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Tech Talk April 25, 2018

• Social media is a daily way of life for many Americans.

Nearly half of Americans who use the internet say they use Facebook at least several times a day, making it easily the most popular social media site. And Facebook-owned Instagram comes in number two.

So whether you’re reaching for your phone before getting out of bed in the morning, or logging on to procrastinate during work, chances are you see the little blue “F’’ icon more often than you take a shower.

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 12 percent of Americans who are online use Facebook “almost constantly”, while 34 percent use it several times a day. About 15 percent use it once a day, and only 12 percent of Americans don’t have a Facebook account at all.

More women than men check Facebook more than once a day — 57 percent of women compared to 36 percent of men, according to the poll. Younger people are on Facebook more than older people. About 62 percent of adults under 30 check the site several times a day or more, while only 30 percent of adults 60 or over do. About 54 percent of adults 30 to 44 check multiple times a day, as do 43 percent of adults aged 45 to 59.

Jim Mazzarese, 73, a retired airline manager from Ft Lauderdale, Florida, is one senior who checks Facebook on his phone several times a day when he gets notifications. He has a bit of a love-hate relationship with the site.

“It gets me crazy when I see opinions other than mine, it gets my blood pressure going up — but it’s a lot of fun,” he said. He appreciates how Facebook has let him connect with people from when he was growing up “100 years ago”.

• The US Naval Academy has seen a big increase in cyber operations majors, and a US senator said Monday that midshipmen could be useful in working on cyber challenges before they graduate.

The academy’s Board of Visitors, which acts as a board of trustees at civilian colleges, received an update on construction of the academy’s $106m cybersecurity building. The meeting was held on the third floor of Nimitz Library, overlooking an active construction site.

Vice Adm Ted Carter, the superintendent, said classes could begin in Hopper Hall in 2020.

The freshmen class has 110 cyber operations majors, or nearly ten percent of the class. That’s up from 22 cyber majors in the class of 2018.

“The increase in interest has skyrocketed,” said Paul Tortora, a retired Navy captain and director for the academy’s Center for Cyber Security Studies.

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