Thursday, January 22, 2015

Great program. Step 2: First Grade

Let's continue our program with first grader, some review would be fun, with some still images observations game, cartoon screening and commercial making again.
Then we can now start with some history class, cinema history for sure.
I like to start by the beginning at it makes more sense to explain to the children how we got there, in the images based world.

So I will start with Emile Reynaud, showing them the "praxinoscope"  and early animation made with it.
Then I will show them his optical theater and one of his projection:

This class that introduce history of cinema is constructed around visual experiences. there is no lesson to learn there, only being exposed to what was done and share feeling and thinking with their pair. The brain will do the rest. Debate is higly encouraged.

After the Praxinoscope should come Edison and his Kinetoscope and some of his film should be screened. 

The Lumiere brother should follow with the screening of  "the arrival of a train at La Ciotat" without forgetting to explain to the kids that people were scared when watching that movie for the first time, scared that the train would run on them. 
Children are usually very receptive to the history of cinema, it is also fun for them to hear that adult were scared by a train on a screen.

Children particularly appreciate Georges Melies 's movies. I like to show them a few of those. "A trip to the Moon" is fascinating, even for those who are watching too much TV. It is important to set up the ambiance when showing those old movies, to make them feel how it was at that time.

Melies is a lot of fun, and children will laugh at his movies, it is interesting to learn about some of the special effect he used as he is the precursor. Eventually the children could reproduce and experiment some of his trick, like the disparition of a person or an object. It will be wise to get a video camera and to realize some short videos with the children at that point,

Friday, January 09, 2015

What should the media show after a terrorist attack and the killing of people

This week France lost some amazing cartoonist in a terrorist attack. Those cartoonist were satirical and as so, they were drawing some provocative and non respectful draw about every figure of authority, political or religious.
They were drawing about any and every political figure as any and every religious figure. Nobody was forced to buy their publication "Charlie Hebdo" and those who did not like their sense of humor and provocation were not buying it.
The cartoonist themselves were very kind people, very generous and open minded, they were fighting obscurantism, racism, injustice... Their satirical representation were there not to hurt the feeling of anyone but instead to make people think further.

This freedom of speech in France does not suffer of any political correctness limitation. In France, everyone as an opinion and everyone voice it. French people fought for it and many dies for it.
For centuries, people were oppressed by the nobility and the clergy. They had to work hard to give them most of everything they were producing. Then the French Revolution happen and from there, French people decided to never ever been under the domination of the nobility or the clergy and this is why France is a secular country.

Among all those drawing Charlie Hebdo published were caricatures of religious figure like the pope and Muhammad, the prophet. Some Muslim got offended and did manifest in many European town. Unhappily The Grand Mosque and another French Muslim organisation sued Charlie Hebdo in 2007. They lost to the benefit of freedom of speech and the French tradition of satire.

From there, hate rised and djihadist started to threat all those cartoonist of death until Wednesday January 7 were barbarian executed most of Charlie Hebdo talents. We all fell angry and attacked and the movement "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) support not only Charlie Hebdo but the freedom of speech and resistance to armed threat.

For those 3 last days, medias showed the track of attackers of Charlie Hebdo. They were finally found and killed in the action. so what the media are going to speak about now? Because their responsibility is huge.
On which points are they going to focus now?

Shouldn't they show the pain that killing leave behind?
Shouldn't they have more people coming up in front of the camera like friends of the deceased who dared to share their sadness and cry in front of the camera?
Shouldn't they speak about the family they are leaving behind?
Shouldn't they show to those young eyes that killing in reality is not like killing in a video game, that people do not get up in the next game? That when people are dead, the game is over forever!

Shouldn't they show the pain and the shame of the killer's family as well?
Shouldn't they show that death has immediate consequences in the life of many?

Does media have an immense responsibility when choosing which facts to show and how?
do they show more acts of violence than the consequence of that violence?
And if so, do they desensitizing the viewers and not supporting compassion?

The Media always argue that they are just showing what is going on, the facts, but which facts?
In choosing what to show. don't they setting up the example.

We will see what they are going to show from now on as the consequence of this terrorist attack...

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

New year: great program! Step 1: Kindergarten

One of the thing which appears essential to me is to educate our children to this visual world because it is obvious that image dominate our today word.
The best way to empower them in this context is to give them as much toold as possible to not be dominate and even influence by all those images.
This is why I believe that children should make commercials even before seeing any. And this is something they can do early on, let say around 5 years old.
I think that it will be wise to implement some audiovisual class as early as kindergarten. I will start with some very basic games:
- first bring some still picture taken from magazine and simply ask the student to look at them closely and tell what they see. they can do that as small group of 2 or 3 or individually. The idea is to make them focus and notice details that they would probably not have even pay attention to in the first place.

- then it would be nice to project some other pictures with a retro-projector after darkening the classroom to improve the focus on the image but also give a sense of "special moment" to the kids. The exercise will be the same as the first one, just telling what they see on the picture except that this time the whole class will see the same image. it should be interesting to notice what they actually observe on each picture as a collective. the goal is to eventually have them surprise each other by not noticing the same thing.

- if the class is well spoken, it could be nice to ask them to tell a little short story about the image, what the story of it.

- Make a flip book will be a great new step as well as a nice craft for the children to realize. Sure they will not do the drawing themselves, each teacher can easily choose what kind of flip book she would like her class to make and make the template for each kid to assemble and play with and keep forever. (http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Flipbook) The goal is there is for the kids to feel some more sensation about an image go from still to movement. Experimentation stays much better than explanation.

- it is now time to pass to videos and I will start with something they probably know better than anyone: cartoon! Except that I will not simply show them a cartoon and any cartoon, I will follow some very precise steps. First I will take a Looney Tune cartoon as they are usually short, extremely well done and intelligent and rich of elements to observe. I like to take Bugs Bunny. So the idea is to first show them the cartoon without the sound. The children will pay more attention to the images in order to understand what is going on. And they will understand. So as soon as the cartoon is done, they will be able to tell the story to their teacher. From there I will have some other step which will be new games, knowing that the children will certainly pay more attetion to the words as they surely want to check if they got the story right, the next game will be to "pay attention to the tone of the voice". is the voice happy, sad, grave, high, fast, slow, clear or not, angry, scare...
So the children will not only listen to what is being said but also to how it is being said.
then the teacher can have them share what they observe and there the all will learn from each other.
The next step will allow the children to see the same cartoon again. And this time they will have to focus on the music! Is there music, what kind of music is that and when? is that an happy music, a fast one, a slow one, a scary one? they should be able to notice the change of music at it occurs. Children are sometime so excited by the exercise that they shout out as the cartoon run what they are noticing. When the cartoon ends, it is time to share what has been noticed and then to make it in relation with the other elements we already observe:
Example: at that moment when the music is rapid we see the rabbit running, or when the rabbit is hiding the music is really slow and low...
The idea is to make the children notice the relation between the images and the music, and eventually understand why a sad music will be strange at this happy moment...
There is one more element that we need our children to notice in the cartoon: the sound effects. So I will show them a last time the cartoon and ask them to focus on all those sounds: do we hear a door opening? step in the stairs? a knock on the door? a car braking?....
The children will this time focus on the sound effects and at the end of the cartoon put all their observation in common one last time.
This should be fun but it is demanding a great amount of energy and focus, particularly the first time. It will be wise to repeat this "observation of a cartoon" a few times with different cartoon of course. Cartoons have to be short, as they will be watch a few time. As they practice those exercises the children should become better and better at it and soon be extremely fast in noticing detail that may be the adult will not even noticed.

Those exercises are determinant in training awareness to the brain. most of the time children and adult as well do not noticed all those elements and the relations in between them and that is making them so easily influenced by what they are seeing, including commercials.

- The next step I will introduce involve some material, not much but a video camcorder and eventually some light, however light are totally optional and not necessary at that point. this should be fun and the teacher should be prepare for some excitation among those young student. They will now make some commercials! Oh well, I am not going to ask them to develop script and concept. But here is how I will proceed:
first I will ask them if they know what a commercial is? I am pretty sure that some of them will have some ideas and some can be surprising. at that point it is usually easy to focus on one example, lets say that one of them speak about a commercial about cereal, probably because he saw it and it was a fun one. I am going to ask him now to tell us what the story this commercial is telling? and how? what he remember most about it? ask him if he actually knows those cereal? if not, if he would like to know them and why?
The idea if by questioning the children, make them kind of understand or guess that commercial are made to create the desire to buy the product. In my experience, children do figure it out pretty quickly.
Then it is also important to make them realize the part of lies in commercial, it is easy for example if there is a cartoon character in the commercial, does cartoon character exist in real life?
no, certainly not. So why is it in the commercial? Well, because it is funny that way and it make the cereal more fun and we like to have fun so we want those cereal...

It is interesting if one kid or more mention commercial for junk food like chips for example, It is an occasion to make the children think a little about nutrition: Is eating chips good for your health? What main happen if you eat a lot of chips?...

At that step I will simply explain the purpose of commercial: make you buy their product. And also tell them that commercial lies all the time to make us buy their product. I like to make them realize that commercial crate needs and that they can make us feel hungry and how, or guilty and how.
Example: if on you are watching a show and each commercial show you pizzas, do you thing you may start to feel hungry and want some pizza?
Another example: thinking about a cleaning product, this one wash a lot better than this other one which leave some dirt on the laundry, so how the adult who is not using the "good" product will feel?

After all this chatting part, children will choose a product that the teacher or themselves will bring to class and they will do their commercial: something very simple,they will have their product in their hand and speak to the camera to convince people to buy it. Believe me, the result can be hilarious,

Depending of the class, this step can be done a few time with a little more complex commercial that would involve more than one kid on the screen.

Then the teacher will show the class their commercial and they will talk about it as freely as possible.

I think that this whole process will be a great program for kindergarten.  Children are learning extremely fast and this will give them some essential tools to "read" and apprehend images around them.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?



Clifford the Big Red Dog looks fabulous on an iPad. He sounds good, too — tap the screen and hear him pant as a blue truck roars into the frame. “Go, truck, go!” cheers the narrator.

But does this count as story time? Or is it just screen time for babies?

It is a question that parents, pediatricians and researchers are struggling to answer as children’s books, just like all the other ones, migrate to digital media.

For years, child development experts have advised parents to read to their children early and often, citing studies showing its linguistic, verbal and social benefits. In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised doctors to remind parents at every visit that they should read to their children from birth, prescribing books as enthusiastically as vaccines and vegetables.

On the other hand, the academy strongly recommends no screen time for children under 2, and less than two hours a day for older children.

At a time when reading increasingly means swiping pages on a device, and app stores are bursting with reading programs and learning games aimed at infants and preschoolers, which bit of guidance should parents heed?

The answer, researchers say, is not yet entirely clear. “We know how children learn to read,” said Kyle Snow, the applied research director at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. “But we don’t know how that process will be affected by digital technology.”

Part of the problem is the newness of the devices. Tablets and e-readers have not been in widespread use long enough for the sorts of extended studies that will reveal their effects on learning.

Dr. Pamela High, the pediatrician who wrote the June policy for the pediatrics group, said electronic books were intentionally not addressed. “We tried to do a strongly evidence-based policy statement on the issue of reading starting at a very young age,” she said. “And there isn’t any data, really, on e-books.”

But a handful of new studies suggest that reading to a child from an electronic device undercuts the dynamic that drives language development.

“There’s a lot of interaction when you’re reading a book with your child,” Dr. High said. “You’re turning pages, pointing at pictures, talking about the story. Those things are lost somewhat when you’re using an e-book.”

“What we’re really after in reading to our children is behavior that sparks a conversation,” said Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple and co-author of the 2013 study. “But if that book has things that disrupt the conversation, like a game plopped right in the middle of the story, then it’s not offering you the same advantages as an old-fashioned book.”

Of course, e-book publishers and app developers point to interactivity as an educational advantage, not a distraction. Many of those bells and whistles — Clifford’s bark, the sleepy narration of “Goodnight Moon,” the appearance of the word “ham” when a child taps the ham in the Green Eggs and Ham app — help the child pick up language, they say.

There is some evidence to bear out those claims, at least in relation to other technologies. A study by the University of Wisconsin in 2013 found that 2-year-olds learned words faster with an interactive app as opposed to one that required no action.

But when it comes to learning language, researchers say, no piece of technology can substitute for a live instructor — even if the child appears to be paying close attention.

Patricia K. Kuhl, a director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, led a study in 2003 that compared a group of 9-month-old babies who were addressed in Mandarin by a live instructor with a group addressed in Mandarin by an instructor on a DVD. Children in a third group were exposed only to English.

“The way the kids were staring at the screen, it seemed obvious they would learn better from the DVDs,” she said. But brain scans and language testing revealed that the DVD group “learned absolutely nothing,” Dr. Kuhl said.

“Their brain measures looked just like the control group that had just been exposed to English. The only group that learned was the live social interaction group.”

In other words, “it’s being talked with, not being talked at,” that teaches children language, Dr. Hirsh-Pasek said.

Today, what Dr. Kuhl found is commonly referred to as the “Baby Einstein” effect, named for thepopular video series that entranced children from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, but was ultimately found to have a negative association with language development in infants. In 2009, the Walt Disney Company, facing the threat of a class-action lawsuit, offered refunds to people who had bought the videos.

Similarly, perhaps the biggest threat posed by e-books that read themselves to children, or engage them with games, is that they could lull parents into abdicating their educational responsibilities, said Mr. Snow of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

“There’s the possibility for e-books to become the TV babysitters of this generation,” he said. “We don’t want parents to say, ‘There’s no reason for me to sit here and turn pages and tell my child how to read the word, because my iPad can do it.’ ”

But parents may find it difficult to avoid resorting to tablets.

Claudia Raleigh, a mother of three children under 6 years old in Berkley, Mich., said she adhered strictly to the A.A.P. guidelines but found that she needed to distract her toddler, Teddy, during his sister’s swim class. “You know how hard it is to wait somewhere with a 2-year-old,” she said. “So that was his introduction to the iPad. It kept him from jumping in the pool.”

“I considered it a lifesaving device,” she said with a laugh.

The guilt, she added, did not linger for long. “I literally read to my kids every day since birth,” she said. “I’m over feeling guilty about a little screen time.”

Even literacy advocates say the guidelines can be hard to follow, and that allowing limited screen time is not high on the list of parental missteps. “You might have an infant and think you’re down with the A.A.P. guidelines, and you don’t want your baby in front of a screen, but then you have a grandparent on Skype,” Mr. Snow said. “Should you really be tearing yourself apart? Maybe it’s not the world’s worst thing.”

“The issue is when you’re in the other room and Skyping with the baby cause he likes it,” he said. Even if screen time is here to stay as a part of American childhood, good old-fashioned books seem unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Parents note that there is an emotional component to paper-and-ink storybooks that, so far, does not seem to extend to their electronic counterparts, however engaging.

“Lilly definitely has an iPad, and there are education apps she uses,” Amy Reid, a publicist at CNBC, said of her 4-year-old. “But for her, there is nothing like the excitement of choosing her own book and bringing it home from the library.”
Correction: October 12, 2014

An earlier version of this article misquoted Claudia Raleigh, whose toddler son, Teddy, was first allowed to use an iPad during his older sister’s swim class. Ms. Raleigh said, “You know how hard it is to wait somewhere with a 2-year-old,” not “You know how hard it is to sit somewhere with a 2-year-old.”

A version of this article appears in print on October 12, 2014, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?. 
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/us/is-e-reading-to-your-toddler-story-time-or-simply-screen-time.html?_r=1

Friday, October 10, 2014

what role models for teenager?

We recently saw some scandal concerning Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber for example. Those public figure were role models early on.

Miley Cyrus was loved by many kids and teen as Hannah Montana, the Disney character who hide her fame to be sure that people love her for who she really is. But older Miley Cyrus went wild and cultivates a sexually explicit image.
Justin Bieber started as the boy-next-door many girl when in love with but turn out as a bad boy with anger management issue. Parents who use to appreciate those two do not want their teen watch those singers any longer or even worse, go to their concerts.

But what are the role models teenager are looking up to? Who are the personality they are looking up to, identifying to?
I am afraid that most of them are simply celebrity like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Rihanna...all performers, actors, all in the appearance, fashion, superficiality supported by the media pressure.

Happily today Malala won the Nobel peace Prize and may with her, teen will look up to some other really important personalities who may not be as famous as singers or actors. Malala advocates child education and was ready to die for it.

But you may see her a little more for a few days because of her prize and then she will vanish from the media while singers and actors will carry on. I see many girls trying to look like those singers and even regroup at school because they are wearing the same look, the same brand. They are kind of the fashion clique.

The dictatorship of appearance is very strong in Los Angeles and parents need to be stronger to make sure their teens do not drop into it. Teachers should be strong allies by debating meaningful subject in class, like Malala and her fight for education for girls.

And you? What kind of role models you would suggest to your teens? Any name? Please share them with us in your comments.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Facebook: Social connections or simply envious voyeurism

LONDON: Witnessing friends’ vacations, love lives and work successes on Facebook can cause envy and trigger feelings of misery and loneliness, according to German researchers.
A study conducted by two German universities found rampant envy on Facebook, the world’s largest social network that now has over 1 billion users and has produced an unprecedented platform for social comparison.
The researchers found that one in three people felt worse after visiting the site and more dissatisfied with their lives, while people who browsed without contributing were affected the most.
“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,” researcher Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University told Reuters.
“From our observations some of these people will then leave Facebook or at least reduce their use of the site,” Krasnova said, adding to speculation that Facebook could be reaching saturation point in some markets.
Researchers from Humboldt University and from Darmstadt’s Technical University found vacation photos were the biggest cause of resentment with more than half of envy incidents triggered by holiday snaps on Facebook.
Social interaction was the second most common cause of envy as users could compare how many birthday greetings they received to those of their Facebook friends and how many “likes” or comments were made on photos and postings.
“Passive following triggers invidious emotions, with users mainly envying happiness of others, the way others spend their vacations and socialize,” the researchers said in the report “Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Satisfaction?” released Tuesday.
“The spread and ubiquitous presence of envy on Social Networking Sites is shown to undermine users’ life satisfaction,” they said.
They found people aged in their mid-30s were most likely to envy family happiness while women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness.
These feelings of envy were found to prompt some users to boast more about their achievements on the site to portray themselves in a better light.
Men were shown to post more self-promotional content to let people know about their accomplishments while women stressed their good looks and social lives.
The researchers based their findings on two studies involving 600 people with the results to be presented at a conference in Germany in February.
The first study looked at the scale, scope and nature of envy incidents triggered by Facebook and the second at how envy was linked to passive use of Facebook and life satisfaction.
The researchers said the respondents in both studies were German but they expected the findings to hold internationally as envy is a universal feeling and possibly impact Facebook usage.


Read more: http://dailystar.com.lb/Article.aspx?id=203500#ixzz3E77dTkko
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb) 

Voyeurism and Facebook

By: Cassandra Willyard
Several years ago, my mom decided to move from Grand Forks, North Dakota — a city of 50,000 — to Lakota, North Dakota — a town of about 700 people. She had grown up in small towns and had no desire to return to one. But Lakota happened to be the midway point between her job in Grand Forks and my stepfather’s new job in Minnewaukan. So my mom began house hunting.
At one house, the owner was watching television. But the show didn’t look like a regular television program. It seemed almost like a home video. My mom asked the woman what she was watching. She replied, “Oh, that’s the camera down on Main Street.” Lakota, North Dakota, has a video camera planted at one end of Main Street. The footage from that camera ends up on TV, allowing residents to get a real-time, birds-eye view of the town’s tiny business district. No lie.
Why on earth would anyone want to watch what’s happening on Main Street? Because we are natural-born voyeurs. Given the opportunity to peer into others lives, most of us will grab the binoculars rather than closing the shades.
Facebook, like Lakota’s Main Street camera, encourages our voyeuristic tendencies. “People can peruse the profiles of various users, read about other users’ interests, read their friends’ comments on their walls or view their friends. People can even scroll through a user’s photo albums and see all of the pictures that that user has uploaded of themselves and all of the pictures that other users have uploaded with that user in it. Profiles can link to other, sometimes more personal, Web sites about the user. Some profiles link to other photo albums or to online journals,” wrote Brett Bumgarner in a 2007 study. Dozens of my Facebook “friends” are high school classmates I haven’t spoken to since graduation. I friended them to be polite. But that doesn’t explain why I read their status updates and flip through pictures of their kids’ little league games. Facebook has turned me into a busybody. I am the homeowner watching the Main Street camera channel.
Of course, the voyeurs wouldn’t congregate if there weren’t something to see. Bumgarner puts it this way: “Voyeurism wouldn’t be possible without the existence of exhibitionism, or self–disclosure.” Facebook makes sharing incredibly easy. Almost too easy. And too much sharing can backfire. We have all heard stories about people who have been fired for something they posted on Facebook.
The average Facebook user has 130 “friends,” and it seems a safe bet that not all of those “friendships” are close relationships. My Facebook friend group, for example, is an eclectic mix of actual friends, relatives, casual acquaintances, ex-boyfriends, other science writers, Peace Corps buddies, former classmates, and editors. Given the diversity of that group, I have three options when it comes to sharing: 1. Post only G-rated information/photos that I don’t mind sharing with anyone and everyone. 2. Adopt a devil-may-care attitude and share whatever I want without worrying who will see it. 3. Or divide my diverse list into different groups so that I can selectively share.
I mostly practice option one. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg would like to see everyone embrace the second option. “Our mission at Facebook is to help make the world more open and connected,” he wrote in an open letter last year.
Smitha Ballyamanda, a woman I profiled in the June issue of IEEE Spectrum, has chosen the third option. She has grouped her nearly 500 friends according to an elaborate hierarchy. Her frenemies are in a group called Zero Trust along with her traditional older relatives. They have the least access to her profile. Her best friends are in a group called the Inner Circle. They can see anything Ballyamanda posts. The bulk of Ballyamanda’s “friends” reside in a group called The Paparazzi. The group includes people like “my best friend from second grade or someone I met through a friend,” Ballyamanda told me. The Paparazzi can see more than Zero Trust, but far less than the Inner Circle. “They’re looking at [my page] just for entertainment purposes,” she said. Ballyamanda devised this system after a stalker hacked into her email and Facebook accounts and hijacked them. The incident left her exceedingly wary, but she didn’t want to forgo Facebook altogether. So she came up with a way to have her cake and eat it too — sort of.
But how many people would be willing to develop a hierarchy like Ballyamanda’s? Not everyone shares her privacy concerns. When I asked my 22-year-old cousin for her mailing address, she posted it on my Facebook wall, where all my “friends” could see it. I sent her a private message reminding her that she might want to be careful with her personal information. But she didn’t share my concern. “The only people who can see what I write on your wall is you, your friends, me and my friends, so it doesn’t really bother me,” she wrote back. Another college-age cousin has posted dozens of drinking pictures. In some she is visibly drunk. And I recently learned from my news feed that a classmate I haven’t spoken with in years is devastated to find that she can’t have children. Did she mean to tell me that, or did she simply post without thinking?
So it seems Zuckerberg’s wish for more openness may be coming true. But instead of feeling more connected, I feel alarmed. What happens when my beer-chugging cousin starts looking for jobs? Sure, she can take the pictures down—all 500 of them—but Facebook keeps them archived, no doubt. And with Facebook’s new facial recognition software, her name could be forever tied to those wild college nights. Then again, maybe I’m being overly cautious. I can never decide whether I’m being prudent or a prude.
http://www.lastwordonnothing.com/2011/07/06/voyeurism-and-facebook/

Why Facebook Breeds Voyeurism

by Ari Herzog
Rachel Jonat recently shared why she quit Facebook, extracting in part:
I want more from my friends than status updates. I want to give my friends more than status updates. If this person isn’t significant enough in my life for a birthday phone call or visit or even a personal email, why do I want to stay on top of where they are vacationing and that they got a new puppy. I’d rather give up the 189 Facebook friends, the majority of whom I don’t have or want the phone number of, and focus on the people near and dear to me.
Emailing Rachel and seeking information she didn’t share in that guest article on Courtney Carver’s blog, I wanted to know more details why she quit Facebook, a phenomenon Jorgen Sundberg attributes to early adopters losing faithin the social networking site’s multiple changes over the years and finding increased value networking on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Rachel replied that she joined Facebook in 2006 as a convert from MySpace. She spent several hours a day on the site, reading updates from so-called friends and sharing her own updates. She was wasting time and she knew it. She had enough. Admitting Facebook is great for establishing connections between friends and family, Rachel also observed herself using the website “as a crutch to be a bad friend,” elaborating:
Because I saw status updates and pictures of friends I felt like I had connected with them. I hadn’t. Instead of calling people or seeing people I just watched them on Facebook. That’s not a friendship; that’s voyeurism.
Stephen Chukumba identifies with her belief, for he wrote last year that he considers Facebook a medium for three types of people:
1. people who write updates and share information
2. people who don’t write anything or share infrequently
3. people who watch everyone else Facebooking
Focusing on the third typology, the voyeur, he expands:
So that girl that couldn’t stand you in college because she thought that you thought that you were all that, now knows that you’re no longer as cute as you used to be (cause she’s trolled pictures of you in Facebook) and silently rejoices – and then tries to friend you (cause she’s hot now – and wants you to know it). Even if she never actually tries to friend you, she can sit, eating Bon Bons, taking pleasure in every ‘It’s complicated’ post you publish, relishing personal trials and travails.
What’s so disturbing about it, is that you’ll never know your whole life is under the scrutiny of crazies. Most people probably don’t put that much thought into what they post or publish, because they feel like it’s among friends.
But in this age of reality TV, TMZ and YouTube, every personal gaffe is potentially fodder for the masses.
Rachel didn’t want the masses to know her every move but moreover she didn’t care to know theirs. She wrote me that she deliberated for a week and posted a status update on her Facebook wall with her phone number and email address, and left that update there for three days. She told her friends she wanted to see them more in person than online.
Maybe you can identify with Rachel’s feelings. I can.
And now, in the weeks since she quit?
Life is still being lived even though I’m not on Facebook. I’m seeing people in person more, the people that I actually had phone numbers for – not the Facebook friends that I hadn’t seen in five years and wouldn’t think to invite over for dinner. I’m using Skype to see and talk to friends out of town and writing some long overdue emails. It feels good.
If inspired to learn more about Rachel, she writes a blog about minimalism and tweets as @RachelJonat.
http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/why-facebook-breeds-voyeurism

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Facebook Trap

One of my young friend disappeared from facebook...
Oh well, I wonder what was going on as I always liked to watch his photographs: he travels a lot and loves to take picture in all those countries he visits. So I called him and asked him what happen to his facebook account?

He terminated it! As he felt becoming totally addicted to it, he decided that he was better for him to stop it completely. He explained to me that he was feeling like an alcoholic feels with alcohol, he could not control his desire to watch and read more and more, his FB friends were posting more and more every days and he realized the amount of time he was spending hooked on his computer or even on his smartphone. He realized that life was not, at least for him, reading and watching what other people were doing as they were doing it and that he wanted to take more time to actually live his own life in the real world instead of following their life via the virtual one.

I found his experience interesting and listen to other people experience with Facebook. Why do they get hooked or why do they escape the addiction?

Let's face it, many facebooker are hooked on their smartphone enjoying sharing many moments of their day, including what they just ate or cooked or how beautiful the sunset is tonight. Many are posting pictures of their children so their friends and family can share the joy of seeing the little ones growing up, and this is true, we are sincerely enjoying those.

There are also those who are networking, speaking about themselves and their work, showing off how "good" they are doing or which "new friend" they made, what great party they just attended...

And in the teenage world, those posts can get nasty, teenager tend to use social network to gossip and in so, hurting the feeling of their target... oh well, we all read about cyber-bullying isn't it?

Adult are bullying and gossiping too but in a different way. First they accept anyone who want to be friend with them, even those they do not appreciate in real life and those they do not even know, for them what is important is to have a lot of "friends". Then, they start to post information that seems totally casual but are hurtful for certain. It could be the office's party where one coworker was not aware of (not invited), it could be the get away week-end of a few girlfriends while one of them was totally left out, it could be a mom posting the picture of a birthday's party or a sleep-over where one of her kid's friend was not invited, or the picture of a friend's husband in a pretty good company (not his wife for sure)... In all those post, only the target understand and get hurt, and those type of behavior are encouraged by some TV shows or movies, like "Revenge" on ABC feeds on gossip and bullying, manipulation and destruction.

Another temptation of Facebook: Voyeurism! This one can become addictive too. Exactly like the neighbor buying a telescope to spy on people around him, or like those old people in small villages in Europe who sit most of the day on the bench in the center square to see what is happening and what others are doing. The same way, some facebooker just want to know what their "friends" are doing, they want to be informed at all time even if none of those of their information are of their concern.

So I told my young friend that as much as I miss seeing his beautiful pictures, I totally understood his choice. Personally I did open a facebook page because one of my friend refused to post picture of her son anywhere else :-) She is a really close friend of mine and I really enjoy seeing her little one growing up. It actually happens that another on of my close friend do exactly like her and here again I do enjoy seeing pictures of her 4 girls so my facebook account is useful.  But I do not have much friend on it, only a few who, like those two, are mostly using it to give news from time to time.

I would not want to let Facebook or any other social network pollute my life or the one of my children. We already have so little free time to enjoy, I would not like to see them wasted it in the virtual world.