Can We Live Without Smartphones? Statistics Says You Will Panic

iPhone 5 Smartphone Design

Can We Live Without Smartphones? Statistics Says You Will Panic

How much time you spend a day staring at your smartphone?
How many of you have an iPhone but really don’t need it? Honestly.

Is it the first thing you grab for when you wake up in the morning?
The last thing you look at before you go to bed?

  • 54% of people say they do all of the above.

A study sponsored by Lookout, says that we often put more time in our phones than in real personal relationships. in fact the way we think, behave and the emotions we feel is more and more developing into a new “mobile mindset”.

“The findings establish that our attachment to smartphones is driving a new mobile mindset. Our behaviors, emotions and social interactions are impacted by smartphones to the extent that they now play an important role in our value systems.” – Alicia DiVittorio, Lookout

Smartphone Dependency Statistics

We are obsessed with staying connected on our phones.

  • 60% of respondents say they don’t go an hour without checking their phones.
  • 63% of women and 73% of men between ages 18 to 34 don’t go an hour without checking their phones.

Rules of etiquette are also changing or being challenged.

  • Nearly a third of respondents say they check their phones while sharing a meal
  • Nearly a quarter of respondents say they engage in risky behavior such as checking their phone while driving.
  • 10% check their phones during religious services

The Study also suggest we are also emotionally attached to our devices

  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents felt “panicked” when they misplace their phones.
  • 14% said they felt “desperate”
  • 7% said they felt “sick”
  • Only 6% said they felt “relieved”

How Are You with Smartphones?

So let’s discuss.

  • How much time you spend a day staring at your smartphone?
  • Is it the first thing you grab for when you wake up in the morning?
  • The last thing you look at before you go to bed?
  • Do you see us getting more and more dependent on Smartphones?
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McDonald’s Photoshop Burger Advertisment Video

McDonald Quarter Pounder Photoshop Burger

The Perfect McDonald’s Advertising Burger

Dear McDonald’s – “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what is in the store?”

This was a question asked by a customer to McDonald’s. I am sure lot of us always wondered or at least balked at how perfect the burgers look on the ads yet look so flat, small, and less appetizing in real life.

Well folks, we already know the answer. It’s because the burgers are carefully crafted and yes, photoshopped to perfection. That is not a surprise. The surprise is that McDonald’s answered this question by producing a quick video on the whole process.

Was this a good move or bad move by McDonald’s?

Either way, we’ve often talked about famous photo manipulations here at Clean Cut Media especially in terms of how altering photos of people causes us to have distorted view of beauty. This is a different kind of “Beauty”, perhaps not so harmful, but still is pretty fun to watch as they carefully craft and photoshop a quarter-pounder with cheese.

Hungry Anyone? Enjoy the video.

Mcdonald’s Photoshopped Burger Video

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Butterfly Circus – A Beautiful Short Film

The Butterfly Circus Film - Eduardo Verastegui

Butterfly Circus – A Beautiful Short Film

“The greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.”

This is a very well done, beautiful short film which will leave you feeling warm and touched.

The Butterfly Circus Short FilmThe short film “Butterfly Circus” takes place in the Great Depression. A showman of a renowned circus discovers a man without limbs being exploited at a carnival sideshow. He shows him a bit of kindness, a reaction that this limb-less man has never experienced. Starting with this small encounter, this man without limbs is slowly driven to hope despite all of his life experiences telling him otherwise.

The showman is Eduardo Verastegui (Bella) and the man without limbs name is Nick Vujicic. The ladder is a famous speaker of hope and change. The short film won several awards in the Best Short Category & Audience Favorite Category at the Heartland Film Festival, Palm Springs Short Festival, Ashland Independent Film Festival and Grand Prize winner at the Doorpost Film Project.

Again, “Butterfly Circus” is very well done, beautiful score (music) and the story is very heart warming. Wanted to share some good clean media films such as these. The creators are working on making this into a feature film.

  • Give it a watch and tell us what you think below!

Director: Joshua Weigel
Writer: Joshua Weigel & Rebekah Weigel
Producers: Joshua Weigel, Rebekah Weigel, Angie Alvarez
Executive Producers: Jon & Esther Phelps, Jason Atkins, Nathan Christopher Haase, Bob Yerkes, Ed Vizenor & Nathan Elliott
Director of Photography: Brian Baugh
Production Designer: Yeva McCloskey
Editor: Chris Witt
Cast: Eduardo Verastegui, Nick Vujicic, Doug Jones, Matt Allmen, Mark Atteberry, Kirk Bovill, Lexi Pearl, Connor Rosen
Original Score: Timothy Williams (Composer)

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How the Internet is Ruining Your Brain [Infographic]

Internet Use & Depression Statistics

This has to be the ugliest, most mind draining infographic ever made. However, the statistics are interesting a relevant so put on your thinking caps, take off your creative sensibilities and check out the statistics below! Highlights written out for the faint of heart.

Statistics: How the Internet is Ruining Your Brain

Internet Depression Sad TeenInternet Usage Statistics

  • 35 Billion: Collective hours we spend on the internet per month
  • 3x: We consume 3x more information than the 60s’ (not that I would know)
  • 61%: Admit to being addicted to the Internet (that means either you or I are addicted. It’s you… i think)

Multitasking the Internet

  • Frequency: We Change Windows/Check Email/Programs more than once every 2 minutes
  • Avg Tabs Open: See chart below. It’s a lot. How many do you have open right now!

Google is Great, but makes you Dumb

  • 7.2 Billion: # of times we collectively visit Google per day
  • 3 Billion: # of queries we collectively make per day

Social Networking – Growing # of “Friends”

  • 8 Hours: # of hours a month we spend on Facebook
  • 245: Avg # of Friends
  • 73.2%: Percentage of those friends we really know
  • 4%: Percentage that we would actually hang out with

Internet Causing Happiness or Depression?

  • Heavy internet users are 2.5x more likely to be depressed (chicken & egg?)

Internet Depression & Usage Statistics

Share Your Thoughts

Use your brain a bit.
Seriously Google makes it so easy to look up information as it is needed. How did we live without Google back in the day? Hmm… can’t remember. I better Google it…

  • How many tabs do YOU have open?
  •  Do you agree the Internet is causing some bad mojo?
  •  Does your head hurt from trying to read this infographic?
[poll id=”19″]
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How Much Data does Your Child Use Per Month?

Mobile Data Usage Statistics


  • Teens ages 13 to 17 use on average 320MB of data per month?
  • Adults ages 25-34 use on average 578MB of data per month?

A study by Nielson analyzed mobile data from 65,000 U.S. subscribers. Smartphone users using mobile internet has increased 45% this year. Take a look around. Before the iPhone revolution, who among the people you know had smartphones? Very few people I imagine.

Mobile Data Usage Infographic

Teens & Texting: Where are Thou Social Skills?

We’ve had many article here following the incredible growth of text usage among teenagers. During Q3 of 2011, female teens had reached 3,952 texts per month. Male teens were at a “paltry” 2,815 per month. It wasn’t long ago that I was fine with a 200 txt msg plan! Not anymore.

Some people argue that social networks and easy communication access is lowering children’s ability to socially connect with others. Well this latest crop of statistics show that voice minute usage is dropping among teens. it dropped 17% year over year as they opt to text as it is faster and easier. An older poll from 2011 of 500 social networking Americans between ages 13 to 21, showed that 71% of the respondents preferred texting to phone calling. Ok, confession time. I would fall in that category as well. It is indeed easier and quicker, but do you think it has an adverse affect? Will it hurt social abilities and limit experiences for children and teens who grow up texting, talking online, messaging on Facebook, and IMing on gchat. I would argue, yes it would have an effect, though it may not be obvious or all that dramatic at first. I’ve worked with enough college students and youths to know, it could potentially become a problem.

  • What do you think?

Mobile Texting Statistics for Teens

  • 45% of teens send at least 30 texts a day
  •  54% of teens say they are just “chatting”
  •  14% text in class
  •  17% text while riding in a car
  •  10% text during a movie
  • Teens Ages 13-17 average 3417 text messages per month
  • Equivalent to 7 texts per every waking hour
  • 18-25: 1,914 texts per hour
  • 25-34: 928 texts per hour
  • 95% use phone for online gaming
  • 66% use to stream music

[poll id=”15″]

Teen Cell Phone Usage Statistics Infographic

Teen Texting Statistics Infographic

Infographic Courtesy of OnlineSchools

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Is Being Hyperconnected Hurting or Helping our Children?

Children Laptop Online InternetDid you know a lot of employees of leading high-tech firms in the silicon valley such as Apple, Google, Yahoo, and Hewlett-Packard send their children to a computer-free school?

Schools nationwide have rushed to supply their classrooms with computers, and many policy makers say it is foolish to do otherwise. But the contrarian point of view can be found at the epicenter of the tech economy, where some parents and educators have a message: computers and schools don’t mix. – NY Times

So then comes the questions:

  • Why would high tech employees and internet executives who are so immersed in technology not want their child to use such technology to learn? Do they know something we don’t?
  • Does the use of technology potentially hurt child development…. adult development?

SURVEY: Will Millennials Benefit or Suffer Due to their Hyper-Connected Lives?

A recent survey released by Pew Internet Projects asked technology experts about this issue. The question: Will Millennials benefit or suffer due to their hyperconnected lives?

Child Mobile Phone ConnectedIn this survey, technology experts and stakeholders were fairly split in their opinions about whether highly connected people will end up having a positive or negative impact by 2020. The feeling is that young people who grow up hyper-connected via the internet, mobile web, and the internet will reap the benefit of being more nimble and quick-acting multitaskers. However on the other end, the same experts expect that those growing up fully connected will increase in their need for instant gratification, settling for quick choices, lacking patience, and the loss of social skills. Many expressed concerns of these trends, some mentioning George Orwell’s 1984 as well as fears of control by powerful interests in an age where distractions and quick entertainments rule.

Anyone remember this haunting quote?

” [it’s] easier [online] to be who you want to be, because nobody knows you and if you don’t like the situation you can just exit and it is over. ” – Clean Cut Media

[poll id=”24″]

Internet Connection helps with Learning & Multitasking!

The respondents were encouraged to pick one of two stances. 3% did not respond.

55% agreed with this statement:

In 2020 the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are “wired” differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields helpful results. They do not suffer notable cognitive shortcomings as they multitask and cycle quickly through personal and work related tasks. Rather, they are learning more and they are more adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the internet. In sum, the changes in learning behavior and cognition among the young generally produce positive outcomes.

Internet Connection makes People Shallow & Lose Social Skills!

Child Watching TV Media - Hurts!42% agreed with the opposite statement:

In 2020, the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are “wired” differently from those over age 35 and overall it yields baleful results. They do not retain information; they spend most of their energy sharing short social messages, being entertained, and being distracted away from deep engagement with people and knowledge. They lack deep thinking capabilities; they lack face to face social skills; they depend in unhealthy ways on the internet and mobile devices to function. In sum, the changes in behavior and cognition among the young are generally negative outcomes.

What is considered Hyperconnected?

Hyperconnected basically means, you are always connected, a finger tip away. It is a word describing an environment where people are linked continuously through some kind of technology to other people and information.

Another survey from Pew Internet Projects show that 95% of teens ages 12-17 are online, 76% use social networking sites, and 77% have cell phones. Those in ages 18-29? 96% use the internet, 84% use social networking sites and 97% have cell phones. Over half of them use smartphones and 1 out of 4 own tablet computers like the iPad.

Want more Amazing Internet & Social Media Statistics?

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So the same question remains.

  • Will Hyper-Connectedness of Millennials result in greater Benefit or Deteriment in the long run? Let us know your thoughts!
  • OR, at least think of a good caption for that litlte girl on the cell phone. Awesome picture!

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Bad Idea: eReading while Driving [Infographic]

  • Do you own a smartphone? A tablet? A eReader?
  • When do you usually use it? While in Bed? While Driving? While on the Toilet?

11% of eReader owners claim they use it while driving. 20% of tablet owners.

Nielsen came out with some research on how and when people use their mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets. Some of the findings are not surprising, but it’s interesting nonetheless. They surveyed nearly 12,000 mobile device owners. Take a look below at the infographic.

Mobile Web Usage Infographic

Mobile Web Infographic Usage

Original Mobile Web Usage Chart from Nielson

Mobile Device Usage Statistics

Mobile Web Usage – Quick Hit Statistics

While Watching TV: 70% of Tablet & 68% of Smartphone Owners
Have you ever wondered why the math never seem to add up on these statistical studies on media usage? How can children consume 7.5 hours of media day? 7.5 hours really? Adults consume 2-3 Hours a day online, 3 hours a day on TV, exposed to hour of TV ads. Don’t even get me started on time spend on Youtube, Facebook among other social sites. How does everyone have so much time!? I barely have time to go running (ok so it might be a motivation factor too).

The Answer? Apparently because people are consuming it all at once! 70% watch TV while playing on their tablet. I personally never do such a thing! Mainly because I don’t own a tablet… donations welcome, research purposes of course.

While Lying in Bed: 57% of Tablet, 51% Smartphone, 61% eReader

This seems very reasonable. Reading a ebook in bed perhaps, or in my case, listening to an audiobook in bed until i fall asleep. What is the latest book you are reading? Do you read in bed as well? Seems realistic and understandable… at least way more than…

While Driving: 20% Tablet, 47% Smartphone, 11% eReader!

This is a seriously disturbing statistics. 11% of eReader owners, read their eReader WHILE driving? A free life tip: if you see someone reading a eReader while driving, I suggest you immediately drive away from them. Texting and Driving is bad enough (16% of all fatal crashes are due to texting and driving), but eReaders?!

“Oh I’ll never get into an accident doing this. It’ll never happen to me.” Stop and think. Did any of those people who crashed, perhaps died due to texting think they would do so? I bet NONE of them did, yet it happened.

Texting While Driving Statistics

While in the Bathroom: 25% Tablet, 28% Smartphone, 17% eReader

No Comment. I am never touching other people’s smartphones, tablets or eReaders again. Get that thing away from me.

  • So where do you use your mobile devices the most?
  • Confession Time?

Little Poll for the Weak. Comment for the Strong. Both for the Awesome.
Vote, Comment, Come back in a few days to see the poll numbers.
[poll id=”26″]

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Best April Fools Day Jokes Online

Best April Fools Day Jokes Online

It’s that time of the year again. April Fools Day. More and more, you can’t believe a single thing you read on the web. I love it. Last year we summarized the Best April Fools Jokes in History. The year before we actually posted a fake april fools post. This year we’ll just be adding a few more recent online april fool jokes of note. We only included the latest. See last year’s post to see a fuller list. Enjoy!

Starbucks Plenta and Micra Sizes

“Whether customers are looking for a large or small size, the Plenta and the Micra satisfy all U.S. and Canada customers’ needs for more and less coffee,” said Hugh Mungis, Starbucks VP of Volume. “Our size selection is now plentiful.”

Starbucks last year announced that in response to consumer requests for more sizes, that they would add two additional sizes. The Micra at 2 ounces and the Plenta at 128 ounces. The Plenta looks pretty much like a KFC Bucket. Awesome. This came after the announcement of the new size Trenta at 32 ounces which help give a bit of legitimacy. Check out the hilarious sizes below. April Fools!

Starbucks Plenta Micra April Fools Sizes
Give me my KFC Bucket Latte

Google Chrome – Browse the Web with Sound

Google Chrome Sounds Extension
Now You can Experience the Sounds of the Web

Surfing the web when bored? Bored of surfing the web? Google Chrome last year differentiated itself by offering the latest plugin to add SOUNDS to your web browsing experience. It provides audio feedback depending on what you do and what you browse. April Fools!

The hilarious part is that the sounds are ridiculous and often really annoying. You can still find it here: Google Chrome Sounds – Try it out, let us know in comments what you think!

Google Translate for Animals

You think Google Translate is awesome? Did you know Google had come up with Google Translate for Animals?

This application recognizes and transcribes the voices of animals for most common species. Best part is all the fun videos. Below is an intro, and one of the fun additional videos. Enjoy. The actor in the second one is hilarious. April Fools!

Videonuze – In Unprecedented Deal, Google and Apple Team Up to Privatize the FCC

Videonuze came out with a hilarious post that Google and Apple has bought out the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The FCC is the government agency that usually governs the media & broadband business sectors. It also helps controls the rules and regulation of business transactions. Here is an excerpt below. Funny piece. April Fools!

VideoNuze has learned that Google and Apple have teamed up to privatize the FCC in a transaction preliminarily valued at $42.5 billion. Though the U.S. government is already widely believed to be controlled by corporate interests, this is the first time that a formal deal to transfer ownership of a government agency has been contemplated. The deal has far-ranging implications for the media and technology industries, not to mention for American democracy. VideoNuze has gained exclusive access to the details.

…In a follow-up interview, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs added further detail, “I was sitting in my office micro-managing the legal weenies on this HTC lawsuit aimed at gumming up the Nexus One’s rollout when my iPhone rings with Eric’s caller ID. Ordinarily I wouldn’t even answer that back-stabbing, lying sack of you-know-what’s call but I wanted to rub his nose in our big legal plans. So I nonchalantly answer the phone, ‘What’s up dirtbag, looking for some more of Apple’s product ideas to steal?’ And he’s like, ‘yeah, whatever, look, here’s why I’m calling.’ And then he proceeds to tell me about this cockamamie scheme that he and those two Doogie Howser co-founder dorks of his have come up with, to privatize the FCC.”

Full April Fools Article

Google – Official Australian Google Maps Version

Google announced the Australian Google Maps will not be customized to Australian speak. See the hilarious changes below. Yea it was April Fools.

“Chucka U-ey” – Execute a U-Turn
“Hang a Right” – Make a right turn
“Fang a Left” – Make a left turn
“Hit the frog and toad” – The road
“Hoof it” – Walk
“100 Clicks” – 100 kilometres
“Not within Cooee” – Not close by
“Down the road” – Unspecified term indicating distance

Driving Styles
“Hit the anchors” – Brake, now
“Flat chat” – Going very fast
“Hoon” – Fast, irresponsible driver
“Bingle” – Car accident (not Lara)
“Bogged” – Stuck
“All over the shop” – Veering across lanes
“Rough as guts” – Car needs a tune
“Bag em up” – Smoke the tires
“Drive like my Grandma” – Going too slow
“Amber Gambler” – Runs orange lights
“Sunday Driver” – Poor driver.

Daily Burn iPad Weight Scale April Fools
Try this on Your iPad...

The iPad Fit Series

Not all that funny, but the picture is hilarious so just for kicks.
Try this at home. (if you weight 30 pounds).

Google Gmail Motion by Google

A bonus April Fool’s Joke from this year! Since lot of people are enjoying this newest one from Google, check it out below. If you are confused whether this is real or not, no worries, Google did notoriously come out with Gmail on… you guessed it April Fools Day. I think Gmail still exists today…

Gmail Motion Google Moves
Try out these various moves! It work's!

Want to see More April Fools Jokes?

Check out last year’s Best April Fool in History Post
The year before that we had our own April Fools Post Here.

  • What are some other good April Fools Jokes you know?
  • What is the best Aprils Fools Joke you’ve seen or done?
  • Which one is your favorite?

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‘The Adjustment Bureau’ – Fate vs. Free Will

The Adjustment Bureau Movie

Have you seen the Adjustment Bureau?

The Adjustment Bureau is a science-fiction, romance hybrid film featuring Matt Damon as David Norris, an aspiring politician aiming for the senator seat of New York who meets a mysterious ballet dancer on the night of his defeat. This brief encounter was orchestrated by agents from the Adjustment Bureau, a Bureau that constantly controls the fate of people’s lives. These agents intervene to guide people in the path they are intended to follow. Unfortunately things don’t go as planned. Through this story, the film touches on the theme between free will and predestination.

Do we have have complete free will or are things predetermined?

First time director George Nolfi tackles this interesting topic of free will versus fate with this adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Adjustment Bureau.” George Nolfi is best known as the screenwriter of “Oceans Twelve” and “The Bourne Ultimatum”. In an effort to promote discussion over this topic of free will (and of course promote the film), there has been heavy national outreach to colleges and Christian churches.

Director George Nolfi Speaks!

Below are excerpts from an interview with the director at “Big Hollywood.” It gives us a nice window into this theme of free will versus predestination through the eyes of the director:

BIG HOLLYWOOD: How were you drawn to this subject matter? Were you just a fan of Philip K. Dick, or was there a spiritual element?

GEORGE NOLFI: I’ve long been fascinated with the question of how much we control our own destiny or how much we’re controlled by larger forces. When I think of that question it’s not explicitly theological, though I think that’s one of the answers. I studied philosophy in grad school and it intertwines with theology. Is it social forces, like what family you’re born into, or God’s plan for you that shapes your life most? We’re set on a path by something much bigger than ourselves, and yet we also know we have choices and that they matter.

The Adjustment Bureau Movie - Matt Damon Emily Blunt

BH: Are you spiritual or religious yourself, and if so, how did that tie into the project, and if not, how did you find a grasp on this and did you realize this would resonate with Christian audiences in addition to secular ones?

GN: I’ve not talked about my personal views because of this reason: I want the movie to be viewed by people whether religious or not or whatever religion they are. I want them to engage with the central question bringing their faith and views and grappling to the table. So when they leave, the question of how much of your life is handled by outside forces and how much by you is key, and that has been around since the ancient Greeks. I just want to have people have a great time at the movies in a romantic thriller with a sci-fi tinge to it all, leaving with their own questions brought to the table.

As a kid I’ve been interested in this issue. I studied it in college and graduate school, and studied various ways people grapple with that. My own family background dealt with it as well. I was also fascinated with the problem of evil in theology and if there’s a higher power that’s all powerful, benevolent and all knowing, then why do bad things happen to good people?

I think that for religious people period, but certainly Christian audiences, it is a part of their daily life to engage in discussions of why are we here. I don’t think that necessarily people who are completely secular deal with those issues, but I think it’s almost impossible to be a religious person without struggling with this issue. It’s ultimately a movie about a character going through character changes. It’s a thriller, a sci-fi tinged one, and hopefully you’re on that ride. But it does have these issues, and i thought it would have extra interest to those who struggle with it on a daily basis.

The Adjustment Bureau Movie Logo

Free Will vs. Fate

Full disclosure here. I have not seen this movie. I don’t have any plans on seeing this movie. The science fiction aspect draws me, but the romance part does not. But I did want to note it here because I am curious what kind of impression people will walk away with.

  • For those of you who have seen the movie, what impression do you leave with?
  • Is the movie objective or do you walk out feeling one way or another?
  • Do you personally believe life is completely “free” or pre-determined?
  • If so, why? Do you believe just because you feel it’s true or do you have a good logical argument?
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Social Networks Help or Hurt Social Interaction?

Facebook Logo - Large SquareImpact of Social Media on Real Life Social Interaction

The impact of social media on actual live social interaction really cuts both ways. Yes it does open a venue in which people can hide behind their computer, interact through online personalities, and perhaps under-develop their social abilities. It’s so much easier to comment or like someone’s post or post up updates about your own life. But in the same time, it does open a venue in which friends can interact more often which in itself can lead them to hang out more in the real world and keep up with one another when you probably wouldn’t have done so in the real world to begin with. There are many arguments and reports that go both ways, and I am certain it’s not black and white as many arguments on both sides are valid.

Social Mythbusting Report

One such study was released by ExactTarget and CoTweet, which showed the large social networking sites are not having a negative effect on face-to-face relations. Note the claim is face-to-face relation, not necessarily negative effects in social ability or personal development or any other topics that are tempting to drag into the conversation.

The study consisted of studying a series of focus groups of 44 people as well as a survey of 1,506 US citizens. The research showed that among people who report they’re using Facebook more than before, 27% say they hang with friends in person more often as well. 13% say they hang out less. A full 60% said there is no significant impact whatsoever. The trend is even greater amongst Twitter users showing 46% say they hang out with friends more while 7% said less.

Issues with Social Media Report

Of course let’s keep a few things in mind before we just consume anything and everything media tells us. If we didn’t we wouldn’t be Clean Cut Media!

First, the CoTweet is a social media management tool, meaning it benefits from good press for social media. If Facebook came out with a report saying users of Facebook tends to have more friends and happier lives, you would take it with a grain of salt right? Same here. I am not questioning their validity of the data, but when you conduct experience but are hoping for a specific result – it can have an impact on the methods that are used to carry it out.

Secondly, the data was gathered from people who are using Facebook and Twitter more than before. Let’s say you love watching NFL football, and over time you watch it more and more because you are getting more invested in your favorite team. Let’s say a study was conducted to determine if you have become more violent because you watch more NFL. Let’s be honest with ourselves, most likely, we wouldn’t be inclined to agree to that. Why? Because we like the NFL. We want to do more of it. We don’t want something to say what we do is bad for us. This is a huge factor in the discussion over violence with video games. If you like playing violent games, you are less likely to agree violent games make it more likely that in a strenuous situation that you may resort to violence. Seems like the same argument can be made for social media. You love facebook? You’ve been using it more and more? Your mom questions that it’s making you a social fart, that your skin color is getting pale, and you are becoming more distant – you would argue that point. “I am more aware of what my friends are going through.” “This let’s me grow closer to them.” “It gives me stuff to talk about.” “It’s fun.”

What are your thoughts?

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This is obvious an interesting discussion. What are your thoughts on this matter?

  • Does Social Sites like Facebook, help or hurt social interaction?
  • In what ways?
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Is Halloween Candy Poisoning & Blades True? Or is it Media Hype?

Halloween Poison Candy Blade

A Blade was Found in my Child’s Halloween Candy!

Everyone knows the story. Some kid found a blade in his snickers bar. Some other kid found a needle in his 3 musketeers. Now every mother and father is called to check all the candy a child receives before allowing them to eat it. Check for open packages. Check for sketchy pieces of candy. Your child’s life might depend on it!

Is it true? Was Candy Poisoned in Halloween?

Fact: During the poison candy scare in the 70s and 80s, almost every incident of blades, needles or poison in candy was found to be a hoax. A deliberate hoax by the child in question. Several experts have done extensive studies and reviews of past reports in order to determine this fact. In fact up until the year 2000, there hasn’t been a single proven incident where a child was injured by Halloween candy from a stranger.

So then what are the candy horror stories that were true?!

In 1970, a 5 year old boy in Detroit, fell into a coma after consuming his uncle’s heroin. The family tried to cover it up by claiming the heroin was in the Halloween Candy. FAIL.

Halloween Candy Corn PoisonIn 1974, Timothy O’Bryan in Pasadena, Texas died after eating a cyanide-laced Pixy Stix. But further police investigation revealed that the boy’s Father, Ronald Clark O’Bryan had premeditated this murder in order to claim life insurance money. To hide his attempt, he had also given the Pixy Stix to his daughter and three other kids. Luckily the other kids did not eat the Pixy Stix. Ronald O’Bryan was convicted of murder and executed by lethal injection.

There is a pattern here. It was not by some psycho trying to poison kids for fun. These incidences that spurred the Halloween scare were more due to their family then some random candy bar. In fact Ronald O’Bryan used the urban legend to try to cover up his own crime. Yet it’s become an urban legend, but how?

Media Hype Creates an Urban Legend

Though these incidences were clearly either false, or family neglect, or a premeditated murder, the media ate these stories up. All throughout the 1980s, these stories were circulated and given considerable attention. News outlets pumped up these stories especially during the Halloween season because it grabs everyone’s attention especially the concerned parents. Often news would break before the claims are investigated and when found to be a hoax, it was rarely followed up.
Thus it is no surprise that there was a growing concern amongst the parents and this one sided coverage created a mass panic. By 1985, a poll by ABC News/Washington Post showed that 60% of parents feared their children would be injured or killed by Halloween Candy.

Halloween Poison Candy BarSamples of Hyped up False Alarms

There are many stories out there that added to the hype. Helen Pfeil of Greenlawn, NY was a housewife who was annoyed by trick or treaters, made up joke treats to give to teenagers. She gave out dog biscuits, steel wool pads, and ant poison buttons, meanwhile telling the kids that these were joke treats. She was charged for endangering children.

Another report found traces of strychnine in a box of sunkist fun fruit dinosaurs. It was reported by the New York Times, but later the suspicious powder was found to be corn starch. New York times would later print an update to the article, but not before the manufacturer of Fun Fruits destroyed 9400 cases of the product. Unfortunately most remember the destruction of the products, not the followup.

There were several other incidences where doctors or the police announced their suspicions about tampered candy creating a mass stir and hysteria as the media warned everyone about crazy poisoners on the loose, only later to be revealed that the cause of the illness or death was due to some other means.

Trying to Debunk the Halloween Candy Myth

Below is an excerpt from 1989 Article in the Los Angeles Times. The article interviews Joel Best, a professor of sociology at California State Univeristy, Fresno who have been trying to debunk this urban legend.

“We checked major newspaper from throughout the country from 1958 through 1988…”

Well, they found a total of 78 cases and two deaths. Further checking proved that lamost all of the 78 cases were pranks. The deaths were tragically real, but they, too, were misrepresented in the beginning.

The prank, he said, were all of kids – after years of hearing similar stories – inserting needles or razor blades into fruit, not realizing (or maybe realizing) how much they frightened their whole town.

“My favorite,” Best says, “was the kid who brought a half-eaten candy bar to his parents and said, ‘I think there’s ant poison on this,’ They had it checked and, sure enough, there was ant poison on this,’ They had checked and, sure enough, there was ant poison on it – significantly, on the end he had not bitten,” Of course, the youngster had applied the poison himself.

Best has tried mightily over the years to destroy this particular myth, but obviously to no avail. “It’s the old problem of trying to prove a negative,” he says.

Urban Legend – Halloween Candy Lives On

Unfortunately despite the lack of evidence and a very low likelihood of this ever happening, the Urban Legend lives on. Having said that, because of the Urban Legend, one can’t help wonder if some psycho out might be more likely to do it…

Just becareful.

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Did You Know 92% of Toddlers Are Online!

Baby on Laptop Computer92% of US Toddlers have Online Presence!

The Internet security firm AVG, recently released a study of 2,200 mothers across the revealed that 81% of children 2 years or younger have some form of online presence! How much has the internet grown that 4 out of 5 kids are online so early on in their life. Online presence could mean anything from an uploaded video of their child, some photos up on the web, or in some cases a full profile on a social networking site.

Some Quick Statistics:

  • 81% of children have online presence before the age of two.
  • 92% of US children
  • 73% of European children

23% of have an online presence BEFORE THEY ARE BORN

Wait What? That is right. 23% of parents share images from their prenatal sonograms on the web. In the US, this jumps to 33% of parents. This means the children are on the web before they are born!

% of Children with Sonograms Online

  • 37% in Canada
  • 33% in US
  • 14% in Western Europe
  • 14% in Japan

I find it surprising Japan isn’t hire on this list considering how modern and progressive the country tends to me with technology.

What other things do babies have!

How about these statistics?

  • 7% of babies & toddlers have an e-mail address
  • 5% have their own profile on a social network

How spooky would it be when you try to open a facebook account only to discover you are already on the web. And your parents have been posting cute, embarrassing pictures of you since.. you were born?

Why Do Parents Do This?

  • 70% – Wanted to share with friends a family (understandable)
  • 22% – Wanted to expand the content on their social networking profiles (ok – I can see that)
  • 18% – Merely mimicking their peers (some things don’t change with age)

Can’t You Remove Online Photos & Information Later?

Only 3.5% expressed concern about the amount of information that would be available about their children in future years…

Well consider this- most 30 year olds have an online footprint stretching back 10 to 15 years. That is amazing in itself, but these children will have an online footprint – for a longer time then they have lived!

Will all the information that are posted be available in the future years as the few 3.5% parents were concerned about? I’ll solve the mystery right now. YES. Once content goes on the web, it’s pretty much there forever, no matter what you try to take it away. It is very important for parents to think carefully about what kind of information they will be sharing about their children online. It will follow them for the rest of their life. Anyone can see it. Friends? Job Hiring Managers? If they ever become politicians or someone high profile – all of it will be publicly available.

  • What are your thoughts?
  • How much presence does your children have?

Take the poll below, and give us your thoughts in the comments!
[poll id=”22″]

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