Psychology of Media & Technology
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How A Toronto-Based Storytelling App Is Becoming A Hollywood Idea Factory

How A Toronto-Based Storytelling App Is Becoming A Hollywood Idea Factory | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it

Via The Digital Rocking Chair
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

For those of you who believed the written word was dead, not so fast!  The unending appetite for good stories and Wattpad as a vehicle for storytellers (think YouTube for readers) provides an obvious entry point for marketers who can craft compelling brand narratives.  The value of storytelling in text is that is that it lets the reader supply the visual storyworld through their imagination, instantly turning them into stakeholders.

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The Digital Rocking Chair's curator insight, June 14, 2016 8:18 PM

 

Nicole LaPorte:  "Having established itself as a critical part of movie-marketing campaigns, Wattpad is now looking to produce its own entertainment."

Psychology of Media & Technology
The science behind media behaviors
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Scientists know why your selfies are funny and authentic but everyone else's are so narcissistic

Scientists know why your selfies are funny and authentic but everyone else's are so narcissistic | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
You're at the park, lounging on a colorful blanket that perfectly contrasts with the grass. At a concert, neon lights reflecting off your glistening forehead. In front of the historical monument that subtly displays your love of culture. Or maybe you're just lying on the couch feeling sexy. Then it happens: You tussle your hair, extend your arm, smile/smize/duck-face/wink, and snap a selfie
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

A recent study shows the differential between our impressions of other's selfies and those of our own.  Not surprising.  We all tend to attribute positive intentions to ourselves.  Couple this with ego maintenance and the negative perception of selfies as an indication of self-indulgence, narcissism and it makes sense that we would think our own selfie-taking behavior is more positive and benevolent.  All the negative press following the explosion of selfies comes from the technology-enabled disruption of how, when and who can take portraits.  The big concerns about rampant pathology (addiction, narcissism, etc.) have not been uniformly born out in the literature.  Yet the stigma remains as the behavior challenges existing mental models (such as whether or not it’s okay for women to self-promote). This influences how we explain our use so that it’s consistent with our self view.  

 

In my research, participants felt that their friends posted many more selfies than they personally did; participants also viewed their own uses as more positive than that of others, consistent with the findings of the Munich researchers.  The values that are called into question by selfie-taking and posting, such as the need for attention, the desire to present a ‘best-self’ for public approval and validation and the inherent lack of authenticity in those behaviors, are attributed to others more than self.  

 

However, from a positive psychology perspective, I argue that the ‘best self’ selfies or aspirational selfie is not a negative, but a valuable way of seeing a path to desired behaviors and attributes for internal purposes rather than getting external Likes.  But we should not completely dismiss Likes as a negative.  Humans are social animals, hardwired to form relationships and tribes.  Likes are a way of validating affiliation and social norms.

 

Posting high points in life can increase confidence, empowerment, gratitude and appreciation through mindfulness and the ability to visualize desired outcomes.  Thus selfie-taking behaviors are, in fact, authentic behaviors when conceptualized in this way.  Selfie-takers experience of personal selfies as a positive can also reflect the ability of image to allow us to revisit and appreciate past positive events, increasing positive emotions. Thus the cognitive dissonance, or social conflict, people feel regarding selfies can be reconciled by this split attribution of intention.  

 

There is, as always, a caveat to selfie-taking and any behavior, on or offline, that triggers insecurities.   Excessive time spent in any behavior or rumination over others' perceptions and the need for others' approval can be problematic.  Balance is the key in the use of all digital tools.  If social media activities generate more negative emotions than positive for anyone or become obsessive, I recommend a social media audit (a few days of journaling that includes: what you use, why you used it and how you felt at the time.)  This is similar to other behavior logs that help people identify the emotional responses and triggers behind maladaptive behaviors.  If the self-insight from the audit doesn't help, alway seek professional help.

 

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Facebook Addiction: Signs You Overuse Social Media | Reader's Digest

Facebook Addiction: Signs You Overuse Social Media | Reader's Digest | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it

Pulling up the Facebook app is so easy that it's easy to fall into a Facebook habit. Learn the signs of spending too much time on social media.

Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

Facebook can be an excellent form of relaxation but it can also be a total time suck.  Practice mindful social media use - be aware of how you're using sites like Facebook and why.  Use the best tool for the job.  Recognize what Facebook is good for -- social connection -- and what it's not good for.  Facebook is a social news site.  It's great for news about what your friends or even fav celeb are doing.  Don't rely on it for serious news because what you read might well be fake.  Go to legitimate news sources.

 

Keeping a social media journal, like a food or exercise log, for a couple of days will help you identify how you're using social media, when and, most importantly, how it makes you feel.  Would you hang out with people who make you feel bad?  Of course not.  You don't have to do it on social media, either.

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'Why Don't I Look Like Her?': How Instagram Is Ruining Our Self Esteem

'Why Don't I Look Like Her?': How Instagram Is Ruining Our Self Esteem | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
We tend to be much harder on ourselves than others are on us," she said. "Whereas others take in an image holistically, noticing expressions of emotion and mood such as a smile, we are scrutinizing the minor details."
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

"We tend to be much harder on ourselves than others are on us," she said. "Whereas others take in an image holistically, noticing expressions of emotion and mood such as a smile, we are scrutinizing the minor details."

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Augmented-Reality Helmet Could Give Cyclists Extra Eyes on the Road

Augmented-Reality Helmet Could Give Cyclists Extra Eyes on the Road | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
An augmented-reality helmet that gives cyclists a 360-degree view of the road could help prevent accidents, according to the device's designers.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

This concept for AR bike helmets features front and rear cameras and a drop-down visor that can overlay live-streaming footage from a rear camera onto the rider's field of vision.   This is just the beginning of ways that wearables can improve safety, provide high-quality performance feedback and inspire behavior change.  Very exciting!

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Rescooped by Dr. Pamela Rutledge from Pervasive Entertainment Times
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The #VR Empathy Machine Continues - UN advisor wants you to feel like a refugee—in virtual reality

The #VR Empathy Machine Continues - UN advisor wants you to feel like a refugee—in virtual reality | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
U.N. Creative Director Gabo Arora wants people to feel and see humanitarian issues like the Syrian refugee crisis through virtual reality storytelling.

Via Gary Hayes
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

VR taps into the psychological power of presence ("being there") and our brains react as if we were "really" there, experiencing events physically, emotionally and cognitively.  VR has tremendous potential for applications where the goal is to see the world through another's eyes.  The end result is not just empathy, but to break down barriers by emphasizing our shared humanity, not individual differences.

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Gary Hayes's curator insight, September 24, 2016 9:48 PM
Quote "Started in early 2015, United Nations Virtual Reality (UNVR) was created to fund-raise and impact peace building. The app, backed by UNVR's offices in 150 countries, aims to make real humanitarian tragedies virtual. The UN's virtual reality lab has made people feel a "greater empathic response" through films. UNVR showed "My Mother's Wing" in the streets of Tel Aviv, Israel, to raise awareness about the aftermath of the wars in Palestine."
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Creating #VR Content? 10 Commandments every virtual reality experience creator should follow

Creating #VR Content? 10 Commandments every virtual reality experience creator should follow | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
Thou shall cast thy fury at developers who do not keep these design rules dear.

Via Gary Hayes
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

Good "rules" but above all else, it has to have a good story.  

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Gary Hayes's curator insight, September 12, 2016 7:42 PM
Quote "7. Thine kingdom need not be be realistic Unfortunately, realism doesn't work that well with VR. What you have to aim for is coherence and consistency - if you turn your head, the view should move, but if you need to walk forward, it doesn't have to be exactly like real life with head-bouncing and swaying from side to side as you take a step. That would just make everyone throw up. The less perfect the VR experience is, the less the player will expect, and the easier it is to fool them into seeing everything as real."
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Binge-watching could actually be bad for you

Binge-watching could actually be bad for you | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
All of these studies are coming at it from the presumption that the way we used to do it is the right way," said Pamela Rutledge, a media psychologist and faculty member at California's Fielding Graduate University. "That's been true of a lot of media research — and a lot of research in general — because we only know what we do."
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

It's important to remember that most studies are looking at media and new technology from the presumption that the way we used to do things is the right way.  That's been true of a lot of media research — and a lot of research in general — because we only know what we do.  Think back to the "demon radio."

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All the World’s a Stage, Including Your Presentation: 5 Tips from the Theater

All the World’s a Stage, Including Your Presentation: 5 Tips from the Theater | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
A list of useful tips and techniques from theater and acting that can be applied to giving presentations.

Via Baiba Svenca
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

Good basics -- many of which apply to any type of communication, such as academic writing.  Ponderous is common, but not better.

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Sally Spoon's curator insight, July 21, 2016 5:08 PM
theater in the real world

Tiffany Crosby's curator insight, July 23, 2016 12:34 PM
Obvious tips but good reminders
Alex's curator insight, July 26, 2016 2:24 AM
Agree with number 2 - less is more! 
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The First-Ever Snapchat Movie is Here, and it's Horrifying—Go Behind the Scenes

The First-Ever Snapchat Movie is Here, and it's Horrifying—Go Behind the Scenes | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it

Via The Digital Rocking Chair
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

Sickhouse - the first SnapChat-based film--brought to mind Blair Witch Project.  Both are revolutionary in their use of media to capture authenticity, breaking the fourth wall, and capturing the audience's imagination by fiddling with reality vs. fiction.  Using SnapChat is a clever device to make the film timely and raw.  

 

First adopters always have the advantage of challenging the audience's existing mental models about where and how reality ends and fiction begins.  This is a nice metaphor for social technologies as an extension of the social space rather than "some other place."  It is exactly that understanding that made the initial launch so powerful.

 

SnapChat also demands a 'Heminwayesqe' brevity and succinctness to scene construction, especially in real time.  Creating a horror film is a bit of a cheat as all that heightened anxiety increases the "need to know" among the audience that encourages following the story through.  Nevertheless, with so many moving parts, it makes sense to use a genre with wide socioemotional appeal.

 

The irony is that it didn't all disappear in the SnapChat way, and thus challenges how we understand SnapChat as well.  I have wondered for some time, given the creativity that SnapChat unleashes, how long people will be willing to just let their mini-artworks go into the ether.  When we create, it is part of us.  We have a long history of documenting acts of creativity because it is how we share our most human qualities.  

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The Digital Rocking Chair's curator insight, June 27, 2016 1:47 AM

 

Emily Buder:  "We go behind the scenes of the first Snapchat movie, a real-time horror flick."

Minna Kilpeläinen's curator insight, July 2, 2016 5:52 AM
Snapchat movie Sickhouse was a real success. "Everyone was hooked. People trust that what they are seeing on their snap stories is real", said he director Hannah Macpherson. One key was to cast a protagonist who already was a social media pop star (Andrea Russett). She posted the videos from her own account. 
Ana Alves's curator insight, October 3, 2016 5:22 PM
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Rescooped by Dr. Pamela Rutledge from Transmedia: Storytelling for the Digital Age
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How A Toronto-Based Storytelling App Is Becoming A Hollywood Idea Factory

How A Toronto-Based Storytelling App Is Becoming A Hollywood Idea Factory | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it

Via The Digital Rocking Chair
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

For those of you who believed the written word was dead, not so fast!  The unending appetite for good stories and Wattpad as a vehicle for storytellers (think YouTube for readers) provides an obvious entry point for marketers who can craft compelling brand narratives.  The value of storytelling in text is that is that it lets the reader supply the visual storyworld through their imagination, instantly turning them into stakeholders.

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The Digital Rocking Chair's curator insight, June 14, 2016 8:18 PM

 

Nicole LaPorte:  "Having established itself as a critical part of movie-marketing campaigns, Wattpad is now looking to produce its own entertainment."

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Why You're So Tempted to Check Your Phone During Sex | Broadly

You're hardwired to want to respond to notifications on your phone—even during sex. We asked an expert to explain why.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

"I have a terrible time with people trying to villianize technology rather than say[ing], 'Here's evidence that people need to pay attention to how they're using their phones...We have this powerful tool that we can't let run our lives. We have to start making choices. We have to recognize how humans work as well as how our phones work."

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Reality Check: Virtual reality isn't a real market. Yet | ZDNet

Reality Check: Virtual reality isn't a real market. Yet | ZDNet | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
The reality? The vast majority of consumers aren't there yet, don't know or care about VR, and won't know or care in 2016 unless they are hardcore gamers. And only a few forward-looking enterprises -digital predators - are experimenting with VR in effective ways today.

Via Gary Hayes
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

Until developers can identify and DESIGN FOR the fundamental psychological goals (social connection, mastery and control) that drive the value proposition for most consumers, VR will be relegated to niche markets, such as hardcore gamers.  VR developers face both physical and psychological challenges in figuring out the magic ingredients that can make this happen.  They need #mediapsych to understand the cognitive and instinctive (neuro) human responses to media experience--the multi-levels of 'why' behind the technology.

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Gary Hayes's curator insight, March 18, 2016 9:27 PM
Quote "The reality? The vast majority of consumers aren't there yet, don't know or care about VR, and won't know or care in 2016 unless they are hardcore gamers. And only a few forward-looking enterprises -digital predators - are experimenting with VR in effective ways today."
ESTRELLA LOOR's curator insight, March 19, 2016 4:34 PM

Until developers can identify and DESIGN FOR the fundamental psychological goals (social connection, mastery and control) that drive the value proposition for most consumers, VR will be relegated to niche markets, such as hardcore gamers.  VR developers face both physical and psychological challenges in figuring out the magic ingredients that can make this happen.  They need #mediapsych to understand the cognitive and instinctive (neuro) human responses to media experience--the multi-levels of 'why' behind the technology.

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3 Reasons Why Millennials Want Long Form Storytelling Over 'Snackable' Content - Forbes

3 Reasons Why Millennials Want Long Form Storytelling Over 'Snackable' Content - Forbes | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
There's an emerging case that long-form, high quality content might be the best way to build a millennial audience.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

It's a mistake to make sweeping statements about what a generation (especially one that spans to many developmental milestones) wants.  What do Millennials want?  Meaning.  Just like everybody else.  Just because they grew up digital, doesn't mean they don't want meaningful engagement in a good story.  

 

We're past the shiny penny stage of many technologies (except VR, we're just entering the shiny penny stage of that one).  People of all ages are figuring out what works for them and and what doesn't.  It just so happens that the Millennials are the most visible.  They are also getting older.  We can't help get a little more serious as we get older.  

 

For most of the Millennials, the prefrontal cortex has grown in and they have some sense of the future, their limitations and are just getting a peak at their mortality.  Some of them are having kids, paying bills and trying to figure out how you make it to soccer on time.  Twitter has news. Facebook has connection.  Snapchat is fun.  Stories take you for a journey into another world and into yourself simultaneously.  Snackable media is great when you're looking to apply what you've found.  Long form media is experiential at multiple levels.

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Soraia Ferreira, Ph.D.'s curator insight, March 15, 2016 11:14 AM

It's a mistake to make sweeping statements about what a generation (especially one that spans to many developmental milestones) wants.  What do Millennials want?  Meaning.  Just like everybody else.  Just because they grew up digital, doesn't mean they don't want meaningful engagement in a good story.  

 

We're past the shiny penny stage of many technologies (except VR, we're just entering the shiny penny stage of that one).  People of all ages are figuring out what works for them and and what doesn't.  It just so happens that the Millennials are the most visible.  They are also getting older.  We can't help get a little more serious as we get older.  

 

For most of the Millennials, the prefrontal cortex has grown in and they have some sense of the future, their limitations and are just getting a peak at their mortality.  Some of them are having kids, paying bills and trying to figure out how you make it to soccer on time.  Twitter has news. Facebook has connection.  Snapchat is fun.  Stories take you for a journey into another world and into yourself simultaneously.  Snackable media is great when you're looking to apply what you've found.  Long form media is experiential at multiple levels.

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This Girl is Going to Prison for Live Streaming a Rape on Periscope

This Girl is Going to Prison for Live Streaming a Rape on Periscope | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
A girl who live streamed a rape on Periscope was sentenced to prison.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

This is a cautionary tale to those who think that being a "digital bystander" bears no responsibility.  Social media puts us in the position of observer to many things, from crime and cyberbullying to fake news.  Media literacy is more than just analyzing content, it is empowering digital media and social media users to be responsible citizens.  I encourage all parents, teachers and caretakers to teach their children and teens with the skills they need to be Upstanders.

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People Are Suffering From ‘Trump Trauma.’ Here's Why, and What to Do About It.

People Are Suffering From ‘Trump Trauma.’ Here's Why, and What to Do About It. | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
Rutledge believes it’s this irrationality, and subsequent intolerance and antagonism, that can be the most dangerous fallout, as it “creates a need for safety that overrides reason.” Across social media, she says, people are no longer willing to tolerate differing opinions, and “all of this triggers our instinctive defensive responses, not our rational, cognitive ones.”
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

We may be anxious and depressed in this political environment, but the damage goes much deeper.  The irrationality, and subsequent intolerance and antagonism, is most dangerous fallout of Trump's flamethrower approach.  It creates a need for safety that overrides reason. Across social media people are no longer willing to tolerate differing opinions, and all of this triggers our instinctive defensive responses, causing anger and suppresses our rational, cognitive ones and our ability to have empathy.

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The Tao Of Tom: How Tom Brady Uses An 80-20 Diet, Meditation, Yoga & One Book To Age Backwards

The Tao Of Tom: How Tom Brady Uses An 80-20 Diet, Meditation, Yoga & One Book To Age Backwards | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
In the book Exploring Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and Well-Being, authors Erik Gregory and Pamela Rutledge elaborate on Tom’s neurological training. “[Tom] is a real-life example of intentional activities to take advantage of neuroplasticity to maintain cognitive health.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

In the book Exploring Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and Well-Being, authors Erik Gregory and Pamela Rutledge elaborate on Tom’s neurological training. “[Tom] is a real-life example of intentional activities to take advantage of neuroplasticity to maintain cognitive health.

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Here’s What Happened When I Gave Up Following The News For A Week

Here’s What Happened When I Gave Up Following The News For A Week | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
"Being informed" and being a news junkie are two very different things.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

The psychology of news consumption - there is value in being a mindful consumer.  

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What's Happened to Transmedia?

I got an email in my inbox a week or two ago asking the titular question.
It's been haunting me ever since. "


Via Simon Staffans
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

Transmedia has always had a rocky definition. It may, however, be moving more from a definable thing to a perspective on how to approach communication--whether entertainment, marketing or education.  To me, it has always represented a more accurate user-centered design that reflects how the human brain receives and gathers information and makes meaning of experience--through multiple channels.  It's not surprising that the pioneers of transmedia experiences have moved to the edge of the storytelling envelope, such as VR.  It is where the attention and money are focused given that the opportunities are unknown and thus, full of promise.  As Andrea's article points out, transmedia strategies were not uniformly able to create a viable business model that supported many creative endeavors.  At the same time, the fundamental shifts in the media landscape that impact consumer expectations and demands, not to mention the flood of choice, suggest that awareness of the need for multi-platform engagement only grows.  To me, this suggests that the fundamentals are more important, even if they "only" provide a foundation for thinking about strategies and projects in the way Simon describes.

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Simon Staffans's curator insight, September 29, 2016 4:20 AM
"The genie is out of the bottle and can never be returned" Good stuff from Andrea.
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How young is too young for a smartphone? We asked the experts

How young is too young for a smartphone? We asked the experts | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
When is your child ready to own a smartphone? It’s a difficult question for many parents. We asked some experts and gathered some stats to help you decide.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

We continue to look for easy answers for the appropriate age for smartphone use, but there aren't any.  Maturity develops at different rates in children and there is a wide range of uses for smartphones.  Achieving the intersection for your child takes judgment.  But smart technology use isn't about the tools--it's about the fundamentals like critical thinking, ethical judgment and moral behavior AND having an open channel of communication.  You can teach your kids these lessons without ever logging into SnapChat.  It does, however, require an investment in time to build an open relationship of trust based on talking and listening so that your messages are heard.  More importantly, it lets your kids feel safe enough to ask you (instead of some other less qualified person or friend) how to handle tough or confusing situations.

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Fielding Graduate University

The Olympic games feature prominently in dissertations by Fielding doctoral students
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

More and more people are watching the Olympics online and via mobile devices, according to a recent article in the Financial Times.  Media channels frame how we interpret messages and raise a multitude of questions in how we understand information.  These questions are equally important for media producers and brand marketers to consider. For example, is it news or word of mouth?  Where is the source?  How often  do we see it?  What do we notice when we view on a small screen?  Who are the curators?  These types of questions were behind the dissertations by Rafa Linera-Rivera after the Sochi games and my work from 2008 Beijing Olympics looking at the impact of media choice on perceptions of China as an enemy.  Rio should be asking similar questions in how the Olympic coverage is impacting their brand.

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Facebook Live videos, social media make tragedies "difficult to ignore"

Facebook Live videos, social media make tragedies "difficult to ignore" | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
Live streaming videos and social media have turned everyday citizens into reporters and witnesses in a whole new way
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

The immediacy of live video is very powerful.  We also have to remember that media of any kind is curated by something even as simple as when you hit the record button, where you pointed the camera, and any verbal commentary.  No piece of media, especially live-streaming from a phone, doesn't and can't  show full context; it shows a selective point of view.  We have to honor the reality of the teller but we can't ignore the reality of other participants.  Hopefully, the use of real time videos makes tragic events poignantly real and much more difficult to ignore—and begins conversations toward change.

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Study that links the pleasure of 'likes' to sex in teens has far deeper implications

Study that links the pleasure of 'likes' to sex in teens has far deeper implications | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
Practice safe Instagramming, and always use a filter.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

Bravo to the researchers & DailyDot reporter for trying to explain the more nuanced results of their study rather than leaping on the "sensational bandwagon" of likes = sex created by press headlines.

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Lessons for Stopping an Adult Cyberbully

Lessons for Stopping an Adult Cyberbully | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
Email, texting and social media have made it easier for adults to be mean and even threatening online. Experts suggest people not respond, make an archive of the insults, inform a Website’s administrators and sometimes alert authorities.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

Save your words for someone who will listen.  Cyberbullies feed off your emotions.  Think stop, drop and roll: stop following, drop them from your feeds and let their words roll off you.

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As social media mourns Lahore blast victims, some criticize Western bias | World | DW.COM | 29.03.2016

As social media mourns Lahore blast victims, some criticize Western bias | World | DW.COM | 29.03.2016 | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
The terrorist attack in Pakistan has sparked anger on social media – not all of it aimed at the attackers. For many, the relative lack of attention paid on Twitter and Facebook illustrates Western double standards.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

Bias is not overcome by pointing fingers.  Bias occurs naturally as part of the biological imperative of survival.  It comes from the innate tendency to feel safer and more connected to the things we know and understand.  A solution to bias is to create opportunities to get to know the human side of other people so that we look past nationality and religion and are able to see them as we see ourselves: parents, mothers, brothers, sisters, and children. 

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In fight between Apple and the government, whom do you trust?

In fight between Apple and the government, whom do you trust? | Psychology of Media & Technology | Scoop.it
On the day Apple announced it would fight a federal court order to build a master key that could grant access to data held on iPhones, dozens of customers flocked to the company’s store downtown. Nearly half of Americans polled recently support Apple’s decision to resist the government’s demand to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino terror suspect Syed Rizwan Farook, according to a national online survey by Reuters and Ipsos. The case between Apple and the federal government began when a California federal magistrate judge ordered the company on Feb. 16 to disable security functions on Farook’s iPhone that would lock out federal investigators after 10 unsuccessful attempts to guess the suspected gunman’s pass code. Apple CEO Tim Cook refused, saying the case would require the company to create a “backdoor” into the iPhone that could have sweeping implications for security and set a precedent for future government requests to demand greater access to tech companies’ data. Earlier this month, about 40 companies, 32 law professors and several dozen nonprofits and individuals — including the husband of one of the San Bernardino attack victims — filed briefs in support of Apple. The debate between Apple and the FBI has been painted by both sides as a stand-in for the fundamental struggle between national security and civil liberties. On Thursday, federal prosecutors filed a motion that said, “Apple’s rhetoric is not only false, but also corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights.” [...] studies show many Americans simply don’t trust the federal government to keep their information safe. Apple’s design of an operating system that, the company claims, even Apple itself cannot crack was a direct response to consumer fears of surveillance, experts said. Yochai Benkler, a law professor and director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, wrote that Apple’s ethic essentially said, You don’t have to trust us; you don’t have to trust the democratic process of our government. Most Americans do not want the government to have access to their phone, communications and Internet activity — even in the name of stopping terror attacks, the Reuters/Iposos poll found. According to Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer study, which measures public confidence in entities such as governments, corporations and the media, most people’s levels of trust haven’t budged since the recent recession. Apple supporters will insist the company is in the right whether they win or the government ultimately prevails and forces the tech giant to turn over the keys to Farook’s iPhone data. A crowd of about 20 people gathered in front of the store and listened as speakers extolled the virtues of Apple’s legal battle with the government.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge's insight:

All the hype over "big data" combined with the looming threat of terrorism and the inroads into personal rights with the Patriot Act have created a landscape of fear.  The question is, who do you fear most?  The current election season is making the government process seem pretty, well, dysfunctional if not downright dangerous. That makes the serenity of an Apple store seem like a temple to the individual.  Beliefs are just that, beliefs.  The facts don't matter.  People tell themselves a story and if it feels right (what Jerome Bruner, my fav cognitive psychologist, calls verisimilitude), then it is right.  A story about Apple protecting your data is a much easier one to tell than that the government isn't going to violate your rights.  I mean, seriously, who believes they are just going to hack into a phone this one time?  I'm not saying which side is right, mind you, I'm just pointing out that Apple has a serious leg up on this narrative space!

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