for W3c validation
Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive.
Screen time is good for you – maybe
Anne says: I’ve always been rather uncomfortable with the anti-screen time for children – or the way it’s applied. (It also reminds me of early childhood when some parents – not mine – banned TV). But – the reports and studies indicated that very limited screen time for young children was essential – and as a researcher, I appreciate the value of robust studies. Then again, sometimes it didn’t sit in my understanding of the findings. Now, in an era of alternative facts, we have a new study from the Oxford Internet Institute that has questioned these accepted approaches. In fact, they’re saying it’s good for children!! How about that !!!
This study was specifically investigating 2 propositions:
“The first was to test if there were ‘optimal’ levels of screen time in young people,…
“The second was to look for a critical value, or tipping point, at which screen engagement was significantly related to well-being outcomes.”
And what did they find?
That using screens “for more than five hours a day” was required before any significant differences would be noticed. This totally contradicts the current advice of no more than 2 hours per day.
And here’s the upside:
The… analysis suggests that children who are using a digital device—a television,video game console, tablet, laptop, smartphone, or any other gadget with a screen—have better social and emotional skills than kids who don’t use this technology.
The study was extensive (35,000 US-based children) and the data was from the US census bureau – this is the same data used by studies that claim screen time is bad for children. So – who do we believe? It’s a valuable reminder that statistics can be used to validate or invalidate opinions, you need to understand how the statistics are being interpreted and what is not being studied (ignored) to create a confirmation bias situation.
Maybe the next step is to understand how the devices are being used and the content types to determine what is useful or not? But that’s a question for another study!
Australian Teens Are Using TikTok To Show The World How Bad The Bushfires Are
Anne says: Meanwhile, our kids have grown into teens. They’re digitally savvy, they know how to get a message across – visually and in a short burst. (It’s probably the same ones who had more than 2 hours per day screen time).
I found this story inspiring. These kids are spreading the word about the Australian bushfires and they’re reaching massive audience numbers – and they’re getting the attention of traditional media. All from the screens!
If you’re not familiar with TikTok – take a look at these examples and be impressed by how these older kids are using digital to express themselves.
11 things I learned about user research from watching Mindhunter
Jakkii says: I’ll start right off the bat by saying I haven’t actually seen Mindhunter. It’s on my list on Netflix but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Nonetheless, this article appealed to me from the title alone, immediately getting me wondering just what the author learned from a show about FBI Profilers.
Here’s the list:
- The idea of doing user research can face some initial pushback. But you just need to find a champion to get started
- Talking to users is the only way to understand them
- You don’t have to agree with what they say, you just have to listen
- It’s okay to go off-script. You’ll be surprised by what you find out
- People are always willing to talk about their problems
- Some users are more willing to share than others
- Sometimes it just takes a little nudge to get users talking
- Insights come from patterns
- Sharing insights can help you predict what users will do next
- Accurately predicting how users will behave takes time
- Talking to users helps capture them
During the explanations of each point, in one the author goes so far as to say:
The relationship between the FBI team and Kemper holds inspiration for some great participatory design sessions. 😄
Which, gross, but OK – comparing the FBI using Kemper (and others) to help them catch and stop other predatory serial killers to participatory design is more than a bit icky, even if I can see the point they’re trying to make. Questionable comparisons (and some creepy GIFs) aside, I think the author has come up with a pretty good list. I particularly like point 3, as this is something stakeholders, in particular, can have trouble with when you are reporting back findings. It’s not just for interviewers, but for those who need to take on board what the research is telling you – you don’t have to like what users say, but you do have to listen.
I think one point that isn’t called out here as its own thing that’s also important – but maybe doesn’t fit with the ‘FBI Profiler’ analogy the author put forward – is how important it is to not ‘lead the witness’. From question design to your verbal and non-verbal cues, it’s a learned skill that takes a lot of practice. But it’s an important one, and the integrity of the data you collect relies upon the researcher doing their best to remain neutral, asking open questions that don’t hint at a solution or a particular answer someone wants to hear.
What do you think? Do you think user research has some similarities to a Mindhunter FBI Profiler, as the author suggests? Or do you think they’re way off the mark? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on social media.
Storytelling is a powerful communication tool – here’s how to use it, from TED
Jakkii says: First up, a caveat: the purpose of this piece is to sell you the TED Masterclass app and course, so consider it with that lens. From my perspective, the content is worthwhile; where the ‘selling’ aspect comes in is that this is quite high-level and trying to guide you to want more. And if you do, the links are all there for you. If you don’t, I think there’s still something to be taken from the article.
In this piece, the author discusses the power of storytelling in communication, using some examples of TED talks throughout. The key points covered are:
- The theory that the human mind evolved through storytelling
- Many of the best TED talks are anchored in storytelling
- Execution in storytelling is critical
- We must avoid the trap of storytelling that only serves our ego, and doesn’t give anything to the listener
- The stories we tell must be true
I would add in this context, i.e. in the context of giving a TED talk or similar, as, of course, not all stories that humans use to communicate ideas and that have power and meaning are true.
Stories resonate deeply in every human. By giving your talk as a story or a series of related stories, you can greatly increase your connection with your audience. But please: Let it mean something.
We’ve touched on storytelling in various ways over the course of our Friday Faves, most recently in May when I shared a piece on ‘the real reason fans hate the last season of Game of Thrones’. That article explored the change in the way the story was told from the earlier seasons to the last one, and it’s well worth a revisit. I liked that piece for its discussion of sociological storytelling. In contrast, what I like about the piece I’m sharing this week is its simplicity. While it may not provide much detail, the key points outlined above are actually quite practical as they stand, and even if you’re already familiar with storytelling as a communication tool, serve as a simple reminder of things to be conscious of when we craft our stories for our audience.
What do you think? Is there anything you’d add to a high-level, simple list for crafting and communicating ideas through storytelling? Let me know in the comments or on social media!
This Week in Social Media
Politics, democracy and regulation
- Facebook says US election is company’s ‘highest priority’
- How Trump is using Facebook to amplify his fight against impeachment
- Twitter is banning political ads. But it will allow those that don’t mention candidates or bills.
- The week in tech: TikTok is in trouble
- The furor over TikTok is about something much bigger
- Social media is a threat to freedom and democracy, human rights group warns
- How Facebook stumbled to the edge of a government breakup
- ‘Feel like a bad person’: Facebook staff lamented ‘unethical’ practices
Privacy and data
- Facebook is secretly using your iPhone’s camera as you scroll your feed (the bug has now been fixed)
- Teens take Instagram seriously — and it’s costing some of them their personal data
- Teens are finding sneaky and clever ways to outsmart their parents’ location-tracking apps, and it’s turning into a meme on TikTok
Cybersecurity and safety
- YouTube’s new kids’ content system has creators scrambling
- ‘Abhorrent’: Andrew Forrest’s letter to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg
Society and culture
- Staying safe, sending help: here’s the most helpful way to use social media during a bushfire emergency
- China’s internet is flowering
- The dark psychology of social networks
- In defence of oversharing on social media
- One of YouTube’s biggest ASMR stars explains ‘brain tingles’ and why she still lies about her job
- Your nanna’s favourite hobby is a surprise hit on Instagram
- Facebook launches military and veterans hub to improve digital skills for those who serve
- The secret Instagram group airing the beauty industry’s dirty laundry
- Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian talks growing up online and the future of the internet
- How Reddit is creating a generation of at-home dermatologists
Extremism, trolling and hate speech
Moderation and misinformation
[ Facebook ] told the joint standing committee on electoral matters in a submission: “Facebook does not believe that it’s an appropriate role for us to be the arbiter of truth over content shared by ordinary Australians or to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny.” – The Guardian
- Social media and the need to believe
- Instagram’s murky ‘shadow bans’ just serve to censor marginalised communities
- How Facebook continues to spread fake news
- Facebook won’t take down fake posts about Sally McManus and Bill Shorten
- Millions of Facebook, Instagram posts removed for violating rules
- Beware more closed-off conversations on Twitter
- Twitter in India: Why was rival Mastodon trending?
- Twitter outlines policy plan for identifying deepfakes in Tweets
Marketing, advertising and PR
- Snapchat publishes new insights into Snapchat user buying behavior
- WhatsApp adds shopping catalog feature, courting e-commerce
- TikTok to sell ads through Yandex, the ‘Google of Russia’
- YouTube says it has ‘no obligation’ to host anyone’s video
- New report examines the impact of Instagram’s hidden Likes experiment on influencer engagement
- The human element of advertising, why targeting is critical, and other advertising insights from LinkedIn’s marketing manager
- TikTok is reportedly trying to poach advertisers from Facebook as the rivalry between the companies heats up
- Instagram to test hiding Like counts in US, which could hurt influencers
- Snap Spectacles 3 reviews: Buzzfeed; The Verge; CNET; and TechCrunch
- YouTube enters the live-streaming fight (again)
- Instagram is testing a new video editing tool called Reels that copies TikTok’s best features
- These 5 alternative social networks are the cure for Facebook fatigue
- Twitter will test auto-emojis to stop you from dunk-tweeting
- Facebook finally lets you banish nav bar tabs & red dots
- Unraveling the mystery of the TikTok ‘For You’ page
- Wikipedia co-founder launches Twitter, Facebook rival
- The game of algorithms: why Twitter is likely to win and survive
Facebook’s Libra and Calibra
Every major US payment processor has now exited the [ Libra ] association, and it’s left Facebook with the daunting task of convincing governments that Libra is an option, just when trust in Facebook is at an all-time low. That’s not stopping Facebook from launching a more traditional payment system today, though. – The Verge
- Facebook Pay is a new payment system for WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook
- How Mark Zuckerberg plans to make money with Facebook Pay
- Google is also getting into banking
- Facebook’s crypto boss is surprisingly bullish on bitcoin
- A Chinese digital currency is the real threat, not Facebook’s Libra
Sydney Business Insights – The Future This Week Podcast
This week: the truth, free speech and the design of online platforms. Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.
The stories this week
Other stories we bring up