. The first choice is memorializing their account for everyone to remember them by.  The word “remembering” is placed next to the profile name along a contact number for the person which is usually a family member running the page. The second option which is done by the user before their death is the delete option which just deletes their account after death.

It allows friends and family to view public posts made before their death and also post memories.

Now, the OII is calling for Facebook to invite historians, researchers, and archivists to devise and create a way to curate the archives so they are not lost forever and that they can be available to future generations.

The team said all social media networks with a similar global reach should start thinking about how the data of their users should be stored and used after death.

Co-author David Watson, also a doctoral student at the OII, added: “Facebook should invite historians, archivists, archaeologists and ethicists to participate in the process of curating the vast volume of accumulated data that we leave behind as we pass away.

“This is not just about finding solutions that will be sustainable for the next couple of years, but possibly for many decades ahead. Controlling this archive will, in a sense, be to control our history.

“It is therefore important that we ensure that access to these historical data is not limited to a single for-profit firm. It is also important to make sure that future generations can use our digital heritage to understand their history.”

However, the team said social network archives could provide a detailed view of history that has previously been impossible to see.

Mr. Ohman added: “Data from social media differs from traditional historical data, not only in terms of the content, but also in terms of the quantity.

“What we know about people in the past is basically based on men with power, who could preserve information about themselves to future generations.

“But we know way less about the thoughts and daily lives of the millions of women, workers and other marginalized groups in history. With social media as an historical asset, we have a chance not to repeat this mistake.”

These predictions are based off data provided by the United Nations, which provided the expected number of mortalities and total populations for every country in the world distributed by age. They were then mapped against Facebook data.

This research that was found by Oxford was published in the journal Big Data & Society.


Photo from Medium

Error: Facebook and Instagram Down For More Than 2 Hours

If you had troubles this morning trying to log into Facebook or Instagram, no worries, because you were not the only one.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were all experiencing issues this morning for users worldwide.

Two of the most popular social media sites, Facebook and Instagram, were both inaccessible, with news feeds refusing to refresh and the main Facebook.com domain unavailable for more than two hours.

WhatsApp messages were also unable to be sent or received (it is like a form of texting). Most people headed over to Twitter to share their complaints and concerns before the return of their beloved sites. Messenger, Facebook’s chat service, was also down for more than two hours.

The outages appear to have started at around 6:30 AM EST this morning, and some locations were more widely affected than others.

A spokesperson for Facebook released a statement to the Verge saying they were aware that some people were having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. “We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” the statement read.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all started to come back online at around 9 AM ET this morning.

These issues come after Facebook dealt with a previous service outage that was the worst in the company’s history. It took over 24 hours before all of the issues were solved and for most users, it took hours before they were able to post on the social media sites.

Facebook blamed a “server configuration change,” and apologized for the outages.


Photo from Regenexx

Twitter Introduces Their “Lights Out” Dark Mode

Ever since Twitter introduced their dark theme for their mobile devices back in 2016, there were complaints about it not being dark enough. Well, Twitter has listened and they have introduced their true version of dark mode for iOS. (Sorry Android users).

Earlier this week, the new feature was released to users who have iPhones.

This new mode takes advantage of OLED screens’ ability to display pure black – they achieve this by turning off the pixels entirely to produce the darkest possible shade of black. This feature looks and works best on the most recent iPhones, which is why the feature is currently only available on iPhones only.

If you’re using one with an LCD display, you’ll still see a darker shade of black than before.

However, the switch between the old dark mode and the Lights Out version is not too big; yes, the new version is darker while the old version has a blueish tint, but it seems like the older version was better for the eyes.

In order to switch to this mode, you will need to head to your settings on the Twitter app and tap on the dark mode toggle and select the Lights Out option.

This feature is not available to Twitter users that have Android phones, but the company has promised that the new feature will be available to them very soon.


Photo from Metro

What is GAB?

After the shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 people and injured numerous others, we are left to question: how did this happen?

The suspect, who has been identified as Robert Bowers, appears to have a history of anti-Semitic posts and speech on this social media platform called GAB. Yesterday, PayPal banned GAB from using their platform while Apple and Google have previously banned the social media platform for posts that were also anti-Semitic. So, what is GAB?

GAB describes themselves as “a social network that champions free speech.” However, it has turned into a “haven” for Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the extreme right.

GAB has also been compared as the right-leaning Twitter, which GAB has neither accepted nor denied.

Founder and CEO of GAB, Andrew Torba, has cited himself that GAB was inspired because of a “left-leaning monopoly on social media.”

Now, people will say that Torba has a right to keep the freedom of speech on GAB, while others will say that he does not. However, the 1st Amendment does protect hate speech but it does not protect GAB from the “wrath” of other companies banning it from its platform.

So for now, GAB is fighting to stay online in general as along with being cut by PayPal, they were cut off by their web host. Luckily for them, they were able to find another web host. After finding a new web host, GAB took to Twitter (irony at its finest) and tweeted out: “FREE SPEECH WILL ALWAYS WIN OUT.”

On the moral side of things, it should not be true, but in regards to the US Constitution, this statement is very true.

Google+ to Shut Down After User Data was Exposed

In 2011, Google launched a social media site called Google+ to challenge Facebook which was the number one social media site and one of the few out there. Google wanted in on the social media craze. Unfortunately for Google, nobody wanted or liked Google+ which made the decision easier when Google+ was hacked just recently.

Google+ is no longer available to public users; photo from stockio.com
Google+ is no longer available to public users; photo from stockio.com

Alphabet Inc. the parent company of Google announced on Monday that they will be shuting down the consumer verison of Google+ and tighting the data sharing policies after it was announced that over 500,000 users may have been exposed to hundreds of developers outside of Alphabet.

The issue involving Google+ was found and patched as a part of a review on how Google shares data with other applications and companies. No developer exploited the open data according to Google in their findings.

Alphabet Inc. stock only went down 1 percent to $1155.92 and this comes after numerous tech companies in the U.S. have had to deal with privacy issues.

For the reason on why the leak was announced to the public, Google had fears of the disclosure of the leak would be compared to Facebook’s leak of user info to Cambridge Analytica.

As for Google+ which was created in 2011 as more or less a copy of Facebook, it will no longer be offered to users as a social media platform but it will remain as an internal networking option for businesses who buy Google’s G-Suite.

As precaution that Google is taking is that they will no longer allow Play Store apps to access text messages and call logs unless they are the default calling or texting app on a user’s device or have the prior permission of Google.

Breached! Nearly 50 Million Facebook Accounts Affected

Another day, another set of Facebook accounts that have been breached.


It has not been a good year for Mark Zuckerberg or for his creation. Friday was no exception as Facebook announced that as many as 50 million accounts were breached in an attack on one of the most popular social media sites.

The breach was discovered by Facebook earlier this week and since then has been patched. This patch was to stop attackers from taking over any user accounts.

The attackers were able find an area of code that was vulnerable to an attack. This impacted the “View As” feature, which allows users to compare their profile to another person’s profile. This allowed for the attackers to steal access tokens and use them to take over user accounts.

Those tokens are more or less a key that allows for users to stay logged in to their accounts, which is very beneficial so they do not have to login every time to use their account. This is unlike MyRU accounts, which require you to login every time you use them.

After the breach was found, Facebook shut down the access keys of over 90 million users, which included the 50 million users that were breached and another 40 million that were subjected to “View As” searches within the past year. Guy Rosen, the vice president of product management, made that announcement to USA Today.

All of those users will have to log back in, but according to Facebook, there is no need for anyone to worry about changing their passwords.

Zuckerberg said in a conference call to reporters, “We are taking it really seriously.” Zuckerberg also went on to say, “I am glad we found this, but it definitely is an issue that this happened in the first place.”

This incident for Facebook is another chapter to a year that they would want to forget since they have to deal with the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the supposed Russian meddling campaign in the 2016 elections.

Is Facebook in Trouble with the U.S. Government?

Mark Zuckerburg has seen better days (well, most of his adulthood has been fine until now), and while he may still be very rich, he does have a huge problem on his hands with Facebook.

Does Facebook have trouble with the U.S. Federal Governement after an whistle-blower reveal information about Cambridge Analytica; photo from betanews.com
Does Facebook have trouble with the U.S. Federal Governement after an whistle-blower reveal information about Cambridge Analytica; photo from betanews.com

Christopher Wylie, co-founder of Cambridge Analytica, blew the whistle on Facebook and his company on Tuesday, telling a United Kingdom parliamentary committee that the “Brexit” (look it up) referendum could have ended differently if there had been no “cheating” from proponents wanting to leave the European Union.

This comes after stories broke about how Cambridge Analytica allegedly used illegally obtained data from 50 million users on Facebook.  This was used in an attempt to influence political outcomes.

Cambridge Analytica was able to use the 50 million user accounts to create 30 million “psychographic” profiles that were used to design targeted political ads.

The Federal Trade Commission announced on Monday that they had launched an investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices and a couple days before that, UK authorities had raided Cambridge Analytica’s offices.

In a statement from the embattled company, they had stated that their data had no influence in “Brexit” or the 2016 campaign of Donald Trump, the current president of the U.S.

Facebook is also facing problems with the scandal as numerous people have deleted the app and also started a hashtag called #deleteFacebook. It was because of this, Facebook’s share drive took a nosedive as the social media grant lost over $60 billion in value at one point.

Mark Zuckerburg, the founder of Facebook has taken out full-page adverts in newspapers across the U.S. and UK, apologizing for what happened. Zuckerburg has also accepted an invitation to testify in front of the U.S. Congress; however, he has not extended the same offer to UK lawmakers.

As each day passes, the scandal gets more and more interest as this could affect the President and the planned “Brexit” over in the UK. Only time will tell if anything comes out of this.

Why did the president’s Twitter get taken down?

There would have been celebrations around the world for some people—crying and smiling—and then it’s all over in just 11 minutes. President Donald Trump’s personal Twitter was taken down in that span and brought back up.

But why was it taken down in the first place?

On Thursday night near 7 p.m. eastern time, a Twitter employee who was working their last day for the company in the customer support area, took down the 45th president and media personality’s personal Twitter.

This would had the screen you would gotten if you looked up the president's Twitter during the 11 minutes it was down; photo from howldb.com
This would had the screen you would gotten if you looked up the president’s Twitter during the 11 minutes it was down; photo from howldb.com

Twitter said in a statement “Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee.” Twitter also noted that this was the employee’s last day with the company.

The president has been targeted multiple times on Wikipedia, changing his public information. The attacks got so bad, Wikipedia decided to limit his page to only high-rank employees.

Due to the numerous times Trump’s comments on Twitter have led to people calling for the suspension of the account, it comes as little surprise that one particularly daring soon-to-be ex-employee would find themselves tempted.

However, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended the president’s use of Twitter back in May of 2017 by saying, “I believe it’s really important to hear directly from our leadership.”

Trump did not make a statement but did suggest on his restored Twitter page that “the word must finally be getting out – and having an impact.”

Just last month, President Trump became the most followed world leader passing Pope Francis of the Catholic Church with over 42 million Twitter followers.

Twitter is conducting a full internal investigation into how the employee got access, as well as how to prevent future attacks on the president’s page.




No, I won’t stop ranting on Facebook

As the upcoming election gets more heated, and as more states caucus results come back, the debate on social media has only gotten hotter. It’s impossible to scroll through Facebook without seeing someone’s political opinions being broadcast for the world to see. On Twitter, comedians make light of what seems like a hopeless election by tweeting jokes, most of which are about Donald Trump.

As our timelines are flooded with political posts, some are joining in and sharing their thoughts, while others see the posts as a nuisance. I can recall several posts I’ve seen by complainers who would much rather see cute animals pictures and Buzzfeed articles on their timeline.

The Facebook comment section serves as an easy platform for debates. Graphic from Market Pilgrim
The Facebook comment section serves as an easy platform for debates. Graphic from Marketing Pilgrim

Politics are extremely important. Yes, discussing politics can cause some divides in our communities, but these are things we need to discuss. When it’s March Madness, there are plenty of folks complaining on social media about the team they hate, but no one really complains about that. Not that sports aren’t important, but politics are our future.

I’m the kind of person who loves to use social media as a platform to talk about politics. I’m always sharing political articles, which I’m sure has caused some people to remove me as their friend or “unfollow” me. I don’t really mind, however, because if people are so small-minded that discussing a subject as heavy as politics makes them uncomfortable, I don’t really want to be their friend.

Social media wasn’t necessarily made for politics, but it has definitely had a huge impact in some major political revolutions. In 2011, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya went through quite a bit of political unrest, a time often called the “Arab Spring.” During this time, social media was essentially used to overthrow an oppressive government. Social media was a vital tool in transcending borders and allowing protesters to organize and discuss.

Social media can be annoying at times, of course. However, we shouldn’t brush off its importance. While social media is typically seen as a distraction and unnecessary, in political scenarios and elections, we need to embrace it as a platform to allow our voices to be heard. One of the great things about Twitter is that you have a direct line to politicians, celebrities and other high-profile people. Even if you don’t get a reply, there is a possibility the person you’re trying to contact may see what you have to say. Even if they don’t see it, others may join in discussing the topic, whatever it may be.

We have more technology and the easiest platform to voice our opinions on that has ever existed. We have been granted a great opportunity to use these tools to make a difference. Your opinions matter, and social media is the fastest way to share your thoughts with the most people.

This election, social media has been used by millennials to promote their favorite candidates. Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash, a Facebook group in which members share political memes in support of the presidential candidate, has been an amazing tool in unifying Sanders supporters. At the recent Trump rally on our campus, remnants of the group were scattered throughout the crowd of protesters. There was a very heavy internet and social media influence on many of the signs and overall attitude of protesters.

If politics isn’t your thing (although it should be), simply stay off social media until the election is over. Better yet, join in the political revolution and share your thoughts loudly and proudly.

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.

Kanye vs. Wiz: The real winners and losers of Twitter

Twitter has become a favorite platform for celebrities to air out their beef with other celebrities. One of 2015’s favorite Twitter arguments was between rappers Drake and Meek Mill. Drake, whose albums “What a Time to be Alive” and “Views From the 6″ have been endlessly chart-topping, was called out by Meek Mill for allegedly using ghostwriters.  This social media drama resulted in both of the rappers producing “diss tracks” aimed at one another. Meek Mill’s track ultimately flopped, while both of Drake’s tracks gained huge popularity, especially Drake’s track titled, “Back to Back” which called out Meek Mill for his Twitter insults.

Although Meek Mill’s track was a failure, the beef generated hilarious memes featuring the two rappers. Drake even used a slideshow of some of the memes on a giant screen at the beginning of a concert.

Who will win? Graphic from YouTube
Who will win? Graphic from YouTube

While small Twitter cat-fights between Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift drew some attention, the newest Twitter beef that’s generating hilarious Tweets, Memes and Vines (oh my!) is between Wiz Khalifa and Kanye West. Kanye Tweeted a series of comments about Wiz, saying Wiz had disrespected him and that he was his “OG” and should be treated as such. Kanye even went as far as to imply that if he hadn’t ended his previous relationship with Amber Rose, the mother of Wiz’s child and his ex-wife, that he wouldn’t have his son. Kanye went as far as to say, “I own your child.”

Kanye eventually deleted the series of Tweets and told his followers that he was trying to focus on “positive vibes.” But these Tweets were only deleted when Amber Rose stepped in to call out Kanye for what could be considered odd sexual favors that he had once received from her. Twitter exploded with praise and, of course, insults directed at Amber Rose. However, a series of memes has begun to rise from the ashes of the Kanye vs. Wiz beef.

While Amber Rose’s methods of silencing Kanye are especially hilarious, the person really taking a loss on Twitter and with his music as of late is none other than rapper “B.o.b.”. B.o.b. took to Twitter saying that the Earth is flat, and he can prove it. The “Airplanes” rapper stated that if the Earth was round, you would be able to tell by looking at the Horizon. He even posted photos of himself with a sunset as a backdrop, stating that because the Horizon is flat from our view of it, that the Earth must also be flat.

B.o.b. even took his theory so far as to put it into a diss track aimed at astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. The track stated that it was only “common sense” that the Earth is flat. B.o.b. goes on in the track to say that there is some sort of conspiracy and that globalists don’t want us to know that after all this time, the Earth has been flat. The song’s lyrics get even more inaccurate when B.o.b. asks, “Why’s NASA part of the Department of Defense?”

The song calls out Tyson with B.o.b. saying he needs to “loosen his vest.” Tyson’s nephew, Stephen Tyson replied in the most hilarious way by releasing a diss track of his own titled, “Flat to Fact.” The song is modeled after Drake’s “Back to Back” diss track, following similar rhyme patterns. In the lyrics, Tyson calls out B.o.b. for believing he is a “free thinker,” when really the idea that the Earth is flat is so old and so ignorant, the logic behind it is truly enslaving.

So who really took the biggest Twitter loss in the last year? In my opinion, B.o.B. definitely took the biggest “L” with his ancient and idiotic ideas of a flat Earth. Meek Mill can relax, as it seems the fingers are going to pointing at B.o.B. for the time being.

Distractions of Social Media

Every time I sit down to do my homework or study for a big test, I find myself picking up my phone every few minutes or so. People may not have texted me, or maybe they did, but either way I’m constantly scrolling through my social media apps instead of focusing on what’s really important: my grades.


Are social media sites too much of a distraction? Graphic from The Online Mom
Are social media sites too much of a distraction? Graphic from The Online Mom

It can be difficult restricting yourself from your own phone, it’s very tempting to want to look at who posted pictures and what’s going on with your friends from home.

I’m constantly thinking about something that was posted on social media or what I’m missing out on when I’m focused on something else like studying. Sometimes it gets so bad that I just decide to put my phone on airplane mode, that way nothing will distract me because I won’t receive any text messages until I take it off of airplane mode.

It seems silly, not being able to look at your phone for a couple hours while doing schoolwork, but it’s actually very challenging. I’m sure a lot of other people and students my age especially struggle with this, so we’re not alone!

It’s always a good idea to remember what’s really important in life, not what’s going on in other people’s lives that they feel the need to post about..

What’s happening to you right now is what you should be focused on, not what’s going on in other’s lives.. Getting that good test grade you need for your class and studying as much as you possibly can is way more important than someone’s new family puppy swimming for the first time.

The swimming puppy will still be there when you are done with your schoolwork. Study first, then watch the cute and adorable golden retriever puppy attempting to swim in a kiddy pool.


From Our Perspective: YikYak Attack

Welcome to our first podcast of the semester! We hope you enjoy listening, and leave a comment for us. Stay tuned for our opinions on the YikYak shooting rumors and even a few life tips about dealing with assault on campus.


“Always bring a pair of flip flops with you– you can even pad your bra with flip flops.”

A Yik Yak post scares students on campus. Graphic from PC World
A Yik Yak post scares students on campus. Graphic from PC World

Thirty Pinterest boards that everybody should have

Say what you will about Pinterest, but it’s a terrific way to share ideas and find out about new and exciting things. So many people see it as something that “basic” girls do to pass time, but really everyone should have a Pinterest account.

Making Pinterest boards encourages free thinking and creativity. It breaks down the barriers between what you can and can’t do- it’s inspiring. If you think you can’t cook, you can find millions of delicious and easy recipes. If you think you aren’t artistic, you can find step by step instructions on how to make tons of cool crafts.

While so many people write off Pinterest, it’s truly the best way to explore newfound passions and express yourself. It also allows you to meet other people who share an interest in the same things.

Although the options are endless when it comes to creating boards, there are certain boards that everyone should have from boards that will just make you smile when you’re having a bad day to boards that will inspire you to get in the kitchen and play chef or write that next bestselling novel.

Here is a list of 30 types of boards that everyone needs to create:

1) Things that make you laugh

2) Things that make you cry

3) Things that inspire you

4) Cute animals

5) Fashion

6) Places you want to travel to

7) Places you want to live

8) Recipes you want to try

9) A whole board dedicated to cupcakes

10) Books you want to read

“While so many people write off Pinterest, it’s truly the best way to explore newfound passions and express yourself.”

11) Abandoned places (they’re eerily beautiful)

12) Ideas for your dream home

13) Things that simply make you happy for no reason

14) Nature

15) Haunted places you want to go ghost hunting at

16) Favorite quotes

17) Do It Yourself (DIY) home/apartment decor

18) Food trucks you want to eat at

19) Tropical islands

20) Cityscapes

21) Best mac and cheese recipes (you can never have enough mac and cheese recipes)

22) Art

23) Conspiracy theories

24) Space

25) Cocktails

26) Party ideas

27) Organization techniques/ life hacks

28) A separate board for each of your fandoms

29) Cool inventions

30) Crafts, recipes, decorations, and ideas for every single holiday

Yes, Pinterest can be slightly ridiculous sometimes. We’ve all seen the “Pinterest fails” that occur when someone attempts to copy a professionally made recipe or craft. At the end of the day though, it’s all about improving yourself and being the best person you can be all while allowing you to express that via your boards. So no matter how you feel about Pinterest make an account and try it out!

Happy pinning!


Twitter could be lifesaving

We all have that one friend who overshares everything on social media. Every meal, every thought, every action is posted for the whole world to see. Does it get annoying? Yes. But a new study, soon to be published, may argue that this bad habit could actually be useful.

Yes, many of the tweets out there saying things like, “My leg hurts so bad, I think I’m going to die,” can be written off as melodramatic. Researchers at the University of Arizona, however, believe these seemingly whiny tweets shouldn’t be ignored. They decided to try to prove a direct connection between Twitter and trips to the emergency room. During their experiment, they chose to stick with a small population- asthmatics. The researchers searched for keywords on Twitter related to asthma, such as “inhaler.” After compiling a list of tweets, they compared the areas in which the keywords were trending with air quality reports from the Environmental Protection Agency and numbers gathered from the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Texas.

One member of the study, Sudha Ram, said, “We noticed that people were tweeting about and talking a lot about their asthma symptoms. There were even parents tweeting about how they got calls from their child’s teacher saying their child was having breathing problems.”

Using this method, the research team concluded that they could predict emergency room visits with 70 percent accuracy. On this, Ram stated, “One of the challenges for this hospital and other hospitals is being able to predict how many people with various chronic conditions will show up on different days.” She explains that with their research, she and her team will be able to help those hospitals so that they will be better equipped to handle mass amounts of patients.

The University of Arizona’s researchers aren’t the only academics to be investigating the correlation between social media and predicting health concerns.

Back in January, a research team out of the University of Pennsylvania used Twitter to predict rates of heart disease. The team realized that negativity and stress can often be a huge factor in getting heart disease, while happiness can lower the risk. Like the University of Arizona, they relied on chronic over-sharers to conduct their research. Since so many people have become comfortable with sharing their innermost thoughts on Twitter, the researchers were able to find where the happiest, saddest, and angriest people resided. They used keywords such as “wonderful” and “friends” as well as “hate” and profanities to determine which areas seemed more at risk of heart disease. After collecting their data, the research team created a county-by-county, color-coded map of the United States. The greener the area, the less likely the population was to become afflicted with heart disease; the redder the area, the greater the chances. The map created by the researchers was compared to a map that was actually created to reflect deaths due to heart disease. The maps ended up looking almost identical, showing that researchers were on to something big- not only could dangerous diseases be predicted due to location, but also that a little positivity could save a life.

As social media becomes more and more influential in the lives of modern Americans, these studies show that it may become entirely possible to use the lifestyle of over-sharing to actually help people.



Reality of a narcissist

Social media is instantaneous and wildly entertaining, but no one really cares what you ate at Olive Garden last night(especially after the third picture of your lasagna frittata). This is a reality that many don’t seem to realize, since they’re so caught up with how others perceive them and how many “likes” are on their pictures.

The fact that people are getting so addicted to these 1 cm x 1 cm apps on their phone is kind of terrifying to me.They’re connected with friends and strangers, but they can’t seem to connect to the people sitting right in front of them.

Are you a Narcissus?
Are you a Narcissus? Graphic from Greek Mythology

This is the generation of technology. I really don’t like to think I’m old-fashioned, but I can’t understand the level of importance our generation places on the concept of self-promotion. “I went to a party last night but if I don’t post about it on Instagram, who will know if I went?”

Who cares? It’s not like if you didn’t take pictures, you can’t tell people about it when you see them next. Or better yet, treat it as an awesome college memory! No one needs (or cares) to know what you’re doing and how you’re feeling every second of the day. It takes the fun out of stories; it sucks the mystery out of life, and it seems to be making people less comfortable about themselves in the process.

Ladies, when was the last time you went out to a party without makeup on? Other than feeling a little underdressed, you might feel anxious that someone could be capturing this monumental event on their phone and will (unbeknownst to you) post it on Twitter or Instagram. But so what if they do? With society’s chokehold on young women to always be “on” and perfectly made up, social media seems to make it worse. With the click of a button, your picture can be sent into the world for everyone to comment, judge and critique.

While I get the appeal of strangers, acquaintances and friends commenting, “Lookin’ hot girl, you’re stunning!” I don’t see how it’s conducive to helping our self-image and relationships. Instead of connecting with people in person, it’s done online. Being a communication major, social media is my worst nightmare. I somehow have to convey what I mean without using body language, tone of voice or facial expression.

It just makes relationships too shallow to me. I want to be able to really connect with people on a level that the Internet simply cannot provide, and I’m okay with that. While people are at a party capturing “candids” with their friends to post online, I’ll be outside having meaningful conversations with people I am happy to be with in the moment.

Highlanders Anonymous: Aches and pains

“Why does my back always hurt?”

Sometimes your back aches because of bad posture. This can be caused by slouching during the day and while you walk. That same pain can be caused by the positions you sleep in each night. Back pain is basically inevitable, if you want to deal with it, here are some quick tips:

  1. Be more mindful of your posture when you walk and sit.
  2. Do some research and find back stretches that can relieve your pain.
  3. When doing any heavy lifting, lift from your knees, not your back.
  4. Make sure to sleep in positions that do not put weight and stress on your spine.

“One of my friends keeps posting things on my Facebook through my own account when I leave my phone on the table. It really drives me crazy! How can I get them to stop?”

If it’s a true friend, they’ll respect your wishes for them to stop if you simply ask. If you’re still getting to know them, or don’t want to confront them, don’t leave your phone lying around. That’s probably good advice for any time. Our phones have lots of sensitive information on them, like your bank passwords, email passwords, and often private conversations between you and others via social media, just like Facebook.

“My feet hurt a lot after work! How can I make it easier on my feet?”

In active jobs like waitressing or even retail, you are often running around to get things done or standing for hours upon hours each workday. To soothe your feet after a long day, I’d suggest a foot rub and a soak in the tub. If these options aren’t enough, I’d suggest getting insoles from a local pharmacy or Walmart.

High heels can also crush your toes and cause blisters and aches in your feet. The shoe you choose to wear will also determine the shape of your feet at the end of the day! Standing in one place for long periods of time can also cause back and feet aches. If you are able to find time to stretch sometime during your work, that can go a long way. You could even try doing it during your break.


Mobile education

We all remember those earlier school years and their electronic device policies. Teachers in each classroom would tell students to keep their phones and iPods tucked away and powered down. The principal would hold assemblies talking about the various consequences of texting during class or a ringer going off during a standardized test.

As we have all gotten older, cellphone use is a more normal thing. Even kids in third grade are running around with their smart-phones. As cellphones have become a common household object, they’ve also become cheaper and easily attainable for just about anyone. Accessibility has also made it more and more necessary to have a cellular device.

texting in class
“Smartphones are often used as resources because of their Internet capabilities. They’re quick and easy to use when needing to accessing any sort of information.”

The argument to keep cellphones out of the classroom is a losing one. Not only has the issue become too hard to control, but the argument has also lost much of its validity. Smartphones are often used as resources because of their Internet capabilities. They’re quick and easy to use when accessing any sort of information.

Sometimes it can be very helpful to have students use their phones during class to help everyone learn. Although the concept may seem strange, if we look at smartphones as smaller computers, they have more value in a learning environment.

On the other hand, there’s a reason that cellphones are mostly banned from classroom activity. They can become a distraction to those that carry them into class. Social media like Tumblr, Facebook, and Snapchat, are easily accessed through smartphones. Texting is another huge distraction.

Having so much at your fingertips can completely take you away from learning and the students you are sending messages and emojis to. If they have their phones in calls and respond to you, they’re not fully engaged in class anymore. A phone going off during a test is an embarrassing mistake that more often than not gets you a zero on the exam and booted out of class. There’s a correct time and place for electronic devices.