Can you live without social media?

Most everyone I know has some form of social media. Personally, I’ve never cared for the idea of it. However, I know that it is a big part of a lot of some peoples social lives. However, Constant use of social media can actually lead to an addiction.

An article written for addictioncenter.com by Jena Hillard outlines how social media can become a problem. In her article, she states that “as many as 5 to 10% of Americans meet the criteria for social media addiction today” (Hillard, 2019). According to her article, social media can cause dopamine to be created in the brain. And that social media has the same effect on your brain that gambling does. Which is why it is possible to become addicted to it (Hillard, 2019).

There are other problems that can be associated with social media, as well. In her article, Hilliard (2019), also outlines that using social media can negatively impact how you see your self and your mental health. She also states that frequent social media use can “increase the risk of developing mental health issues such as anxiety or depression” (Hillard, 2019).

Hillard (2019) states that social media addiction is more common in younger people. Younger people who use social media often are more at risk of developing self-image issues and being depressed. Bullying via social media has caused an uptick in suicides of young adults (Hillard, 2019).

While social media is great in theory, it can cause some problems. While very few of us fit the bill of being addicted to social media. Maybe every now and again, we should consider what we are posting and if it could possibly hurt someone’s feelings. I think a lot of problems and anxiety that stem from social media could be avoided if everyone would think before they post.

References

(formal)

Hilliard, Jena. (2019, August 22). Social Media Addiction. Retrieved from addiction center

website: https://www.addictioncenter.com/drugs/social-media-addiction/

(Link)

https://www.addictioncenter.com/drugs/social-media-addiction/

 

 

A Better Way To Communicate?

 

One of the first things I was told to do by upperclassmen when I first arrived here on campus as a freshman was download GroupMe. And honestly, I would probably give the same advice to the incoming freshman now that I am a sophomore. I am in a large number of different GroupMe’s. One for each organization I am in, one for the floor I live on, one for each class group I’m in. GroupMe is used by almost every student organization on campus, but what makes it so popular?

There are several reasons GroupMe is great for student organizations. For one, it allows you to be in contact with a large number of people. Organization leaders can also set up events inside GroupMe and cause alerts to go off to inform members that the event will start soon. However, it can have some drawbacks. For example, if you are in a large group, like some of the ones I am in, someone is always talking in the chat. Which means you could get a lot of notifications that mean absolutely nothing to you. You could always mute the chat but, then you might miss important information about a club event or meeting.

So, my question is, is there a better option than GroupMe? There are several apps that allow group conversation besides GroupMe such as Slack, Team Snap, Google Hangouts, and WeChat. I’ve never used these myself and cannot testify to whether or not they would be better than GroupMe. But I wonder if any organizations on campus would benefit from using a different group chat app.

I have heard a few people mention that they don’t like GroupMe. Personally, love GroupMe it is simple, efficient, and I don’t have to give out my phone number to 400+ people. I think GroupMe is a great way to communicate. It’s anonyms, and you can leave any chat you want whenever you want. You can also direct message anyone in a particular chat to have a one on one conversation. Plus, I think it’s great that all the clubs and organizations use the same app, so I don’t have to download a million different apps. But communication is a vital part of any organization, and I wonder if there is a better way for us to communicate? I would be interested in hearing some arguments for other apps. Or perhaps more on why GroupMe should remain the main way to communicate within student organizations.

References

https://groupme.com

https://www.wechat.com/en/

https://www.teamsnap.com

https://slack.com

https://chrome.google. com/webstore/detail/google-hangouts/nckgahadagoaajjgafhacjanaoiihapd?hl=en

Are Drones the Future of Delivery?

In today’s world, shopping is being done online more than ever before. Bespoke’s Paul Hickey says that “The days of the internet and online shopping being “just a fad” have come a long way over the years” (CNBC 2O19). In fact, in April “the total market share of “non-store,” or online U.S. retail sales was higher than general merchandise sales for the first time in history” (CNBC 2019). So, with this high demand for faster delivery times some are starting to turn towards a modern kind of technology to make these more prompt delivers possible. Drones.

“Unlike delivery trucks, drones can travel “as the crow flies” – skipping over traffic congestion and complicated navigation paths” (getelastic 2019). Because of this, drones can get to their destinations much faster and so these “faster fulfillment times brought about by drones could result in lower shipping costs for the customers, meaning more sales and higher revenues for businesses” (getelastic 2019). In addition to this, businesses can also lower their environmental impact by utilizing these drones to make some of their deliveries. However, even with all of these benefits there’s still a few challenges that we are faced with. “The most pressing of these are the airspace governance and legal barriers that physically restrict where drones can travel” (getelastic 2019). Having places where drones can’t travel make it difficult for nationwide drone delivery to become a reality. Additionally, there’s also “limited battery technology” which means “drones can only travel for small distances with very small loads” (getelastic 2019). Even with these obstacles Amazon, UPS, and even Domino’s have gone about testing drone deliveries. Amazon Prime Air “aims to deliver goods to customers in 30 minutes or less” and is “currently being tested in several international locations” (getelastic 2019). UPS is “testing drone deliveries, using the top of its vans as a mini-helipad” and “according to their estimates, eliminating just 1 mile from the routes of each of their company’s 66,000 daily delivery drivers could save up to $50 million” (getelastic 2019).

Before drone delivery can become a reality, companies need to work around the obstacles that are in the way of making this happen. The industry for drones continues to grow and if this can be made possible, it seems like it will be overall more beneficial for everyone involved in the process.

Sources:

“Online shopping overtakes a major part of retail for the first time ever”

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/02/online-shopping-officially-overtakes-brick-and-mortar-retail-for-the-first-time-ever.html

“Are drones really the future of delivery? [infographic]”

https://www.getelastic.com/are-drones-really-the-future-of-delivery-infographic

Photos:

https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Prime-Air/b?ie=UTF8&node=8037720011

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1718.html

The Next Generation of Wifi

Wifi 6, also know as 802.11 the newest version of 802.11 Wi-Fi, or wireless network transmissions. It can transmit Wi-Fi signals more efficiently among compatible devices and router. Currently, it is reported that Wi-Fi 6 will be 30% faster than the current generation of Wi-Fi. According to CNET, the recorded speed of a clocked Wi-Fi 6 is 1320 Mbps, which is also faster than the US’s current average download speed by 1000%

That’s a topic of some debate, and we won’t have a definitive answer until we’ve had the chance to fully test the hardware out for ourselves, but the overall refrain from industry experts is that Wi-Fi 6 will offer speeds that are roughly 30% faster than Wi-Fi 5, with theoretical maximum transfer speeds up around 10 Gbps. 

That figure held up in our first round of Wi-Fi 6 speed tests, where we clocked Wi-Fi 6 transfer speeds at 1,320 Mbps. That’s about 40% faster than the fastest Wi-Fi 5 speed we’ve ever measured, which is 938 Mbps. And I’d add that our Wi-Fi 6 speed test was about 1,000% faster than the current average download speed in the US, which is 119 Mbps.

The actual number you ultimately experience will really depend on context, though, because it’s a lot more speed than you’re likely to ever need from a single device. In environments with lots and lots of devices that need to connect, Wi-Fi 6 might make a huge difference. In small homes with only a few devices on the network, the difference might be harder to notice.

The other important thing to keep in mind is that the speed from your internet service provider (ISP) is like a speed limit for your local network — a Wi-Fi 6 router won’t magically speed it up. In my home, I’m lucky enough to have a direct fiber connection, and my entry-level plan allows for speeds of up to 300 Mbps, but that’s only 25% of what a Wi-Fi 6 router can offer. If I wanted to take full advantage of a Wi-Fi 6 router’s extra speed, I’d need a faster plan from my ISP to match it. And right now, most plans don’t go nearly that high.

In other words, ISPs still have a lot of work to do with fiber rollouts and such in order to really capitalize on next-gen router technology, and that might take years. But when those faster ISP speeds get here, it appears that the hardware will be ready to go.

Reiteration in Entertainment

Netflix was a game-changer in the world of entertainment. The entertainment streaming service spawned a cultural shift in how we watch TV shows and movies. Less and fewer people are going to movie theaters and they are no longer waiting for their regularly scheduled program on a weekly basis. Instant gratification is what people today crave. With Netflix and their original series, they drop all the episodes all at once, generating a higher trend in binge-watching. YouTube is also another factor in how people consume entertainment. As online entertainment streaming became more and more popular, viewership ratings for cable television declined.  

Other than Hulu, Netflix didn’t face any competition until old cable networks jumped on the trend and shifted into online streaming. HBO was one of the first traditional media companies to launch their own exclusive online streaming service and then eventually Amazon and CBS did the same thing. The mass media and entertainment conglomerate, Disney, has decided to capitalize off Netflix’s strategy. With how much Disney owns- such as Hulu, Marvel Studios, Pixar, and 21st Century Fox, Disney is progressively taking away their licensed movies and shows off other existing streaming sites. With more media companies launching their own online streaming services, the more it is starting to look like a reiteration of the old cable-bundle system. The same cable service providers are also internet service providers. Instead of going to Comcast to purchase different bundles for different TV channels, the middleman is eliminated, and you can directly purchase a subscription from media companies.  Although competition is healthy, we have essentially mimicked a system that we wanted to innovate away from.  

Sources:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/disney-plus-streaming-service-news/

 

Spotify integrating with Facebook stories

Spotify has been known as solely a music streaming platform for users to listen to their favorite music, make and share playlists with their friends, and for artists, provide a medium where they can share their work. The new integration into Facebook will further this application into become more into the social media style. With this new integration, users will be able to create a Facebook story on Facebook, mark that they are listening to a particular song, and then whoever views that story has the option of moving over to the Spotify application in order to listen to the full song and see the full profile of the artist.

This integration is quite beneficial on both ends of the music marketing industry. A musician would be getting much more exposure, basically doubling their reach and audience, when these users post and in a way recommend their music to their Facebook friends. From the perspective of the user, it would make me more willing to share my playlists and music tastes with others. I am sure that most Facebook users have friends on the social media that they do not know super closely, and this integration can potentially contribute to new relationships forming. If I see that someone seems to have the same music taste as me, I would always be obligated to introduce myself and start up some conversation. I know from my personal experience, the partnership from Facebook and Spotify is much more smooth in the login and sharing aspect. When I am in Spotify, I am able to login, be instantly connected to my Facebook friends, and see the music of which they are listening.

However, after all these revelations, there are still concerns from Spotify users that Facebook would be watching their activity. Mark Zuckerberg has stated in previous interviews that he uses the cookies that are within Facebook’s programming in order to generate advertisements that cater to its users for more convenience when purchasing items online. This may be the case when the integration of Spotify and Facebook comes to fruition, but the way that I look at it is that it is necessary for Facebook to make profit as well as retain its users using that convenience factor and allow for that smooth transitions between social media.

Spotify Music Previews On Facebook Foreshadow A Potential Impact On Music Marketing

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinwestcottgrant/2019/09/01/spotify-music-previews-on-facebook-foreshadow-a-potential-impact-on-music-marketing/#89087031c901

Improving Biodiversity Through Search Engines: Ecosia

Ecosia.org is a relatively new search engine that “like Google, but very different: we use our ad revenue to plant trees where nature and people need them most.” Ecosia finds places in the world where the ecosystem depends on and needs trees to survive and thrive, and uses their profits to lift those environments up. Concerned about climate change? One of the major side effects to the rising climate is that it prevents biodiversity, according to sciencing.com. This is one way that each small action helps. I couldn’t even keep track of how often I use google–it’s embedded into my life. Luckily, Ecosia fits into my life pretty easily, it’s an easy-to-add-on Chrome extension with a similar user experience and format to Google. Using Ecosia is a very low effort way to help the environment.

Ecosia also sets a good example among other search engines, social media, or otherwise software related corporations. Ecosia releases their financial activities each month, along with receipts that show that they’ve planted the trees they’ve promised. And so far it seems to be going successfully, since there are “over 67 million trees planted” according to info.ecosia.org. Ecosia also respects privacy of its users. Both their main webpage and the information page make it clear that Ecosia’s profits are not gained from selling data to companies.

All in all, I think Ecosia has taken many of the public’s least-liked aspects of search engines and improved upon them. The CO2 positive tree planting is just an awesome bonus.

Reference: ecosia.org

info.ecosia.org

https://sciencing.com/climate-change-affect-biodiversity-23158.html

The iPhone 11 is here!

Link

Apples launch event will reveal the brand new iPhone 11 later today. In class we talked about how Apple has been able to create such a great stronghold on the market and has now become one of the most elite and dominant technology companies of today.

People today are seemingly glues to their cell phones and the iPhone 11, while a wonderful display of technology will only add to that. According to Tech Radar, the iPhone 11 will not be a major upgrade from the already powerful iPhone X.

According to Tech Radar, the iPhone 11 will not be compatible with 5G or be foldable. They believe that those are in the works for future iPhones. In my personal opinion, the difference between 4G LTE and 3G is fairly large. Just a few years ago, I remember using 3G and being perfectly comfortable with it. Now 3G seems to take forever to load.

Overall the biggest change between the iPhone X and the iPhone 11 is the camera…. once again. To me, Apple had a big jump from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5 and 6. But the jump between the 7 and the 11 is relatively small for me. I am having even less and less incentive to upgrade. The camera on my iPhone X is already good enough.

Image result for iphone 11

http://https://www.techradar.com/news/iphone-xi

Image: https://images.app.goo.gl/MpsMVHgf9ax2eZ9y5

 

The Downside to Evolving Technology: Electronic Waste

How long has it been since you got a new iPhone? A new computer? A new gaming system? As companies begin to develop cutting edge technology faster and faster, our current technology becomes obsolete. Everyone rushes to get the new iPhone each year, even though their current iPhone works just fine. Then there’s the allegation that Apple slows down older models to prompt users to buy newer ones (Potuck 2017). So what does this all add up to?

Electronic waste is one of the biggest problem our planet faces going into the future. Often, electronic waste is shipped to other countries, in which low-wage workers take apart the waste, which can be harmful to their health (Campbell 2016). More and more waste is being generated each year as people ditch their old laptops and phones for the newest updates; even when the newer models aren’t that different. At the end of the day, should we really put the future of our planet in jeopardy just so billion dollar companies like Apple can make more profits?

I’m not trying to rain on your parade. There are many solutions to help reduce your impact on the global e-waste footprint. For one, you could recycle old electronics instead of throwing them away; that way, the toxic chemicals such as mercury that are inside electronics won’t jeopardize trash workers in others countries (Campbell 2016). Be sure to look up where in your community you can recycle your electronics. Furthermore, instead of ditching a broke electronic, you could take it to get repaired; whether that be directly from the company you purchased it from or through a third party. Finally, you could refrain from getting the newest gadget until it becomes the cheapest, most logical solution. Being aware of the issue is the first step in the right direction towards saving the planet.

Sources: https://www.rubiconglobal.com/blog-electronic-waste-problem/

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/america-e-waste-gps-tracker-tells-all-earthfix

Apple admits it slows down old iPhones (but for the right reasons)

Volkswagen’s New Electric Vehicle

With the issues of climate change and massive amounts of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere, Volkswagen decided to make an inexpensive electric car that many people can own. Starting at approximately $30,000 (O’Kane, theverge.com), this car is meant to be a transition into the future of non-gasoline vehicles.

There are also other benefits to this vehicle compared to other cars with a gasoline engine. O’Kane states that, “By removing the internal combustion engine…the automaker is able to extend the cabin forward, thus freeing up previously inaccessible space to the company’s designers” (O’Kane, theverge.com). This means that there is more room in the vehicle itself for the passengers.

With competitors such as Tesla, Volkswagen may have a difficult time selling this vehicle to a wide range of people around the globe. In my opinion, with the cheaper price as well, Volkswagen may have a serious competitor for other companies’ electric vehicles.

References used:

https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/9/20857217/volkswagen-vw-id3-electric-price-specs-mile-range-frankfurt-motor-show-2019