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Choosing stupidity or kindness: ‘Neknominate’ or ‘RAKnominate’?

Just as about every other human (and other animal) behavior has turned up in social media, so has “neknomination” (or “neck nomination,” “neck and nominate,” etc.). It keeps evolving, but it’s now a blend of dare game (e.g., “Truth or Dare” or “Top This”) and drinking game that’s thought to have started in Australia (UK […]

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People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News There was a big flap last week over the game “Flappy Bird,” an iPhone and Android app that was pulled out of app stores by its Hanoi-based creator, Dong Nguyen. It all started when Nguyen tweeted that, “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours […]

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Heart to heart: How connection protects & grows resilience

Back in 2008, I wrote about evidence that social networks – our social circles, as experienced online or offline – are a source of health and safety. They’re also protective in the way that fellow family and community members have each other’s backs. And the evidence is growing that meaningful social connections increase safety and […]

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U.S. Safer Internet Day focused on potential, positives and problems too

It was a great honor that ConnectSafely.org, the non-profit Internet Safety organization where I serve as co-director, was selected to host the first official U.S. Safer Internet Day.  The day, which has been celebrated in Europe for the past 11 years, saw events across the world including a celebration in Washington D.C. Tuesday where Senator […]

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Safer Internet Day 2014: The global safety collaborative

What do a high school student who’s a bullying prevention activist, two criminology professors and Safer Internet Day (February 11) have in common? They’re all sending the same message that safety and wellbeing online takes all of us. The student Aidan McDaniel the student activist says school safety happens from the ground (the students) up. […]

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Timely for Safer Internet Day: Game-changing insight into Internet risk

One of the milestones of Internet safety was the distinction between risk and harm made by the pan-European researchers of EU Kids Online back in 2011. “Risk must be distinguished from harm,” they wrote in a report based on surveys of more than 25,000 9-to-16-year-olds in 25 countries. “As with riding a bike or crossing […]

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10-year-old Facebook: Data

How could anybody so young have a following in every country on the planet? Facebook turns 10 today and – as of December 31 – has 1.23 billion active users, CNET reports. More than 750 million of them are active on the site daily. Looking at US Facebook use, the Pew Internet Project provides even […]

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Kids’ tablets the new TV sets?

It looks like, for kids, tablets are the new TV – at least that’s the way media companies are viewing these handheld devices that kids are taking to bears to honey. When I started reading this New York Times piece about Dreamworks’s new “DreamTab,” I thought, “Shades of the days when cellphone makers made kids’ […]

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‘Internet addiction’: New ‘disorder’ about age-old needs?

Judging by the just-released documentary Web Junkie, about a Chinese “Internet addiction” treatment center, it’s loneliness that’s at the heart of what the Chinese officially call a clinical disorder (more often called “problematic Internet use” in the West). If you can get past the boot-camp-like conditions and young patients’ (inmates’?) tears, you’ll get to a […]

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Whisper’s popularity no longer a secret

It’s being said that the preference pendulum in social media culture is swinging back from transparency (as in Facebook) to anonymity (as in Whisper). And the growing popularity of the Whisper app – where users’ posts are Internet meme-style photos overlaid with text (the app makes posting easy by offering up photos it “thinks” match […]

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