I hardly need to weigh in because I already did – in depth, last summer, at the peak of the last Momo wave. But I will only highlight the best thinking I've seen this go round and add 4 points – lessons to consider from this time for when the next wave hits (because this will certainly not be the last, and why reinvent the wheel every time?). First the points: Who's the (potential) … [Read more...] about Momo. Again.
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There's no rhyme or reason to these things. They show up on different social media platforms, start in different parts of the world, but don’t always "go viral" in regions where they started. There are cultural aspects to what makes them take off but also universal ones: They "excite children's and teens’ imaginations, increase careless media outlets' appetite and opportunities for bigger … [Read more...] about About ‘Momo’ & dealing with viral media scares
"It's trying to be the anti-Sarahah," reports New York Magazine. But, like Sarahah, tbh (for "to be honest"), the newest hot app among teens in Apple's App Store, is probably trying not to be a flash in the pan. [As of today, it's No. 3, after Facebook Messenger and Gmail, on Apple's "Top Charts" list for free apps, down 2 from No. 1 since NYMag.com's report.] But before I tell you a bit more … [Read more...] about About teens’ new top app ‘tbh’ & (real) safety in apps
A reader in India, where a "Blue Whale" scare has now taken off, asked if it's a genuine threat, so here's an update (see also sidebars below about the all-important Russian context and lessons from India, because there's are cultural as well as universal pieces to this global puzzle): In answer to the question in the headline up there: maybe both. Blue Whale is also now quite likely a … [Read more...] about ‘Blue Whale’: Clickbait or a new form of online grooming?
Two years ago, the headline in the Washington Post about researcher Jean Twenge's work was, "Happiness levels are rising for teens, but not for people older than 30," and she was quoted as saying, "our current culture is giving teens what they need, but not mature adults what they need." I'm confused – because the headline in the latest Atlantic Monthly about Dr. Twenge's work suggests the … [Read more...] about The generation-destroying smartphone: Researchers push back