CNN

Facebook rolls out a “mute” button to address growing concerns about the impact of social media on our mental health. While Facebook always seems to lead the way in corporate responsibility, in skeptical at best because they profit off of how much time we spend on their app/site. Still, the fact a conversation is being had and some tools are being put in place while the research continues to pour in is encouraging. Will you use it you think?
“Facebook’s Ginsberg and Burke say they want Facebook to “enhance” people’s meaningful real-world relationships, not detract from them. Their post touts the various ways the company is trying to improve the well-being of users. ‘We’re working to make Facebook more about social interaction and less about spending time,’ said the post.”

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Chelmsford Police Department

What an awesome tip from the Chelmsford Police Department. I’ve seen so many of these cutesy “polls” lately on Facebook – don’t do them! You divulge information sometimes that’s very valuable in the wrong hands.

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CNN

Last week before speaking to a big group of parents, I was introduced by a Mom of 3 (2 in high school and one in elementary )shout out to L.C.E.!) who said one of her biggest regrets was getting her daughters their own smartphones when they were in 7th and 6th grades. We talked about how, in a short time, we know so much more about smartphones and how large of a role they play in all of our lives – and the implications of that.
This CNN article talks about a recent study that was done on kids getting their own smartphones around the world, and while the information isn’t really anything we haven’t seen before, I think the fact people are starting to talk more about this big decision is interesting – and super important. I think we’re going to see a trend in parents holding off a bit longer to give kids smartphones as we learn more about their impact on us as a society, kids specifically.
“But when Zaske and her family moved to California’s San Francisco Bay Area, Sophia entered fourth grade and became the only student in her class without a smartphone, Zaske said, and the girl noticed. ‘We intend to give Sophia a flip phone next year so that she can call us and make plans with friends after school more easily, but we will hold off on the smartphone until high school,’ she said.” Preach.

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Facebook newest Messenger app aims to connect parents and their young kids

Facebook has rolled out a new Messenger app designed specifically for kids under the age of 13. For YEARS, social networks (and other tech entrepreneurs) have struggled with creating a COPPA-compliant space for kids. Having worked briefly for a company that tried to achieve this, the challenges are absolutely incredible (from compliance issues to attracting users). Today, I spoke with a group of 200+ 3rd-5th graders, 80% of whom had either Instagram, Musical.ly and/or Snapchat accounts; while I applaud all the effort and care Facebook has seemingly invested to give parents control and access to kids’ contacts and content, I have a real hard time believing this will catch on. Until there are mechanisms that block U13 kids from going on the popular social networks (now Instagram and Snapchat – Facebook is old news), I can’t imagine the draw will be there for kids. This articles makes a lot of comparisons to YouTube Kids, both with potential issues – but more so with getting kids to actually use it versus the “real” YouTube. I appreciate the effort and like the idea, but don’t think the draw will be there.
You think your kids be interested in using this over/in addition to the apps they’re using now? Will be interesting to see.

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Facebook’s suicide prevention AI just got an important upgrade

Technology can be such a wonderful thing. Facebook has rolled out new AI that uses pattern recognition to detect when someone may be contemplating suicide. Facebook already had tools for friends to report when they thought a friend may be in trouble, but now have introduced technology to help facilitate this. I love that companies like Facebook step up to the plate to help tackle these issues. #techforgood

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