I feel that through the evolution of Facebook, emails, texting etc. there is a risk that we're losing touch with human touch. Anybody have any feedback, or stories relating to this? Is this the right forum for this?
Many online relationships translate very well offline. The internet provides a vehicle for people to connect. Sometimes these relationships are limited to the internet, much like when you pick up the phone to order a pizza. But then there is the possibility to develop offline relationships as well. In general, I think the internet enhances my human experience.
I think technology has given us humans another chance to, an additional chance to, perceive yet one more perspective of inter personal relationships. I find it extremely interesting to communicate with others over the net. It brings up all kinds of issue aspects that have never come up before about communicating. All knowledge is good...when used for good purposes.
It's like just about anything else...it has great potential both ways. I've seen people who have virtually cut themselves off from actual physical interaction in favor of the internet because its anonymity makes them feel more powerful...more confident. I've also seen real friendships bud and blossom online and then carry over into the real world.
What we have to remember is that the internet is a tool and, as such, its value is limited to how we use it. A hammer can help build a building...but it can also tear one apart.
Moderation and discretion. In all things, not just technology.
I agree with you Elisabeth. Just like other things, it's about moderation. If you go too far in one direction then others will tend to 'over compensate' and go the opposite direction. Then it's like a snow ball effect of one group always trying to over compensate for the other.
This over compensation can be seen in politics, business, health, relationships. Think about it.
Ya thats Right ...Importance of social networking increases to day....
What about the younger generation? We've been brought up socializing one-on-one, and it's a great tool. But about the ramications to children who are "learning" to interact in their very informative years? What is this teaching them about socializing? When someone "bugs" them, they block them, that's not real life and there are no lessons learned.
I think it gets odd when friends start sending you drinks and cakes on facebook. What do you suppose to do with them? put them in your virtual fridge for the next virtual party?
I love the internet as most of my friends are travelers. Some never have a fixed address and we wouldn't be able to maintain our closeness without the aid of a computer. Of course we also try to visit each other when we have the money too.
I agree with the comment "moderation and discretion".
If something like facebook had been around 25 years ago when I first went overseas to work I might have staying in contact with some of my then friends - now its so easy - then it was letters or $5/minute calls - technology is wonderful!
Lissie, this is an excellent point.
My best, closest friends are the ones I met while working at a summer camp, and they live all over the world. Facebook helps us keep in touch, in addition to phone calls and visits (which never happen enough). The occasional text message is great when you see or hear something that makes you think of someone, but it isn't an appropriate time to call that person. Technology has supplemented our friendship, not replaced one-on-one interaction.
However, I also agree that moderation is key.
What about the younger generation? We've been brought up socializing one-on-one, and it's a great tool. But about the ramications to children who are "learning" to interact in their very informative years? What is this teaching them about socializing? When someone "bugs" them, they block them, that's not real life and there are no lessons learned.
I don't think we are connected there yet. Feel free to befriend me :-* http://profile.to/malexandrov/
The issue is not whether technology is replacing human interaction, it is whether we are training our children to do so.
How many parents do you know who restrict their children from the internet, effectively forcing them to have real, truly meaningful involvement with the world around them?
I do not think restriction would work. It would be better to offer children alternative ways of entertainment, something that they DO enjoy. What about horseriding or swimming rather than sitting in front of the computer? The children and teenagers that I see around me DO prefer outdoor activities rather than sitting in front of a PC.
My cousins simply didn't have a computer or video games as an option...and TV was rare. They played hard, made stuff, and had (are having) great childhoods. As they get older, they are introduced to the option of choosing between playing baseball or watching a movie, and sometimes they choose the movie, but sometimes they choose baseball. Nothing was ever restricted, they were simply not exposed. Now that they are old enough to be given choices, they make wise choices and have learned how to manage their time.
I think it is different with everyone, every child, every parent...it isn't one way or another, right or wrong, just different approaches.
Restrictions never work. They just create cravings and desires that strike really hard later...
Reasonable restrictions -do- work. You can't just say "Oh, little Johnny, no myspace for you CUZ I SAID SO!" but rather, if approached calmly, rationally, you can help your child to understand the importance of personal interaction over computer-based interaction.
I imagine that somewhere down the line something may convince me that the kids who spend hours and hours in front of myspace and facebook are being raised by good people with wholesome intentions, but for now I refer you to this:
I had a little extra time to go back and view this video and this is one of the most disturbing things I have ever witnessed! I am not sure what was the most disturbing about it, the reaction he had or the constant daunting and torturing from his brother and his brother's friends. I truly get the feeling that this child's obsession with MySpace stems from a seriously disfunctional family! This reaction is not simply because of his love for MySpace. This child is obviously tortured regularly by his brother and possibly the same group that tortured him in this video.
Apparently, much more happend than what is shown here as the child is already crying so hard he can't breathe when they entered the room to make this video. I am wondering if MySpace is not the only outlet that this child has from all the torture he receives at home. My question would be where are the parents and why are they allowing this to go on? They seriously need to watch this video and take some serious actions on both sides. It is truly sickening! I would say that both sides need some serious restrictions and a little discipline would definitely be in order. This child is going to grow up and kill everyone in his house along with himself one day if this treatment continues!
Sorry, Charlotte, I hate watching videos longer than a minute Try to say it in words
And my own kids gave and keep giving me enough experience to base my opinions on
Basically, this little kid is being insulted and pushed by his brother because the kid thinks Myspace is life. He flips out, goes ballistic.
Now, if this isn't a sign of a dire need for us to unplug as much as possible, I don't know what is.
I'm not saying Myspace or facebook are evil, but if a child spends more time on the computer than with friends, developing and enhancing their own social skills, then what does that say for our future?
I wouldn't want the fate of my country, our troops or our tax money decided by someone who grew up thinking Myspace is life. I would have missed out on so much as a kid if my parents hadn't said, hey kid - get off the couch and go play outside. The five children whose early stages of development I have been an integral part of are all unplugged (no more than two hours of tv a day) and you know what, they're beautiful, healthy, amazing kids. I like to think my experience will help me when I have a child of my own.
LOL you touched on sooooo many things! I might write something on this later, but I don't promise
Err.. that's kind of the same thing, darlin'. There is nothing wrong with telling your child "No, you cannot play on the computer tonight. Why don't you go play with the kids down the street?"
Outside of schoolwork, and up until an age where you and your child can sit down and set parameters for their computer use, there is no reason for a child to be on the computer when there is a world to learn, explore and grow in.
I don't think it is the same thing. You are talking about telling your children what to do rather than teaching them to make their own choices.
What you say would only work if you are there to reinforce your point. I am talking about the child choosing another activity because he enjoys it better. Like Misha says it is about choice.
No, darlin', it is not the same thing.
It is rather approaching a kid playing on a computer and telling him something like "I go horse riding, will you go with me?" and leaving choice to them...
I think having access to forums like this when I was a teenager would have been amazing. My only sibling was 5 years younger and I was a loner at school. Not because I wanted to be but because I moved countries when I was 7 so turned up at a NZ school with a funny accent, unable to play sport (we didn't in Scotland), and ahead of my age group in the 3Rs. I was the kid in the corner with the book. I hid in books, I always read at least 5 years ahead my actual age I was reading Asimov, Clark etc when I was 12 or 13. Books are fantastic and I still read anything and everything- but they are a 1 way conversation
Nowadays I can come to hubpages and discuss atheism on a forum - I've never had an intellectual discussion about atheism with anyone other than Christians! Its wonderful to have a conversation on that level with others who think a similar way to I do - now I'm not a teenager or even a young adult anymore - I'm used to being the odd 1 out and I don't seek or have a huge circle of friends in real life. But at hubpages I have a pretty credible number of fans just because of what I write - how cool do you think that is for the kid who was always the last one picked for the team?
So yes make sure your kid gets enough exercise but please please don't force them to be sociable if they don't want to - taking away my books would have caused violence when I was a kid (still might) - at least online they are communicating - its just a different way.
Lissie - I keep quoting you! I actually had my books taken away from me as a child, and it was so uncool. Sure, I was a bookworm, but I also knew how to have fun with my friends and play outside. When my parents took my books away, they took away my choice and that was not okay with me. I rebelled by sneaking books into hiding places all over the yard and house, so I could sneak reading time in.
My first job after college was as a "Reader" - yes, that was my title. I quickly called my mom to tell her.
I don't think Charlotte was talking about taking away choice. I just don't think she expressed it the way she meant to. (Charlotte, if I'm wrong there, sorry for speaking for you.)
Lordie, I'm not saying take away choice. I'm saying, take action. Don't let your children get so engrossed in computers, myspace, facebook, all of that, when there is a whole world out there for them.
The last thing I want my children to do is CHOOSE to be recluses tied to a computer rather than know what the world has to offer. I think it's every parent's responsibility to enforce moderation. To take away hundreds of hours of wasted time on the computer while they're young isn't a bad thing.
I think this is a tricky subject, so I debated weighing in. We have definitely set computer limits for our two school aged boys (10 and 8), particularly when the weather is nice and they could be out riding bikes or playing ball - things that they both truly enjoy doing. They have a group of neighborhood friends, so its not like we are forcing them to be social where they are uncomfortable doing so. At the same time, we don't believe they should be plugged in for hours on the computer, or in front of the X-box. At this age, we do not allow any games during the week, M-Th. Computer can be used for research. Over the weekend, we usually impose 1-2 hour time limits at a stretch. Morning and late afternoon. We'll revisit when they get to the Facebook age. Neither boy has their own computer, so that will be a new challenge in a year or two, as well.
At the same time, my oldest does watch me on HubPages.... and he offers ideas for topics. I imagine he would enjoy weighing in on forum discussions one of these days a few years from now. So, I have to think about what I am modeling, and actually unplug myself and get out to play, hike and take some photos in the nice weather.
I know what you mean about tricky, that's why I stick to religion and politics, to avoid the trickiness, but I see in our nieces and nephews the addiction to the Wii, Xbox, computer, etc, and it worries me. Then, I think of how much time I spend here at HubPages and it worries me more. I guess I may have to impose a "do as I say, not as I do" sort of rule, either that or spend less time on my computer...
I also submit a comment with reservation, as this is an issue of parenting, and that is always a touchy subject. I, however, have been put in a unique situation, in that I am weekly, if not daily, exposed to a group of young adult’s ages, 18-31 who are single. First I must express that I absolutely love this group of individuals, and when I say individuals, they are certainly all different and unique.
When I was first given this assignment through my church organization (which I guess with all their differences that I have stated, they do have a commonality of religious beliefs, on different levels of commitment) I noticed how unsocial they seemed to be. I have worked in this position for a little over a year now. I was surprised at when put in a group situation they lacked the social skills to just sit and chat. In fact in that same situation, I observed different individuals sitting and actually text messaging others at the same function! This might be surprising I know, but it is true.
A year later, after having broken out the simple board games, turned off the television and offered my home as a place of gathering for socialization and fun, they have become rather social with one another. It is so inspiring to see how they accept each other differences and all. We even have a couple of individuals with learning difficulties and these young people have embraced them with patience and love. I personally, have had the opportunity to set aside just plan old chat time and have engaged in many an awesome conversation with them. I have to agree I think that social networking on the internet may have caused them to be unengaged in reality, but with a little encouragement, they are healthy and normal socializing adults.
All that said, I also think moderation is the key, exposure to the "good old ways of making friends", and just plain having fun, is necessary for a healthy balance.
Sorry for the "NOVEL"
Steph expressed my point precisely, and so did Doghouse.
Our kids today focus more on text/instant messengers/Myspace as ways to be social and some spend hundreds of hours a month doing just this, but don't have social skills to speak of, and THAT is the problem. That is why a child should have a set limit to how long they spend on the computer. People balk at the word restriction, but I'll bet you Steph's kids appreciate their computer time when they get it, and even more, appreciate the outside time they spend.
I agree, I can say from a parent's perspective (my opinion) that's kids do not fully understand the social aspect of online activity. I find the kids are exposed to stuff that I didn't even know existed back in my day. When I was in high school, we never had issues such as being emo (cutters) and now, even in my small community of only 10,000, grade nine has a ratio of 5/10 girls who are cutters. I'm not sure what to think of this, is it related to the internet? I can't say for sure. My daughter starts high school next year and I'm freaking a bit. Also I find the kids are a bit more vulgar when they are not talking face to face. I remind my daughter every now and then, if you can't tell them to their face, don't say it on line.
I do feel it is necessary to restrict their time on line. I feel as though their are still learning to effectively interact socially and if they learn it only from the net, how will they survive in the real world? I don't know, it's a tough one. My kids have one hour each day on the computer and they don't get it unless chores and homework are completed first. I think that is reasonable, but then again, that's just my opinion. I need to deal with the lip piercing right now, that's the new thing.
When I'm faced with a tricky parenting question, I often try to approach it from the point of final result - whom I want to bring up? In this case the distinction for me would be between bringing up someone who is trained to obey orders versus someone who is trained to think for themselves and make their own decisions...
So you're saying, Misha, that putting a reasonable limit on the amount of time your child spends on the computer is the same as 'training to obey'?
Yes, because "reasonable" in this case is external to the kid, i.e. defined by somebody else but him/her...
Absolutely And what I do and what I want my kids to be able to do - is exercise their discretion on when to obey and when not to obey. In other words - to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it - rather than blindly follow every rule imposed over them...
Parenting is difficult, indeed. And everyone will have their own parenting styles. Misha - I love ya, and I'm sure my kids are not quite as old as yours. But I don't trust mine yet on knowing what a reasonable time on the computer is. Just as I don't trust them to know what good, healthy choices are with respect to food. In fact, if I wasn't around to help direct them, they would rarely (if ever) brush their teeth or take showers and I'm quite certain their beds would never be changed. LOL.... Long story short - I'm entitled to give them some "orders" and direction in the early years so that they can make responsible choices when they get older. This goes for everything in their young lives. My direction will get less and less influential as they age, but I'm hoping that a good foundation will help them with responsibility on a number of levels in the future.
(now why did I step into this issue again?)
LOL Steph, I love ya, too :-*
I did pretty much what you do when I was bringing up my older son, who is almost 25 now. In fact I was probably more restrictive than you just because I'm a guy, and guys are much less flexible and much more selfish then gals
But my views changed dramatically since then, and now I'm trying to give my younger kids ( 4 and 1.5 years old) as much freedom as they can take, imposing restrictions only in life threatening situations. I talk to them, I explain to them, and I let them make their own choices...
IDK, my views can change again several years down the road, I've seen them doing this on me not once , but as I stand right now - I let my kids make their own mistakes and learn from them...
Because nobody's fighting here.
Again, Steph, you make precisely my point.
I love you Misha, but I don't see at ALL how not letting your child waste hundreds of hours in front of a computer is 'training them to obey' or not letting them learn from their own mistakes.
A computer is a PRIVILEGE, not a RIGHT.
I love you, too, Charlotte Didn't we join this thread to tell this to everybody around?
Well, back to the topic - the key word is "not letting". Every time you don't let them, i.e. enforce your decision on them, you are 'training them to obey'...
And I don't believe in rights and privileges either
Well.. honey, we're just going to have to agree to disagree, which is okay. If we were all the same then it'd be a pretty boring world, right?
It's an interesting thread. I found myself in agreement with Stacie - and disagreement with you
I don't understand, Misha.. maybe I guess I misunderstood Stacie, but she's saying something very similar to what I'm saying, she just used gentler words.
Not to all what she posted here Her story about her personal experience with books taken away from her get my full support, though. I had similar experiences in my childhood (and most of us probably had), and I want to minimize that kind of troubles to my kids
Well I firmly believe in house rules, but I also believe in natural consequences. If for instance my daughter chooses not to do her homework, then that is her choice and naturally her grades will suffer. However, as a parent, I could not allow any computer time unless the work was done. My job is to make sure the opportunity is there, what she does with it, is another story. Just like the bedrooms, they want it to be messy, fine with me, but don't complain you have no clean clothes to wear to school.
In my house, there has to be expectations, but I do have a special needs child also who needs a very structured environment. He's only 12, but looks like he's 17. He has the vocabulary of a 2 year old, so he can get quite aggressive because of his frustrations. He loves the computer though, what kid doesn't.
I understand what you mean Misha, I have read somewhere that constantly saying no to your child is not good also. It's tough being a parent, you have to go with the flow and hope it's good enough.
Constantly saying no is a bad thing, I agree. Consistancy is a good thing, though, especially when establishing the dos and don'ts for a child.
Do: Play, laugh, roam free, skin your knees and have all the fun you could think to have.
Don't: Spend carefree years of your life you'll never get back obsessed with things that don't matter, like Myspace and Facebook, internet games or things like that.
I want my children to experience life.. not be able to blink in time with the refresh rate of a monitor. That's all I'm saying. *hugs for all*
People today, are also consumed with these ipods (another crappy virtual device that takes people within themselves and shuts them out from others)..computers and the WHOLE INTERNET thing is the same, trick is, is to rule it instead of it ruling you...alot of people today, become cocooned in the virtual world and the real world then becomes more distant/alien.
And what about people texting each other saying dinner is up, but they're all in the house when the texting occurs, what is with that bullshit???..And yes teenagers today all engrossed in bebo and or facebook, I mean what the fk!..is more fodder for the predators out there I guess eh..food for thought??..bite your biscuit harder!
I think the whole life thing is about variety.
We want our kids to be well rounded so they need to do a bunch of different things as they grow up, so they can thrive making good choices later.
They have to be able to think for themselves.
I've found that my kids use online social communities to Supplement their relationships in real life, but when they start obsessive behavior, we need to limit their computer time.
Having three girls alternating time on the computer is good for my family, but I certainly don't recommend them having a computer all to themselves in their room.
They must be able to Share what they are doing online ...none of that weird stuff going on in the schools so much these days. Isolation causes weirdness and text messages cannot replace real relationships. Book reading is Extremely important too, but not Only doing book reading.
Variety is the spice of life and kids need to learn to make their own varied life in healthy ways. It's our job to guide them toward that as they learn to take care of themselves (cleaning their rooms, etc.).
Moderation and variety are good rules to stick to.
All the best to you and yours!
I have to agree with Charlotte on this issue. After all, part of life is learning to obey rules to some extent. If you break laws, you are punished for breaking those laws.
Being a parent is about teaching your children right from wrong and that there are consequences for their actions. If you never say "no" to your child, then they will expect it in real life and there are many, many times that they will hear "no" in the real world. You can have restrictions and consequences for breaking those restrictions without taking away their right to choose.
For example, when my girls were teens, they had a curfew. Did they have a choice as to whether or not to be home by curfew? Absolutely. But if they weren't they also had consequences to face. Therefore, they chose to be home on time to avoid those consequences.
What kind of shape would the world be in if children are not given restrictions of some sort? I fully believe that is part of the problem in today's society now. We have more and more kids getting into trouble with the law than there ever has been and when they do, the parents bail them out and make excuses for their actions. In my day, we would sit it out in jail to learn our lesson.
I had excellent teens. They always let me know where they were, who they were with and if they went to another neighbor's house, they let me know that too. I told them when they began getting out with friends on their own that I would trust them until they gave me a reason not to and then we would have a problem. However, they had already had restrictions and been taught that there would be consequences for their actions if they did not "obey the rules". Rules are a simple fact of life and it is better to teach them at a young age than to throw them into the real world expecting to be able to choose for themselves whether to follow rules or not. Be it on a job or in civilization.
My kids were taught to make their own decisions but they were also taught that you have to follow the rules at home, on the job and in the public places. Life is full of rules and it all comes down to who is the parent and who is the child. Sometimes you just have to say no as a parent, otherwise, their choices can have major consequences in the real world.
I am with Misha on this one.
Kids need to learn how to make decisions for themselves and even the Dalai Lama states:
"Learn the rules so you know when to break them."
Life is full of rules and some of them are ridiculous or downright morally wrong. People have to be able to have the confidence to stand up against rules and laws that need to be changed.
If we raise robots programmed to obey all the time then the world will suffer.
After all, it use to be law in the States that "people of color" (yes, this is a despicable phrase) had to ride at the back of the bus, were not to be given free access to education. In China it is the law that Christianity is not to be practiced nor free speech allowed. The punishment is exile or even death.
Misha grew up in a Communist country where all that existed were rules. Many, many rules. Does it work? No.
Children need to experience the world, learn from their mistakes and become compassionate to those around them. If you cultivate empathy and respect in your child they will naturally make the healthy choices.
Children learn by example. If you don't want your child to become a computer addict then every weekend and during holiday's take them out into the world to do something fun. Invite their friends, take them traveling, expose them to other cultures and other ways of life.
Instill a natural curiosity for the world in your child and you won't have to worry about them. Even introverts like Lissie can read books while out camping, organize a book club for your child with their closest friend.
There are so many things you can do to naturally instill good decision making principles in your child without creating a long list of rules to which most teenagers then naturally rebel against.
My brother and I as teenagers only had one rule in our house and that was: our parents needed to know where we were going for safety reasons. We had no curfew, we had no other rules, we didn't even have to attend school if we wanted to stay home for the day. We had ultimate freedom.
And do you know what. My parents were pretty much the only ones who actually knew where their kids were and what they were up to. All the other parents with rules were lied to all the time. They had no idea that their kids were drunk in a gutter, having sex with all kinds of people etc etc.
My parents could go away out of State for 2 weeks when my brother was 17 and I was 15, leave us unchaperoned and know that we would make the choice to go to school. That we would not destroy the house with wild parties, that we would not do anything out of the ordinary.
Why? Because when you have total freedom to make your own decisions there is nothing to rebel against.
Sorry for the manifesto. Lol.
Um, Rachelle if you ever need a boyfriend....
Your parents were awesome, and this is exactly how I will raise my own kids if I ever have any.
I believe you when you type this, and I have to say that is a fascinating and awesome upbringing.
And this is the toughest job one can ever have. They *will* make all possible wrong decisions before they learn to make right ones. And one of those decisions is to see how much they can drive their parents nuts, before parents start to impose rules on them
Knowing how I was as a kid, I can believe that.
I was the kid that would be asking about the composition of the tires on the Bus as it was about to run me over (just before someone pulled me out of the way).
"Why do I need to move?"
"Hey, what is that Bus made of, it is so shiny?"
"Hey, I wonder what that tire is made out of?"
/me gets pulled out of the way by a concerned person just in the nick of time.
It almost seems like on the video his older brother is teasing him.
Not a parent but was a computer teacher for 10 years in public schools. This still sounds like a "the kids these days" kind of thing. I used to think this way but kids are really resilient, they adapt and change and catch up to most situations. I have witnessed it time and time again.
When I moved to another country and didn't know many people I turned more toward internet communities and some of those relationships became real ones too. One doesn't supplant the other. Kids understand this better than adults do. When I taught internet safety lessons the kids understood the differences in behavior online and in real life. It was the adults who didn't. Adults generally thought there was one way t behave and you could apply it to online and offline worlds. Kids always understood the 2 and their differences.
One student told me, adults say it is so bad to spend hours and hours a day on the computer but when we get a job some of us are going to be spending hours and hours emailing, repsonding to emails, etc. What's the difference?
Sure they are doing work but is it really any different from doing other mind numbing tasks? I'm sure spending hours a day related to email and its associated tasks is just as bad for you as playing video games.
Anway, limits are good but for relationship sake, nt for saving your children from the evils of computers.
I'm very sleepy and this may ot have been coherent, and I'm still smarting from being called a spammer, *wipes tear away*
LOL both in online and offline worlds there is a big difference between saying "this is spam" and saying "you are a spammer". Do you feel it?
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