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Snapshots: technology, early mornings, Christy Clarke, and native ads!

Curtailed commentary on technology, early mornings, Christy Clarke, and native ads!



Print Edition: September 10, 2014


(Illustrations by Anthony Biondi)

Technology takeaway

Concerts are the epitome of a musical experience. The thrill of hearing, feeling, and grooving to your favourite artists’ tracks in a mob-like environment elevates your understanding of the art and taps into a very primal aspect of human nature.

However, when you go to a concert nowadays, you will see a plethora of people holding up tablets and phones during this primitive ceremony. These social media junkies are determined to record the performance or take a picture to share on Instagram before partaking in a truly natural social experience — the concert itself. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that we live in an age of social media, but really, must we document and photograph every second of our lives for our online followers?

It seems the driving motivation behind all this boasting is to create jealousy, which is absolutely ridiculous. If you are living your life to create a cool online portfolio, then you aren’t really living at all. So please, put the phone or tablet away and just enjoy the show. We’d all appreciate it and I’m sure you would too.



Earlier is better

While the negative impacts of working at a certain coffee mega-chain grow daily (namely my dwindling respect for the general public), I have to admit there is a significant benefit to my job besides free coffee. I’ve been converted to a morning person.

Naturally, this may not strike most people as an appealing or beneficial job characteristic, and truth be told, I would often prefer to trade my 4:30 a.m. opening shift with a coworker. But with the help of more than a little caffeine I have seen the light and have become a more productive person because of it. I’ve traded in my late nights of Pinterest and Netflix for early mornings with my French press, a good book (or textbook, depending on the week), and a hot, homemade breakfast. And yes, all before an 8:30 a.m. Monday class.

So the next time you curse those bright-eyed, bushy-tailed keeners arriving early for class and looking quite put-together, remember: it’s not too late for you to make the switch. You might even get a good parking spot.



Christy Clark isn’t Umbridge

For the most part I whole-heartedly agree with what I’m seeing from this teachers’ strike.

Students are rising up. Teachers are rising up. Parents are rising up. And I agree with them. The school system needs help.

A lot of people are frustrated. A lot of people are angry. Hell, I’m one of them. But there’s a trend I’m starting to see that really, truly bothers me.

Let’s get one thing straight: Christy Clark is not an evil woman. And attacking her character is not the way to bring the strike to an end.

Is she the devil? No. Are she and Hogwarts’ Professor Umbridge twin sisters? No.

This strike is ultimately about the students — and do we really want to show them that problems are solved through rudeness, bullying, and personal attacks?

Criticize the government all you like, but Christy Clark isn’t a fairytale villain — and we should stop treating her like one.



Native ads freak me out

Native advertising is the new superbug of marketing. Companies harvest the information you provide to social media accounts, then concoct sneaky advertisements suggested for you based on your demographic. I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed recently, and a brand was advertising a T-shirt appealing to employees of the department store I work for. I totally loved the shirt, but that’s not the point. Normally I’d just accept it … after all, the point of a company is to sell you stuff, right? However, native advertising is also changing the way we look at news. Articles “promoted” or “sponsored” by companies completely oppose the idea of unbiased journalism. This is scary because the information is seamlessly blended among “real” articles. Will people know to screen every webpage looking for a hoodwinking? Apparently money can buy you everything — including the truth.


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