Surprise! Quitting Facebook Could Be Bad for You.

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Grab your pitchfork, fellow human. We have a new villain to run out of town, and its name is Facebook. It’s selling our data, monitoring our phone calls, and, perhaps worst of all, doesn’t even seem to feel that bad about it.

But before you set your torch ablaze delete Facebook, let’s take a beat. Is the platform really a toxic monster? Or perhaps more of a misunderstood beneficial beast?

Let’s ask science.

Last month, The Journal of Social Psychology published a study exploring the relationship between Facebook and stress. Using 138 active Facebook users as their guinea pigs, researchers from the University of Queensland found that taking a five-day break from the platform lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Ready to hit that delete button? Not so fast.

“[W]hile participants in our study showed an improvement in physiological stress by giving up Facebook, they also reported lower feelings of well-being,” lead researcher Eric Vanman said in a press release. “People said they felt more unsatisfied with their life and were looking forward to resuming their Facebook activity.”

And those lower cortisol levels? Participants didn’t even notice, reporting that they felt just as stressed as they did before quitting Facebook temporarily.

In some instances, using Facebook can actually help you cope with stress.

That’s according to a study the journal Computers in Human Behavior published in May 2017. Northwestern University researcher Renwen Zhang surveyed 560 Facebook-using university students, focusing on their use of Facebook to disclose information about stressful events in their lives.

Zhang concluded that opening up on Facebook helped the students mentally cope with stressful situations. When the students shared information, they were likely to get support from their Facebook friends in the form of encouragement, advice, or offers of help. This, in turn, made them feel supported, more satisfied with life, and less depressed.

Quitting Facebook means saying goodbye to all those digital hugs that can help you get through your latest breakup or crappy day at work.

So, how do Facebook’s scientifically supported benefits stack up against its drawbacks? Well, there are the aforementioned privacy issues to consider, plus the damage the platform can do to our health, IRL relationships, self-esteemintelligence, overall well-being… We could go on and on.

On second thought, maybe it is time to grab your pitchfork. Or, at least, don’t extinguish the flaming torches just yet.

The post Surprise! Quitting Facebook Could Be Bad for You. appeared first on Futurism.

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Surprise! Spotify now says its Weeknd debut beat out Apple Music

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Spotify on Wednesday issued an update regarding streaming figures related to The Weeknd’s new album "My Dear Melancholy," saying it beat Apple Music’s debut of the same record by 3 million streams.
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Facebook Phone-Scraping Takes Users by Surprise

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Facebook on Sunday confirmed that its Messenger and Lite apps for Android smartphones routinely collect call and text histories. The call and text history logging are opt-in features for people using Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android devices, the company said in a post. The feature is designed to help users stay connected, and it improves the Facebook experience, according to the company. The Messenger feature can be turned off at any time through the app’s settings.
TechNewsWorld
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HQ Trivia reaches $250,000 prize Wednesday via new sponsors, surprise $100K game tonight

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HQ Trivia’s debut on Android wasn’t too long ago. Four months on and it has lined up some high-profile sponsorships for future trivia games. HQ Trivia has announced a deal with Warner Bros. to promote three films, starting later this Wednesday with “Ready Player One,” which will include the biggest prize pool yet for the live trivia app: $ 250,000. Can’t wait? Allegedly there’s a surprise game planned for tonight that will be sponsored by Nike, with a $ 100,000 jackpot. 

For the unfamiliar, HQ Trivia is an app for Android and iOS that provides a live trivia game show that anyone with the app can participate in.

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HQ Trivia reaches $ 250,000 prize Wednesday via new sponsors, surprise $ 100K game tonight was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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New hardware at Apple’s surprise education event? Catch our expectations on The CultCast

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This week on The CultCast: Apple’s surprise education event could showcase new, cheaper hardware — we’ll fill you in. Plus: A huge upgrade may be coming to the screens of Apple products; why 2018’s iPhone X refresh could cost less than last year’s model; the Fortnite iOS version will totally blow your mind; and you […]

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

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Apple’s surprise education event could showcase new, cheaper hardware

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

Apple issued invites Friday for an education-themed event in Chicago on March 27. The invite promises “creative new ideas for teachers and students.” That could indicate the arrival of more-affordable Apple devices — like the new MacBook Air and iPad we’ve been hearing about. Recent rumors promised new Apple devices in March. However, as the […]

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

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Students and teachers are the focus of Apple’s surprise March 27 event

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

Enlarge / The 10.5-inch iPad Pro. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

On the heels of opening up registration for its annual WWDC event, Apple will hold an education-focused event on March 27 that will highlight “creative new ideas for teachers and students,” multiple reports indicate.

Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago will host the event at 10am CDT on March 27. Apple’s last education event took place all the way back in 2012 in New York City. In typical Apple fashion, the event’s invitation doesn’t offer any details about the impending announcements.

Apple has hosted hardware events during springtime before, and there are a number of rumored devices that could come out of this event. Gossip says Apple might be about to reveal a new 9.7-inch iPad for a special education price of $ 259. New iPads have been rumored for later this year as well, but it’s unlikely that an education-focused iPad would include the new and expensive FaceID camera. A new iPad with Apple’s high-end camera, which enables FaceID, Animoji, and ARKit features, may debut later this year.

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apple – Ars Technica

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Surprise: DisplayMate deems the Galaxy S9’s display the best it’s ever seen, gives it “Excellent A+” grade

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For as long as I can remember, each Samsung phone’s release has been accompanied by a DisplayMate test proclaiming this new Samsung phone’s screen to be the absolute best. Given just how good Samsung’s AMOLED panels are, we can certainly understand this, but it’s just interesting to see the same thing said every year. This time around, DisplayMate has awarded the Galaxy S9 an “Excellent A+” grade.

While the Galaxy S9/S9+ panels are physically the same size as those on the Galaxy S8/S8+, DisplayMate’s Dr.

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Surprise: DisplayMate deems the Galaxy S9’s display the best it’s ever seen, gives it “Excellent A+” grade was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Sony may launch three new devices at the MWC – two XZ2 phones and a surprise

The rumor mill has been pretty clear that we’ll see the Sony Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact at the MWC stage. But it seems that there will be a surprise third entry. Sony Mobile’s Facebook account for South Africa invites people to watch the unveiling of “three amazing new Xperia models”. The image attached to this post features the current Xperia XA2 Ultra, though we’ll try not to read too much into that. The new XA2 duo is not yet available in the country, although the post talks about the livestream from Barcelona so presumably it references a global launch. So, which phone…

GSMArena.com – Latest articles

Surprise! It’s a Bad Idea to Hack Your Body, Says Prominent Biohacker

The history of medicine is studded with tales of self-experimentation. In 1961, Victor Herbert deprived himself of folic acid for weeks (he basically boiled his food to deplete its nutritional value), ultimately learning the hard way that it’s a key part of the diet. Two decades later, Barry Marshall ingested Helicobacter pylori bacteria reveal that it was the cause of stomach ulcers (in 2005, he won a Nobel Prize for it). These stories, romanticized in the rearview mirror of science and discovery, are important to the larger narrative of scientific progress.

That is, we glorify stories of the treatments that worked. It’s pretty safe to assume that, for every groundbreaking discovery made from self-experimentation, there were at least a handful of duds – people who were poisoned, sickened, maimed, injured, or even killed when they made themselves the guinea pigs for medical interventions that just didn’t quite work out.

Today, the stakes under which biohackers operate seem higher. That’s because today’s self-experimenters have two important tools their predecessors lacked: more powerful tools (that may also be capable of greater harm), and the internet, allowing them to spread their influence more widely.

The tone of the community, then, is bolder than before – its voice louder. But it still comes with downsides and risks that are, arguably, not mentioned often enough.

Biohacker Josiah Zayner, who gained media attention first from performing his own fecal transplant, then attempting to edit his own DNA with CRISPR on stage at a conference, considers himself both a scientist and a social activist. His biohacking stunts, along with the company he runs that sells DIY gene editing kits that use the CRISPR enzyme, are done with the intention of democratizing science, bringing potentially transformative techniques from the Ivory Tower to the masses.

But Zayner has come to realize that his intention isn’t necessarily coming through to everyone who sees his actions. He recently expressed some regret for this in a conversation with Sarah Zhang of The Atlantic:

You know what, I kind of blame myself, honestly… I see myself as a scientist but also a social activist with some of the experiments I’ve done. Like, how can I do this experiment from a scientific way but also to make people think? Make people think or push CRISPR experiments further forward or make fecal transplants become more mainstream.

What it’s turned into now, people view it as a way to get press and get publicity and get famous. And people are going to get hurt. There’s no doubt in my mind that somebody is going to end up hurt eventually. Everybody is trying to one-up each other more and more.

Zayner is a trained scientist — he holds a PhD in biochemistry and biophysics — and has a pretty decent sense of the risks he’s taking with his self-experiments. But looking around at others in the biohacking community, Zayner views some of their actions as a bit more foolhardy.

Earlier this month, Aaron Traywick, the CEO of Ascendance Biomedical, injected himself with an untested gene therapy intended to treat herpes at a conference in Texas (before quickly spiraling into erratic behavior); last October, Tristan Roberts, along with two other biohackers, in partnership with the same Ascendance Biomedical, dosed himself with a similarly untested treatment for HIV.

Hank Greely, a bioethicist at Stanford University, told Gizmodo regarding Roberts’ experiment: “If he really did inject a DIY vaccine, I hope it doesn’t hurt him. But, if it does, at least he would be in line for a Darwin Award.”

Two other biohackers who have tried gene therapy are, Brian Hanley and Elizabeth Parrish, who did so in attempts to lengthen their lives.

Legitimate biohackers, the ones that exercise more caution and experiment on their bodies to further a more altruistic agenda, have expressed their frustration and embarrassment from some of these glorified publicity stunts (though mainstream scientists have chosen to study some, including Hanley, to see the effect on his body).

So far, it’s not clear whether any of these treatments have worked — several of the biohackers themselves noted they don’t necessarily expect them to — but none of them has died yet, either. So at least there’s that.

There’s still room for the Herberts and Marshalls of the world. They’ll just have to be careful about how much of their risky experiments they choose to put online. Others’ lives might hang in the balance.

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