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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Smartphone use has radical impact on mental health of teens

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San Diego State University professor of psychology and author Jean Twenge has claimed that smartphone usage is having a radical impact on both the behavior and mental health of U.S. teenagers.

The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health […] Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.

Far from being the usual generalized complaint about teens spending too much time staring at their screens, Dr Twenge has plenty of hard data to support her contentions – made in The Atlantic, the magazine in which Laurene Powell Jobs recently bought a majority stake

The long-form article, entitled Have smartphones destroyed a generation?, is packed full of graphs – each showing the launch of the iPhone as a reference point.

A 2017 survey of more than 5,000 American teens found that three out of four owned an iPhone.

They show that teens today spend far less time hanging out with their friends, fewer of them have a driving license, they date less, have less sex, get less sleep and are more likely to feel lonely.

There are also some stark statistics.

Teens who spend three hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35 percent more likely to have a risk factor for suicide, such as making a suicide plan […]

Boys’ depressive symptoms increased by 21 percent from 2012 to 2015, while girls’ increased by 50 percent—more than twice as much. The rise in suicide, too, is more pronounced among girls. Although the rate increased for both sexes, three times as many 12-to-14-year-old girls killed themselves in 2015 as in 2007, compared with twice as many boys. The suicide rate is still higher for boys, in part because they use more-lethal methods, but girls are beginning to close the gap.

Twenge is quick to note that smartphones are not the only factor, but she argues that it is a key one.

Parenting styles continue to change, as do school curricula and culture, and these things matter. But the twin rise of the smartphone and social media has caused an earthquake of a magnitude we’ve not seen in a very long time, if ever. There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy.

And far from the common belief that kids grow up too quickly these days, she argues that the opposite is true when you examine common markers like going out without their parents, earning their own money and starting to date.

Across a range of behaviors—drinking, dating, spending time unsupervised— 18-year-olds now act more like 15-year-olds used to, and 15-year-olds more like 13-year-olds. Childhood now stretches well into high school.

The piece is illustrated with depressing examples of behavioral changes.

One of the ironies of iGen life is that despite spending far more time under the same roof as their parents, today’s teens can hardly be said to be closer to their mothers and fathers than their predecessors were. “I’ve seen my friends with their families—they don’t talk to them,” Athena told me. “They just say ‘Okay, okay, whatever’ while they’re on their phones. They don’t pay attention to their family.” Like her peers, Athena is an expert at tuning out her parents so she can focus on her phone. She spent much of her summer keeping up with friends, but nearly all of it was over text or Snapchat. “I’ve been on my phone more than I’ve been with actual people,” she said. “My bed has, like, an imprint of my body.”

There’s the now common portrait of social media usage making people feel unhappier as they compare their own lives with the self-curated online version of the lives of their peers.

Today’s teens may go to fewer parties and spend less time together in person, but when they do congregate, they document their hangouts relentlessly—on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook. Those not invited to come along are keenly aware of it. Accordingly, the number of teens who feel left out has reached all-time highs across age groups. Like the increase in loneliness, the upswing in feeling left out has been swift and significant.

Twenge doesn’t have any easy solutions. She acknowledges that it’s not realistic to expect teens to dramatically curtail their usage of electronic devices or social media. But she suggests that modest changes could help.

Significant effects on both mental health and sleep time appear after two or more hours a day on electronic devices. The average teen spends about two and a half hours a day on electronic devices. Some mild boundary-setting could keep kids from falling into harmful habits.

The whole piece is well worth a read, especially for parents.

Credit to 9to5mac.com


North Korea Claims 5 Million New Soldiers Enlisted Ahead Of "Imminent Provocation"

In what is probably a "slightly" exaggerated figure, North Korea claimed on Thursday that some 4.7 million students and workers have volunteered to join or re-enlist in the North Korean army since Kim Jong Un called Donald Trump a “dotard” and vowed to retaliate against the US for President Donald Trump's threats to "destroy" North Korea. If accurate, that figure would represent nearly 20% of the North’s population (the country is believed to be home to 25 million people, making it about half the size, population-wise as South Korea).

Furthermore, according to the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s biggest newspaper among the volunteers were 1.2 million women, which was cited by South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Of course, North Korea has made similar claims in the past when tensions with the US have intensified. Pyongyang usually claims that its young citizens voluntarily enlisted in the military in its propaganda campaigns aimed at bolstering national solidarity – even as recently as last month.

North Korea made a similar assertion last month when it condemned the UN Security Council for adopting US-led resolutions over Pyongyang's launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.

Credit to Zero Hedge

With the Clinton Hit List at over 50 Dead, It Isn't Conspiracy but a Pattern of Fact

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When the same thing keeps happening over and over again, under the same circumstances, it is called a pattern. Even in science, this type of pattern is used in experiments to determine a theory to be fact. Conduct enough experiments that result in the same outcome, the project then becomes fact.

This same analogy has to be applied to the long line of deaths associated with those who were a threat to Hillary Clinton. No longer can we just chalk these deaths up to being mysterious or coincidence. Almost on a weekly basis, someone who either was going to testify against her, release damning evidence on her or was going to oppose her in some way, are found dead. Thus, the body count under these circumstances has become a pattern, one which simply cannot be ignored or brushed aside as coincidence.

Only in the last few days, the body of Miami Federal Prosecutor Beranton Whisenant Jr. washed up on a beach in Hollywood, Florida. The cause of death was either a gunshot wound or some other trauma to the head. Whisenant was investigating DNC voter fraud in Wasserman Schultz's district. Whisenant was a direct threat to Clinton in uncovering her collusion with Schultz and the DNC in fixing the 2016 election in her favor.

The shooting of Seth Rich took place on July 10, 2016 in his own neighborhood. He later died in a nearby hospital, mysteriously, I might add. He was allegedly another individual who was set to testify against Clinton on voter fraud.

Rich's death was officially listed as the result of a robbery. However, nothing he was carrying was taken. Rich also did not die at the scene, but later died at the hospital, where, according to a surgeon, his wounds were not life-threatening and was still alive and doing fine after surgery. Yet, he later died that night after being visited by DC police who refused to allow doctors and hospital staff to enter his room for an extended time.

Sean Lucas, a process server, was found dead on the bathroom floor by his girlfriend on 08/02/2015. This was after he served papers on the DNC in connection with a voter fraud suit filed by Bernie Sanders’ attorney.

Author Victor Thorn, best known for his extensive research into the Clinton family and the Clinton Foundation and his book “CROWNING CLINTON: Why Hillary Shouldn’t Be in the White House” was found dead of an apparent suicide, according to the official story.

John Ashe, a UN official connected to Clinton corruption, died of a supposed weightlifting accident a day before he was set to testify against the DNC and Hillary Clinton on 06/22/2016. The first released cause of death was said to be a heart attack but was later changed to him having a weightlifting accident.

The trail of the assassinated goes far beyond those since Hillary Clinton first ran for president in 2008, all the way back through the Bill Clinton presidency and beyond.

Over 50 people who were either going to testify against the Clintons, present damning evidence against them, or posed a threat to their Crime Dynasty in any way have been found dead of either mysterious causes or murdered. The hit list also includes Don Henry and Kevin Ives, who were found dead on railroad tracks south of Little Rock, Arkansas in 1987. According to railroad employees, they were beaten, stabbed, and placed on the tracks. Yet, the Sheriff’s Department ruled the deaths accidental.

These boys just happened to stumble upon a police-protected drug drop via a drug smuggling enterprise based in Mena, Arkansas in the early 1980s that had Clinton connections.

Twelve Clinton bodyguards also join the list of those who apparently knew too much dirt on the Clintons and ended up dead.

Credit to freedomoutpost.com

In KFC China store, diners have new way to pay

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Diners at a KFC store in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou will have a new way to pay for their meal. Just smile.

Customers will be able to use a “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system at the tech-heavy, health-focused concept store, part of a drive by Yum China Holdings Inc to lure a younger generation of consumers.

Yum China, which spun off from its U.S. parent Yum Brands Inc last year, is trying to rev up growth in the world’s second largest economy, where food safety scares and changing consumer tastes have dented sales since 2012.

Yum is still the largest fast food chain in the market, where it has over 7,685 outlets. Its China same-store sales have also been slowly improving, rising in the second quarter of the year on a strong showing by its KFC brand.

The new outlet in Hangzhou, called KPRO, is targeting a younger generation of Chinese who are expected to drive the lion’s share of China’s consumption growth over the next decade.
Credit to Reuters.com