Shortly after my children came home for Thanksgiving week, I paused to email my office. I’d taken a few days off to be with my family, but a small work chore needed my attention, something a quick message would resolve.Seeing the inbox on my smartphone told me that a few people were trying to reach me. Although an automated response announced my absence to everyone writing in, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to answer some of the messages while I was online. So I replied, which prompted replies to my replies, which I answered, too.I lifted my eyes from the screen an hour and a half later, as if shaking off a trance, shocked by how much time had gone by. I also felt a lot of shame. My daughter, a young professional who lives several states away, had spent dearly on a plane ticket to be with us. My son, who attends a boarding school for gifted teens, had driven three hours to rejoin the family. And here I was, as a holiday approached, more connected to my phone than to my kids.But … [Read more...] about Danny Heitman’s ‘At Random’: My kids came home for the holidays. I stayed online.
If i stay online
Predictim, an app that uses artificial intelligence to vet potential babysitters, has vowed to continue using social media data to improve its recommendation engine even after being blocked by Facebook and Twitter, said co-founder and CEO Sal Parsa. "We will continue what we are doing now, helping parents make decisions as to who they want to trust," Parsa said in an interview with CBS News. Parsa's company uses a form of AI called natural language processing to filter and rank search results gathered from a vast cache of information gathered from social media sites. Predictim's product is designed, Parsa said, to help parents and pet owners learn more about the personality traits of potential babysitters, dog walkers and other caretakers. The company's technology generates a "risk score" based on social media activity that ranks a person's attitude and their likelihood of engaging in online harassment or abusing drugs. The site also flags questionable content, and automatically … [Read more...] about A.I. babysitting service Predictim vows to stay online after being blocked by Facebook and Twitter
By CAROLYN HAX (Adapted from a recent online discussion.) Dear Carolyn: I married my high-school sweetheart when we were both 25 -- not because we were soulmates or even particularly happy together, but because we were imagination-lacking, co-dependent and afraid to let go. We stayed married for three years before I cried uncle and filed for divorce, with his agreement that it was the right thing to do. While it was painful at first, we have wound up more or less friends again, and share a social circle. He is getting married again in four weeks, and I'm invited to the wedding. First marriage for the new bride. I've been perusing their wedding website and, maybe this is my glass of wine talking, but I'm having a hard time with all the quotes and hashtags that reference "forever." She is so happy they will be together "forever." Don't get me wrong, I hope their marriage works out, but that language seems ridiculous considering he has been married before, believing it would be … [Read more...] about Carolyn Hax: Should I attend my ex’s wedding even if I smirk behind my champagne glass?
By Carolyn Hax | May 26, 2018 at 6:00 am DEAR CAROLYN: I really want to go to my half-sister’s wedding, but I don’t want to start trouble with her dad, who hates me. He might cause a scene if I go. I was always excited any time I got to spend time with my siblings, but their dad prevented it as much as possible. The sister who is getting married is the youngest and the one I know the best, and she has invited me. She insists she really wants me at the wedding. My mom also says it will be OK, even though her ex-husband has never once been civil to me and usually starts trouble any time we’re in the same room; apparently I look just like my dad and that drives him nuts. I don’t think he’s the kind of man to hold off just because his daughter’s getting married, since he’s stirred up trouble on holidays and at other celebrations too many times. As much as I’d love to go to the wedding, I don’t want to be the cause for ruining my … [Read more...] about Carolyn Hax: If I go to her wedding, I’m afraid he’ll do this
Last month, I wrote a detailed account of the mob sexual harassment I’ve been experiencing on Facebook. Dozens of readers from around the world have responded with disturbing tales of their own: An American woman’s convicted rapist has impersonated and harassed her online since his release from prison. A Scottish woman said a group of trolls took over her dead mother’s Facebook page to torment her family. Many described horrendous campaigns of defamation and intense cyberbullying. Others proposed a simple solution: Get off social media or get used to it. Their stories highlight the alarming scope of this issue in the U.S. and beyond, and the often callous attitude toward abuse that occurs behind screens. And although these online attacks are abhorrent, they are not as uncommon as you might think. A staggering 40 percent of Americans have personally experienced online harassment, according to 2017 data from the Pew Research Center, … [Read more...] about Staying Online: How To Deal With Trolls Without Quitting Social Media