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Social media a marriage killer in China: Experts

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Beijing: While social media was designed to bring people together, it can sometimes drive them apart — more Chinese people are switching their status from married to single and social media could be responsible, say experts.

A report by the ministry of civil affairs in June found that 3.637 million couples divorced in 2014, up by 3.9 percent from the previous year, Xinhua reported.

Statistics from the ministry show the country has been witnessing a continuous rise in divorces since 2002.

Su, a white collar worker from Shanghai, was stunned and furious after discovering her husband’s secret romances online.

She found he viewed dating websites, and was in touch with many girlfriends on different social networks. Some relationships were more than a decade old, long before they got married.

“Since we have a child, I will not consider divorcing. But our relationship is dead,” she told Xinhua.

A man, requesting anonymity, said he uses social networks to look for dates while on business trips.

Yu Kun, a Beijing-based psychologist, said among all extramarital affairs of his clients, about half of them were initiated through the internet.

But most experts said social media generally only affects relationships that were already strained.

In some cases, social networking apps can be a tool in dismantling an already fragile marriage, according to Chen Yiyun, an expert from the marriage and family research institute under the All-China Women’s Federation.

Social media is never the root cause of divorce, said Han Junmei, a commentator on www.workercn.com.

“Incompatibility undermines marriages and social networks just increases the possibility of breaking up,” she wrote.

Social media is not the only factor behind the rising divorce rate. The younger generation’s attitude toward marriage has also changed.

“In the past, people were more conservative and saw it as a shame to get divorced,” marriage consultant Shu Xin said.

“Nowadays, people care more about the quality of marriage and are more willing to break social norms for the sake of happiness.”

(IANS)

 

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Collective Attention Span Among People Decreases Rapidly as of 24/7 News Availability

"As a next step, it would be interesting to look into how this affects individuals, since the observed developments may have negative implications for an individual's ability to evaluate the information they consume," said researchers. 

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"Since the available amount of attention remains more or less the same, the result is that people are more rapidly made aware of something happening and lose interest more quickly. However, the study does not address attention span on the level of the individual person," Lehmann noted. Pixabay

People are losing their collective attention span rapidly owing to the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO), staying up-to-date on social media and breaking news coming at them 24/7 via various platforms, a team of European scientists has warned.

The study with first empirical evidence in the journal Nature Communications has found that our collective attention span is indeed narrowing and that this effect occurs not only on social media but also across diverse domains, including books, web searches and movie popularity.

FOMO is social anxiety characterised by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”.

“It seems the allocated attention in our collective minds has a certain size, but the cultural items competing for that attention have become densely packed. “This would support the claim that it has indeed become difficult to stay up-to-date on the news cycle, for example,” said Professor Sune Lehmann from Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

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The study with first empirical evidence in the journal Nature Communications has found that our collective attention span is indeed narrowing and that this effect occurs not only on social media but also across diverse domains, including books, web searches and movie popularity. Pixabay

To reach this conclusion, the scientists studied Twitter data from 2013 to 2016, books from Google Books going back 100 years, movie ticket sales going back 40 years, and citations of scientific publications from the last 25 years.

In addition, they gathered data from Google Trends (2010-2018), Reddit (2010-2015) and Wikipedia (2012-2017).

When looking into the global daily top 50 hashtags on Twitter, scientists found that peaks became increasingly steep and frequent. In 2013, a hashtag stayed in the top 50 for around 17.5 hours and gradually decreased to 11.9 hours in 2016.

The trend is mirrored in other domains, online and offline as well.

“Since the available amount of attention remains more or less the same, the result is that people are more rapidly made aware of something happening and lose interest more quickly. However, the study does not address attention span on the level of the individual person,” Lehmann noted.

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To reach this conclusion, the scientists studied Twitter data from 2013 to 2016, books from Google Books going back 100 years, movie ticket sales going back 40 years, and citations of scientific publications from the last 25 years. 
Pixabay

The study was conducted by a team of European scientists from Technische Universitat Berlin, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, University College Cork and DTU.

Also Read: New Survey Indicates, Indians Most Worry About Terrorism, Unemployment And Corruption

“As a next step, it would be interesting to look into how this affects individuals, since the observed developments may have negative implications for an individual’s ability to evaluate the information they consume,” said researchers.

Acceleration increases, for example, the pressure on journalists’ ability to keep up with an ever-changing news landscape. “We hope more research in this direction will inform the way we design new communication systems,” the team said. (IANS)