According to a study published by researchers at Australia's Charles Sturt University, Facebook oversharing can indicate personal loneliness. Of the 616 female Facebook users questioned, 79% of those who identified themselves as "unconnected" and "lonely" tended to make an abundance of information about themselves public—including favorite activities, quotations, movies, books, TV shows, language(s) spoken and even their street addresses. They would also thoroughly fill out the "about me" section, with 98% of people in the "lonely" group sharing their relationship status publicly. "It makes sense that the people who felt lonely would disclose this type of information," said Yeslam Al-Saggaf, one of the study's primary researchers. "They want to make it easier for others to initiate contact with them, which may help them overcome their feelings of loneliness." [escapistmagazine.com, 5/27/14 c&e, stats]
"Facebook actually started as a place to judge women on their pulchritude or lack of it. I think it's kind of fascinating that a company that's so huge and that would come to define much of the modern Internet was founded on this objectification of human beings. The lack of empathy that is created when people can anonymously opine about the looks or actions of others. … It's where we are in our culture. Yes, it does worry me, for the development of my kids and the next generation, that people can be so cruel without experiencing the consequences of being so cruel face to face."
—actress Gwyneth Paltrow [recode.net, 5/27/14]
"[Twitter] reminds me of a stinky old pub. In the corner would be this slightly disgusting old man who sits there all day, every day. If you went up and talked to him, you'd get the kind of grumpy, horrible, moldy, old meaningless crap that you read on Twitter."
—actress Helen Mirren, blasting the social network in an AARP The Magazine cover story [aarp.org, 5/29/14]
"Facebook (Instagram, Twitter) didn't invent the disconnection between my husband and me. It didn't invent jealousy or time-wasting or procrastination or coveting other people's stuff. It didn't invent self-centeredness. All of these things existed long before Facebook or Instagram did. So why do we assume quitting Facebook will eradicate the problem? The problem isn't Facebook. The problem is us."
—Allison Vesterfelt, writing for Relevant. Vesterfelt, who met her husband on Twitter, feels the same frustration that many do with social media. The key, she says, is to limit it, not eliminate it. She admits that after going through a recent technology fast, giving up television, computer and the Internet was "incredibly freeing." Then she adds, "But strangely, my conclusion from the week wasn't to stay away from technology forever, but instead to put technology in its place. I set new boundaries for myself—like not bringing my phone to the dinner table and turning off the TV an hour before I got to bed. Since then, I've felt more connected to my husband and more present wherever I am." [relevantmagazine.com, 5/20/14]
When it comes to consuming onscreen media, which country is No. 1? Not the United States. Actually, when you tabulate the average time that people consume media via television, computer, smartphone and tablet, Indonesia leads the pack, with its residents absorbing 540 minutes a day (9 hours). The Philippines comes in at 531 minutes, with the U.S. tally a "mere" 444 minutes, sixth overall, right behind China, Brazil and Vietnam. [theatlantic.com, 5/14 stats]
The average gamer in the United States spent about 6.3 hours a week playing video games in 2013, according to research from Nielsen. That's an increase of about 36 minutes over 2012, and 72 more minutes than gamers played in 2011. [time.com, 5/27/14 stats]
Korean pop singer PSY has now danced his way across the 2 billion views mark on YouTube with his smash global hit "Gangnam Style." It's the first video of any kind on YouTube to cross that numerical milestone, and only one other video has even topped 1 billion views: Justin Bieber's "Baby." [AP, 5/31/14 stats]
A new study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, indicates that pornography may actually damage the brain. The study found that the minds of men who've viewed a lot of pornography have smaller regions dedicated to motivation and rewards, and less activity in areas associated with sexual stimuli. [time.com, 5/29/14; Reuters, 5/29/14]
A video has surfaced featuring One Direction member Zayn Malik smoking what appears to be a marijuana joint on the way to a concert in Lima, Peru, while fellow 1D member Louis Tomlinson cracks jokes about it, such as suggesting that marijuana is "one very, very important factor of Zayn's warm-up." The images have caused an uproar in the U.K., with some fans burning tickets and parents expressing outrage at both Zayn's usage and Louis' jokes about it. The British alcohol- and drug-addiction charity Mentor said of the video, "Zayn and Louis have a great opportunity to be a good role model for young people but they blow it here. We hope their young fans are not swayed by their example." Meanwhile, the U.K.'s Daily Mail reports that a third bandmate, Harry Styles, has characterized his fellows as "stupid and reckless" and that he now chooses to fly to gigs separately from them because of Zayn's drug habit. [dailymail.co.uk, 5/28/14; mtv.co.uk, 6/1/14]
Sixteen-year-old actress Bella Thorne, who stars on Disney Channel's Shake It Up: "[My boyfriend] Tristan [Klier] was not a relationship guy before me. On our first date, he thought I was going to be just like the other girls he had met who would always give it up and kiss him right away. … I waited six weeks—I had to make sure he was in it to win it."
Bethany Hamilton, subject of the movie Soul Surfer and author of the new book Body & Soul: A Girl's Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life: "Growing up I was blessed to have parents that stayed together, and have that husband and wife image of I want an awesome husband one day that will love and support me until I die. And I also wanted to honor God with the way that I approached [marriage]. I definitely was patient and I didn't mess around and [my husband is] the only guy I've ever kissed."
Duck Dynasty's Jase Robertson: "I'm proud [that I was a virgin when I got married]. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my entire life. What I did was when I started dating girls I would quickly tell them on the first date as soon as they got in the car. I'd say, 'Look I will not treat you inappropriately at any point in our relationship.' I had a couple get out of the vehicle! [But] My wife, [Missy], in particular, she really loved the idea that she felt secure with me, like I had a direction I was taking." [foxnews.com, 5/12,15, 22/14]