Is it time you went on a social media detox

In today’s world, social media is central to our lives. It helps us to stay in touch with our friends, promote our work, and follow the latest news. How do these networks impact our mental and physical health? Is it time to take a break from being permanently online?

Nowadays, we have plenty of social networking sites to choose from, and the options seem to be ever expanding.

Many people actually hold multiple accounts, which they may use for different purposes.

Full story at Medical News Today

We’re not addicted to smartphones, we’re addicted to social interaction

 new study of dysfunctional use of smart technology finds that the most addictive smartphone functions all share a common theme: they tap into the human desire to connect with other people. The findings, published in Frontiers in Psychology, suggest that smartphone addiction could be hyper-social, not anti-social.

“There is a lot of panic surrounding this topic,” says Professor Samuel Veissière, from the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, Canada. “We’re trying to offer some good news and show that it is our desire for human interaction that is addictive — and there are fairly simple solutions to deal with this.”

We all know people who, seemingly incapable of living without the bright screen of their phone for more than a few minutes, are constantly texting and checking out what friends are up to on social media.

Full story at Science Daily

The road to wisdom runs through hardship, study finds

How does somebody become wise? A plethora of writers and philosophers has tried to answer that question. Now, research gives the answer, and the route is anything but straightforward.

A famous Japanese proverb says, “Fall down seven times, and stand up eight,” implying that there is much to be gained from resilience in the face of obstacles.

The idea that learning from hardship can help us to grow as people is one that spans centuries and continents.

Full story at Medical News Today

Watchdog Group Slams Alcohol “Social Responsibility” Campaigns

Alcohol companies’ “social responsibility” campaigns increase brand loyalty and positive perceptions of the products, without reducing alcohol-related harms, according to a critic of the industry.

“These campaigns provide alcohol companies with a great deal of PR opportunities, and make them look like a credible public health source with regulators, legislators and the public—it’s a huge problem,” says Sarah Mart, MS, MPH of the industry watchdog group Alcohol Justice. She spoke about the campaigns at the recent American Public Health Association annual meeting.

Recent social responsibility campaigns have included advertising and products associated with causes such as HIV/AIDS, LGBT equality, breast cancer, and natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, a number of alcohol companies run campaigns to associate their products with the issue, including Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade in support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Chambord “Pink Your Drink” campaign.

Belvedere Vodka promotes its special edition red bottle to raise proceeds for the Global Fund, which finances programs to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. The Absolut Pride campaign for LGBT equality featured a limited-edition rainbow-striped bottle of vodka.

Full story of social alcohol responsibility campaigns at DrugFree.org

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Over the Limit: Size, Shape, Color of Wine Glass Affect How Much You Pour

Pouring a glass of wine is rarely an exact measurement, especially in a social setting. While most people think of a glass as one serving, in reality it could be closer to two or three. Just how much one pours is influenced by a variety of environmental factors, researchers at Iowa State and Cornell universities discovered, and that could have serious consequences when it comes to overconsumption.

In the study, published in Substance Use and Misuse, participants were asked to pour what they considered a normal drink using different types of glasses in various settings. The results show how easy it is to overdo it. Participants poured around 12 percent more wine into a wide glass than a standard one. The same was true when holding a glass while pouring compared to placing the glass on a table.

“People have trouble assessing volumes,” said Laura Smarandescu, an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State. “They tend to focus more on the vertical than the horizontal measures. That’s why people tend to drink less when they drink from a narrow glass, because they think they’re drinking more.”

Researchers tested six environmental cues to understand how each influenced the amount poured. The contrast between the glass and color of the wine also made a significant difference. For example, when pouring white wine into a clear glass, participants poured 9 percent more than pouring red, which had a greater contrast to the glass. The influence of a small and large table setting was not as strong.

Full story of amounts and limits of wine at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education