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The World Health Organisation is to include “gaming disorder” , the inability to stop gaming, into the International Classification of Diseases. By doing so, the WHO is recognising the serious and growing problem of digital addiction. The problem has also been acknowledged by Google, which recently announced that it will begin focusing on “Digital Well-being” .
Although there is a growing recognition of the problem, users are still not aware of exactly how digital technology is designed to facilitate addiction. We’re part of a research team that focuses on digital addiction and here are some of the techniques and mechanisms that digital media use to keep you hooked.
Digital technologies, such as social networks, online shopping, and games, use a set of persuasive and motivational techniques to keep users returning. These include “scarcity” (a snap or status is only temporarily available, encouraging you to get online quickly); “social proof” (20,000 users retweeted an article so you should go online and read it); “personalisation” (your news feed is designed to filter and display news based on your interest); and “reciprocity” (invite more friends to get extra points, and once your friends are part of the network it becomes much more difficult for you or them to leave).
Technology is designed to utilise the basic human need to feel a sense of belonging and connection with others. So, a fear of missing out, commonly known as FoMO, is at the heart of many features of social media design.
Groups and forums in social media promote active participation. Notifications and “presence features” keep people notified of each others’ availability and activities in real-time so that some start to become compulsive checkers. This includes “two ticks” on instant messaging tools, such as Whatsapp. Users can see whether their message has been delivered and read. This creates pressure on each person to respond quickly to the other.
The concepts of reward and infotainment, material which is both entertaining and informative, are also crucial for “addictive” designs. In social networks, it is said that “no news is not good news”. So, their design strives always to provide content and prevent disappointment. The seconds of anticipation for the “pull to refresh” mechanism on smartphone apps, such as Twitter, is similar to pulling the lever of a slot machine and waiting for the win.
Most of the features mentioned above have roots in our non-tech world. Social networking sites have not created any new or fundamentally different styles of interaction between humans. Instead they have vastly amplified the speed and ease with which these interactions can occur, taking them to a higher speed, and scale.
Addiction and awareness
People using digital media do exhibit symptoms of behavioural addiction . These include salience, conflict, and mood modification when they check their online profiles regularly. Often people feel the need to engage with digital devices even if it is inappropriate or dangerous for them to do so. If disconnected or unable to interact as desired, they become preoccupied with missing opportunities to engage with their online social networks.
According to the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom, 15m UK internet users (around 34% of all internet users) have tried a “digital detox” . After being offline, 33% of participants reported feeling an increase in productivity, 27% felt a sense of liberation, and 25% enjoyed life more. But the report also highlighted that 16% of participants experienced the fear of missing out, 15% felt lost and 14% “cut-off”. These figures suggest that people want to spend less time online, but they may need help to do so.
At the moment, tools that enable people to be in control of their online experience, presence and online interaction remain very primitive. There seem to be unwritten expectations for users to adhere to social norms of cyberspace once they accept participation.
But unlike other mediums for addiction, such as alcohol, technology can play a role in making its usage more informed and conscious. It is possible to detect whether someone is using a phone or social network in an anxious, uncontrolled manner. Similar to online gambling, users should have available help if they wish. This could be a self-exclusion and lock-out scheme. Users can allow software to alert them when their usage pattern indicates risk.
The borderline between software which is legitimately immersive and software which can be seen as “exploitation-ware” remains an open question. Transparency of digital persuasion design and education about critical digital literacy could be potential solutions.
Ugandans who use the internet messaging service WhatsApp will be charged a daily tax of 200 shillings ($0.05; £0.04) after parliament approved a controversial new law on Wednesday.
It comes into force on 1 July, and will also apply to other social media apps like Facebook.
Mobile money transactions will also be taxed, with a 1% levy on the total value of each transaction.
President Yoweri Museveni was quoted in Ugandan media last month as saying social media platforms are used “mainly for gossip”.
Human rights activists disagree. “It’s part of a wider attempt to curtail freedoms of expression,” blogger Rosebell Kagumire told Reuters.
At least three MPs have criticised the new rules as “double taxation”, according to the privately-owned Daily Monitor newspaper.
Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyaggulanyi, aka Bobi Wine – as well as Joshua Anywarach and Silas Aogon – said that because users access WhatsApp through taxed airtime, an additional tax would infringe their rights.
Another MP, Patrick Nsamba of the ruling party, said the tax will hurt the poorest most:
It is very easy for an MP to say that 1% is little money, but to people who earn less than a dollar a day, it is going to break their backs.”
This is kind of getting interesting as WhatsApp is not relenting in upgrading her services. Few days ago, WhatsApp introduced Payment feature in India and it has started rolling out to users. Very soon, it will be available to Nigeria and other African countries.
The payment feature is powered by UPI which enables users to send and receive money easily. With the new service, users can now link their bank account to their WhatsApp account via Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and begin making payments straight to another user’s bank account through a WhatsApp chat.
Users can locate the payment option in Whatsapp by tapping on the attachment B.utton placed next to the camera icon. After that, users will see the payment option along with other options such as gallery, video and others. Once clicked then a list of banks will appear on the screen and you then have to select the bank to which bank account is being linked. After selecting the account, you will just have to verify it to send the money.
WhatsApp Payment Feature, A Major Concern to Nigerian Bank
You’ll recall that sometimes last year, Telcos urges Federal Government to ban WhatsApp because the activities of ‘over-the-top’ companies like WhatsApp, Viber have adverse effects on its business and affects the sustainability of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry.
Now, analyst are saying if WhatsApp becomes very successful in payments, it may become a small bank of itself. In other words, if people decide to be leaving money in their wallets without moving them to their bank accounts, most banks would struggle [liquidity issues]”
As a Nigerian, why will I go to the ATM to make transfer that incurs charges or open bank digital wallet to make transfer when I can easily execute it directly from my WhatsApp application?
The case maybe worse for Nigerian banks because as Ekewe pointed out, most Nigerian banks are enjoying growing transaction-based fees with ATM charges and all kinds of charges including stamp duty on digital transfer.
A third-year Rwandan student has discovered a network prototype that will enable WhatsApp users to make internal and international calls without the internet. Deodate Mugenzi, a 26-year-old is pursuing Information and Communication Technology at the Polytechnic Regional Centre in Kigali Rwanda.
According to a report by The New Times, Mugenzi says that the prototype development was perpetuated by the need of Africans to converse with friends and family members globally. The idea generation began in 2017 but the future is promising to have a life-changing impact on the lives of people worldwide. Furthermore, the innovation started from playing with laptop to a vigorous library research using physics and computer as key arsenals.
The student conducted intensive research based on IT skills gained in class and from Physics books. The whole system operates using optic physics, mobile gadget communication techniques, and networking principles. The computer system allows users of popular internet application, WhatsApp to directly call mobile phone numbers.
In order to use the platform, users have to be registered. The platform has attracted several telecommunication firms who expressed their interest in buying the idea for further development. Mugenzi also partners with American embassy to offer innovative training to several young people in Rwanda.
“The problem is that many people here in Rwanda and other parts of Africa cannot afford to own smartphones that enable them to use all these internet enabled services. To address this, people ought to use services that allow them communicate using any platform that is available to them,” said Mugenzi.
Some Pastors will start those things in there churchs.. Since some are using ATM in the Church now in Nigeria… Is a Civilised world…
Pastor: Praise The Lord!
Pastor: Can We Pls Open our iPads to Exodus
When U r Done Kindly Switch On Ur Bluetooth To
Receive The Sermon…
Pls Have Ur Debits Card Ready As We Collect
The Tithes And Offerings….
You Can Connect To Church WiFi Using
And As For The Renovations And Donations U r
Welcome To Contribute Via Cellphone Banking.
The Holy Atmosphere Will Be Electric As IPads
Church Secretary: Dis Week’s Meeting Will Be
Held On Various WhatsApp Groups So Pls Don’t
Miss Out …
Wednesday Bible Teaching Will Be Held Live On
By D Way You May Follow The Pastor On Twitter
For Counselling And don’t Forget Our Weekly
Prayers On YouTube… God Bless us….
If care is not taken, this is how next generation
children will learn their ABC.
‘A’ for Apple won’t be useful anymore….
A is for ATM
B is for Bluetooth
C is for Chatting
D is for Download
E is for Email
F is for Facebook
G is for Google
H is for Hotmail
I is for instagram
J is for Jumia
K is for Konga
L is for Laptop
M is for MTN
N is for Network
O is for Opera mini
P is for Picmix
Q is for Quick time
R is for RAM
S is for Skype
T is for Twitter
U is for USB
V is for Vista
W is for WhatsApp
X is for Xender
Y is for Yahoo! and
Z is for Zuma.
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