Society, Tech

An Automated Happy New Year

Happy new year

Happy new year (Photo credit: Amodiovalerio Verde)

Two years ago I wanted to send a “Happy New Year” message to someone I’d started seeing at Christmas but couldn’t be with at midnight on New Year’s Eve.  This was important to me, I felt she was someone special.  I sat on a sofa in a local pub away from the other revellers counting down to zero.  I hit send on my phone with a few seconds to spare.

Nothing.  The message just sat there in my outbox.  It hadn’t gone by the time I got home.  By one o’clock in the morning it was still there.  “She’s going to think I don’t care” my mind kept saying over and over, pacing up and down the length of my apartment.  I wrote on Facebook that the network were crap, a friend agreed and that she was having the same problem texting her parents.  Since then me and my friend vowed to never be “lulled into a false sense of security” by said network *cough* Orange *cough* ever again.

Sorry, that should be EE.  Ahem.  Everything Everywhere – that night it was Nothing Anywhere.

Thing is that it wasn’t just Orange.  It was the first time I’d encountered the fact that everyone tries to text the same message at the same time and most networks just collapse.

I’ve been prepared since, if I send greetings the recipients get them at half-past ten and they can like it.  Just don’t open it til midnight.

Now though Facebook have the answer – though it wouldn’t have helped me, the object of my undying love wasn’t on Facebook – in their Facebook Stories app and it’s ability to automatically send a message to all your friends on the first dong of Big Ben, or when the ball drops depending on your continent.  This has since been found to be less than private so be careful what you say.

So there, problem solved and it shows you care, it’s not like you’re sending some kind of automated new year spam is it?

Psychology, Science, Society

Snap Judgements

Speed dating

Speed dating (Photo credit: ☺ Lee J Haywood)

It’s New Year’s Eve and many people will be going out to bars tonight to see if they can meet someone to see the new year in with but how will they choose?

Well it’s been assumed that the initial snap judgement is based on physical attractiveness and research using a speed-dating group does confirm this but also found that a second part of the brain – the rostromedial prefrontal cortex – was active when choices were being made.  This is a part of the brain that deals with choices where apparently equal options are available, it considers other people’s opinions and the similarities to others and it’s shown that when activated a person would choose a candidate that they considered to be more likeable than other people did.

The choices are still based on quick initial impressions but there is more going on than previously thought.