Why Social Media Matters in the Paris Terrorist Attacks

Acts of terrorism need to be public to get attention, to spread fear. Social media amplifies it all. People around the world instantaneously see the horror and feel the sense of vulnerability and chaos. Social media also shows terrorism for what it is, senseless, reprehensible violence. Because of this, it brings people together and strengthens the resolve to oppose it.

Can the Internet Actually Make Us More Honest?

"Fake it 'til you make it" is not a good strategy if you're selling authenticity. From news correspondent Brian Williams to YouTube celebs Sam and Nia, negative media stories provide powerful teaching moments that you can use to help your kids understand the importance of critical thinking, decision making, personal integrity and the power of the Internet.

The New App That Could Help You Lose Friends

The new Peeple app lets you rate everyone from your friends, neighbors and co-workers to ex-romantic partners just like you rate businesses on Yelp. I like technology, but Peeple is a bad idea and is not going to work out well. Here's why.

Predicting Mobile Trends

Tech and media design is a chess game. Every decision has consequences. Predicting mobile behaviors is not about the tools. It’s about how well the technology satisfies human goals and needs. This is the heart of media psychology.

6 Reasons Why Selfie-Taking Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Another death by selfie: a 66-year-old Japanese tourist fell down a flight of steps at the Taj Mahal while taking a selfie. Questions that arise include reactionary suggestions of governmental requirements for ‘cautionary messages’ on selfie taking and even legislation. If regulatory bodies want to do something useful, they should teach people more biology.

To Like or Not to Like: Facebook’s Proposed New Button

Mark Zuckerberg is talking about introducing a dislike button on Facebook. The implications here are layered. First, how will Facebook users react and click? Second, how will the marketers figure out what the consumers are actually doing so they know how to adjust their ad strategies?

Virginia Shooting: When Tragedy Hits Social Media

Posting events on social media is normal. It is how we communicate. Senseless acts of violence, like the Smith Mountain Virginia shooting, are meant to be public. Social media becomes a vehicle for both the defiant statements of someone who feels powerless and the expression of empathy and sorrow for the senseless loss of life.

Extreme Shoe Selfies: Image Becomes Experience

The helicopter company FlyNYON is allowing its customers to snap ‘shoe selfies’ from an open helicopter door, capturing images of their feet dangling over dramatic cityscapes. Thanks to our brains, the impact is has both visceral and cognitive impact and gives new meaning to the old proverb of ‘walk a mile in another man’s shoes.’

Sticks, Stones and Video Games: Tools for Imaginary Play

As Andrea Bonier suggests, we need to get over our fears and let our kids play with sticks, jump in mud and climb trees. Getting over our anxieties of the digital world our kids need to learn to navigate is equally important.

Russia’s ‘Safe-Selfie’ Campaign: Will It Work?

The Russian authorities have launched a “safe selfie” campaign in response to a series of deaths and serious injuries among extreme selfie-takers. Since most selfie-takers are under 25, showing them what NOT to do will make extreme selfies more, not less, attractive. The initiative ignores the motivational factors driving the need to show off doing dangerous things.

Shame on Social Shamers

Social shaming is a growing trend to influence the behavior of others. Often accompanied by an aura of moral righteousness, it overlooks the negative impact of perpetuating shame and its ineffectiveness in achieving real change.

Digital Weight Loss (Part 3): Choosing a Good App

Mobile apps are uniquely suiting to providing easy ways of self-monitoring diet and exercise as well as facilitating social connection. Here are seven pointers for picking out an app that works for you.

Digital Weight Loss (Part 2): Why Use an App?

Diet apps are brilliant for tracking data. They also give you tangible proof of personal growth and accomplishment.

Digital Weight Loss (Part 1): Diet Apps

There are many apps designed to help people lose weight. The bad news is that it takes more than a cool app to do so. Weight loss is about sustainable behavior change and it requires emotional and cognitive commitment. The good news is that apps are, in fact, very cool tools that can provide motivation, structure and feedback to get you started and keep you on track.

What Does Your Email In-Box Say About You?

Email in-boxes are ubiquitous. How do we manage the email we receive? For most, it comes down to some more personality-related behaviors—a combination of organization, procrastination, perfectionism, fear of loss, and the ability to let go. What about you?

Why Social Media Will Dominate the 2016 Campaigns

We should expect all candidates to be investing heavily in social media. Why? Because social media isn’t just the NEW way to campaign; it’s THE way to campaign these days. Here are four reasons why.

Hillary Clinton's Social Media Challenge

Obama was the classic Underdog archetype. Social media wasn’t his communications vehicle, it was part of his story. Don’t ask if Hillary Clinton will have a social media advantage because Obama did or if the Republicans will ever get it right. Ask if Hillary can adapt her archetype to social.

BattleKasting a Path to Literacy

How do you motivate kids to want to read a book? Extend a storyworld into other platforms, such as the mobile game BattleKasters to create multiple entry points into the story. Alane Adams set out targeting reading literacy, but she has created a training ground for essential 21st century literacies integrating reading, gaming and constructing transmedia narratives.

Obama on BuzzFeed: Selfie Sticks & Health Insurance

Obama's BuzzFeed video 'Things Everybody Does but Doesn’t Talk About' shows him mugging about, taking selfies and playing air basketball to get young people to visit HealthCare.gov. For leaders, there is a difficult balance between what’s human and relatable and what engenders confidence. How important is that balance?

Using Technology to Motivate Fitness: 5 Apps to Try

Does the first of the year motivate you to think about your mental and physical health? It does for me. Technology can help. Instead of joining a gym you won’t attend, try one of the five mobile apps that I’ve found helpful. None of them are free, but compared to the cost of a gym membership, they're a bargain!

The Psychology of the Selfie

What do Rihanna and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have in common? They documented and celebrated the World Cup final with selfies. Selfies are redefining how we document experience. No more autographs or empty vacation shots of a monument.

Facebook Research: Violating Social Contracts

Facebook is in the spotlight for manipulating member news feeds to measure the emotional impact of positive and negative posts on member moods. Legal or not, this spells bigger trouble for Facebook because it violates the social contract of fairness.

Streetchat, SnapChat, Yik Yak & 5 Basic Media Literacy Rules

A new app makes headlines every week as teens migrate to the next new thing, and in the way of teens, do things that horrify their parents. The solution is not, however, to blame the tools or take away the smartphones. The solution is digital citizenship and media literacy. Here are 5 basic rules on media literacy for teens.

The Spornosexual: Should Beckham Keep His Shirt On?

Metrosexuals—a consumer trend of urban young men with disposable income, hair gel and designer duds—are being replaced by 'spornosexuals,' a mash-up of sports and porn. 'Spornosexuals' are hypersexual, body-obsessed men who want to be desired for their bodies. Labeling super fit guys without shirts as porn speaks volumes more about society than the guys in the photo

Spornosexuality, Body Image and Boys

We’ve spent all kinds of energy worrying about girls and body image. Trends like ‘spornosexuals’ (athletes and other celebrities with their shirts off showing off their abs) remind us not to neglect boys.

Santa Barbara Tragedy: Searching for Answers

The response to the Santa Barbara tragedy shows how social media increases emotional involvement and allow discussions to evolve. The conversations are moving quickly from the tragedy itself to the larger topic of misogyny, however, showing how we are loathe to discuss mental illness and must find something more concrete to make sense out of the senseless.

Children’s Birthday Parties: Where Have all the RSVPs Gone?

Our attitudes about invitations and RSVPs have changed along with how we communicate. Things are more casual. The lack of formality of communications may have impacted how people view RSVPs, but it’s still useful to know who’s coming to your party. For parents trying to throw children’s parties, no RSVPs seems almost epidemic. Here are five solutions.

Binge Viewing Redefines TV Watching

The problem with binge viewing is that it isn’t really a problem. It represents another shift of control from producers to consumers, thanks to technology. It also violates our mental model of ‘TV viewing.’

Redefine Beauty Using Selfies

I am pro-selfie. Not because I like to take them, but because they are a form of expression enabled by new technology. In fact, I have even argued that selfies can be used to for good. Dove has a new video about Selfies, using them to redefine beauty in their #beautyis campaign. Watch it!

Get Over Selfie Shame!

It’s rare to read an article about selfies, Millennials or Facebook without narcissism making an appearance in the first paragraph. That's too bad because taking selfies is a normal thing to do, especially if you have embraced visual communication. From Thank You Note Selfies to Rock the Gym Selfies, here are eight ideas for taking selfies that make your life better.