News flash: smartphone users obsessively check their devices

In a study that could be described as confirming the bleedin’ obvious, Finnish researchers have found that many smartphone users obsessively check their devices for e-mails, social media and news. Really? Seriously? I could have texted that conclusion over to Finland long ago and saved them a lot of time and tax dollars.

Who hasn’t endured the supremely rude experience of chatting happily with a friend whose phone chimes suddenly to life, requiring said friend to instantly interrupt the conversation in mid-sentence because she has to check out the latest cute kitty YouTube video – while you stand there waiting like an idiot with your finger up your nose? Who hasn’t sat, dismayed and annoyed, at the dining room table watching a young relative madly texting from his lap during a family dinner? Who hasn’t been distracted by glowing phone screens popping up in a darkened movie theatre while users check Facebook throughout the film? Can these people not turn their phones off even for two short hours?

Obsessive? I’d say so. Continue reading

Why some people should avoid social media completely

In February, the American Red Cross social media specialist Gloria Huang sent the following tweet out on the organization’s Twitter feed:

But the party girl’s rogue tweet stayed up only about an hour on the site, before a flurry of complaints prompted the organization to remove it. Huang later blamed the mistake on her “inability to use Hootsuite(a service that enables users to manage multiple Twitter accounts).  Continue reading