Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, June 19, 2021

Social engineering doesn’t get any more granular when school officials try steering children away from exclusive best-friend relationships:

“I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”

“Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend,” she continued. “We say he doesn’t need a best friend.”

What’s the old saying — that when you’re everyone’s friend, it’s the same as being no one’s friend? Same concept here. If your relationship is more with the group than with the individuals within it, there’s less of a bond.

In this particular case, there’s less regard for the younger generation’s social development, and more for preempting supervisory headaches:

That attitude is a blunt manifestation of a mind-set that has led adults to become ever more involved in children’s social lives in recent years. The days when children roamed the neighborhood and played with whomever they wanted to until the streetlights came on disappeared long ago, replaced by the scheduled play date. While in the past a social slight in backyard games rarely came to teachers’ attention the next day, today an upsetting text message from one middle school student to another is often forwarded to school administrators, who frequently feel compelled to intervene in the relationship. (Ms. Laycob was speaking in an interview after spending much of the previous day dealing with a “really awful” text message one girl had sent another.) Indeed, much of the effort to encourage children to be friends with everyone is meant to head off bullying and other extreme consequences of social exclusion.

Furthermore, in the related vein of helicopter parenting, I’m sure many a mom and dad prefer to think of themselves as Junior’s undisputed bestest friend, and prefer a social structure that diffuses any age-appropriate challengers to that throne. The result will be a particularly superficial group of youngsters.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/19/2010 07:10pm
Category: Society
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mumblebird
Other social network imports haven’t caught on in Japan like Twitter has, and it may have to do with the un-bird-like translation:

“It’s telling that Twitter was translated as ‘mumbling’ in Japanese,” [consultant Motohiko Tokuriki] said. “They love the idea of talking to themselves.”

I can’t imagine a “mumblr” catching on in the English-speaking world. Maybe the art of the mumble is more respected in East Asia.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/19/2010 06:44pm
Category: Social Media Online, Society
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run with the flow
You are looking at SkyMall’s exclusive Xlr8 athletic shoe. And yes, you are looking at a sperm-like logo on said sneaker.

I’m guessing the in-flight catalogue just presumes that its target customer is a member of the Mile High Club, and wants to show off that sexual bade of honor via footwear? This certainly beats Nike’s swoosh design, despite the less-than-perfect analogy:

So [sperms'] preferred sport is swimming; it doesn’t make them any less of a workout role model when you’re hitting the streets.

Well, the semen-sprinters might be role models, but I don’t know how much they can teach you about “hitting the streets”. To clear up the confusion, maybe SkyMall should start selling matching Speedos.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/19/2010 06:12pm
Category: Comedy, Fashion, Other Sports
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