Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Ali.
1) An app that prevents selfie deaths
No it’s not a severely delayed April fool. A PhD student from a US University has researched the volume and types of deaths associated with taking selfies from around the world and concluded that they are on the rise and the most likely cause of death is falling from a great height.
In India, however, your selfie death is more likely to be train related, and weapons will be involved if you are from Russia.
The student and his team are in the process of developing an app that will identify when someone is taking a photo in a dangerous situation and then alert the selfie-taker to the possible risks.
Is it just me or does this story pose more questions than it answers? Is this really the stuff of PhDs? Surely the whole point of this type of selfie is the brazen risk being taken? No-one needs a warning to tell them that. And how will the warning be delivered – an unexpected ping / a message / a pop up?
2) Unfriend day
Another uplifting t’internet story for you. Apparently yesterday was ‘Unfriend day’. ‘Unfriend’ became an official word in 2009 when the Oxford Dictionary said that the verb had longevity and its meaning, ‘to remove someone as a friend on social media,’ has been etched into history ever since.
So, if your Facebook feed is full of updates from people you no longer care about or worse, have no idea who they are, then yesterday was the day to delete, delete and delete.
That said, just hiding their news from your feed is a tad more subtle for seeing a little bit less of those annoying baby, dog or <insert annoying facebook habit> posts.
3) Google overtaking Apple in the classroom
Forbes posted some interesting stats this week about Google becoming increasingly popular in the classroom in the US and whilst it hasn’t overtaken Apple outright, the latter’s growth is most definitely on the wane.
While the US education market is huge in itself, it is not solely for this immediate revenue generation that both companies are chasing the sector. It’s more about the long term brand loyalty – apparently children who have a good experience with a particular tech company are more likely to become brand evangelists as adults.
The outright leader in both the US and the UK is Microsoft but that is probably due to their legacy – with schools having taught Word and Excel for decades – rather than a more positive decision to associate with the company.
4) Swearing on social media makes you appear less educated
Another piece of research, this time from a group of psychologists and computer scientists that looked into whether we make assumptions about people based on their word choices on social media. Of course we do…
One of the main conclusions was that people assumed that conversational language such as (lol, gonna, omg) and a general propensity to swear was undertaken by a less educated group.
An additional assumption was that those who are more educated are more likely to use technology-related words or phrases.
Neither were necessarily true but it’s interesting that so much is inferred from a 140 character update.
5) Office Secret Santa
And to conclude, the Huffington Post brings us back to a Christmas theme of sorts – the perfect gift for meeting haters who are about to be given their office Secret Santas…