The Global Fool

our planet is our village

Facebook: High Connection and Low Well-Being
Aug15

Facebook: High Connection and Low Well-Being

By The Editors Facebook may be big in helping people connect, but may not be that big in making people happy. Indeed, results from a study published in the scientific journal PLOSone indicate that Facebook use predicts decreases in a user’s well being. The study, entitled “Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults” (August 14, 2013), has been carried out by a group of investigators from the University of Michigan (U.S.) and the University of Leuven (Belgium). For the study, the researchers recruited 82 young adults, a core Facebook user demographic. All of them had smart phones and Facebook accounts. They used experience-sampling—one of the most reliable techniques for measuring how people think, feel, and behave moment-to-moment in their daily lives—to assess their subjective well-being by texting them at random times five times a day for two weeks. Each text message contained a link to an online survey with five questions: How do you feel right now? How worried are you right now? How lonely do you feel right now? How much have you used Facebook since the last time we asked? How much have you interacted with other people “directly” since the last time we asked? The study found that the more people used Facebook during one time period, the worse they subsequently felt. The authors also asked people to rate their level of life satisfaction at the start and end of the study. They found that the more participants used Facebook over the two-week study period, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. Importantly, the researchers found no evidence that interacting directly with other people via phone or face-to-face negatively influenced well-being. Instead, they found that direct interactions with other people led people to feel better over time. They also found no evidence for two alternative possible explanations for the finding that Facebook undermines happiness. People were not more likely to use Facebook when they felt bad. In addition, although people were more likely to use Facebook when they were lonely, loneliness and Facebook use both independently predicted how happy participants subsequently felt. The authors, in the Concluding Comment of the article, state that “The human need for social connection is well established, as are the benefits that people derive from such connections. On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling such needs by allowing people to instantly connect. Rather than enhancing well-being, as frequent interactions with supportive “offline” social networks powerfully do, the current findings demonstrate that interacting with Facebook may predict the opposite result for young adults—it may undermine it.”...

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It’s World Breastfeeding Week!
Aug04

It’s World Breastfeeding Week!

By The Editors World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by WHO and UNICEF policy-makers in August 1990 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. According to the Innocenti Declaration, breastfeeding is a unique process that:  Provides ideal nutrition for infants and contributes to their healthy growth and development. Reduces incidence and severity of infectious diseases, thereby lowering infant morbidity and mortality. Contributes to women’s health by reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and by increasing the spacing between pregnancies. Provides social and economic benefits to the family and the nation. Provides most women with a sense of satisfaction when successfully carried out. Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old, and continued breastfeeding with the addition of nutritious complementary foods for up to two years or beyond.     You can read below the objectives of World Breastfeeding Week 2013: 1. To draw attention to the importance of Peer Support in helping mothers to establish and sustain breastfeeding. 2. To inform people of the highly effective benefits of Peer Counselling, and unite efforts to expand peer counselling programmes. 3. To encourage breastfeeding supporters, regardless of their educational background, to step forward and be trained to support mothers and babies. 4. To identify local community support contacts for breastfeeding mothers, that women can go to for help and support after giving birth. 5. To call on governments and maternity facilities globally to actively implement the Ten Steps, in particular Step 10, to improve duration and rates of exclusive...

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What is Greenwashing?
Jul03

What is Greenwashing?

By The Editors Greenwashing (or greenwash) is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “Disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.”  In other words, the term “greenwashing” applies to the attempts made by companies, organizations or political entities to falsely promote products, services or programs as environmentally friendly, or to deflect attention from environmentally unfriendly activities. The general consensus is that the term “greenwashing” was originally coined in 1986 by Jay Westerveld, an environmentalist from upstate New York.  Jay wrote an essay in which he claimed the hotel industry falsely promoted the reuse of towels as part of a broader environmental strategy, whereas the suggested practice of reusing towels was a cost-saving strategy. We have not been able to find the much-cited 1986 essay anywhere — and, really, it doesn’t matter, as greenwashing is now a common term. The best way to avoid getting “greenwashed” is to be aware of the different greenwashing strategies. As Greenpeace tells us: “Every day, Americans are bombarded with advertising about environmentally friendly goods and services. But how many really are green, and how many are just pretending?” In 2007, TerraChoice Environmental Marketing (now part of the Underwriters Laboratories global network) launched a study of greenwashing by analyzing a variety of products. The result of the study was the identification of six patterns in greenwashing, which were defined as the Six Sins of Greenwashing. In 2009, a follow-up study identified a total of seven sins (The seven sins of Greenwashing). A seven sins wallet card (you can download it here) is available on sinsofgreenwashing.org — it will help you to make educated, greener purchases!!! It includes tips to avoid purchasing products that commit the Seven Sins of Greenwashing, plus a guide to...

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Indigenous Knowledge?  Yes, It’s Global Knowledge
May28

Indigenous Knowledge? Yes, It’s Global Knowledge

By The Editors Sharing global knowledge?  Yes, indispensable knowledge on the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, the sustainable use of protected natural areas, as well as development and food security — all related to the indigenous peoples of Africa, Asia, Latin America and other countries, such as Canada and Australia.  Indispensable knowledge that is being shared these days (May 26 – 29) in the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory, Darwin. The occasion?  The first World Indigenous Network (WIN) conference, which calls on native delegates from over 50 countries to help build a strong foundation for an innovative and well-grounded enduring World Indigenous Network. According to the World Indigenous Network website, “The journey of the World Indigenous Network began on a warm day in August 2011, when two men, sitting on the shores of the beautiful Sunday Island, part of the Buccaneer Archipelago in the West Kimberley of Western Australia, talked about the idea of an international knowledge sharing network for Indigenous land and sea managers. They formed a partnership that day, with a desire to share their vision with the world.  These two men were Tony Burke, the Australian Government Environment Minister and Wayne Bergmann, the CEO of KRED Enterprises. The Kimberley Land Council in Western Australia established KRED to seek out and develop business and job opportunities for the Kimberley Aboriginal people.” Indigenous knowledge – which brings together different facets of knowing, seeing, and thinking that are passed down orally from generation to generation and result from thousands of years of experimentation and innovation – is global knowledge, knowledge that we can all use to face development and environmental...

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The Global Tide of Disease Mongering
May27

The Global Tide of Disease Mongering

By The Editors A recent editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2013;346:f2809) highlights a new social health movement for healthcare reform that may prove crucial to global health in the 21st century. This new social health movement aims to counter a global phenomenon, clearly defined in the editorial: “The results of medical research are often distorted or suppressed for commercial gain, and systems that attempt to control clinicians’ behaviour through payment by results drive over-diagnosis and over-treatment.”  In other words, it aims to counter over-diagnosis and over-treatment. The new social health movement is based on a partnership model that affirms themes of mutual respect and combines the perspectives and resources of healthcare professionals, patient representatives, and consumer advocates. The British Medical Journal editorial comes after an international conference held on February 2013.  The conference “Selling Sickness 2013 – People Before Profits” was designed to be part of a global progressive and activist health movement and resulted in A CALL TO ACTION statement that aims to unify professionals, researchers, activists, scholars, caregivers, advocates and all citizens alarmed by disease-mongering.  You can read the CALL TO ACTION ON SELLING SICKNESS here. According to the Selling Sickness website, “The focus of the Call is twofold: first, to identify, in dramatic language, all the many aspects of disease-mongering that have alarmed us. And second, to offer a list of specific reforms that can make a difference in the state of medical science and health care.” Interestingly, there has been some hesitancy to sign the CALL due to the energetic language used in it.  However, the Selling Sickness website states that “it is that very strength, that energy born of outrage and betrayal, that has fueled Selling Sickness this...

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