Blue Whale Challenge, an online suicide game

Image from Pixabay

Blue Whale Challenge, sounds like an animal protection event or a harmless game. However, this challenge killed 130 teenagers in Russia between 2015 and 2016. I had read the relevant article online as shortly as the incident was exposed by the media, and was shocked by the entire case. This Blue Whale Challenge was reported to be an online tasks game which targeted teenagers who played social media, and an administrator offers series of tasks to participants over 50 days.

How death is caused?

Andrew Rossow described how this challenge worked, “The daily tasks start off fairly easy–listening to certain genres of music to watching horror-style movies. As the days go on, the tasks grow increasingly difficult such as staying up until all hours of the night to mutilating the skin along with carving a “whale” symbol onto their arm. The final task and end to the game is the person committing suicide.”

Sounds ridiculous right? Why would we suicide because a stranger told you to do so? But the truth is, around 130 teens obey the rules and killed themselves during the game. A report by BBC shows that this game initiated from Russia’s largest social network VKontakte, and most of the users are teens fascinated by darker subject matter: depression, loneliness and suicide. A 21-year-old man Philipp Budeikin take advantage of those kids’ psychology and initiate this suicide game, and sadly it works. He continues to instill negative emotions to them and emphasize they are useless or no needed thus to destroy the participants’ mind. He was arrested in November 2016 and pleaded guilty, but the lost lives will never come back.

Perhaps while social media is developing, we should also pay more attention to teenagers’ mental health and guide them on the right path. Hope a similar tragedy will not happen again!

Do you have any suggestion to keep teenagers away from danger while using social media? https://wp.me/p3QRy0-mFA

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Avatar? Not Avatar!

Perhaps you have seen the Avatar movie before, but now we are not discussing that today, we are going to talk about the avatar in social media. Have you ever thought about your social media avatar will impact the first impression from others? Should we use our own photos, photos of scenes and pets, or illustration pictures? Nowadays, even our grandparents have a social account, it seems that social media has become an indispensable tool in our lives. An online article posted by Seth Godin discusses the importance of avatar: “If you use any online social network tool, the single most important first impression you make is with the 3600 to 5000 pixels you get for your tiny picture.” Let’s see what we should do and what we should avoid.

Image from freepik

Firstly, define the type of your account, which means you should determine the purpose of use, as there are many differences between a business social account and a private account. A standard business social account should reveal reliability and proficiently, and an avatar could take an important part. Lorraine also shares her view online and here’s some details she mentioned:

  1. Keep consistency with avatar to build brand recognition
  2. The avatar should be independent to look at
  3. A suitable image might be better than your logo
  4. Be sure your social media avatar is related to your brand kit

According to her point of views, we could find that a perfect business avatar shouldn’t change constantly as for avoiding confusion. At the same time, it should stand-on-its-own but stays in part of your brand strategy.

On the other hand, if you only use it in personal, your avatar can be any picture you like, just in case your mommy likes it!

What type of picture are you using as an avatar? Tell us about it! https://wp.me/p3QRy0-mzP

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Internet Trolls? What to do with cyberbullying

Every day when I am surfing online, I see new uploaded videos, articles or photos from different social networks, but I found one similarity between all these apps, which is a lot of scam or offensive comments below any kind of post. Once my friend posted her photos at beach on her Facebook but got bullied by her colleague. He commented that if he were she, he would never wearing a bikini before he lose weight. She got upset and turned to self-doubting about her appearance although all of her friends give her affirmation.

This man, or this type of people, who leave offensive words online were called Internet Trolls or Keyboard Warriors. A scientific report indicated that approximately 5.6% people online can be identified as Trolls, or say they enjoy trolling online. Scientists have studied a group of 1200 Trolls’ behaviors and found that they possess what can be described as dark traits, caused them felt fun when attacking or disturbing others.

Image From someecards Created by Spindafella

Based on the anonymity of Internet, people can create an Internet Identity in social networks to hide themselves from reality. To people who part from the 5.6% Trolls, this anonymity is a protection and help them away from harassment, but to those Trolls, it becomes their armor to say offensive words more commonly, as victims can hardly find out who they were. I also found an interesting article online which briefly described 10 types of Internet Trolls. Besides the Insult Troll we known, there’s also Persistent Debate Troll, Grammar Troll, Forever Offended Troll, Show-Off Troll, ALL-CAPS Troll, One Word Troll, Off Topic Troll, Exaggeration Troll, and finally the Greedy Spammer Troll. I was totally speechless after I read the article, I feel a little bit funny but sad.

Image From someecards

There are 4 truths we may need to know to defend the attack from Trolls:

  1. Trolls are immune to criticism and logical arguments.
  2. Trolls are sadism, they don’t have empathy and sympathy.
  3. Trolls do not comply with the rules of common courtesy.
  4. Trolls become energized when you respond them or argue with them.

Well, according to the truths I listed, I believed that most of you may come to a conclusion, “Trolls cannot be defeated!” Sad to admit that it is a truth, but the only way to deal with these Trolls is to ignore them, or banned them anyway.

Have you ever experience cyberbullying? What’s your opinion to do with the trolls? Share this article and leave your comment to help people who suffering the cyberbullying!

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Fragmented reading, a virtue or a vice?

Fragmented reading, a virtue or a vice?

It takes 5 hours from Vancouver to Toronto, but a message can go throughout the world in just 1 second, the world we lived in is changing so rapidly, our lifestyle has also been changed into a fast way. We no longer receive up to date information from newspapers, instead social media apps on smartphone. Since this method is so timely and convenient, people have been starting to use bits and pieces of their free time to browse online, reading and finding the latest news they interested in. There’s no doubt that a number of benefits can be gained from, however, fragmented reading still brings a sort of unignorable problems.

image from: https://creativecommons.org/

It also shows on our writing habit, the ability of spelling was degenerated because we mostly use typing instead of writing after we graduated from high school, so did our reading skill. I started to feel impatient when reading a whole article ever since I used to read bite-sized nuggets of text on Twitter or Facebook. The original intention is to create snackable content for people to consume quickly and easily, however, a research of Chinese reading habits indicated that “fragmented reading took up the vast majority of respondent’s reading time, and those who were accustomed to this way of reading demonstrated a decline in their powers of concentration.”[1] In my point of view, a vice like that may bring a negative impact on study ability, as students lose concentration on long sentence, thus hard to understand the given information.

Here’s another disturbing fact that I had found online, “English literature scholar and teacher Mark Edmundson describes how many college students actively avoid the classic literature of the 19th and 20th centuries because they no longer have the patience to read longer, denser, more difficult texts.”[2] I agreed with the opinion which Mark Edmundson had given, as I mentioned before, I found myself lose patience on reading an article or a book, but I was very interested on reading paper books or scientific magazines while I was a child.

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

With the progress of the times, social media has dominated the dissemination of information, and it’s definite that messages become simplified. However, besides the troubles that snackable contents and fragmented reading caused, the development of social media is still having a lot of uneasy factors. Some bloggers may create a catchy but unreliable title to earn CTR (Clickthrough rate), or even fabricated fact to trigger more comments. Back to the negative impact brought by fragmented reading, some audiences started to lose the judgement and analytical skills, but believed those fake or hyperbolic articles.

Have you ever aware of the bad reading habits brought by new media? Do you have any good idea to avoid it? Share your comments with us!

Fragmented reading, a virtue or a vice? It’s time to tell your words! https://wp.me/p3QRy0-mer

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[1]Zhang, Alicia. (2014, January 02). Let’s talk about fragmented reading. Retrieved from https://www.theworldofchinese.com/

[2]Wolf, Maryanne. (2018, August 25). Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/