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社交媒体一代的生存技巧

更新时间:2018-3-26 20:04:47 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Survival tips for the social media generation
社交媒体一代的生存技巧

Never mind ‘digital natives’ – today’s under-20s are social media natives. They have barely known a life before Facebook.

现在20岁不到、伴随着互联网和社交媒体长大的一群人被称为"Z世代"(Generation Z)。他们几乎不了解Facebook诞生之前的世界。

How are they dealing with the unique challenges of a life online?

那么,他们又会如何处理网络生活中面临的独特挑战呢?

I’ve spent the last month working on #LikeMinded, a special series about social media and its impact on our mental health. It’s forced me to question whether I (now at 23 years old) really was psychologically robust enough to confront the onslaught of picture sharing and constant messaging that arrived in my early teens. For some children, it’s arriving even earlier; it’s thought that at least 7.5 million users in the US are under the age of 13, despite having to be aged 13 or over to hold an account.

我过去一个月都在参加#LikeMinded,这是针对社交媒体及其对我们的心理健康产生的影响举行的一系列特别活动。这也迫使我提出一个问题:十几岁出头的时候,我(如今已经23岁)的内心是否强大到足以应对图片分享和即时通讯的狂轰滥炸?某些儿童甚至要比我更早面临这些问题;据估计,这些服务在美国至少有750万13岁以下的用户,尽管注册这些服务的最低法定年龄要求就是13岁。

For this group, social media has shaped their entire lives. But that’s also why they’re the ones who perhaps have the most realistic concerns over whether it’s a positive force in their lives.

对这个群体来说,社交媒体已经塑造了他们全部的生活。但也正因如此,他们才最应该担心社交媒体是否会对其生活产生积极的影响。

Teens are quick to voice concerns over platforms when asked, as shown in a 2017 survey where almost 1,500 teens said Instagram was the worst platform for their mental health. So who is making sure a life online is a happy and healthy one?

在被问及相关问题时,青少年都会很快表达对平台的担忧。在2017年的一项调查中,1500名青少年受访者几乎都表示,Instagram是对他们心理健康伤害最大的平台。那么,应该由谁来确保他们在网上获得健康快乐的生活呢?

Help from schools and governments

来自学校和政府的帮助

Young people might seem more connected to their peers, with thousands of Facebook friends or Twitter followers, but social media hasn’t come without its downsides.

由于在Facebook上有好友,在Twitter上有粉丝,年轻人似乎跟同龄人联系更为紧密,但社交媒体也并非没有坏处。

Katy Mackenzie is a 19-year-old blogger and student from Derby who writes about beauty, lifestyle and mental health, for whom social media “was key to getting my posts shared and out there to the world.”

19岁的博主凯蒂·麦肯齐(Katy Mackenzie)是一名来自英国德比(Derby)的学生,她专门在网上撰写美容、生活方式和心理健康方面的文章。对她来说,社交媒体"是把我的文章分享给世界的关键"。

Like most young people, there weren’t any school lessons in how to use social media – just some safety basics that she was already aware of. “I think companies need to realise when people call out for help.”

跟多数年轻人一样,学校没有教给她如何使用社交媒体——只向其传授了基本的安全常识,但她原本就知道这些内容。"我认为,企业应该意识到人们何时需要帮助。"

When you think about it, there are two issues there: a feeling that social media companies aren’t necessarily doing enough, and that schools might not be satisfactorily aware of the modern digital landscape. That’s not serving Gen Z well, whose lives are so interwoven with social media at such an early age.

当你思考此事的时候,应该考虑两个问题:有人感觉社交媒体公司做得可能还不够,而学校或许也没有真正意识到现代数字平台的现状。这显然对Z世代不利,他们的生活从很小的时候就开始与社交媒体相互交织。

The Royal Society of Public Health’s #StatusofMind report in the UK detailed several concerns over young people’s mental health and how social media use is linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression and poor sleep.

英国皇家公共卫生学会发布的#StatusofMind报告,详细阐述了对英国年轻人心理健康问题的几大担忧,以及社交媒体的使用是如何与焦虑、抑郁和睡眠不佳等问题的增多联系起来的。

An NHS Trust in Scotland created an online resource to help healthcare professionals better understand the new risks facing young people and the list is considerable: it details everything from the distorted view of reality young people might have from their feeds to sexting, revenge porn, cyberbullying, privacy issues, gambling and access to inappropriate content. Many of those problems are specific to social media.

苏格兰的英国国家医疗服务信托(NHS Trust)制作了一份网络资源,帮助医疗专业人士更好地了解年轻人面临的新风险,其中列出的内容包罗万象:它详细阐述了各种信息,例如年轻人因为社交媒体上的信息流而导致世界观发生扭曲,色情短信、复仇色情、网络欺凌、隐私问题、赌博以及各种不当内容的获取渠道。其中很多问题都跟社交媒体密切相关。

Social media companies themselves are steadily waking up to negative press about mental health and the many cases of underage users being on their platforms. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a federal law in the US stipulating that users need to be at least 13 years old to have a social media account.

社交媒体公司本身也逐渐意识到各种关于心理健康的负面报道,以及许多未达法定年龄的用户使用他们平台的案例。《儿童在线隐私保护法案》(COPPA)是美国的一部联邦法律,为的是确保用户至少年满13岁才能注册社交媒体账号。

If we know there are millions of under-13s on the platform, then our mental health concerns need to incorporate them as well as teenagers.

如果你知道有数百万不到13岁的人也在使用这类平台,那么我们的心理健康担忧就应该把他们和青少年都包含进来。

Helpful apps

有帮助的应用

Intriguingly, apps are now surfacing to engage with young people on the very device that’s bringing them closer to these problems in the first place – their smartphones. But this ends up being pretty complicated.

有趣的是,那些旨在为年轻人提供帮助的应用所使用的平台,恰恰也就是当初让年轻人面对这些问题的设备——那就是智能手机。但这个问题最终却变得异常复杂。

The app TalkLife, for example – “share the ups and downs of life!” – calls itself ‘the peer support network for youth mental health.’ You can post anonymously, or give yourself a username. One poster writes, “I don’t want to be alive. I don’t feel worthy of even posting this. I shouldn’t. I should be alone with it. What am I doing? I’m so lost.” Two people reply: “you’ll get through this, babe. :(” and “If in your heart believed [sic] in your words you wouldn’t have said this. Think about it. And you know deep down you want to live.”

例如,TalkLife应用的口号是"分享生活中的起起伏伏!"他们自称是"年轻人心理健康的同伴支持网络。"你可以匿名发表内容,也可以给自己起一个用户名。有一个发帖人写道:"我不想活了。我甚至感觉自己都不配发这篇帖子。我不应该发帖。我就应该自己一个人憋着。我到底在干什么?我太迷茫了。"有一个人回复道:"你会挺过去的,宝贝。"还有一个人写道:"如果你的内心认同你的文字,你就不会这么说。想想看。你知道自己心底还是想活下去的。"

Posts that may offend, such as those with violent imagery, are coloured red and come with a warning: “This post may be triggering”.

可能冒犯别人的帖子(例如暴力图片)都会被标红,并附加警告信息:"这个帖子可能引发不适。"

As a platform, it feels like catnip for over-sharers, especially those who want both attention and anonymity which is impossible on mainstream social networking sites. However, there is no actual psychiatric help or health advice on the app itself, and there are obvious problems that can arise from this. The viral Saudi app Sarahah that allows users to communicate anonymously, for instance, has now been dropped from Google and Apple app stores after accusations that the anonymity actually facilitated bullying. So, as a supposed solution, what do apps like these actually solve?

作为一个平台,它就像是为喜欢过度分享的人准备的樟脑草,尤其是那些既想获得关注,又希望匿名的人——这在主流社交网络上根本不可能做到。然而,这款应用本身其实并不提供精神病学方面的帮助或者健康方面的建议,而且这会引发一些显而易见的问题。例如,在网上疯传的沙特阿拉伯应用Sarahah能让用户匿名沟通,但匿名反而会促进欺凌现象的发生,导致其遭到指责。所以,这款应用已经被谷歌和苹果的应用商店下架。那么,作为很多人眼中的解决方案,这种应用究竟能解决什么问题?

What Sarahah and TalkLife have proved, however, is that there is a clear appetite here for Generation Z to do what they most love: connecting with peers online to share tips, share worries, share stories. That could be mined more usefully with better supervision.

然而,Sarahah和TalkLife已经证明,Z一代对他们最喜欢的事情有着明显的诉求:在网上与同龄人联系,与之分享窍门、担忧和故事。如果能够得到更好的监督,便可从中挖掘出更有用的信息。
 
Using social media for good

用好社交媒体

One website that has been praised by leading psychologists is Big White Wall, which is available in Canada, New Zealand and the UK. Inspired by the early days of social networking, it’s a peer support community and now has partnerships with the NHS in keeping with best practice and the latest evidence.

Big White Wall是一家获得顶尖心理学家盛赞的网站,目前面向加拿大、新西兰和英国开放。它受到社交网络早期发展的启发,组建了一个同龄人支持社区,目前与NHS合作采取最佳做法,收集最新的证据。

It’s a versatile platform, too. You remain anonymous and can design artistic expressions of your thoughts on ‘Bricks’ to explain your thoughts and feelings. There are guided support courses to learn how to manage everything from depression to stopping smoking. They also personalise suggestions to you of how to help you feel better based on your interests. The Big White Wall gave me the testimony of one case study, who said: “I found it almost impossible to discuss with my parents and I was a bit frightened of disclosing it to my friends. Being able to talk online to other people about that was really, really useful. Otherwise, I would have kept it all bottled up.”

这也是一个多才多艺的平台。你可以保持匿名,还能在"Bricks"上给自己的想法设计艺术表情,以此来解释自己的想法和感受。还有一些指导性的支持课程,教给人们如何应对抑郁和戒烟等各种问题。他们还会根据你的兴趣定制个性化的建议,让你获得更好的感受。Big White Wall给我看了一份案例中的证词,那人说:"我发现几乎不可能跟我的父母交流,我有点害怕跟朋友讨论这个问题。能在网上跟别人聊一聊,真的非常有用。否则,我会把一切都压抑在内心。"

Commercial director James de Bathe says that “rather than looking at the number of online solutions available for young people, we focus much more on the quality and safety of these.

该公司商务总监詹姆斯·德巴斯(James de Bathe)说:"我们的重点不是年轻人所能获得的在线解决方案的数量,而是更加关注这些方案的质量和安全性。"

“Any person or organisation can create an app or an online service, but the responsibility for someone’s mental health can be a matter of life and death. We believe clinical oversight, rigorous evaluation and quality assurance should form the foundations of online support services.”

"任何个人或组织都能开发一款应用或一款在线服务,但某个人的心理健康却是生死攸关的大事。我们相信,临床监督、严格评估和质量保证应该成为网络支持服务的基础。"

Perhaps the real solutions to the new difficulties that Generation Z online should be like Big White Wall – answers that lie outside the corporate interests of mainstream social media companies, and which allow under-20s to connect with each other in the way they’ve grown accustomed to on these very online platforms.

对于Z一代在网上碰到的新困难,真正的解决方案或许应该像Big White Wall这样——需要跳出主流社交媒体公司的利益之外去寻找答案,让20岁以下的人通过他们成长过程中已经习惯的方式,就在这些网络平台上相互联系。

How realistic is it that companies like Facebook and Twitter would try to make themselves less addictive for the sake of young people’s sanity? Marketing professor Adam Alter from New York University thinks “the incentives aren’t aligned appropriately to encourage them to consider consumer wellbeing.

有人希望Facebook和Twitter这样的公司能够降低成瘾性,以此换取年轻人的精神健全。但这真的现实吗?纽约大学市场营销教授亚当·阿尔特(Adam Alter)认为,"他们的动机并没有经过相应的调整,无法鼓励他们考虑消费者的健康。"

“If you’re competing for attention there’s an arms race – and companies aren’t going to introduce stopping cues, for example, if none of their competitors are doing the same thing. If they can’t keep you glued to their products, they’re unlikely to attract ad and referral revenue.”

"如果你在争夺眼球,那就是一场军备竞赛——例如,如果没有一个竞争对手暗示要停止这么做,这些企业也都不会这么做。如果他们不能持续吸引你使用他们的产品,就很难获得广告和推荐收入。"

Tweaks to current social media platforms

调整现有的社交媒体平台

This didn’t stop London-based design agency Studio Output from having a go, though. The team devised a number of simple changes that a platform like Instagram could make, if there was incentive enough to do so, in order reduce certain risks for its users.

但伦敦设计代理公司Studio Output并没有因此而停止尝试。该团队为Instagram这样的团队设计了很多简单的调整方案,试图降低其用户面临的某些风险——前提是这些平台要有足够的动力这么做。

One feature is ‘a mindful algorithm’ that serves you happy news if it spots that your posts include words that flag poor mental wellbeing, giving you good news if you needed it. Other ideas are smart notifications that are geo-fenced to know when you need some downtime. Activity trackers that, like step-counters or other physical trackers we use, actually measure your social media habits and encourage users to set goals. They also suggest colour-coded profiles, depending on how realistic profiles are; those accounts that regularly post unrealistic, Photoshopped or heavily filtered body images will be flagged red.

其中一项功能是"警觉算法":如果它发现你的帖子包含的单词表现出糟糕的心理状态,就会给你推送一些快乐的新闻。如果你需要,它会给你推送一些好消息。其他的想法还包括智能通知功能,通过地理围栏来判断你什么时候需要休息。计步器和其他活动追踪器也可以衡量我们在社交媒体上的习惯,并鼓励用户设定目标。他们还建议根据资料的真实程度贴上不同的色彩标签:如果一个帐号经常发布不真实、经过PS或者大量使用滤镜的照片,那就应该标红。

When I asked their strategy director, David McDougall, if he ever thought social networking sites would ever implement changes like this, he said “my answer is undoubtedly yes. It makes good business sense to look after your users, and looking after your users means creating a healthy, happy and sustainable environment.”

我问他们的战略总监大卫·麦克杜格尔(David McDougall),他是否曾经认为社交网络会部署这样的变化。他回答说:"我的答案是:确实如此。他们完全有理由照顾自己的用户,照顾用户就意味着创造健康、快乐、可持续的环境。"

Whether it’s the social behemoths like Facebook or the upcoming social safe spaces like Big White Wall who finally instigate change for young people, for many the change may already come too late.

无论最终给年轻人带来积极改变的是Facebook这样的社交巨头,还是Big White Wall这种新兴的安全社交空间,对很多人来说,这种改变可能都为时已晚。

But with a generation that’s hungrier than ever to connect across continents and share their ideas for a healthier social media landscape, Generation Z might actually be the age group that’s most in-tune with their feelings after all. Parents worried that their kids are spending too much time staring at a screen might relax a little in the knowledge that they may well be getting the help they deserve.

然而,由于Z一代比之前的任何一代人都更加渴望结识不同地方的人,分享他们对更加健康的社交媒体的看法,所以,他们这代人最终反而有可能最遵循自己的内心感受。在知道自己的孩子能够得到应得的帮助后,那些担心孩子盯着屏幕时间过长的父母,或许可以稍感宽心。

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