Category Archives: Uncategorized

Violent Video Games and Personality Traits

There’s been a lot of research about the relationship of playing violent video games and real-world violent behavior. Now comes a study reported on by Medscape that apparently shows the arrow of causality has little to do with violent game playing and a LOT to do with a person’s “trait aggression.” As the article points out, “…although the violent video game condition had some effect, it was washed out by trait aggression, the natural aggressive tendency of the child.”

Here’s the link:

Gen Z’ers Leaving Social Media?

Michael Spencer, writing in Medium, says yes, they are. He has some good information to share about why they are leaving and what it means for the social media genre. Here’s the link:


Video Games and Neuroplasticity

Medscape has a nice interview with three panelists from the recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. All three are themselves gamers and they provide some interesting insights into gaming. Here’s the link:


The Media Are Us?

Here’s an interesting read on how fictional on-screen characters can be quite real to us. This certainly echoes research by Bandura and others when it comes to real personal affective impact of fictional characters and that it’s not just kids who seem to behave as though Mickey Mouse is real. Adults are equally likely to see fiction as impactful as reality.


Facebook’s Faux Reforms

Andrew Burt, chief privacy officer and legal engineer at data management platform Immuta, has written an article appearing in Harvard Business Review that takes Zuckerberg and company to task for proposing “reforms” that are already being imposed. Essentially, as Burt sees it, Zuckerberg offers nothing of value with his recent¬†mea culpa.¬†The business model is still the business model, which has birthed all the problems.

It’s an interesting read. Here’s the link:


Is Facebook Really Changing?

This article in Wired seems to point to a “Yes” answer:

It’s certainly a step or two in the right direction!

Are Social Media the New Smoking?

This provocative question has been raised by Ben Maynard online at One Zero, as curated by Medium. Psychology has already identified excessive use of social media as a problem similar to bio-physiological addictions like narcotics and nicotine. (Think FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out.)

The book Zucked, by Roger McNamee, is a searing indictment of Facebook’s leaders Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, and their “profitability at all cost” business model, knowingly based on engineering the site’s algorithms to create an addictive dependence on Facebook and its other social media captures, Messenger and Instagram.

McNamee suggests that social media giants need to either be treated as monopolies and broken up or, at the very least, regulated.

Regulation of such a complex industry, however, is fraught with difficulty if it is built around the idea of censoring content.

What Maynard is proposing seems to me a much more feasible alternative: creating anti-social media messages that treat social media use like smoking and making it uncool. I guess we might call it a “cancer of the mind.” After all, smoking remains legal, yet it is also recognized as harmful. Maynard notes that social media have a good side but that they also are harmful, a point that McNamee’s book makes in chilling detail. Anti-smoking messages achieve maximum traction not because they emphasize negative physical harms but because smoking has become uncool. It’s really a psychological appeal.

I think Maynard’s on to something. Can we have a social media equivalent of a surgeon general’s warning?

Others are suggesting we all need to simply opt out of Facebook but I admit to enjoying the posts I see from my far-flung network of family members, friends, and a few Facebook groups I belong to, that I find both enjoyable and wholesome.

Here’s the link to Maynard’s article:

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