Ever wondered how social networks can impact your emotions? So did a Facebook data scientist and two other researchers who conducted a study that was recently published by The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Facebook's controversial study has drawn outrage from many of the site's members because it played with people's emotions without their knowledge or consent.
An iPhone user that really loves his/her device is liable to defend it to the death. Seldom has a product elicited such an overwhelmingly positive response from consumers. But IT firm Strand Consulting has released a report in which they set forth the argument that iPhone users may be suffering from a form of Stockholm Syndrome.
Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological response seen in abducted hostages wherein the hostage begins showing signs of loyalty and affection for their captor. Sound like any iPhone users you know? Strand Consulting draws parallels between the physical restriction of a hostage and the technological restriction experienced by an iPhone user. In particular they point to the closed nature of the App Store, the long wait for MMS and tethering, and middling camera quality. Strand says that the desire to defend these practices is evidence of a Stockholm-like effect.
The report even took off the gloves at one point saying, “In reality the iPhone is surrounded by a multitude of people, media and companies that are happy to bend the truth to defend the product they have purchased from Apple.” Still, you get the idea this is all somewhat tongue in cheek. Do you think there’s something to this, or is it not even close?
Adam Kramer has been working on a project at Facebook aggregating 100 million users’ status updates into a database and parsing it for positive and negative words. When you map this data over a timeline spanning a couple years, what do you have? The Facebook United States Gross National Happiness Index.
They have taken precautions so no one’s privacy is in trouble, but they tally a score each day based upon the status updates’ positive and negative emotion words. Some of the conclusions are obvious and expected: people are much happier (9.7% happier) on Friday than Monday—the saddest day of the week. Further, according to the study, two of the saddest days of the year were the days when Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson died.
The other fairly common spikes fell around major U.S. holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the fourth of July.
You can check out the index yourself over on the Facebook site. How accurate do you think this type of “polling” can be, and do you think its findings are credible?
How much time each day do you spend playing TF2? Do you find yourself stumbling through the web when you should be working instead? If so, you may have an affliction that requires professional attention, or so claims Professor Joseph Ferrari of DePaul University in Chicago.
"The subject is seen as a joke," said Ferrari. "But the social and economic implications are huge. These people need therapy. They need to change the way they act and think."
According to Ferrari, chronic procrastination has become such a big problem that it needs to be recognized by clinicians. By his own estimates, 15 to 20 percent of people fall into this category, and he says it doesn't matter the person's age, sex, or background because everyone is equally susceptible.
Ferrari isn't alone in his beliefs, and research by Professor Piers Steel from Calgary University claims chronic procrastination has risen sharply in recent decades and now affects one in four people. He says even email notifications are part of the problem, costing the economy $70 billion a year.
Has technology really pushed people to procrastinate more than they ever have before? Post your thoughts below, and do it now - your work will wait.