Instagram is Trying to Make Users Feel Better Without Scaring Them Off

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A perfectly styled plate of food, overflowing and untouched. A shot from behind a young woman, naked in the back of a van, looking out at a stunning landscape (#vanlife). Thin, attractive people in expensive workout clothes without a drop of sweat. Endless selfies that purport to be #nofilter and makeup-free while still somehow looking flawless.

Ho, hum, another day of scrolling through Instagram, and all the feelings of inadequacy it brings up. Over time, those feelings could wear on users’ mental health.

Instagram has negative effects on wellbeing, especially among young women, according to several recent studies. Britain’s Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) ranked Instagram as the worst social network for mental health among young people. Now, Quartz reports that Instagram has decided to address these problems by creating a “Wellbeing Team.”

So far, it’s unclear what exactly that team will be doing, or who will be on it. That may be because Instagram is struggling to walk a fine line between helping its users and alienating them.

A hand holding a mobile phone taking a photo of a sunset over the ocean. Apps like Instagram encourage obsession with sharing content like this to the point that it may damage mental health.
If the sun sets and you didn’t ‘gram it, did it even happen? Image Credit: Free-Photos / Pixabay

The app has recently implemented a few notable changes intended to keep users psychologically healthy, like a filter for offensive comments and connections to mental health resources for those who seem to need it.

Yet what Instagram hasn’t done is introduce some of the RSPH’s suggestions, detailed in its study. The research suggested interventions like a pop-up that warns users they’ve been using social media too long, or a watermark that indicates if an image has been digitally altered.

That’s not all that surprising; telling users that they’ve been on an app too long would make being on the app feel like being nagged by a parent, and run counter to the addictive quality that social media companies have worked hard to build into their products. Additionally, if Instagram started calling out users for retouching their photos, they’d likely find their most prolific users ditching the app in a hurry.

Ultimately, the problem here is a paradox: many aspects of Instagram that make people feel terrible are the very things people come to the app to find. Users want to see images of beautiful places and people; they’re coaxed, compelled to compare their lives to others in the hope of reassuring themselves they’re doing alright. Unlike other apps that have faced these issues, such as Facebook, Instagram posts aren’t diluted by status updates, random shared articles, and other types of content; Instagram is built for voyeurism.

We won’t pretend that there are any easy answers to this issue. As Quartz and others have pointed out, this problem stems from a larger, systemic cultural issue — where depression and other mental health issues remain under-addressed, and in which how you look, and how well you fit into cultural expectations of “success,” are given more credence than actual happiness.

Maybe Instagram’s new “Wellbeing Team” will find some innovative ways to chip away at that.

The post Instagram is Trying to Make Users Feel Better Without Scaring Them Off appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Give your iPhone camera the feel of a DSLR [Deals]

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Your iPhone takes great pictures, but it doesn’t feel like a camera. After all, cameras are easy to grip and hold steady, and that’s by design. But the design for phones focuses on being sleek and slim enough fit in your pocket. With the ShutterGrip Smartphone Camera Controller, your iPhone can take on the feel […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

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[Update: Post deleted] LG wants to know how you really feel about displays with notches

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Love ’em or hate ’em, notches are quickly making their way to nearly every Android phone. What the iPhone X started (yes, we know the Essential Phone came before it) is now spreading to phones from ASUS, OnePlus, Huawei, and more.

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[Update: Post deleted] LG wants to know how you really feel about displays with notches was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

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Scientists Engineered A Suit That Makes You Feel Like You’re Driving Hungover

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

You’ve heard the refrain before: don’t drink and drive. Tens of thousands of people die in alcohol-related traffic accidents every year. Luckily, though, people seem to be getting the message — drunk driving fatalities on roadways have decreased by 51 percent since 1982.

But how about the morning after? After all, you’re not drunk anymore. Sure, you don’t feel 100 percent, you’ve got a headache and an intense craving for fried food, but that shouldn’t impair your driving… right?

But according to automaker Ford, you’d be wrong.

The company devised a suit that reproduces the effects of a killer hangover. Heavy cuffs weigh down the arms and legs, plus weights strapped on the chest slow movements. A pair of big headphones blast a pounding noise to simulate a headache. The wearer dons goggles that blur their vision and simulate light sensitivity through a small lamp attached to the side.

A Quartz reporter tried the suit out driving across a simple cone path in a big, empty parking lot. Sluggish and confused, he knocked over a full row of cones and found the overall experience thoroughly unpleasant. Honestly, who wouldn’t.

But here’s a question: is hungover driving even a thing? Futurism could find no scientific studies on the subject. And we’re all for safety, but it does seem awfully convenient that Ford engineered a suit that somehow makes its Driving Skills for Life campaign seem even more critical.

But Ford may have a point. Scientists may not know that being hungover doesn’t impair driving, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t. We know that drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people in 2015. But we have no idea of how many people were injured or killed by hungover drivers — there are simply no studies either way. Just watching that video shows that research into hungover driving is probably called for.

Until those studies come, it’s worth being aware that hangovers — suit-induced, or au naturel — could affect your driving. Stay safe out there, y’all.

The post Scientists Engineered A Suit That Makes You Feel Like You’re Driving Hungover appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Weekend poll: How do you feel about the changes to Snapchat?

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Snapchat may not have the widest audience compared to social juggernauts like Facebook, but there’s a core of users that have stuck by the service even as competitors like Instagram integrated similar features. Of course, we’ve been more than a bit critical of Snapchat and it’s terrible Android performance over the years—late last year the company promised to (finally) make an effort on the platform. But over the last week, Snapchat has been rolling out a controversial new redesign.

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Weekend poll: How do you feel about the changes to Snapchat? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi perfectly sums up how CEOs feel about taking money from SoftBank

“I’d rather have their capital cannon behind me.”

Silicon Valley CEOs mulling whether to accept at an investment offer from SoftBank’s VIsion Fund always seem to have one alternate history in the backs of their minds:

What happens if I decline, and SoftBank funds my rival instead?

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, whose company just stared down that same question late last year as it negotiated a high-stakes deal with the $ 100 billion fund, gave voice to that intellectual exercise today as he offered an overview of his business to Goldman Sachs clients and investors.

“Rather than having their capital cannon facing me, I’d rather have their capital cannon behind me, all right?” Khosrowshahi said today at Goldman’s tech conference.

SoftBank insisted during the negotiations that it was perfectly willing to go invest in Lyft instead if the Uber deal fell through. SoftBank has at times negotiated with multiple competitors in order to locate the best deal — and retain leverage.

Uber’s CEO offered an amibitous vision for the company, saying he didn’t want it to be seen as purely a car-for-hire company — but one that would take any person on any transit system — “from point A to point B, whatever the best way.”

“I want to run the bus systems for a city,” Khosrowshahi said. “I want you to be able to take an Uber and get into the subway — if the trains are running on time, you’ve got real-time data — get in the subway, get out and have an Uber waiting for you for right now. Or know that there’s a bike right there for you that gets you where you’re going in the fastest manner.”

Khosrowshahi also offered more of an explanation on Wednesday on last week’s decision to settle the lawsuit filed by Alphabet over whether Uber stole self-driving technology secrets from Waymo, Alphabet’s subsidiary.

Khosrowshahi called the suit “a personal affront” to Uber scientists because it “put their really good work under a question mark.” But he said the deal was intended mostly to remove the distraction and allow the company to focus more on its core business.

The Uber CEO portrayed the company he inherited as a very strong business — “a better business than I thought” when he took the job — but one with a damaged brand that he plans to try repair.

“Getting the love back is a very, very important priority for us,” he said.


Recode – All

Facebook announces new Messenger features to help couples ‘feel the love’ this Valentine’s Day

Starting when the clock officially turns to February 14th in your location, Facebook Messenger will offer a slew of Valentine’s Day features for those couples who are madly in love. The company announced the features in a blog post, saying that they allow for you to “feel the love with Messenger.”

more…

9to5Mac

Customize the look and feel of your Dock with Marina

Customizing the application Dock has always been a favorite past-time for jailbreakers, and a new free tweak dubbed Marina by iOS developer CydiaGeek takes that notion into consideration.

Out of the box, Marina lets you customize the number of apps in your Dock and change how it displays on your Home Screen. Imbued with these abilities, you can make your dock both more functional and better-looking than it would be on a stock device…. Read the rest of this post here


Customize the look and feel of your Dock with Marina” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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‘Feel’ your drone with MotionPilot’s haptic joystick

Flying a drone isn't as easy as it looks, as any beginner who has ever purchased one of the pricey things and then immediately crashed it can attest. A startup called MotionPilot wants to help beginners and pros alike with a joystick that makes it mo…
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