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Twitter Contemplating Short Term “Take Back”/Edit Feature

Unlike most social media platforms, Twitter has never had a delete or edit feature for pubished tweets, but for years users have called on the platform to add an 'Edit' option so that they can correct those annoying grammatical errors. Twitter has repeatedly said that it's not going to happen, but now it looks like Twitter may offer a short window of time after pressing 'Tweet' to recall your missive. Besides correcting grammar or spelling, this may also let users heed misinformation labels that Twitter places on questionable Tweets or decide that those nasty or bullying comments really aren’t the best thing to send.

Text Nudges: Do They Work?

Recent research is changing the way educators, parents and others view the potential of "nudging" text messages to motivate students to take action, such as applying for college or aid. In a study, published in the March 2021 issue of Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, researchers reveal that unless text messages are more customized to individual recipients, they are not very effective and that teens are less likely to pay attention unless they know who is sending the text.


Introducing Tone Indicators – Will They Help?

Years ago there was some talk about creating a font to be used for making sarcastic remarks so that the person on the other end would know the tone was meant to be sarcastic. It never came to pass but now tone indicators are making the rounds in social media posts. Put simply, tone indicators are written shorthand for the poster’s intent and emotion. For example, one might use “/j,” short for “joking” to indicate the disparaging comment you just made about your best friend was just a friendly nudge and not the ‘nastygram’ that it might be taken as.


It will be interesting to see if this trend catches on. The tone indicators are showing up on Twitter and in the comments sections of The New York Times. And if your children start using them, you will certainly need to know what they are. Here is a sample list:


/j = joking
/s = sarcasm
/srs = serious
/nsrs = not serious
/r = romantic
/lh = lighthearted
/f = fake
/th = threat
/li = literally
/nm = not mad or upset
/t = teasing

The History of Emojis

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is an emoji worth? Dating back to 1995, emojis have become such a large part of our communication that approximately 5 billion are used every day -- and that's just on Facebook and Facebook Messenger! The most used emoji on Twitter and Facebook is the crying with laughter emoji, whilst the heart is the most popular on Instagram. In a fascinating piece on the World Economic Forum site, you can take a quick look at the history and growth of emojis that may or may not leave you with a "laughing face with tears of joy."

Ways to Stay Connected During Social Distancing

While we are all required to stay physically apart during the COVID-19 pandemic, our physical and mental health and the success of our organizations will rely on seeking out emotional and relational connections during this time, write Michael Lee Stallard and Katharine P. Stallard. They offer 12 steps to avoid loneliness while social distancing, such as engaging in creative group activities, using online resources to learn something new, and seeking to serve others – things that apply to both adults and children.

Are New Rules of Language Evolving Online?

In a new book called Because Internet, Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch explores the deep forces that shape human language and influence the way we communicate with one another. She explains how the year you first accessed the Internet determines how you talk online; how ~sparkly tildes~ became widely recognized as sarcasm punctuation; whether emojis are replacing words; and why Internet dialects like doge, lolspeak, and snek are linguistically significant. Because Internet is essential reading for anyone who's ever puzzled over how to punctuate a text message or wondered where memes come from, or for parents who are trying to communicate intelligently with their children by texts.

Flaw in “Messenger Kids” Fixed By Facebook

Facebook has notified parents and corrected a technical error that permitted thousands of children using the Messenger Kids app to join group chats not approved by their parents. The app lets children between 6 and 12 years old message and video chat with family and friends who their parents approve. It's unclear how long the flaw existed. The app has been controversial since its launch in December 2017, and child advocacy groups have repeatedly urged Facebook to shut down the app, arguing it violates a federal law aimed at protecting a child's online privacy.

Cyberbullying on the Rise

The Washington Post just highlighted a report from the National Center for Education Statistics showing that 20% of teen students in the US said they were bullied in the 2016-17 school year, and of those, 15% were bullied online or via text, a 3.5 percentage point increase over the previous year. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar of Purdue University says the spike may be due to increased awareness of what bullying looks like and reporting of cyberbullying incidents. Seigfried-Spellar states that students have become less inhibited about bullying others with digital separation because they don’t have to witness the emotional toll exacted or have to deal with the immediate consequences. “It’s easier to do because you don’t have to worry about a physical repercussion,” she said. “It removes that personal experience.”

Teen Slang Dictionary Online

Ever feel like your Gen Z child or student is speaking another language when you try to talk to them? A high school sociology teacher from Massachusetts created a dictionary of teen slang that will help you to decipher what the kids these days are actually talking about.

Post First, Think Second

Keri Stephens, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, says that today’s students post first, think second. This is in contrast to older generations that are more careful about what they post. Stephens says this creates a disconnect between the generations: younger people often pop off in texts or other social media whatever they are thinking at the moment, but older generations tend to take what they read to heart since they put more thought into what they post. This can sometimes lead to issues in communication when young people are just letting off steam and older generations take it as a threat.