mfioretti: digital natives*

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  1. Ecco, quella che evidenzia Riccardo Scandellari è proprio una differenza del linguaggio che caratterizza le giovani generazioni, più propense alla forma di contenuto video, quindi al visual content. Una caratteristica che spiegherebbe meglio questa “fuga da Facebook” dei più giovani che si spostano verso piattaforme che fanno del contenuto visivo la propria ragion d’essere.

    Questo è un dato che certamente non metterà in difficoltà Facebook che, nonostante tutto, continuerà a crescere ancora, negli Usa quanto in altri paesi, ma è indicativo di come, per i giovani, la scelta dello strumento venga determinata dalla tipologia del contenuto che questa permetta di usare. Un approccio diverso rispetto a quelle delle generazioni “più anziane”, che spesso inseguono la piattaforma lasciandosi trasportare dalle caratteristiche che offre.
    https://www.franzrusso.it/condividere...tti-dal-visual-content-anche-effimero
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  2. Given the tumult of the news cycle in late 2016, it is understandable how a report put out in late November of that year by SHEG, a division within its Graduate School of Education, might have been overlooked. But anyone still self-soothing with the thought that it’s primarily adults, their brains addled by Fox, recklessly incompetent at the civic skills required to keep democracy even limping along, ought to be chastened by what the report says. “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Online Civic Reasoning” detailed the depressing results of 18 months of research into young people’s digital media literacy.

    According to the study’s authors (one of whom was Wineburg), across income levels and educational environments, in beleaguered urban school districts and well-resourced suburban ones, the ability of so-called "digital natives" to reason through the information they encounter online, “can be summed up in one word: bleak.” Eighty percent of middle-schoolers in the study could not distinguish articles from ads labeled “sponsored content.” High-schoolers, when shown an imgur photo depicting weird, double-headed daisies purporting to show the effects of a nuclear meltdown, accepted its claim at face value, with only 20 percent of respondents raising objections about the complete lack of information about the picture’s provenance. Reading the report, I was horrified but not surprised. Yes, my students would get A’s on their ability to produce cool merch promoting their YouTube channels if I graded such things, but when it comes to bringing sound judgement and a critical eye to media they consume, they are babes in the woods.

    While it is relief to me to know that fact-checkers’ online practices can be studied, taught, and learned, there is still the matter of getting these skills to children in a systematic way. I talked about this with Jennifer Higgs, a professor of Education at UC-Davis whose research focuses on digital practices in the classroom, and she emphasized that doing this will require an investment in educating teachers, who are themselves often untrained in digital media literacy. Higgs explained that, to date, most professional education for teachers around technology has been about how to use it in the classroom rather than on developing a critical framework for helping students to decipher its messages.
    https://theoutline.com/post/3448/no-o...ow-to-spot-fake-news?zd=1&zi=fn3riwbw
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  3. General practitioner Rangan Chatterjee says he has seen plenty of evidence of the link between mental ill-health in children and their use of social media. "One 16 year-old boy was referred to him after he self-harmed and ended up in A&E," reports BBC. Dr. Chatterjee was going to put him on anti-depressants, but instead worked with him to help wean him off social media. "He reported a significant improvement in his wellbeing and, after six months, I had a letter from his mother saying he was happier at school and integrated into the local community," says Dr. Chatterjee. That and similar cases have led him to question the role social media plays in the lives of young people. From the report:
    "Social media is having a negative impact on mental health," he said. "I do think it is a big problem and that we need some rules. How do we educate society to use technology so it helps us rather than harms us?" A 2017 study by The Royal Society of Public Health asked 1,500 young people aged 11-25 to track their moods while using the five most popular social media sites. It suggested Snapchat and Instagram were the most likely to inspire feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. YouTube had the most positive influence. Seven in 10 said Instagram made them feel worse about body image and half of 14-24-year-olds reported Instagram and Facebook exacerbated feelings of anxiety. Two-thirds said Facebook made cyber-bullying worse.

    Consultant psychiatrist Louise Theodosiou says one of the clearest indications children are spending too long on their phones is their behavior during a session with a psychiatrist. "Two or three years ago, it was very unusual for a child to answer their phone or text during an appointment. But now it is common," said the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital doctor. She has seen a rise in cases where social media is a contributing factor in teenage depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. These problems are often complex and wide-ranging -- from excessive use of gaming or social media sites to feelings of inadequacy brought on by a constant bombardment of social media images of other people's lives, to cyber-bullying.
    https://tech.slashdot.org/story/18/02...3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot+%28Slashdot%29
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  4. An ‘awakening’ is happening inside workplaces. The youngest generations are just much less accepting of the extremely poor quality internal systems that their older colleagues were forced to use. There is almost an internal revolt against horrible systems; they’re simply not willing to accept the low quality tools that have been delivered by the organisation in the past.

    In some instances, IT strategy is just ignored and people just find their own tools – often cloud services and mobile apps. If IT and management do not rise to the challenge, they are going to find themselves redundant.

    A while back, we had the bring your own device (BYOD). Now we have bring your own technology and software – bring your own everything. So, what’s the purpose of managers if employees have to find the right tools to allow them to collaborate efficiently? What is the future of the IT department if they don’t own or support cloud services?

    The trend is continuing: employees are designing their own digital environment, influencing their colleagues’ ways of working, and bypassing traditional management.
    http://www.marginalia.online/building...o-achieve-true-digital-transformation
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  5. Children who are cyberbullied are three times more likely to contemplate suicide, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics in 2014. With such facts and figures, who could argue that there’s something to worry about. Throw in the increased unease within big technology companies such as Facebook about the corrosive effects of rumor and fake news in its feeds, and among executives such as former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya that they’ve unleashed a potentially destructive force, and the argument would seem airtight.

    Except that it’s not. Widespread parental apprehension combined with studies lasting only a few years, with few data points, and few controls do not make an unequivocal case. Is there, for instance, a control group of teens who spent an equivalent amount of time watching TV in the 70s or playing arcade video games in the 80s or in internet chat rooms in the 90s? There is not. We may fear the effects of the smartphone, but it would seem that we fear massive uncertainty about the effects of the smartphone at least as much.

    Any new technology whose effects are unknown bears careful study, but that study should start with a blank slate and an open mind. The question should not be framed by what harm these devices and technologies cause but rather by an open-ended question about their long-term effects.

    Take the frequently cited link between isolation, cyber-bullying, depression and suicide. Yes, suicide rates in the U.S. have been on the rise, but that has been true since the early 1990s, and prevalence is highest among middle-aged men, who are most disrupted by the changing nature and demographics of employment but are not the teens spending so many hours glued to their devices. Cyber-bullying is an issue, but no one kept rigorous data about physical and psychological bullying in the 20th century, so it’s impossible to know if the rate and effects of bullying have grown or diminished in a cyber age. As for depression, there too, no one looked at the syndrome until late in the 20th century, and it remains a very fuzzy term when used in mainstream surveys. It’s impossible to say with any certainty what the effects of technology and depression are, especially without considering other factors such as income, diet, age, and family circumstances.

    Some might say that until we know more, it’s prudent, especially with children, to err on the side of caution and concern. There certainly are risks. Maybe we’re rewiring our brains for the worse; maybe we’re creating a generation of detached drones. But there also may be benefits of the technology that we can’t (yet) measure.

    Consider even an anodyne prescription such as “everything in moderation.” Information is not like drugs or alcohol; its effects are neither simple nor straightforward. As a society, we still don’t strike the right balance between risk and reward for those substances. It will be a long time before we fully grapple with the pros and cons of smartphone technology.
    https://www.wired.com/story/demonized...logical-scapegoat?mbid=social_twitter
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  6. Since the earliest days of Facebook, social scientists have sent up warnings saying that the ability to maintain separate "contexts" (where you reveal different aspects of yourself to different people) was key to creating and maintaining meaningful relationships, but Mark Zuckerberg ignored this advice, insisting that everyone be identified only by their real names and present a single identity to everyone in their lives, because anything else was "two-faced."

    Zuck was following in the footsteps of other social network entrepreneurs who attempted to impose their own theories of social interaction on mass audiences -- danah boyd has written and presented extensively on the user rebellions of Friendster from people who wanted to form interest-based affinity groups and use pseudonymous identities for different activities, which Friendster rejected out of a mix of commercial concerns (it wanted users to arrange their social affairs to make it easier to monetize them) and fringe theories of social interaction.

    But while all the other social networks collapsed, Facebook thrived, and imposed the Zuckerberg model of "one identity, one context" on billions of users, who, research consistently finds, are made unhappy and angry by their use of the service, but are nevertheless psychologically compelled to continue using it, creating a vicious feedback loop that even Zuck has acknowledged as a risk to his business.

    In 2008, I found myself speaking with the big boss himself, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. I was in the second year of my Ph.D. research on Facebook at Curtin University. And I had questions.

    Why did Facebook make everyone be the same for all of their contacts? Was Facebook going to add features that would make managing this easier?

    To my surprise, Zuckerberg told me that he had designed the site to be that way on purpose. And, he added, it was "lying" to behave differently in different social situations.

    Up until this point, I had assumed Facebook's socially awkward design was unintentional. It was simply the result of computer nerds designing for the rest of humanity, without realising it was not how people actually want to interact.

    The realisation that Facebook's context collapse was intentional not only changed the whole direction of my research but provides the key to understanding why Facebook may not be so great for your mental health.

    The secret history of Facebook depression Dr Kate Raynes-Goldie/Phys.org »
    https://phys.org/news/2018-01-secret-history-facebook-depression.html
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  7. Facebook’s goal is to “push down the age” of when it’s acceptable for kids to be on social media, says Josh Golin, executive director of Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood. Golin says 11-to-12-year-olds who already have a Facebook account, probably because they lied about their age, might find the animated emojis and GIFs of Messenger Kids “too babyish,” and are unlikely to convert to the new app.

    Facebook launched Messenger Kids for 6-to-12-year olds in the US Monday, saying it took extraordinary care and precautions. The company said its 100-person team building apps for teens and kids consulted with parent groups, advocates, and childhood-development experts during the 18-month development process and the app reflects their concerns. Parents download Messenger Kids on their child’s account, after verifying their identity by logging into Facebook. Since kids cannot be found in search, parents must initiate and respond to friend requests.

    Facebook says Messenger Kids will not display ads, nor collect data on kids for advertising purposes. Kids’ accounts will not automatically be rolled into Facebook accounts once they turn 13.

    Nonetheless, advocates focused on marketing to children expressed concerns. The company will collect the content of children’s messages, photos they send, what features they use on the app, and information about the device they use. Facebook says it will use this information to improve the app and will share the information “within the family of companies that are part of Facebook,” and outside companies that provide customer support, analysis, and technical infrastructure.
    https://www.wired.com/story/facebook-...o-messenger-kids/?mbid=social_twitter
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  8. Children and young people should be educated in using smartphones to stop them being exploited by the rising tide of sex offenders attempting to groom and sexually abuse them via digital technology, a new UK report has suggested.

    The Digital Childhood released at the Children's Global Media Summit in Manchester, was commissioned by 5Rights, an initiative for youth digital rights launched two years ago by Baroness Beeban Kidron.

    It insists children and young people should be at the center of the digital environment and not left behind or overlooked despite extreme risks, such as grooming and child sexual abuse.

    Constant and unrestricted access to media means children constantly see sensationalist headlines, photoshopped images and unsavory content, which takes control out of their parents' hands as to the content they are exposed to from a young age, Jodie Cook, a social media expert and entrepreneur, believes.

    "App creators are working on creating devices and platforms that are as addictive as possible, which will have an impact on children's brains and attention spans. Currently social media platforms such as Facebook have a minimum age requirement for individuals signing up and films have age restrictions, perhaps we will see this with devices too," Ms. Cook told Sputnik.

    Sex Predators

    Online platforms can be used for heinous crimes such as the sexual exploitation of children by pedophiles and sex predators. This type of abuse can take almost as many forms as in the physical world, ranging from producing, storing and trading child pornography to seeking paid or unpaid sex online once onscreen contact has been established, normally via smartphones.

    Online grooming by pedophiles — the process of persuading a youngster to have sex online, sharing photographs or arranging to meet — is now at an alarmingly high level, prompting the UK government to introduce a new law in April 2017 whereby groomers who target children through mobile phones and social media will face two years in prison.

    The National Crime Agency warned December 4 sex offenders are increasingly using live online streaming platforms to exploit children. In one week alone, authorities identified 345 vulnerable children and arrested 192 people, 30 percent involving streaming, blackmail and grooming.

    Minimum Age

    Next week the House of Lords is scheduled to vote on an amendment to the Data Protection Bill which would force social networks to build child protection into their sites as well as make 13 the minimum age at which a child could create social media accounts online. Ofcom said 43 percent of 11-year olds already have accounts.

    YouTube announced on December 5 it will employ new and improved digital algorithms as well as thousands of human moderators across Google to shield its young viewers from disturbing content.
    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/2017...rtphones-children-grooming-pedophilia
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  9. The OECD's 2011-2015, 33 country, 215,942-person study of computer skills paints a deceptively grim picture of the average level of computer proficiency around the world -- deceptive because it excludes over-65s, who research shows to be, on average, less proficient than the 16-65 cohort sampled.

    95% of the US population, 93% of Europeans and 92% of Asians can't do "level three" tasks like "You want to know what percentage of the emails sent by John Smith last month were about sustainability" -- tasks where "use of tools (e.g. a sort function) is required to make progress towards the solution. The task may involve multiple steps and operators. The goal of the problem may have to be defined by the respondent, and the criteria to be met may or may not be explicit."

    Jakob Nielsen's commentary on this makes the point that much of the most basic skills required to work in the tech industry are well beyond the grasp of nearly everyone who will use the products those technologists are designing.

    What Most Users Can Do

    If you want to target a broad consumer audience, it’s safest to assume that users’ skills are those specified for level 1. (But, remember that 14% of adults have even poorer skills, even disregarding the many who can’t use a computer at all.)

    To recap, level 1 skills are:

    * Little or no navigation required to access the information or commands required to solve the problem

    * Few steps and a minimal number of operators

    * Problem resolution requiring the respondent to apply explicit criteria only (no implicit criteria)

    * Few monitoring demands (e.g., having to check one’s progress toward the goal)

    * Identifying content and operators done through simple match (no transformation or inferences needed)

    * No need to contrast or integrate information

    Anything more complicated, and your design can only be used by people with skills at level 2 or 3, meaning that you’re down to serving 31% of the population in the United States, 35% in Japan and the UK, 37% in Canada and Singapore, and 38% in Northern Europe and Australia. Again, the international variations don’t matter much relative to the big-picture conclusion: keep it extremely simple, or two thirds of the population can’t use your design.
    https://www.nngroup.com/articles/computer-skill-levels
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  10. Now what can be done? Certainly the explanation for Trump’s rise cannot be reduced to a technology- or media-centered argument. The phenomenon is rooted in more than that; media or technology cannot create; they can merely twist, divert, or disrupt. Without the growing inequality, shrinking middle class, jobs threatened by globalization, etc. there would be no Trump or Berlusconi or Brexit. But we need to stop thinking that any evolution of technology is natural and inevitable and therefore good. For one thing, we need more text than videos in order to remain rational animals. Typography, as Postman describes, is in essence much more capable of communicating complex messages that provoke thinking. This means we should write and read more, link more often, and watch less television and fewer videos—and spend less time on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/60...iscourse-because-its-too-much-like-tv
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