If you’ve ever wondered exactly what teens tend to post on social media, well, wonder no more! Pew Research just published an in-depth look at “Teens’ Social Media Habits and Experiences.”
You will find more infographics at Statista.
In addition to the topics teens talk about, Pew noted that teens view social media as both beneficial and at times problematic. “While [teens] say they at times feel overwhelmed by the drama on social media and pressure to construct only positive images of themselves, they simultaneously credit these online platforms with several positive outcomes—including strengthening friendships, exposing them to different viewpoints and helping people their age support causes they care about,” write Monica Anderson and Jingjing Jiang.
Elsewhere in the always-overflowing realm of screen-related news this week, Apple reported that Fortnite’s online multiplayer mode known as “Battle Royal” was the top free iPhone app of the 2018.
And if you’ve got a young fan of games that use so-called “loot boxes,” such as the popular game Overwatch, experts and government officials are increasingly concerned that purchasing these items in game promotes gambling. These items give players a chance to receive coveted items that can enhance play. But there’s no guarantee of what players will find. The Federal Trade Commission is now looking into the issue, and New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan has sent a letter to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board requesting an investigation into the issue. “The prevalence of in-game micro-transactions, often referred to as ‘loot boxes,’ raises several concerns surrounding the use of psychological principles and enticing mechanics that closely mirror those often found in casinos and games of chance,” Hassan wrote.
Given the myriad ways we can interact with screen-based content these days, it’s not surprising to learn that some rural youth are now spending more time on screens than they are outdoors, according to new research published in the journal Environment and Behavior.
Speaking of the environment and technology, some public health experts are worried that the forthcoming 5G next-generation cell network system (scheduled to be rolled out next year) may pose health risks. Salon contributor Nicole Karlis writes, “Public health experts, professors, and watchdog groups are increasingly concerned about the untested aspects that this next-gen cell network requires—including more cell towers and a constant chorus of higher-energy photons streaming through human bodies and dwellings.”
Facebook may have had its share of troubles recently, as we’ve reported regularly in Culture Clips. But the social media giant continues to refine its strategy for delivering content and engaging the billions of users it still has. This week, Facebook rolled out its new local news feature, called “Today In,” a service that will be available some 400 cities. NBC reports, “The dedicated section collects and aggregates relevant stories for local communities in a packaged form in the user’s News Feed. Facebook said the goal is to allow users to ‘catch up on news, events, and discussions happening in your community.'”
Ironically, though, people don’t really want to read about news. They want to watch it, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. Nearly half of Americans (47%) prefer watching news telecasts than listening to (19%) or reading about (34%) what’s going on in the world. The study’s co-authors, Amy Mitchell and Hannah Klein, noted that “viewing loyalties have yet to migrate fully to the web.”
Web content providers of varying stripes are also imposing more stringent limits on what users can post and see. Tumblr has announced a new ban on pornography. Starbucks also announced pornographic sites will not be accessible via its free, in-store WiFi.
And Apple’s Tim Cook recently said that tech companies have a moral obligation to take a stand against hate speech online. As the winner of the Anti-Defamation League’s inaugural “Courage Against Hate” award, Cook said, “We only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division, and violence: You have no place on our platforms. You have no home here.” Cook also added, “I believe the most sacred thing each of us is given is our judgment, our morality, our own innate desire to separate right from wrong. Choosing to set that responsibility aside at a moment of trial is a sin.”
In other news about bans this week: Cleveland, Ohio, radio station WDOK-FM announced that it will no longer be playing the 1940s-era hit “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the duet between a man and a woman has come under fire for the guy’s refusal to take no for an answer from the woman he’s trying to convince not to leave. Salon writer Erin Keane unpacks the history of this argument—as well as noting that this isn’t the only interpretation of the song—here.
Finally, this week saw the passing of America’s 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush. Among the many articles parsing his legacy, quite a few have fondly recalled the relationship that Bush had with Saturday Night Live’s Dana Carvey. The Atlantic’s David Sims unpacks that relationship the president had with Carvey, whose exaggerated mannerisms and movements (“Not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent”) prompted Bush himself to joke in 1992, “I don’t dare move my hands,” lest Carvey playfully mock him.
At a Christmas party, Bush told his staff, “The fact that we can laugh at each other is a very fundamental thing.” Sims goes on to report that Carvey and the elder Bush stayed in touch for the remainder of the president’s life. And in April of this year, Sims reports, Carvey told Conan O’Brien, “It was a different time. It wasn’t scorched-earth, angry politics. … It was an honor and a privilege to know and spend time with George H. W. Bush for over 25 years.”