Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Web Secret 511: the Post-Text future

Last month, a special section of the New York Times landed on my breakfast table: Into the Eye of the Internet. The section contained several articles, the gist of each was: "The defining narrative of our online moment concerns the decline of text, and the exploding reach and power of audio and video."

Not all of the information included in the section is relevant to iWebU readers. But what is, offers a blueprint for a lucrative direction for both therapists and employee assistance professionals :
  • About 70 million Americans regularly listen to podcasts.
  • In 2017, YouTube reported that people watched a billion hours on that service every day. On average, young Americans spend two hours a day watching video online.
  • More than 800 million people use Instagram, for more than 30 minutes a day on average.
Implication? Maybe Instagram is not your thing but our work lends itself to podcasts and minute long videos. Just make them short and punchy.

In an article on "How Social Media Gives Women a Voice," reporter Claire Cain Miller writes: "Susan Fowler had tried going to human resources. She had tried going to her managers. She had tried transferring departments. But nothing changed. The sexual and sexist comments she received as an engineer at Uber kept coming.

So she went online and wrote a 3,000-word blog post exposing the behavior.
" EAP colleagues - sexual harassment prevention training should be a staple of your offerings. Get a seat at the table and help your client companies so that they have policies, procedures and training programs in place. Therapists - working with victims and/or alleged perpetrators can be a new area of practice.

In "Even the Tech Elite Are Worrying About Tech Addiction," Farhad Manjoo reports that, "Apple ...[was asked]... to study the health effects of its products and to make it easier for parents to limit their children’s use of iPhones and iPads...

The bigger problem is what to do about any of this. Few laws or regulations prevent apps from keeping us hooked, and the tech industry has no serious ethical prohibitions against tinkering with software to drive engagement; indeed, at many tech companies, keeping people glued to the screen is the whole ballgame."

We don't need a research study to know that using an iPad as a substitute babysitter is terrible for our children, and spending unending hours streaming - well just about anything - is unhealthy. So EA professionals, teaching employees how to disconnect is good for the bottom line, and therapists - helping the cyber addicted offers opportunity for practice.

Are you paying attention?

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