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What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat

It’s not what you might think – or what you might’ve read in the news. What makes Snapchat stand out in the crowd of social media apps, in fact what makes it “matter,” as social media researcher danah boyd put it, “has to do with how it treats attention.” Snapchat users don’t just swipe through […]

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The app ecosystem & very public secrets

These are crazy times in the mediascape, and not just because of crazy valuations of startup apps. How do all these socially risky apps get out into the digital ecosphere? They don’t take a lot of people, time or other resources to build anymore – not like digital media products and services of lore, anyway, […]

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Will safety ever be ‘baked in’ to social apps?

Whether or not social apps can be made as trolling- and cyberbullying-proof as possible before they hit the app stores is a question more and more people are asking – and asking that question is a step in the right direction. The spanking-new anonymous app Secret is already making some changes after a “flap” in […]

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Family Contract for Smartphone Use

Pledge for kids and teens I will not touch or look at my phone when it’s dangerous to do so such as driving, riding a bike or walking. I will be considerate of others and not use my phone to text or talk when it may disturb others or at inappropriate times or places such […]

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Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media

A recent study by Nielsen (as reported by Mashable) found that American adults spend about 11 hours a day consuming electronic media.  This comes four years after a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation got a lot of national attention when it reported that kids “8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 […]

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Smartphones that promise user privacy

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News Thanks in part to whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the former contractor with the National Security Agency, there’s increased interest in a new crop of services, apps and phones designed to protect our personal data from prying eyes, including those of government agencies. FreedomPop’s new Privacy Phone […]

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The smart smartphone social backlash

It was inevitable. The backlash is in full swing. There were the headlines and talk-show chats about digital detoxing and then the how-to books about digital sabbaths and shabbats. Some of it was fashionable, some of it fearful – all of it good if it got us to thinking about managing and not being managed […]

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Why Louis C.K. doesn’t let his kids have phones

The video has gone pretty viral over the past few days. On Conan O’Brien’s show last week, Emmy-award-winning comedian Louis C.K. explained why he didn’t want to give his daughters (aged 7 and 10) smartphones. [You can watch it at Slate.com.] What he says was – as my friend and fellow parent Anastasia Goodstein commented […]

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