Social Media is a Major Cause of the Mental Illness Epidemic in Teen Girls

We are now 11 years into the largest epidemic of teen mental illness on record. As the CDC’s recent report showed, most girls are suffering, and nearly a third have seriously considered suicide. Why is this happening, and why did it start so suddenly around 2012?

We sure seem to work hard to picture the world as worse than it really is to justify the mental health crisis. see Don’t be a doomer – Noah Smith

The way we have parented has reduced kids’ resiliency and then we threw a social media trap on top of that.

Pre-Social Media, maybe around 1999 or 2000 I did some, very unsophisticated, research for a psychology research design class. I surveyed a reasonably large sample of college students about their media consumption and their mental health. The survey was pretty granular and what I found was that there was no measurable impact from TV or movies or pretty much anything else, but fashion magazines had a significant negative impact on the self-esteem of women. I wondered at the time if that was because of the airbrushing and photoshopping that created unatainable beauty standards.

And as a society we just took all that and put it on steroids and then added the layer of being constantly judged by your peers. Pure poison.

There is one giant, obvious, international, and gendered cause: Social media. Instagram was founded in 2010. The iPhone 4 was released then too—the first smartphone with a front-facing camera. In 2012 Facebook bought Instagram, and that’s the year that its user base exploded. By 2015, it was becoming normal for 12-year-old girls to spend hours each day taking selfies, editing selfies, and posting them for friends, enemies, and strangers to comment on, while also spending hours each day scrolling through photos of other girls and fabulously wealthy female celebrities with (seemingly) vastly superior bodies and lives. The hours girls spent each day on Instagram were taken from sleep, exercise, and time with friends and family. What did we think would happen to them?

The best thing I’ve ever read?

“Alternatively, according to Clayton Swansen, a dolphin handler who worked in the Navy program between 2003 and 2005, the marine mammals are equipped with a bite plate that holds a shackle that the dolphins can use to disable an intruder. “They just hit the person in the leg and it attaches around their leg and they can’t pull it off until it sends a float up,” Swansen told Business Insider. / FT Magazine – Don’t touch me, I’m British

But though Americans won’t touch strangers, they will talk to them. They will chat to people at neighbouring tables in restaurants, or in line at the supermarket. That conversation doesn’t turn the speakers into friends – a mistake Europeans sometimes make. Generalising grossly: to Americans, conversation doesn’t imply intimacy.

Applying Carroll’s theories to Britons, you understand why foreigners think we are repressed. Americans won’t touch strangers, the French won’t talk to them, but Brits will neither touch nor talk to them. Passport to the Pub, a semi-official guide for foreign tourists to the UK, warns: “Don’t ever introduce yourself. The ‘Hi, I’m Chuck from Alabama’ approach does not go down well in British pubs.”

via / FT Magazine – Don’t touch me, I’m British.

Maryland man exacts sweet robocall revenge

Have you ever wanted to get some sort of revenge on those automated robocalls that in some cases continue to interrupt dinner or in this situation, sleep? The Washington Post has a story today about a Maryland man who’d had enough and exacted some revenge of his own. From the Post story: “Awakened at 4:33 a.m. Wednesday by a ringing phone, Aaron Titus jumped out of bed in a panic. Maybe something terrible had happened, he thought. Even if nothing was wrong, his heart raced with other considerations: His five children, ages 5 and under, including his week-old daughter, were mercifully still asleep, and he wanted to keep it that way. In a blurry rush, Titus answered the phone halfway into the second ring, listening in disbelief to an automated caller tell him what he already knew: It was a snow day. School would open two hours late. In other words, he and his family could sleep.  But now he couldn’t. “

via Layer 8: Maryland man exacts sweet robocall revenge | Network World.

Glenn Beck: We Must Stand Together Against All Violence (With A Gun In Our Hands)

“One of the top three featured articles right now is his response to the Arizona shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords with the reasonable quote: “We must stand together against all violence.” But if you look to the side, you might also catch a photo of Beck peeking around the corner a gun in his hands (see screenshot above). It’s as though he wants to shoot the crap out of violence.”

via Glenn Beck: We Must Stand Together Against All Violence (With A Gun In Our Hands).

Note: You’ll notice this is posted under “Politics – for alienating friends!”, but this isn’t about the politics at all. I just love that line about shooting the crap out of violence! (That said, please don’t misunderstand, I think Glenn Beck is a complete and total idiot)

Hand supermodel

“This is a really strange and fascinating video…Sirot is constantly performing with her hands but it’s also like she hasn’t got any hands, not functional ones anyway. She holds them like atrophied T. Rex arms!”

via Hand supermodel.

Amazing Kim Jong Il Legends

The Korean people, including the servicepersons, deeply revere leader Kim Jong Il, eulogizing him as the savior of their destiny in many legends. The legends, spread among them through articles, poems and songs, are all based on what happened during Kim Jong Il’s Songun leadership. Witnessing a stream of people carrying compost to fields in the face of a snowstorm, he, though very busy with his on-site guidance tour of the northern area, had his car driven slowly, deeply moved by them devotedly working for grain output in difficult conditions. via . Korean Central News Agency

What a touching story. Kim Jong Il saw the peasants in hard labor in a snowstorm and had his driver go a little slower so he could watch them! Of course they have written legends about their Dear Leader.

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