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Here’s Why Social Media Can Make Break-Ups More Worse

According to a study, many shared stories of encountering exes via their comments in shared spaces

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Even before social media break-ups sucked, but it was much easier to get away from the person. It can make moving on almost impossible if you are constantly being bombarded with reminders in different places online. Pixabay

Estrangement has become harder in the digital age and social media platfroms, such as Facebook and Instagram, can make break-ups much worse, say researchers. People who use features like unfriending, unfollowing or blocking still face troubling encounters with ex-partners online.

For the study, published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction’, the researchers recruited people who had upsetting encounter online within 18 months of parting and interviewed them for over an hour.

“Even before social media break-ups sucked, but it was much easier to get away from the person. It can make moving on almost impossible if you are constantly being bombarded with reminders in different places online,” said study lead researcher Anthony Pinter from University of Colorado Boulder in the US.

According to researchers, among 19 who underwent in-depth interviews, a disturbing trend emerged: Even when people took every measure possible to remove their exes from their online lives, social media returned them – often multiple times a day.

“A lot of people assume they can just unfriend their ex or unfollow them, and won’t have to deal with them anymore. Our work shows it’s not the case,” Pinter said. News Feed, the primary interface that opens when one goes for Facebook, was a major source of distress, delivering news of ex-lovers announcing they were in new relationship.

In one case, a participant noticed his roommate had “liked” his ex’s post. He was the last of his friends to know. Memories revived by posts from the past were equally heart-rending, with one participant recalling how a sweet years-old message from his ex-wife popped up out of nowhere delivering an “emotional wallop,” the researchers said.

Hands, Couple, Red X, X, Marked, Stamped, Stigma
Estrangement has become harder in the digital age and social media platfroms, such as Facebook and Instagram, can make break-ups much worse, say researchers. People who use features like unfriending, unfollowing or blocking still face troubling encounters with ex-partners online. Pixabay

According to the study, many shared stories of encountering exes via their comments in shared spaces, such as groups or mutual friends’ pictures. Even when someone unfriends his/her ex, if a mutual friend posts a picture without tagging them that may still flow through their feed.

And even when they blocked their exes some reported that the ex’s friends and family would still show up on Facebook as suggestions under ‘People you may know’. The authors suggest such encounters could be minimised with platform designers paying more attention to the “social periphery” – all those people, groups, photos and events that spring up around a connection between two users.

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For those wanting to rid their online lives from reminders of love lost, they recommend unfriending, untagging, using Take a Break and blocking while understanding they may not be foolproof. (IANS)

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WhatsApp Experiences Greatest Gains Amid Lockdown

WhatsApp sees 40% increase in usage in time of pandemic

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp has seen a 40 per cent increase in usage, according to a study by Kantar, a data and consulting company. Pixabay

As COVID-19 pandemic envelopes the world, WhatsApp has seen a 40 per cent increase in usage, according to a study by Kantar, a data and consulting company. This is a technology news.

Across all stages of the pandemic, WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected. Overall WhatsApp has seen a 40 per cent increase in usage.

Kantar conducted the largest global study into consumer attitudes, media habits and expectations during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Kantar estimates that for WhatsApp in the early phase of the pandemic usage increases 27 per cent, in mid-phase 41 per cent and countries in the late phase of the pandemic see an increase of 51 per cent.

Spain experienced a 76 per cent increase in time spent on WhatsApp. Overall Facebook usage has increased 37 per cent. China experienced a 58% increase in usage of local social media apps including Wechat and Weibo.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected. Pixabay

According to a study, there is a crisis in trust. Traditional nationwide news channels (broadcast and newspaper) are the most trusted sources of information with 52 per cent of people identifying them as a ‘trustworthy’ source.

Government agency websites are regarded as trustworthy by only 48 per cent of people, suggesting that government measures are not providing citizens around the world with assurances and security.

Also reflecting the loss of trust from recent election cycles, social media platforms are regarded by only 11 per cent of people as a source of trustworthy information.

As countries move deeper in to the pandemic so media consumption increases across all in-home channels. According to Kantar, in the later stages of the pandemic web browsing increases by 70 per cent, followed by (traditional) TV viewing increasing by 63 per cent and social media engagement increasing by 61 per cent over normal usage rates.

Increased usage across all messaging platforms has been biggest in the 18-34 age group. WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have all experienced a more than 40 per cent increase in usage from under 35-year olds.

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Consumers expect the brands they choose to look after their employees first and foremost with 78 per cent saying take care of employees’ health and 62 per cent saying implement flexible working.

Supporting hospitals (41 per cent) and being helpful to government (35 per cent) is an expectation of significant minority of consumers, the study says. (IANS)