The Strangers in Your Room: Rise of Teen Social Apps

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When Facebook was launched 12 years ago, you could easily count social networking applications on one hand. Today, it has become nearly impossible to track their latest number. Now one may feel awe at the pace by which the web has grown in such a short amount of time, but it hasn’t been without any costs. As many of you would be aware, the most dangerous cost associated with World Wide Web has been cyber bullying.

The recent rise in social apps might have gone unnoticed by even the most socially online of you. This could be because of the obvious reason: you do not fit the target demography. Most apps namely Omegle, Kik, Snapchat, Chatous, Chatroulette are created specially to target the teen user base. They allow one to not only talk with people they know (friends, family) but their USP lies in allowing for strangers to connect with…

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Documenting Syria

Russell Chapman

I have spent a month in Syria looking at the war in order to understand why this war is happening. At the moment I am in the process of writing about my experience. I had the opportunity to talk to many people from political, military and humanitarian wings of the new Syrian opposition. My intention is to give as clear a description of what I found as possible. With that, I also took many photos of what I saw and they form a chronological record of my time in this fascinating country. After two years of war I find the people very resilient and resourceful. What really amazed me was the children, how they deal with the war really encapsulates the spirit and determination of this people.

I will be making exhibitions of my pictures from Syria that form a narrative to the human side of what is a very…

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5 Secrets That Will Help You Master Conversation Skills

TIME

What are the fundamentals of conversation skills?

I’ve posted about the fundamentals of networking, and even how introverts can network but many people have written to me asking about the nitty gritty of conversation skills.

What do you say when you’re face to face?

It’s a good question that isn’t often addressed. First impressions matter even more than you think. And once they’re set, they are very hard to resist.

Let’s break it down:

1) “Be yourself” is often bad advice.

Is “be yourself” the best advice before a job interview? Hell, no. Dress nice, be polite and act enthusiastic no matter what you’re like, right?

What does “be yourself” even mean? You’re not the same person moment to moment. Face it, you can be moody.

Fake it until you make it” works. Does acting a bit in social settings mean you’re dishonest? No.

Research…

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Casual Sex Is Good For You According to Your New Favorite Study

TIME

Turns out that no-strings-attached sexy times are good for you, so don’t let the haters stop you from doin’ your thang.

A recent study conducted by researchers from NYU and Cornell dispels the popular notion that casual hookups — defined as sexual activity outside the context of a romantic relationship — will leave you with low self-esteem and depression. The research, published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, involved a group of NYU students who kept a weekly diary over the course of 12 weeks documenting any and all adult snuggles — and the effect those instances had on their overall well-being.

Sociosexually unrestricted students reported higher well-being after having casual sex compared to not having sex, the researchers found. Also, those who were sociosexually unrestricted reported lower stress and greater overall emotional health after casual sex. (This is … maybe not super surprising.)

Although past…

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Strokes of genius: Here’s How the Most Creative People Get Their Ideas

TIME

Keith Sawyer tells an interesting story about breakthrough ideas in his book, Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity.

Researcher Vera John-Steiner wanted to know What nourishes sustained productivity in the lives of creative individuals?

She interviewed over 70 living creative geniuses and analyzed the notebooks of 50 dead ones (including Tolstoy, Einstein, etc.) to look at their work habits.

She assumed this was going to end up as a review of Eureka! moments in the greatest creative minds.

She even planned to title her book “The Leap” because it would be about those giant flashes of inspiration that led to breakthrough ideas.

But she was completely wrong.

Eureka! moments turned out to be a myth.

There was no inspiration moment where a fully formed answer arrived.

Strokes of genius happened over time.

A great idea comes into the world by drips and drabs, false starts…

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Study: Less-Structured Time Correlates to Kids’ Success

TIME

Parents, drop your planners—a new psychological study released Tuesday found that children with less-structured time are likely to show more “self-directed executive functioning,” otherwise known as the “cognitive processes that regulate thought and action in support of goal-oriented behavior.”

Doctoral and undergraduate researchers at University of Colorado, Boulder, followed 70 children ranging from six to seven years old, measuring their activities. A pre-determined classification system categorized activities as physical or non-physical, structured and unstructured.

The resulting study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, was led by Yuko Munakata, a professor in the psychology and neuroscience department at the university. Munakata measured self-directed executive functioning using a verbal fluency test, “a standard measure on how well people can organize direct actions on their own,” she said.

The test asked children to name as elements in a particular category, like animals, as they could. “An organized person will group the…

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