Thursday, April 24, 2014

Have you unfriended somebody on Facebook?

My brother once started unfriending people on Facebook. Then made a game out of it. Thinned them down till there was only one friend. Declared them the winner. Then unfriended them and deleted his account (Jack Arnott)

Last week, I unfriended two people on Facebook. That was for the first time in my life, and I want to admit I was not so comfortable doing that and potentially hurting people. But what if the posts they made were unbearably disturbing and annoying? Should I silently suffer and change the page. Basically, Facebook page is my virtual home, and I want to be comfortable there. So, do not feel any regret…

Two new studies from the University of Colorado in Denver performed through investigation on the psychology behind unfriending, as well as the emotional response of the unfriended. Both draw on a Twitter survey of 1,077 adults, so the selected group is quite limited in size.

The first, which probes the who and why of unfriending, found that acquaintances from high school are most likely to get the chop, followed by friends of friends, work friends, and common interest friends.

It appears former high school friends are unfriended more than any other group on Facebook, according to a recent study by Christopher Sibona, a doctoral student at the University of Colorado Denver. For the study, Sibona separated Facebook friends into 15 distinct "types" -- neighbors, church friends, friends of friends, etc.

Here are the 16 categories:

1. High school friend

2. Friend of a friend

3. Colleague

4. Common interests friend

5. College friend

6. Former romantic partner

7. Internet friend

8. Family member

9. Church friend

10. Grade school classmate

11. Friend through Spouse

12. Graduate schoolmate

13. Friend through Child

14. Neighbor

15. Friend through Parent

Christopher Sibona speculates in a press release that based on the research data we often wish to break online relationship with people who disagree with us about religion or politics.

While the majority of friends get flushed for the toxicity of their posts, it appeared that the colleagues are also in the group of risk.  "We found that people often unfriend co-workers for their actions in the real world rather than anything they post on Facebook," Sibona said.

The researchers use the euphemism “context collapse” to convey the loss of friendship. Study two examined the emotional fallout from context collapse as enacted over the social network and came up with four feelings: surprised, bothered, amused, and sad. As Science Daily explains, a quartet of factors determines how unhappy an Unfriended friend is likely to be at her demotion. If you two once shared a close bond, she’ll probably be upset and annoyed. If she monitors her Facebook friend list closely, that also enhances the likelihood she’ll suffer. On the other hand, talking about any relationship tensions before cutting the cord has a mitigating effect, and if the Unfriended seeks comfort from her remaining friends afterward, the study suggests she’ll feel better.

Sources and Additional Information:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Warning! E-cigarettes Liquid Nicotine can be Dangerous for your Kids

Experts say the highly concentrated with nicotine liquid, used to refill e-cigarettes can be harmful to adults and even deadly to children if consumed orally. It can also be harmful if absorbed through the skin. The most common adverse health effects are vomiting, nausea and eye irritation.

Liquid nicotine is sold to refill e-cigarettes, the battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals through a vaporizer. The nicotine is typically contained in a cartridge that users insert into the e-cigarette.

E-cigarettes have been already criticized for being attractive to the small children, since many brands come in bright colors, and candy and fruit flavors. The e-liquid is often brightly colored, and comes in candy and fruit flavors such as strawberry, butterscotch, chocolate, apple, blueberry, gummy bear, cotton candy and bubble gum. That attracts young children, who may be unable to read warning labels and do not realize that the liquids could be dangerous.

Recently, researchers found a steady and rapid increase in the number of calls to poison control centers about e-cigarettes and the liquid nicotine used in them, according to the study, released April 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A total of 215 calls involving e-cigarettes were made to U.S. poison control centers in February 2014, up from one call in September 2010, said researchers who examined data from poison centers over that period.

More than half of these calls involved children age 5 and younger, and about 42 percent involved people age 20 and older who were poisoned by ingesting liquid nicotine, or absorbing it through the skin, according to the study.

"Use of these products is skyrocketing, and these poisonings will continue," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden."E-cigarette liquids, as currently sold, are a threat to small children because they are not required to be childproof, and they come in candy and fruit flavors that are appealing to children."

For the study, researchers examined all calls to poison centers in which callers stated the reason for their call was exposure to conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes or nicotine liquid used in e-cigarettes.

Poison centers received 2,405 calls related to e-cigarettes, and 16,248 calls about cigarettes, between September 2010 and February 2014, according to the report.

In September 2010, 0.3 percent of all calls about any cigarettes or liquid nicotine were due to e-cigarettes. By February 2014, the number had jumped, and 41.7 percent of all such calls were due to e-cigarettes, the researchers found.

Poisoning from conventional cigarettes most often involves young children who ate the cigarettes. Poisoning from liquid nicotine can occur not only by ingestion, but also inhalation or absorption through the skin or eyes.

In about 70 percent of cases, poisoning from liquid nicotine occurred because a person ingested the chemical. About 17 percent of the cases occurred from inhalation, and about 15 cases reported absorption through the skin or the eye.

The most common adverse health effects mentioned in e-cigarette calls were vomiting, nausea and eye irritation. One suicide death from nicotine liquid was reported to poison centers.

The number of calls per month involving conventional cigarettes did not show an increase during the same time period.

Recently, studies have found e-cigarette use is growing, and is becoming especially popular among teenagers.

Although the Food and Drug Administration has said it intends to regulate the e-cigarette industry, it has been slow to act. In the meantime, critics say, no regulations exist that would force liquid nicotine manufacturers to use child-resistant packaging or detailed warning labels.

Sources and Additional Information: