Twitter can predict rates of heart disease

Diane Shipley Feeling good, Health Leave a Comment

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have found that they can use Twitter to accurately predict rates of heart disease in specific areas. Coronary heart disease (where arteries become clogged with fatty plaque, making it harder for blood to move around the body) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Risk factors include stress, a…

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Psychologists say Twitter, Instagram, and email relax us… but Facebook doesn’t

Diane Shipley Feeling good, Trending, Wellbeing 1 Comment

Social media’s been blamed for everything from riots to loneliness to Ched Evans not being able to get a new football contract (no, really, I’m crying on the inside). The Oxford Dictionary added #FOMO as proof that Instagram makes us feel like we never do anything fun anymore, and if you aren’t complaining about having…

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Laptop on table

Is Facebook now an older person’s game?

Lauren Bravo Premium, Trending Leave a Comment

Facebook is weathering the social media storm, but are we talking about a different generation now? I reached a personal milestone over Christmas. After many years of waiting, putting it off and making lame excuses, I finally accepted my father's Facebook friend request. It barely matters these days, I rationalised, as I don't do anything…

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The more Facebook friends you have, the less generous you (probably) are

Diane Shipley Tech 1 Comment

Have a lot of Facebook friends? Then why do you hate humanity so much? Just kidding, but a new study from the University of Warwick has found that those of you with 'Friends' up the wazoo are less likely to give generously to charity. (I guess un-tagging yourself from photos and writing ‘U ok hun’…

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The Bank of England will use Twitter and Facebook to set interest rates

Diane Shipley Tech 2 Comments

The Bank of England has traditionally used past trends to monitor the state of the economy, setting interest rates accordingly. But now, as Engadget reports, it’s going to be using tools that are a little more up-to-date, factoring social media into its equations. A new team will start using the internet, specifically search terms, Twitter,…

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The new SentBuk app can gauge Facebook users’ moods

Diane Shipley Tech Leave a Comment

In case the site’s own data collection (and manipulation) wasn’t invasive enough, now Spanish researchers have made a new app, called SentBuk, that’s designed to gauge Facebook users’ moods. The good news is it needs users’ permission in order to work. Álvaro Ortigosa and his team from the National Centre of Excellence in Cybersecurity at…

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Will Facebook finally let us ‘dislike’ things?

Diane Shipley Tech Leave a Comment

In a live Facebook Q&A yesterday, founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the company is looking into the idea of letting us dislike stuff – or at least have more of a range of human emotions. According to The Next Web, a ‘dislike’ button is still off the table, because Facebook’s not about negativity. (Just manipulating…

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Charlie Brown Christmas

How not to be a knob on social media at Christmas

Lauren Bravo Feeling good, Fun, Premium, Trending 2 Comments

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, every creature was tweeting – via touchscreen or mouse... Social media has entrenched itself in Christmas as firmly as sprouts or Michael Bublè, but that doesn't mean it always comes in peace. Here are the most common festive pitfalls to avoid being the knob everyone unfollows…

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Social network gaming helps keep families close

Diane Shipley Tech 2 Comments

You might think that those constant Facebook updates from family members about what they’re ‘planting’ in FarmVille are annoying, but you should probably pay them some attention. A new study has discovered that social network gaming is a great way for families to keep in touch. Colleagues Mia Consalvo and Kelly Boudreau from the Technoculture…

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Using social media affects our work performance (probably)

Diane Shipley Tech Leave a Comment

Hey! You’re not reading this when you should be working, are you? No, I didn’t think so. When you’re supposed to be working you’re probably on Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram or Pinterest, right? Let’s face it; most of us have looked at social media once or twice during work hours. (Not me of course,…

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The OnePiece pop-up shop lets you pay with your social media followers

Diane Shipley Tech Leave a Comment

It turns out that focusing on the number of people hanging on your every word or photo on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and the rest isn’t a completely shallow pursuit with no real-world applications after all. (I knew it!) According to Engadget, onesie brand OnePiece has opened a pop-up shop in New York where people can…

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Parents are scared of their kids’ social media use

Diane Shipley Tech Leave a Comment

A new survey from digital safety non-profit the Family Online Safety Institute has found that parents are more concerned about their children’s social media use than any other online activity. (Has no one told them about p-o-r-n? Or the dark web? Or Reddit?) Anyway, as The Guardian reports, the US-based organisation found that only 26%…

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Could social media slow the spread of HIV?

Diane Shipley Tech 3 Comments

Social media could slow the spread of HIV, according to a digital analyst. Sean Young (not that one) from the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior presented his ideas in an article in the journal Trends in Microbiology. He says that people often share health and personal information freely on sites like Twitter, and that hospitals,…

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Social media speech bubbles

Words that have whole new meanings, thanks to social media

Lauren Bravo Fun, Trending Leave a Comment

'On a cold winter's evening, the whole family would gather round the wireless... because Virgin Media broadband was down to 2Mbps again.' For as long as it has existed, the internet has been taking words and claiming them as its own. Post, thread, status; all terms that would have entirely different meanings on Downton Abbey than they…

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Instagram filters on coffee photo

How Instagram made me a better person

Lauren Bravo Tech 4 Comments

We’re all narcissists now, had you heard? But of course you had. The news is everywhere. Self-promotion is the opiate of our masses, and vanity the virus that will eventually cause our slick, buzzy, digitally-enhanced lives to short circuit and blow a fuse. For every selfie and belfie and knelfie (that’s a photo of your…

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Kirsten Dunst video pokes fun at selfie culture: have we gone too far?

Laura Kidd Tech, Trending Leave a Comment

'Aspirational', the latest in director Matthew Frost’s series of fictional short films, commissioned by Vs. Magazine, stars Kirsten Dunst playing herself. Accosted outside her house by two young women who use her as a celebrity prop for their selfies before taking off without a please or thank you, she is left stunned, shaken and used.…

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wedding hashtags on Pinterest

The rise of the wedding hashtag: do you REALLY need one?

Lauren Bravo Fun, Tech Leave a Comment

Apparently 55 per cent of couples now have a dedicated wedding hashtag. That’s 55 per cent of couples surveyed by Mashable and The Knot, not 55 per cent of couples in the whole wide world – but still. Having leapt from only nine per cent in 2012, that’s a heck of an epidemic. And by…

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China’s reportedly blocked Instagram due to Hong Kong protests

Diane Shipley Trending 1 Comment

What do we want? #democracy! When do we want it? [Censored]. Yep, it looks like everyone's favourite photo-sharing service is now blocked in China. Boo. As filled with other people's shoes, food, and engagement rings as Instagram can be, it's also a great way for people to record what's happening, especially when huge global events…

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Facebook and Twitter got the Scottish referendum all wrong

Diane Shipley Trending 1 Comment

Just after 6 AM today, the results were in: Scotland had voted to stay in the United Kingdom by 55% to 45%. Whether it was because of Gordon Brown’s unexpectedly rousing speech, the Better Together campaign’s uninspiring ad, or just because people tend to stick with what they know, the final result was 2,001,926 votes…

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