For all its useful qualities, social media is a mixed blessing at best, as more evidence emerges linking it to negative emotional outcomes including anxiety and depression. In the latest such study, researchers at the University of Michigan administered surveys to 82 young adults about their emotional states before and after using Facebook, and found that heavier social media use was linked with increased likelihood of negative responses. Furthermore the study, titled "Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults," suggests that social media was in fact a causative agent, rather than merely a correlated phenomenon.
The Israeli government is expanding its existing social media publicity program, which aims to counter anti-Israel and anti-Semitic messages on social media and traditional media, by hiring college students to serve as social media foot soldiers, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Unfortunately the world has seemed especially disaster-prone in recent years, including earthquakes in China and Haiti, the combined earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan, and Hurricane Sandy and Midwestern tornadoes here in the U.S. While there's obviously not much we mere human beings can do to prevent nature from wreaking havoc, technology can help mitigate the impact and aid recovery after disaster strikes -- and social media plays a big role here.
Over the last couple years the Department of Defense has adopted social media to facilitate communication within the U.S. military, with sites modeled loosely on civilian equivalents like milBook (Facebook and LinkedIn), milWiki (Wikipedia), and milTube (YouTube). Now there's a new addition to the suite of military social media, with a Twitter-style platform called milWire, which allows military users to follow each other, aggregate news, and subscribe to feeds about specific topics.
Determining return on investment and measurement are still the top issues facing marketers, according to a new report from Forrester titled "Integrate Social Into Your Marketing RaDaR." Forrester analyst Nate Elliott was blunt summarizing the problem: "The sobering reality is that nearly a decade into the era of social media, more social marketers are failing than succeeding."
While social media sites may not be legally liable for cyber-bullying that occurs on their networks, they are still responsible for it, according to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who urged parents and teenagers to boycott social media sites that allow bullying to go unchecked.
Social media provides an exciting new way for CEOs to ignore things they don't understand, according to a new study by CEO.com, which found that just 32% of Fortune 500 bosses have any sort of social media presence at all. Apparently the other 68% are crouching fearfully in the C suite, suspiciously poking a 90's vintage desktop and wondering how to summon the fire magic told of in lore.
Facebook emerged from the primordial, hormonal ooze that is the college social scene, so it's not surprising that institutions of higher education are producing new species of social networks, including a bunch of enterprise networks dedicated to specific schools.
One of the best testimonies to social media's revolutionary potential in recent years has been the number of authoritarian regimes that have tried to ban it, fearing its utility for sharing information, organizing protests, and generally spreading dissent. Most recently, two fairly unpleasant governments -- in Vietnam and Zambia -- have introduced bans on social media news sharing.
OMG dude! Do you think that social media might, like, create norms and expectations that subtly guide our actions, even influencing us to engage in self-destructive activity? But wait, dude: isn't that just another way of saying humans are social animals who take their cues from their peers? (Vomits)