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Smartphones Having Negative Effect Upon Social Wellness, Experts Say

NEW YORK - The rise of smartphones and the subsequent embracing of social media has gone a long way to changing how we as a society communicate with one another, and those changes, while positive in many ways, also come with a equal number of negative factors that are having a detrimental effect on our collective social wellness, according to experts.

Experts have noted that this can be especially detrimental for college and university students, who should be taking advantage of being on a large and diverse campus by establishing relationships and learning from people from different walks of life. File photo: Pixabay.

Nowadays, people are communicating more than ever through social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a whole host of others. While this is a great thing in terms of staying in touch with people that you might ordinarily not be able to, experts are saying that in many ways, smartphones and social media have resulted in people having less connection with one another than ever before in many ways.

Previously, people would get together and have meaningful conversations where tone of voice, body language, and spontaneous replies would provide a truly cohesive and connecting experience between two or more people. Fast-forward to today, and social media apps have reduced that act to mere surface-level conversing, greatly reducing the quality of conversation overall. Things like empathy and establishing a connection tend to fall by the wayside when you're merely typing in a quick sentence on social media, clicking submit, and then forgetting about it until you eventually receive a notification of a reply.

In fact, it's this style of communication that has created a rampant sense of narcissism among social media users, who primarily use the apps to inform people about themselves and their daily happenings as opposed to being concerned with the affairs of others. This factor has been described by experts as someone essentially shouting “look at me! Look at me!” over and over into a void. It’s this type of behavior that has proven that, while social media does have its distinct benefits, overall social wellness is being compromised and undermined as a result.

Experts have noted that this can be especially detrimental for college and university students, who should be taking advantage of being on a large and diverse campus by establishing relationships and learning from people from different walks of life. Instead, reports say, individuals note that social media use usually leads to fewer interactions and an overall less enriching experience. In addition, losing the face-to-face aspect of conversing with someone has been found to greatly reduce interpersonal skills that are vitally needed when a student graduates from college and goes on into the workforce, where they will have no choice then but to have to deal with people directly.

Of course, smartphones can even get in the way when you are engaging with someone face-to-face. Studies have shown that when lulls in the conversation occur, instead of finding something new to talk about or simply feeling comfortable enough with the company you're in to not mind an occasional bout of silence, many people will pull out their phones instead as a source of distraction or as an artificial means of engagement.

After all, in today's world of digital instant gratification – where information, videos, and entertainment are merely a button press away at all times – any dip in a conversation might make today's attention deficit disorder-afflicted population uncomfortable. However, people would benefit to leave the cell phones behind when meeting up with friends, and using any lull in the conversation to think, reflect, and then return to the conversation with intention and a renewed and different perspective, resulting in a stronger connection with the people you are with.

Reports also indicate that more and more people are feeling depressed and anxious nowadays, and a lot of experts attribute that to the rise and increase in cell phone use. Yes, you may have a lot of followers on Instagram and have a lot of back and forth, one-sentence conversations with these people, but ultimately, deep down, these people know that these are merely superficial relationships and at the end of the day, these relationships are not fueling ones innate desire to belong and have true connections. Putting the cell phone aside here and there and engaging in real world, face-to-face activity with others would not only strengthen the bonds between friends, but also enhance these relationships – and your own personal sense of self-worth – in a more meaningful way.

Smartphones and social media are here to stay, and when used within the correct context in one's life, they can certainly be informative and enriching experiences. However, as a society, we need to learn to be more selective regarding how and when we use them, and more importantly, when NOT to use them. After all, no experience on your cell phone is going to compare to having its real-life equivalent with somebody who you truly have a strong and distinct connection with, will it?

EPA Awards Nearly $100,000 in Environmental Education Grant to Urban Teaching Farm in Prince George’s County, Maryland


PHILADELPHIA - On October 4, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $97,847 environmental education grant to Engaged Community Offshoots, Inc. in Riverdale, Maryland to support educating youths about sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation at an urban teaching farm.


“It is encouraging to see groups like the Engaged Community Offshoots take the initiative to get students involved in environmental projects,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “This organization educates and engages youth in conservation projects on an urban farm that is a valuable conservation asset to the community.”


Engaged Community Offshoots will use funding to support environmental educational programs for elementary, middle, and high school students including field trips to ECO City Farms, a nonprofit urban teaching and learning farm in Prince George’s County. Other projects will include in-school educational sessions and resources for school projects that focus on sustainable agriculture.


Engaged Community Offshoots is one of 37 organizations designated to receive $3.3 million for projects under the 2018 Environmental Education (EE) Grants Program this year. Funding will range from $50,000 to $100,000 to organizations that provide environmental education activities and programs. The awards are going to organizations in 29 states, including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.


To learn more about grant winners, or to apply for future Environmental Education Grant competitions, visit: This website will be updated as additional grants are awarded.


For more information about environmental education grants, visit:

Fred Wilson to Speak about New York City’s CS4All Initiative at Yext’s ONWARD18 Conference

Legendary Venture Capitalist and Founder of CSNYC to Discuss Initiative for Computer Science Education for New York Public School Children


NEW YORK -- Yext, Inc. (NYSE :YEXT ), the leader in Digital Knowledge Management (DKM), today announced that Fred Wilson, venture capitalist and Chairman of the NYC Department of Education's CS4All Capital Campaign, will speak at Yext's ONWARD18 annual conference Oct. 23-25, 2018 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.


"We are honored to have Fred Wilson speaking at ONWARD18 about CS4All, and elated that some of the students involved with this program will join us," said Howard Lerman, Founder and CEO of Yext. "Knowledge is power, and this initiative is putting power into the hands of thousands of students by giving them the skills and expertise they need to succeed in the Intelligent Future."


Wilson will sit down with Lerman for an onstage discussion of CS4All and the importance of providing high-quality computer science classes to all New York City students. ONWARD18 attendees will learn about this groundbreaking public-private partnership that will bring computer science education to every elementary, middle and high school student in New York City by 2025, teaching skills that are integral to student success in higher education, the 21st-century job market, and beyond.


Attendees will be able to meet CS4All students at ONWARD18 and learn how they can get involved. The students will participate in sessions, demonstrate a computer science project, and run an exhibit booth on the program throughout the conference.


Visit to see the latest agenda and learn more.


For more information about CS4All, visit


About Yext
Yext, Inc. (NYSE :YEXT ) is the leading Digital Knowledge Management (DKM) platform. Yext's mission is to give companies control over their brand experiences across the digital universe of maps, apps, search engines, voice assistants, and other intelligent services that drive consumer discovery, decision, and action. Today, thousands of businesses including brands like Taco Bell, Rite Aid, and Steward Health Care use the Yext Knowledge Engine™ to manage their digital knowledge in order to boost brand engagement, drive foot traffic, and increase sales.


Yext has been named a Best Place to Work by Fortune and Great Place to Work® as well as a Best Workplace for Women. Yext is headquartered in New York City with offices in BerlinChicagoDallasGenevaLondonParis, Tyson's Corner, San FranciscoShanghai, and Tokyo.  For more information, visit

SOURCE Yext, Inc.

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