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Tech Tuesday

Tech Tuesday Questions about Snapchat, high school graduation, and big data

For the past month or so I’ve had a form in the sidebar of my blog. The intention is for readers to submit their questions about anything tech related. Here’s a few questions that have been submitted.

Question

How do I get in contact with Snapchat? I’ll track these mfs down and then snapchat and my friends can be safe!!

Emma in Australia

Answer

Dear Emma, you can always contact Snapchat directly with your user questions and concerns. You could also follow their CEO, Evan Spiegel, on Twitter and connect with him that way.

And if something has gone wrong, let’s say a law has been broken, I’d encourage you to contact your nearest law enforcement agency so they can work with Snapchat to investigate. (Law enforcement can refer to this handy guide)

Question

Can you recommend any books for teenagers entering adulthood, geared towards a 17 year old turning 18 who is making really life changing choices and not good ones?

LaRie in the United States

Answer

Sure, over at The Youth Cartel we released a book for exactly that age group called The Amazing Next. It was written for precisely that age.

Question

How do internet companies know so many things and know so much information? Do they make all theses phone apps for kids just to see what there doing and to post there information?

Sasha in Michigan

Answer

Sasha, the first part of your question is actually pretty easy… you can find out lots of information about various things and people specifically because they openly and freely share it. Most people don’t read the terms of service to create accounts. But in most cases, you’re agreeing that the information you share on a website or app belongs to the service provider and they can do with it whatever they want within their policies.

The second part of your question is a bit more nuanced. Most developers would argue that their app is about it’s utility… they really want to help people connect with their friends or want their app to help people navigate to where they are going. And the data they collect is merely a byproduct. Most will claim that the sale of that information is merely a secondary market for them… but it’s a $50 billion secondary market annually!

Big data is big business for a lot of reasons, nearly all of them are commercial. Right now, predictive information is what’s hot. Companies want to know what people are talking about today so they know what they’ll buy tomorrow. They buy traffic information so they can know what kinds of people drive by their store. Even hospitals are tapping into big data to predict how many people will visit the emergency room.

I don’t think people really care about Big Data as it’s macro. We don’t care because it’s kind of about us but not about us specifically.

The reason I teach healthy social media habits to parents and teenagers is that it’s not Big Data that gets you in trouble. Instead, it’s bad habits that ruin relationships and it’s micro “Little Data” that can lead to personal problems like you losing your job or your teenager not getting a scholarship.


Got a Tech Tuesday question for me? Head over to my blog and submit your question using the sidebar form. 

 

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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