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Archive for November, 2012

Coming from a small island in the Caribbean where Thanksgiving is not part of our yearly calendar had me reflecting a lot on the meaning of Thanksgiving. For years the television led me to believe that Thanksgiving is all about family. A time for family members to come together and share a meal. A time where turkey’s were cooked and topped with cranberry and everyone laughed and chatted for hours.

Yet it seems that family time is slowly fading away or is it? Has Cyber deals taken over? Has Thanksgiving become more commercial than family? I sat back and looked at all the ads advertising deals and reduced prices for various stores. I went through my email and was amazed at the number of emails. Twitter was blowing up. All media sources seemed to be more about the sales and the deals than the family. I drove past Best Buy and Walmart and there was almost no parking! I wondered; isn’t tonight thanksgiving? Why are so many people outside waiting to devour the deals instead of being inside devouring turkey? Then came along Cyber Monday.More social media letting us know about the latest new prices. And we went crazy again looking for deals. Its amazing to me how persons would stand in line for hours just to buy a TV which was reduced by only $100! Don’t get me wrong; saving $100 is amazing when you think of how far that money could go. But standing in line for two hours just to pay for the TV and then another two just to pick it up? It cannot be that serious!

The Internet really does impact our lives even in the simplest ways. It is now slowly but surely creeping into what should be family time. But do we blame the Internet or do we blame the sales outlets or do we blame ourselves? Depends on your perspective I guess. Whichever way we look at it, I must say that sitting at home while munching on some turkey and cyber shopping Thanksgiving deals was amazing!!

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We are all aware of the many social media sites that exist. From Facebook to Twitter to RSS Feeds we are constantly and daily bombarded with social media. It is almost as if we cannot get away from it. Truthfully? You can’t!

Social media tools are the largest tool kit that one can buy. Most times we don’t even have to buy it! With a few clicks and a few entering of information we are well on our way to becoming a media tool guru. But how do you use it? How does it incooperate into your daily life? Do you use it everyday? Once a week? What do you use these tools for: good or bad or just for fun or is it for work? So many questions so many diverse answers. Maybe if I tell you how I use social media tools you will get an insight into them all and can then correctly evaluate yourself.

Prior to my Internet and Society class, I had many of these media tools. From LinkedIn to Twitter I was part of this world. Come to think of it, I’ll be honest: my email address was part of these tools sites not me! Yet during this semester I realized just how beneficial these tools are! Take Word Press for example. I have used it before as the Chair of CSO’s Newsletter Committee yet I never used it personally to blog. I had Twitter because one night I was bored and playing around with my Android smartphone. Google + I had because I wanted to see what it was like. Facebook..well…everyone has one but to me I had exhausted myself off of Facebook. The changes on there no longer made it appealing to me. LinkedIn..hmmm..yes I had one but I never even built a profile. I was just another empty page with only my name. As a teaching assistant I realized, flash drives can get lost or I could get so busy with classes that I forget to type up a quiz. Thank goodness for Google Docs! I could sit in class or on the bus or having lunch and type a document right off my phone and know that it will still be there when I got to a computer! Tech geek? maybe! Inspired? Oh yea!

My Internet and Society class also helped me to go beyond being just an email address on these internet tool sites. I am now a fan! I have developed a knack for blogging. I constantly look for ways to change up my Word Press blog. I go through Twitter looking for interesting articles and finding new persons or accounts that interest me. Then let’s not mention all the updates on what’s happening in the world! I sit in the morning and go through my RSS feed looking at news items that I would not otherwise have seen since I am at school.

Keeping the line of communication open is an amazing experience. Finding new ways to grow in a world gone tech savvy is so beneficial. Everything is online! So how does these tools benefit your life? How do you use them?

PS: Did anyone else notice how the interface of Word Press changed?? Awesome!

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With the invention of the Internet there is so much that can be done. So much to do on there that it sometimes feel like there is very little time! It sometimes feel like some persons attempt to reach the “end of the Internet!” But what happens when technology intertwines with the workplace? Is it okay for us to take a “technology break” every now and again?

As I’ve pointed out before, technology has greatly advanced the workplace and society. It has made life much easier for us and has allowed tasks which would have been long and tiring a lot shorter and more efficient and accurate. technology has also greatly improved communication skills and the ease at which one can communicate with others globally. So props to all the inventors and hard working technology gurus who have graced us with such luxury. Without these luxuries life would seem dull and tiresome. Well maybe not since we would never have experienced the ease. But who knows!

But what happens when employees at companies begin to abuse the use of technology? How much does checking our Facebook, buying online or just surfing the internet affect the outcome of our work? Let’s not even start talking about the amount of times a day we pause to check our phones! Text messaging, Twitter, Whatsapp and the list goes on all seem to be intertwined in our daily lives. Granted, or at least in my opinion, we all need a “break from work.” But when a break becomes to constant or too long and begin affecting our ability to perform efficiently in the work environment we need to check ourselves. Like Heather Toley says in her article Personal Internet Usage in the Workplace – a Serious Epidemic if we know what we are doing is wrong why do it? She made this statement in relation to employees who hurriedly toggle or minimize browsing pages when they hear footsteps behind them. It is obvious that they know that they are doing something wrong yet they do it anyway!

Technology can be our best friend but we need to be always aware of how we use it in the workplace. Companies often time blame the overuse of the Internet and phones as the reason why profits are low. Why? Because employees are to busy “taking technology breaks” and not working up to their potential. As a result the companies may suffer financially. As young persons who will soon be heading out into the work environment and even those who are already working, be always aware of how much you utilize the Internet and your phone when at work: your employer may be watching! Don’t be the students today who text all through class or use their tablets and computers while the professor is teaching and then blame the professor when they don’t understand what he just taught!! Guilty aren’t you! 🙂

 

 

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