Happy birthday, Instagram
Launched in October 2010, Instagram celebrates its 10th birthday this month.
Like other popular platforms, Instagram grew up fast. One million users subscribed by December 2010, and within a year, Instagram celebrated 150 million image uploads, thanks to 10 million daily active users.
It was a meteoric rise. When Instagram was a mere 18 months old, it was adopted (OK, “acquired”) by Facebook for $1 billion.
In 2020, Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users.
According to Statista, most of Instagram’s users are 18 to 34 years old, and it ranks second as the most preferred app among teens, after Snapchat, of course.
The largest user base is in the U.S. (130 million as of July 2020), but users in India (100 million), Brazil (91 million), Indonesia (73 million) and Russia (51 million) have added to Instagram’s popularity.
When surveyed by the Pew Research Center, four in 10 Americans reported using Instagram.
“The share of U.S. adults who say they (use Instagram) has grown from 9 percent in 2012, when the Center first began asking about the platform,” said Brooke Auxier, Pew research associate. “At the time of (this) survey, though Instagram had grown to be one of the more popular online platforms in the U.S., most Americans still did not use it, unlike the two most popular social media platforms, YouTube and Facebook, which were used by majorities of U.S. adults.”
Read more at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/10/instagram-not-media-of-choice-for-news/ (may encounter paywall)
Around 2006, I created a cellphone policy for my students: “No cellphone use during class. No texting. No calls.”
For the most part, students were respectful when it came to using their phones in class. Texting was kept to a minimum, and we were just on the cusp of smartphone adoptions, so distractions from apps and games were limited.
The biggest obstacle back then was getting students to remember to mute their phones.
We’d start each class with a cellphone check, similar to the reminder theater goers get before a movie or live performance. In the early days, I’d forget to give that reminder at the beginning of class and, invariably, a musical ringtone would sound off.
It was so bad that I later revised the policy to read: “If your cellphone goes off during class, you’ll be asked to stand up and dance.”
Read more at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/10/if-your-phone-goes-off-youll-be-asked-to-dance/ (may encounter paywall).
Pick up your device to identify the stars
We spent a few nights in the heart of central Pennsylvania last August with one mission: stay up late to watch the Perseid meteor shower.
The meteor shower is an annual event. It’s identified on the family calendar alongside other important dates like birthdays, Christmas and Halloween. Sure, we may not be opening presents or dressing in funny costumes, but we use it as another reason to celebrate.
Our viewing location this year was as rural as you can get without camping deep in the woods. Location was important because it meant we were far away from light pollution. We learned our lesson about light pollution during past meteor showers.
If you want to see a lot of “shooting stars” (i.e., our kids’ term for meteors that streak across the night sky), you need to be away from the city and suburbs. Too much light means you’ll see fewer meteors. You also have to be willing to stay up late, something our kids never seem to mind.
I also learned that our kids are incredibly impatient when it comes to waiting for the elusive shooting star. Truth be told, I already knew they were impatient. But quite frankly, so was I.
Read more at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/10/pick-up-your-device-to-identify-the-stars/ (may encounter paywall).
Some of my fondest memories of childhood are waking up early on cold fall mornings, gathering my fishing gear and heading to a local lake or river with my dad.
I suspect he never knew where we were going or if the fishing would be good. It didn’t matter. If my dad were still alive, I’m sure he’d fully admit to never really caring where we fished.
He never consulted maps or weather conditions. He didn’t check with local anglers for fishing reports. He just drove, parked and we eventually cast our lines in some out-of-the-way fishing hole.
Sometimes we caught fish — and we always caught colds.
Of course, these trips were memorable, not because we caught a few fish, but because we were out in nature, bonding as father and son, away from stress and complications of everyday life.
Read more at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/10/fishing-apps-connect-anglers-for-best-spots/ (may encounter paywall).
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is special assistant to the provost and professor of communication in the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA where he also directs the graduate program in professional communication. He researches and writes on a variety of topics including communication technologies, relationships, and sports (with an emphasis on fandom). His work has appeared in Mahoning Matters as well as The Vindicator and Tribune-Chronicle newspapers.