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Good Reads: From teens and Facebook to the culinary tastes of ‘Dear Leader’ to a new 5G cellphone

This week's round-up of Good Reads includes Facebook losing favor among teens, the first menial jobs of the rich and famous, reminiscences by Kim Jong-il's sushi chef, new campuses for the headquarters of tech giants, and the world's fastest cellphone.

By Staff writer / June 11, 2013

Most teenagers have a Facebook account they check every day.

Nick Ut/AP


Fading enthusiasm for Facebook

Teenagers hate Facebook, according to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. They also can’t get enough of it. The report found that 94 percent of American teens are on Facebook, more than on any other social network. But many of the young respondents have lost enthusiasm for the site, complaining about “the increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful ‘drama.’” Despite these frustrations, teens say they keep using Facebook because it has become a key part of socializing.

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Innovation Editor

Chris Gaylord is the Monitor's Innovation Editor. He loves gadgets, history, design, and curious readers like you.

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“I think Facebook can be fun, but also it’s drama central,” one girl told a Pew researcher. Another said: “Honestly, I’m on it constantly but I hate it so much.” 

While these findings might seem troubling, they also sound a lot like young people’s feelings about high school in general. The big difference is how the social network follows teens home. Pew found a significant rise in the kind of material that students share on Facebook compared with what was shared in 2006: 92 percent now reveal their real names, 91 percent post personal photos, 24 percent upload videos of themselves, 20 percent publish their phone numbers. 

What was your first job?

Does your first job define you? Kate Rockwood, writing for Fast Company, asked several major names in business and entertainment about where they began. The consensus: You can start from anywhere. 

Among our favorite first jobs in the illustrated slide show: Doug McMillon, chief executive officer of Wal-Mart International, started off unloading boxes in a Wal-Mart warehouse. Before directing the highest-grossing movie of all time (and then breaking his own record), James Cameron was a truck driver. Martha Stewart began as a $50-an-hour model for Chanel and others. Actress and writer Tina Fey kicked off her professional life answering phones at a suburban YMCA. And Liu Chuanzhi, cofounder of computer giant Lenovo, was a laborer in the rice fields during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. 

A sushi chef’s memory of the ‘Dear Leader’ 

The world knows little about North Korea. As Adam Johnson writes in GQ magazine, “We didn’t even know the age of the current leader, Kim Jong-un, until Kenji Fujimoto revealed his birth date. (January 8, 1983.)”

Who is Kenji Fujimoto? For 11 years, he was personal chef, confidant, and court jester to the supreme leader’s father, Kim Jong-il, and at times played nanny to a young Kim Jong-un. Now, after escaping North Korea and taking on an alias, Mr. Fujimoto is the “Japanese intelligence community’s single greatest asset on the Kim family.”


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Editors' picks

Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

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