Make them “like” what they see

It seems crazy. I used to think that going into a job interview that I have one and only chance to make a good first impression. This is no longer the case. The new trend is for employees investigate profiles to get that first impression and dig a little deeper to find more personal information. That means everyone should be very considerate of what gets posted on the internet. Many employers are starting to include Facebook in their recruitment and selection processes. With the use of privacy settings this can be prevented, until the company you’re applying to asks for passwords and login information so they can “take a look around”.

The trend

Everyone is looking for the most efficient way to get things done. That is why companies are resorting to Facebook profiles to find out about their applicants. Facebook provides a lot of supplemental information about the employee that can ultimately make or break the deal. The unfortunate part is that there is not much legislation on this issue. There are other practises available where the applicant is able to decide what and how much information they provide to the company. This includes looking at housing/renting trends, credit scores, employment history, and much more. The problem with these practises is cost, and looking on Facebook is free.

Things they look at on a Facebook profile:

•Comments you have posted that are racist, sexist or discriminatory.
•Inappropriate photos of you and the people you spend time with.
•Distasteful comments from your friends.
• What types of aps you use.
•What types of groups are you a member of?

Each of these areas of your profile are important to look at when trying to clean up your Facebook ‘image’. These are small things you can look into yourself before applying to jobs just in case. Many people may argue and protest against what these companies are doing, but you can just change some small things and still have an opportunity to get the job.

Your Privacy Settings

Privacy settings are important to use when controlling who can see what on your profile. Be sure to familiarize yourself with them and learn how to hide what you don’t want your future employer to see. There are many sites available to help guide you through changing each privacy setting. It is also important not to add people you do not know on Facebook. This can increase privacy protection as well.


Technology and the use of social media will continue to grow and the popularity of using these to investigate potential employees will increase as well. This is why it is important to be considerate of what goes on your profile. Your profile is a representation of you as a person, so when job searching, try and help the company like what they see.

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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


Remember a time when children used to play with their friends outside? When computers weren’t the most important thing to most people? What will the next generation be like, growing up with so much technology? The Y generation, in particular, are considered “digital natives” being those who have always had access to technology and the internet.

As I walk past empty parks and quite neighbourhoods I wonder why children no longer spend as much time outside. The internet is to blame. Children are consumed by internet games and youtube causing attention spans to rapidly decrease. This is not the only change to our brain function being caused by the internet. The internet is changing how we store information and also how we communicate with people.

Studies have shown that the internet changes the way the brain functions, in terms of storing information and maintaining one’s attention. Digital natives are reliant on the internet to store the information for them. All they have to remember is how to find the information they want. This is the trend that is being noticed as research develops.

The internet is also full of distractions. Watching one youtube video can lead to bouncing between strings of several different videos and spending hours online. The longer the video, the less likely the individual will watch it in its entirety. Even reading has become a challenge for these digital natives. Unless required for school, this generation of young people have difficulty reading long passages, if any at all.

Research has found that those who use the internet excessively are 2.5 times more likely to experience depression. This is due to lack of social stimulation and face to face interaction. The internet is so convenient that people don’t even have to leave their house to go shopping. The simple interaction and communication between a cashier and a customer doesn’t happen while making purchases online.  With young people growing up consumed by the internet the negative social impacts are quite clear. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is becoming more common among teens that are intensively exposed to internet. This is only one of several negative medical impacts the internet is having on our young people.

Overall, this new age of internet and technology has severely been impacting our society. As technology continues to develop so will the negative impacts on our social culture. Our brains are changing to accommodate the internet in that we have come to rely on it to store our information for us. We no longer have to recall off the top of our head when we have wireless internet wherever we go. Attention spans decrease due to the overwhelming availability of entertainment. This distracting entertainment is also the cause for social implications to occur because of decreased personal interaction with other humans. This message needs to be seriously considered for those who intend to raise children in this technology driven society. A second look needs to be taken to realize what the internet is really doing to us.

The Internet Generation

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


The Dangers of Being Distracted

It was 3:00 am when I got the phone call; my brother had been taken to the hospital on a spine board. He had rolled his car and the officer did not give him a ticket assuming he was dead. Luckily he survived with few injuries but a life lesson learned. He was only 60km from his home when sending a text letting our mother know he was okay. His car drifted onto a gravel shoulder and his cruise control was on, causing the car to lose control and roll. While texting he was probably traveling over 100km/hr. Needless to say, this accident has impacted our family dramatically. We all now realize how dangerous texting and driving can be, but why does it take such a serious incident for this topic to be taken seriously?

The law

On October 26, 2009, Ontario officially banned the use of hand-held devices while driving.  The law deems use of any technology or display screens illegal while driving, including laptops and DVD players, cell phones and GPS systems.  The ticket cost for texting and driving is around 155 dollars. Mind you, ‘hands-free’ devices are still permitted making it tempting for drivers to continue using their devices while driving.  I personally think that even hands free devices are still distracting and should also be outlawed. They still require you to look at screens and take your eyes off the road, and deter your concentration from driving.

The ticket for texting and driving is assuming one gets caught behaving this way while driving. When accidents occur and innocent people get injured, much more serious charges can occur. In some instances, distracted drivers involved with fatal accidents are being charged with “man-slaughter” due to the seriousness of this dangerous behaviour.  This is something else that needs to be considered before texting and driving. This is a very serious charge with lengthy jail time that will scar your record for the rest of your life. People need to start asking themselves… is it worth it?

Pay attention while driving

People often forget that driving is a complicated activity that requires full, undivided attention. On highways and in familiar areas many drivers believe driving is simple and requires minimal attention.  It has been found that using a cell phone while behind the wheel can consume 37% of the brain activity required for driving. Drivers need to be reminded that they are:

•Operating a large mechanical object at high speeds

•Moving through terrain that alters

•Watching the road to approximate speeds and distances

•Reacting to other drivers, signs signals, pedestrians, and other obstacles on the road

It can take a split second for an accident to happen on the road. Meanwhile drivers take their eyes off the road for more than 5 seconds at a time to send a text. In fact, crash risks increase up to 23 times compared to when driving properly with your eyes on the road. These statistics alone should be enough to frighten one from texting and driving, sadly that is not the case.  It is very unfortunate that it takes a dramatic accident to hit close to home for some to realize how dangerous texting and driving can be. Luckily, my brother didn’t lose his life but many others are not as lucky.  Statistics from 2010 showed that 3092 lost their lives in accidents involving a distracted driver. It was also approximated that 416,000 individuals were injured by distracted drivers of motor vehicles.  These numbers are not getting smaller, something needs to change and people need to pay attention to the road!

Reducing texts while driving

With laws set in place and the statistics to follow, texting while driving is clearly a dangerous behaviour that puts everyone at risk. In driving classes, driving safety is reinforced, but not all drivers take driving classes, or listen while in driving classes. Officers come into schools to express the importance of paying attention while driving. Unfortunately, the majority of drivers state they are aware of the dangers but continue to put their lives at risk. Almost 40% of teens claim they have been in a vehicle while the driver was texting and driving and do nothing to stop it. Texting has become such a habit that people cannot ignore their phone until the car is parked.  The evidence is clear though, it needs to be stopped, but how? Statistics are not enough to frighten the typical texter from changing their ways. Even laws set in place are doing little to decrease distracted driving.  For me it was the same, I knew the dangers of texting and driving, the laws were also set in place, I continued to text and drive, up until the day I almost lost my brother. That was enough for me to quit. Driving distracted is just not worth losing my life or someone else’s.  If only the importance of paying attention to the road were this clear to all the drivers out there.

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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Uncategorized