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Social media

Facebook posts reveal personality traits, but changes complicate interpretation

People can accurately detect the personality traits of strangers through Facebook activity; however, changes to the social media site in the past three years could be making it harder to do so. Researchers from the University of Kansas sampled 100 Facebook users, paralleling the demographics of the social networking site, and asked them to fill out a personality survey. A group of coders looked at each person’s Facebook activity, 53 cues in all, to see whether certain personality types were... MORE

In Australia, social media is damaging the art of conversation

Almost three in five people (57 per cent) in Australia are calling their family and friends less frequently since the rise of social media . According to a survey of more than 1,000 Australians, nearly four out of five (79 per cent) believe social media and technology are causing us to lose the art of conversation. Some two-thirds (63 per cent) say it's easier to text a friend or a loved one instead of calling for a chat. And, three out of five Australians (60 per cent) wish they received more... MORE

Less than one in five people online follow TV on Twitter

Less than one in five (18 per cent) people online follow the show they’re watching on television via Twitter . Traditional TV viewers in the US, dubbed "couch potatoes" in a recent report, are the largest segment but only account for one third (33 per cent) of people online who watch TV. Very focused on TV when watching it, they never phone or text people about what they’re watching and hardly ever use social media. None of this group uses Twitter trending topics or hashtags on a weekly basis... MORE

Use of online networks may threaten subjective well-being in several ways

Online networking can play a positive role in subjective well-being through its impact on physical social interactions. Can, of course. But, the overall effect of networking on individual welfare is significantly negative. That's because participation in social networking sites (SNS) might destroy social trust , while on the other hand, face-to-face interactions are positively associated with happiness, and online networks are not. Researchers Fabio Sabatini and Francesco Sarracino, for their... MORE

Social networking can help people lose weight

Social networking programmes designed to help people lose weight could play a role in the global fight against obesity . Analysis by researchers from Imperial College London combining the results of 12 previous studies shows that such programmes have achieved modest but significant results in helping participants lose weight . The paper is one of 10 reports on global healthcare policy written for the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), an initiative of Qatar Foundation, and published... MORE
Issue: July 6, 2015

Social media may discourage free expression on controversial subjects

No, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are not fronts for free expression when it comes to controversial issues. Certainly not in the United States. In fact, social media has been discouraging free expression, rather than encouraging it, when the subjects at hand are controversial, even offline. The conclusions are from a study conducted by the Pew Research Center , in association with Rugers University , which looked at Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations of widespread government... MORE
Issue: July 6, 2015

News media in the US losing role as gatekeepers

The US government is doing a better job of communicating on Twitter with people in sensitive areas like the Middle East and North Africa without the participation of mainstream media organisations, according to a study co-authored by a University of Georgia researcher. The study looked at the US State Department's use of social media and identified key actors who drive its messages to audiences around the world. In particular, it examined the role played by news media and the government in... MORE
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