Our phones have become our lifelines, our mode of socializing, our way of staying connected. But in fact, by using this "appliance" to stay connected, I would say we are in fact losing all of our connections. There is something to be said for distraction free living. It is no wonder that stress levels in our society are at an all-time high and use of anti-depressants have peaked.
With the school year back in full swing, it's a great time to revisit a topic that affects students, parents and teachers equally: social media. While social media use continues to grow and becomes increasingly common place, it is nonetheless an area of contention, particularly when it comes to kids -- both in and outside of the classroom.
Hamas and Israel are at war and the land beneath their citizens' feet is crying. As it does, an incredible marvel -- while not entirely new-- is happening, and that is tweeting behind the lines. The idea that Palestinians and I, a Jewish community worker in Toronto in 2014, are bantering back and forth while bombs and missiles fall in Israel and Gaza is astounding.
Rather than seeing nothing after I post a particularly bleak tweet or a caption speaking about mental illness, my notifications explode with questions and comments, all curious and positive about this awful invisible assailant. Total strangers will send their love and prayers out to me. Others will thank me for being brave and outspoken.
Computers afford us a lot, and social media has its pluses and minuses, but what the Internet can't truly replicate is the spirit when all our senses are engaged and we are participating in life outside the screen. That's what's missing. That's why there's less time for living. Here's how to use social media and create a balance so that you enjoy the moments of living more fully.
What if you put the the most viral Facebook and Twitter accounts into one feed and ranked the posts by popularity. What would the 20 most liked and viral posts in the last week be? I bet it will surprise most of you -- because we human beings like some weird stuff, but we're used to dividing ourselves socially into interest groups, and then only seeing what's popular with our friends and peers.
Rihanna recently had her Instagram account deleted after posting one of the topless photos from her very racy, very stylish spread in Lui magazine earlier this month. Even though Instagram maintained it was an accident (who in their right mind would piss RiRi off on purpose?) and reinstated the account, it had still been wiped squeaky clean.
On Thursday night, Montreal Canadiens player P. K. Subban scored the winning goal against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal. Predictably, Boston fans were outraged. In this case, though, with Subban as one of the few black players in the league, their anger took a sickeningly racist turn.
Does digital activism against MacLean, Cooke, and Sterling provide real tools to force change? Or, is it merely a technologically-enabled show of customer-generated publicity that is either entirely self-serving or destined to be co-opted by the very sports-entertainment businesses against which its putative anger is aimed? I say the plusses win out.
James Franco recently came under fire for allegedly flirting with a 17-year-old Scottish girl, via Instagram. "I'm embarrassed, and I guess I'm just a model of how social media is tricky," explained Franco."It's a way people meet each other today, but what I've learned...you don't know who's on the other end." Except that in this case, Franco knew exactly who was on the other end. The girl readily admits to being only 17.
Given that Quebeckers are facing yet another pivotal election on April 7, over the past couple of weeks, I paid close attention to the two political "debates" held between the leaders of the province's four main parties. I bracket the word "debates" with quotation marks, as these two two-hour sessions were debates in name only.
So often people exchange business cards and never contact each other. Or they add each other on LinkedIn and the networking dies there. Remember you are building a relationship and you want to be memorable. Following up is critical to making networking work effectively. In fact, by following up you are setting yourself apart from most networkers.
The San Francisco based startup Secret (that was founded by two former Google and Square employees) is getting tons of attention, followers and fans. In short, you can write anything that's on your mind, add photos or colors to the background and customize this content while being able to share it, free of judgment, and without attaching any of your personal information or profile to it.
What do you learn when you spend eight hours with a top business leader? Samantha Sim, a fourth-year journalism student at Toronto's Ryerson University, spent the day shadowing Kirstine Stewart, managing director of Twitter in Canada. Ms. Sim found that the executive schedule was filled with speeches, cab rides and tweets.