What's on the minds of 18-to 35-year-olds right now? Yahoo has put together a list of Millennials' Top 10 online search questions, and likely thanks to Miley Cyrus' recent MTV Video Music Awards performance, the highest ranked search item is currently "how to twerk." That's followed by "how to boil an egg," "what is molly," "what is a ratchet makeover," "what is hummus," "what is a synonym," "what is hpv," "what is a gif," "how to write a resume" and "who is robin thicke." [uproxx.com, 9/3/13]
"The Internet's ability to not only give voice to everyone with a web connection, but also—to an extent, at least—democratize the discussion by giving almost equal weight to all the voices participating has meant that, no matter what anyone may choose, for whatever reasons, someone will always be there to tell you that you're wrong (and an idiot). For everything else, everything wonderful that the Internet can do, it has succeeded the greatest at being a machine that will tell you that Abraham Lincoln was only part right. Sure, you can please some of the people all of the time, but you really can't please all of the people some of the time. Someone, somewhere, will always be so displeased with what you've done that they'll tell you online."
—Time's Graeme McMillan [time.com, 8/16/13]
Facebook can hurt your budding romance. So says a study published in the journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. "The more a person in a romantic relationship uses Facebook, the more likely they are to monitor their partner's Facebook activity more stringently, which can lead to feelings of jealousy, " said Russell Clayton, a researcher and doctoral student from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. "Also, our study found that excessive Facebook users are more likely to connect or reconnect with other Facebook users, including previous partners, which may lead to emotional and physical cheating." [phys.org, 6/6/13]
According to the American Bible Society's "State of the Bible 2013" survey, about 41% of Americans have tapped into the Good Book via some sort of online device, with 29% saying they've looked for Bible verses on their smartphones. The number of people who own a physical Bible, however, has sagged 4 percentage points since 1993, from 92% to 88%. [foxnews.com, 9/4/13 stats]
A hospital in Pennsylvania has become the first in the United States to offer a treatment program for Internet addicts. The 10-day in-patient program is being offered by Behavioral Health Services at Bradford Regional Medical Center. It includes time for evaluation and a 72-hour "digital detox" program. Participants will then attend therapy sessions and seminars that are designed to help Internet users curb and control their habits. [abcnews.com, 9/4/13]
Casual gaming continues to grow worldwide, according to a recent study from Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. There are about 145 million gamers classified as "casual" in the United States, roughly 50% of the population, and experts expect that number to grow by another 8% by 2016. Expected rates of growth will be even larger elsewhere: a 10% increase in Western Europe, 15% in Central Europe and 14% in Asia. [brand-e.biz, 9/5/13 stats]
The Facebook game turned downloadable app Candy Crush―where players match candies to score points―has become a casual-gaming mega-hit, with more than 600 million active game sessions played daily from mobile devices. It's so popular that some have begun to worry that it can become addictive. Earlier this year, UK Rehab, an addiction treatment provider, launched a dedicated residential program specifically designed for people who can't seem to stop playing the colorful time-grabber. The program costs a minimum of $5,000 and has seen three to five people check in for Candy Crush rehab every month. [cnet.con, 9/3/13 stats]
"Over the past decade, there's been a spike in the number of country songs mentioning weed—not admonishments or rehab laments, but casual, positive references. Tally up the tracks and the artists include the Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Jamey Johnson—names recognizable even if you only follow country from afar. In January, Darius Rucker, late of Hootie & the Blowfish, released a cover of boozy string band Old Crow Medicine Show's 'Wagon Wheel' with the line about 'a nice long toke' intact."
—Slate writer Rachael Maddux [slate.com, 5/15/13 c&e]
"I think weed's a fine thing, for the enjoyment of and, occasionally, for thinking about movies. I don't use it socially because it does not improve my socializing. And I never, ever smoke unless it's the last thing I do that day because there's a long period of stupid that comes after it that's pretty useless."
—Joss Whedon, director of The Avengers and creator of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and the forthcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [Entertainment Weekly, 8/30/13]
"In my lifetime, it was by far the most important change in marijuana federal policy on the federal level. All of sudden, they have decided to let the states experiment with different levels of legalization. That's precisely what happened at the end of alcohol prohibition."
—Keith Stroup, founder and legal counsel at the nonprofit National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, on the Department of Justice's Aug. 30 decision not to sue the states of Colorado and Washington for recently passing laws making recreational marijuana use legal [nbcnews.com, 8/30/13]
According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen experimentation with e-cigarettes (which deliver nicotine without tobacco or smoke via water vapor) has doubled in just the past year: 10% of high school students say they tried the devices in 2012, up from 4.7% in 2011. And rather than being a preventative product or substitute for "old fashioned" tobacco cigarettes, it's becoming a gateway to them. "The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling," CDC Director Tom Frieden said. "Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes." [usatoday.com, 9/3/13 stats]
"Beyoncé is an artist capable of whipping the world into an obsessive frenzy with just the slightest twitch of her hand. … Lady Gaga is the kind of singing supernova who is shrewdly cognizant of the fact that pop music is, by nature, weird, and its stars themselves should be talked about as much as their songs. Justin Timberlake may be the closest heir to Michael Jackson's throne we've seen yet, while Justin Bieber and One Direction dutifully fill their roles as the tween-set sensations. Take a poll of who people think is music's biggest pop star, and it's likely that one of those names will be the knee-jerk response. But none of them are. It's Katy Perry. … While she certainly gets mentioned on the roster of reigning Queens of Pop, she's not a deity, at least not the way Beyoncé or Lady Gaga often are worshipped as. Yet on Thursday, Perry received her eighth number one single ['Roar'], a measure of astounding success that doesn't just rival those god-like contemporaries, but actually exceeds them."
—The Daily Beast's culture reporter Kevin Fallon [thedailybeast.com, 9/6/13 stats]