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The Week That Was: Consumer Tech (18/01/19)

18th January 2019

1800

YouTube bans stupid

The Birdbox challenge has swept the internet and left a trail of blindfolded destruction behind it. Now, YouTube has gotten involved and made a pact to ban all dangerous pranks from the site, threatening to remove all videos and giving any users a “strike” should they upload anything the site deems dangerous. Driving blindfolded is just one of the challenges the video hosting site has come under fire for, as just last year teenagers were uploading videos taking part in the ‘Tide Pod challenge’ (eating laundry detergent), it seems as though some people will do anything for views these days!

How a robot can cure loneliness

There are already almost 12 million ‘older’ people in the UK – those over 65 – and more than half consider the television their main source of company. A sad statistic that Japanese tech guru Kaname Hayashi (the creator of Pepper) is trying to eliminate with Lovot, the furry friend weighing 6lb designed to give unconditional love and tactile companionship. It seems as though the march of the machines continues and technology-enabled care services are already starting to transform peoples’ lives – but to what extent?

Screen time has a ‘tiny’ effect on teenagers’ mental health

A study of 300,000 adolescents from Britain and the US has found that the impact of screen time on teenagers’ mental health is so tiny that even wearing glasses has a bigger effect. The study concluded that just 0.4 per cent of the difference in well-being between youngsters was due to screen time, meaning 99 per cent was because of other factors. In fact, technology only slightly surpasses the negative effect of regularly eating potatoes and is less impactful on welfare than wearing glasses or being left-handed, the research shows. An interesting development in the exploration of how screen-time affects us all, and one we’re sure parents won’t agree with!

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