Can I Use My Phone During a Funeral?

A recent study by Co-operative Funeralcare in the UK under 2,000 people over 18 who had attended a funeral, found that funerals considered to be the most inappropriate function where a mobile phone may be used. Second and third were weddings and while driving. However one in six people actually do use their phone during a funeral anyway. Apparently even the Duchess of York was caught texting while attending Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

 The study also showed that 40 percent of the respondents would not turn off their phone, albeit that a third of that sets their phone to silent. Most however claim they have left their phone on inadvertently, much like people forget to switch off while on a plane. One in six people also said they had seen people (frantically and embarrassed) trying to switch off their phone once it rang.

 In a different study, under funeral directors, it became apparent that one in five funerals gets interrupted by a mobile phone ringing. One ironic anecdote said the ringtone was “If You Are Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands”.David Collingwood, operations director of Co-operative Funeralcare, said the use of mobiles had “become commonplace at events which would have been considered unthinkable only a few years ago. We are witnessing a cultural shift in society’s stance on funeral etiquette “.

 

It seems like we have double standards when it comes to using our phones at seemingly inappropriate moments and functions.

Source: The Guardian

Google’s Inactive Account Manager

google-after-you-die

 

You’ve written your will. You’ve talked to your family about end-of-life care. But have you toldGoogle what you want to happen to your Gmail or YouTube accounts?

That’s the stated purpose behind a tool the search giant announced Thursday: Inactive Account Manager. (In a blog post, the company admitted it was “not a great name.”) It covers all Google accounts, including Blogger, Drive, Google+ and Picasa.

Inactive Account Manager lets you set a “timeout period” of three, six, nine or 12 months. After that, Google will either delete your data or pass it on to a trusted friend or family member.

In case you just happen to be on extended (rather than permanent) vacation, the Account Manager will send a text to your cellphone and an email to a designated non-Google account before taking action.

“This new feature will enable you to plan your digital afterlife in a way that protects your privacy and security,” writes Google product manager Andreas Tuerk.

Of course, it’s hardly the first tool that lets you plan your digital afterlife; we’ve covered a number of services that deal in this morbid and necessary subject. But it does give Google a jump on Facebook, which has an afterlife policy (profiles are turned into “memorial” pages; family members can petition to take them down) but no tool to let users decide ahead of time.

Is Google going about it the right way? What other options should this kind of tool include? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Mashable

Don’t Let Popularity Set Your Standard

3381938345_4f28ed6a7f_z570

We are in the midst of a “narcissism epidemic,” concluded psychologists Jean M. Twnege and W. Keith Campbell in their 2009 book. One study they describe showed that among a group of 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as quickly as obesity from the 1980s to the present. Fortunately for narcissists, the continued explosion of social networking has provided them with productivity tools to continually expand their reach — the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, and occasionally Google Plus.

”Those who had high scores on grandiose exhibitionism tended to amass more friends on Facebook.”

Evidence for the rise in narcissism continues to come up in research and news. A study by psychologist Dr. Nathan DeWall and his team found “a statistically significant trend toward narcissism and hostility in popular music” since the 1980s. Shawn Bergman, an assistant professor of organizational psychology at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina notes that “narcissism levels among millennials are higher than previous generations.”

Researchers at Western Illinois University measured two socially disruptive aspects of narcissistic personalities — grandiose exhibitionism and entitlement/exploitativeness. Those who had high scores on grandiose exhibitionism tended to amass more friends on Facebook. Buffardi and Campbell found a high correlation between Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) scores and Facebook activity. Researchers were able to identify those with high NPI scores by studying their Facebook pages.

Elias Aboujaoude, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford, notes that our ability tailor the Internet experience to our every need is making us more narcissistic. He observes, “This shift from e- to i- in prefixing Internet URLs and naming electronic gadgets and apps parallels the rise of the self-absorbed online Narcissus.” He goes on to state that, “As we get accustomed to having even our most minor needs … accommodated to this degree, we are growing more needy and more entitled. In other words, more narcissistic.”

 

Read the entire article on The Atlantic

How Much Should Be Spent Beautifying Hospitals?

Where the evidence exists to support it, design has the potential to increase safety, promote healing, and even end up saving money.

Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion 2615

 

No matter how close a health care center comes to resembling a spa, or how well a hospital room imitates a hotel suite, its primary job is to heal, not pamper. With the scarcity of health care dollars already preventing people from receiving access to basic care, it’s easy to look on hospitals’ pouring of money into design as unconscionable excess.

But while indulgence surely occurs for indulgence’s sake, numerous studies have established that the environment — its colors, sounds, and other design characteristics aside from its cleanliness — may have a direct influence on health and healing. Elements like artificial light and unwanted sounds have been linked to physical effects similar to those caused by stress, such as raised blood pressure, along with symptoms of depression. Natural light has been shown to have mood-elevating and pain-easing qualities; the presence of trees and nature appear to impact human health in subtle but measurable ways as well. Easing anxiety and creating a positive atmosphere for healing, it is argued, can lead to tangible outcomes.

“A revolution in the science of design is already under way,” according an article in last week’s New York Times’ Sunday Review. This is certainly the case in health care: the emerging field of “evidence-based design” aims to introduce elements of construction and atmosphere proven to promote healing.

The tactic is purely logical from a basic science perspective. Rugs, for instance, may be a bad choice for a space simply because carpeting houses more bacteria than bare floors.

Check out the entire article here on The Atlantic

Is Legacy.com Committing Fraud?

I know the title makes many of you laugh but were asking for real this time. We don’t full know how Legacy operates when it comes to their payment structure, what is free, what is paid for or what it only online temporary. In the past when we have talked about Legacy and sent them questions for comment we have never received a reply. So we didn’t even bother on this story.

legacy1

We received the following comment on Sunday morning. Please read the comment and let us know your thoughts. Is this really happening and if so what has your or your client family’s experience been? If this is true then Legacy.com could be raking in millions by screwing over grieving families.

 

Read the entire article here on Connecting Directors

Does Facebook improve your memory?

Study: Facebook May Improve Memory

Broadening online worlds could help maintain and improve cognitive abilities in old age.

6935282155_e7abeb909c_z615

Conor Friedersdorf recently put forward an interesting question: At what age will you stop using Facebook? Many of the college students, now twentysomethings, who made up Facebook’s original user base may already be feeling the fatigue. But it may be through other groups of people, for whom the site was never specifically intended but have nonetheless been discovering it in droves, that Facebook may find new ways of remaining relevant.

Janelle Wohltmann, a grad student in psychology at the University of Arizona, has been teaching the 65-plus crowd how to use the social network, in order to determine ways in which using Facebook might benefit them. She gathered a small group of adults, aged 68 to 91, who were either unfamiliar with Facebook or who had set up a profile, but rarely used it. Like a protective parent, she asked them to limit their network, only friending other members of their training group, but she also required that they post updates at least once a day.

Meanwhile, another 14 participants were asked to post short entries to a private online diary site, and yet another group — the control — were told they were on a waiting list for the Facebook lessons.

Before joining Facebook, all of her subjects participated in a series of tests and questionnaires designed to measure both social variables and cognitive ability. At the end of eight weeks, they were re-tested.

Her analysis is ongoing, but Wohltmann has already presented one finding of the study: the adults who spent the two months on Facebook showed a 25 percent improvement in their working memory. Specifically, when confronted with a continuous stream of information, like random words or letters, they were better able to focus on what the researchers told them was relevant. Being able to monitor such information and quickly add or delete the contents of their working memory, is known as “mental updating ability.”

 

Read the entire article here on the Atlantic

‘When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting’

A new Twitter service will allow users to carry on their stream of consciousness in 140 characters or less from beyond the grave.

LivesOn will analyse users’ Twitter feeds to learn their ‘likes, tastes, [and] syntax’ to continue posting similar messages, updates and links after they’ve passed.

The service, due to launch in March, promises: ‘When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting.’

 

article-0-1807C73F000005DC-724_634x296

 

LivesOn is being developed by London-based advertising agency Lean Mean Fighting Machine.

Dave Bedwood, a creative partner at the firm, told the Guardian he was ready for negative responses to the service.

‘It divides people on a gut level, before you even get to the philosophical and ethical arguments,’ he said.

‘It offends some, and delights others. Imagine if people started to see it as a legitimate but small way to live on.

‘Cryogenics costs a fortune; this is free and I’d bet it will work better than a frozen head.’

 

Although it is similar to the plot of last week’s episode of Channel 4 sitcom Black Mirror, in which a woman uses social media to talk to her dead boyfriend, the developers claim they came up with the service in 2011.

Posts on the LivesOn Twitter feed explain how the ‘idea was born a couple of years ago. been getting tech partners together.

‘[T]hen black mirror themes were in the press and it seemed the perfect time to get something up. But we are genuinely doing the experiment.’
Source: Daily Mail

What Does The Law Say About Obtaining Access To A Dead Family Member’s Facebook Profile?

What Does The Law Say About Obtaining Access To A Dead Family Member’s Facebook Profile?

What if the bereaved feel entitled to a deeper closure, specifically, by seeking answers from or access to a dead family member’s Facebook profile? The short answer: Their chances aren’t good.

facebook-takes-a-stand-against-employers-who-request-passwords-cdad75130e-640x359

Families like the Stassens have entered legal battles with major companies like Facebook and Google in an attempt to gain access to the digital assets of dead loves ones. As heirs of their son’s estate, the parents of Benjamin Stassen feel they have a right to access his Facebook account, to search for clues as to why their son suddenly chose to commit suicide.

In the U.S., property rights vary wildly across the country’s 50 states and territories, and are largely dependent on a person’s location of residency. These laws cover the scope of many types of property: real property (e.g., real estate and housing), personal property (e.g. automobiles, tools, clothing) and intangible property — in other words, “things that have value and can be transferred from one person to another, but has no physical substance, like IP rights,” says David Ervin, intellectual property attorney and partner at the law firm Kelley Drye.

To complicate matters further, state-determined property rights can quickly enter a gray area when a resident has entered into a contract with another person or company. In this case, Facebook’s terms of service can impact an individual’s legal right to transfer web property, even after death.

 

Full article HERE on connectingdirectors.com

Reeva’s death goes viral

Pretoria – Spreading like wildfire, the death of Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend went viral on social media all over the world on Thursday.

The story broke on Twitter at about 8.30am and flooded Pistorius and Steenkamp’s Facebook pages soon after. For the rest of the day, and evening, Oscar Pistorius was the top trend, with Reeva Steenkamp also trending.

Posts on the various social media platforms indicated the public had different perceptions and mixed feelings about the incident.

The public used Pistorius’s Facebook page as a medium to send him personal messages – some offering condolences and others accusatory and openly bad-mouthing him.

One of his nine Facebook fan pages has more than 133 000 fans and all of the pages have been abuzz with comment and critique.

Reeva Steenkamp

Entire article HERE