Are We Idiots Thinking Were Geniuses?…Einstein Thinks So!

kids with ipadsBack when I was in elementary school (kindergarten to grade 6) my teachers all wrote on chalkboards, no teacher relied on technology and likewise neither did the student for learning the concepts.  We had fewer than three computers in our classroom, and they were barely ever used.  Instead of computer time, we had “reading” time every day for a certain amount of time, and every kid looked forward to it. There were no IPads in the classroom, or laptops, barely any technology was in our classroom, I mean besides those old school projectors! Now fast forward to a present day’s classroom, and you will find almost every kid with a laptop or a cell phone in hand.  As technology has progressed over the years, people especially students have become more and more dependent on using technology as a learning source in the classroom.

As a student I am constantly using technology for projects, communication and even my online classes.  The average student spends approximately 12 hours per day online whether that’s doing homework, or logged on to social media platforms.  To me, that sounds like an extraneous amount of time to be staring at a computer. However, as I was reading that statistic and going over my daily routine, 12 hours does not seem so unrealistic anymore.  From the time I wake up to doing assignments, to the time I go to bed checking my email and preparing for the following day of work, I am on my computer the majority of the day.  The only times when I am not strapped to this 15” laptop is when I am actually attending class which with my schedule only accounts for an hour and a half a day. Thinking about the amount of time I spend online, is quite scary however I know I am not the only one.  Because technology has grown so fast and is able to produce information at rapid rates, which is what the individual needs and expects, we tend to rely on technology a lot more then we should.  I do not remember the last time I was researching a topic for a project and had to open up a REAL book for referencing. Why would I? I have everything readily available to me online! But thinking about this makes me wonder if I had to go into the University library right now to pick up a book for a project I had to do, I probably would not know where to start or where to even go in the library.  My researching skills online are great, however if I need hardcover evidence my skills are lacking, which I am sure is the case for most students’ today. s those old school projectors! Now fast forward to a present day’s classroom, and you will find almost every kid with a laptop or a cell phone in hand.  As technology has progressed over the years, people especially students have become more and more dependent on using technology as a learning source in the classroom.

So with all this dependency on technology and constant reliance on our devices to aid in our daily tasks..is this helping our brains or making us more stupid?

computer-takeoverIn an article written by NY Times, teachers have come to the conclusion that students’ constant using of technology is actually hindering their ability to pay attention and succeed at challenging tasks.  Because of students lacks of ability to pay attention, teachers’ are finding that they have to work substantially harder to grasp and keep the students’ attention.  After reading this article I am not surprised by these findings.  Relating this to myself, I find that I cannot pay attention for long periods of time. When I am sitting in class, every so often I lose focus and feel an obligation to check my phone to see if anything is going on. Or if I am reading a textbook for class, I can only get through so many pages of information that I thoroughly can soak in before I lose focus and have to do another task.  When I was younger, I definitely did not have to try hard to keep focus and stay on one task at a time, now it seems like it’s a challenge at best!

So not only is technology making it hard for people to stay focused, it similarly always makes the user want to multitask. Since technology has flourished, people now have the capability to multitask, and share screens with two windows so they can do two things at once.  Seems like a great invention, with multitasking you can get things done quicker, kill two birds with one stone.  However, with this push for individuals to constantly be multitasking this has hindered individuals’ capability to solely focus on one task for an elongated time period.  Myself, I am hardly ever just doing one task at a time.   Even when I am just watching TV, I’m on my phone or checking emails, I’m never just focusing on one thing.

When thinking about this it sounds SO crazy right? We think of technology being this great asset to life and can only help us, never hurt us.  But the reality is although technology is great and can very much so help us in life; it is also making our brains melt as we are so dependent on it and now cannot do many tasks without it. Information is constantly at our hands, free and easily accessible with new updates every second.  We can search on Google about any topic we need to and get the answers right away, making us feel like we learned something however we did not truly learn as we just typed some key words into a search engine and the information was brought to us.  Technology is taking away our critical thinking it does the thinking for us we just merely have to guide it a little by typing in certain words.  However, most people feel that they have a higher IQ due to technology but what they do not understand is they are losing cognitive parts and thinking in the brain because technology is doing all the work for us.

Einstein-EequalsFbEinstein predicted this era of modern technology perfectly when he allegedly stated “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” He said it perfectly; technology has taken away or lessened our human interaction. Instead of face-to-face conversations we text or Facebook our friends, we may go weeks without seeing them in person but we are still in constant interaction with them.  A study showed that 48% of parents said that when they are spending time with their family, the members are distracted by technology. Take that thought one step further and 23% of parents say they communicate with their children online more than in person.

So is Einstein right? Are we just a generation of idiots but feel like geniuses because we have all the answers at our fingertips? It’s a tough question to think about and realize how much technology has done for us, and how dependent we are on it throughout our daily tasks. One thing is for sure, as technology continues to grow, we haven`t seen nothing yet in regards to how dependent we can become on technology.

SOURCES:

http://www.marketingcharts.com/television/college-students-spend-12-hoursday-with-media-gadgets-11195/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/01/education/technology-is-changing-how-students-learn-teachers-say.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://theconversation.edu.au/education-in-the-information-age-is-technology-making-us-stupid-10844

Employers Seeking Job Applicants Passwords, Have They Gone Too Far?

Facebook-Login

To get a job in today’s economy is extremely hard.  With competition greatly increasing, it makes it harder for candidates to attain the job they desire.  This is especially prevalent for students like me, who will be graduating University and looking for a job in the near future.

So what would you do if you got a dream job interview, and as the interview goes on your prospective employer digs a little deeper and requests your Facebook password to background check you. Would you say no? Or in fear of losing this dream job would you say yes, thinking that if you do you’ll get the job?

Facebook is adamant about keeping their members privacy however this controversy is beyond Facebook’s control.  We are all aware that when we come across a prospective job and apply for it, more often than not employers will search for you on social media sites to see what you are like outside of work, and how well you would represent the company on your off-hours.  Now, in some way I already have a problem with employers doing that. I understand that employers want to hire good well-rounded candidates, however I believe what employee choose to do off the job should not be of concern to employers. I’m sure that statement has already turned some heads, but I do mean it to an extent.  We were all young once, and we all have pictures posted of drinking and having fun on our off-hours, I do not think those types of activities should be a determinant on whether or not you would be successful at a job or company.  As long as you perform well at the job, and on your off-hours you are not violating laws, or posting racist comments online I think an employee’s Facebook should not be searched out.

With that being said, I’m completely astonished that employers, I mean FUTURE employers are asking candidates to hand over their password.  That is a COMPLETE violation of privacy, and employers should not even be able to ask such a thing from candidates.  In an article posted on Forbes.com, Facebook is furious about employers seeking candidates’ passwords.  Facebook has made statements from saying this violates their user agreement terms and that employers could be under legal liability for this action. It’s astonishing to think that some job applicants’ have said yes to this ridiculous question to employers and have handed over their passwords. On the other hand, like the author states in the article on Forbes, it gives the job applicants insight on how little regard they have for their employees.

In an article published by the Daily Ticker, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer stated that:

“In an age where more and more of our personal information — and our private social interactions — are online, it is vital that all individuals be allowed to determine for themselves what personal information they want to make public and protect personal information from their would-be employers.”

Schumer has also requested further insight from the U.S. Attorney General and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to validate whether or not this will break federal law.  I am certainly no law student, and am not sure if this will violate federal law however even if it doesn’t  it shouldn’t matter. This type of demand from employers violates individual privacy and puts the future employees in a compromising position.  The prospective candidates clearly want the job they are being interviewed for, and with the future employer asking such a thing, job applicants are more susceptible to say yes to this request more so then no.  Because these future employers hold such power towards these applicants it is unfair for them to ask these applicants to violate their own privacy rights in order to get hired. To me, this is a complete abuse of power.

In conclusion, employers have NO right to ask prospective employees their Facebook passwords as that is a HUGE violation of privacy and should not be condoned.  These employers are abusing their power by asking job applicants’ during the interview for their password, making it seem like a make or break situation.  It puts a ton of unnecessary pressure on the employee and this request should never be allowed at any time, whether it’s requesting a future employee or a current employee.  This behavior is unprofessional and an abuse of power.

Check out this video about employers seeking job applicants’ passwords:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUoyzgcANMc

References

Curtin, Stacy. “Facebook Fights for Users’ Privacy — Against Employers Who Ask Job Applicants for Passwords | Daily Ticker – Yahoo! Finance.” Yahoo! Finance – Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/facebook-fights-users-privacy-against-employers-ask-job-155304274.html&gt;.

Mai, Chunka. “Facebook Has Self To Blame For Employer Privacy Mess – Forbes.” Information for the World’s Business Leaders – Forbes.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2012/03/27/facebook-privacy-is-beyond-facebooks-control/2/&gt;.

PHOTOSHOP: Creating Unrealistic Standards for the Unattainable Beauty

Everyday individuals are exposed to approximately 5,000 advertisements.  Picture this: you’re standing in line to buy your groceries and you look to your right at the magazine stand, filled with 30 or so magazine covers with “perfect” looking girls on them stating “how to lose weight” or “how to get the perfect body.” Now picture your daughter, a young girl looking at these photos not knowing that they are extremely photoshopped.  What does she think? She looks up to these celebrities on the magazines, and these pictures alter her perception of what she should look like and give her a false reality.

FACT: The National Institute of Health estimates 5,000 people a year are affected with an eating disorder.

FACT: Approximately 1,000 people each year die from an eating disorder

FACT: 90% of individuals with an eating disorder are young girls from the ages of 12 to 25

So why do we allow the media to expose us to such images that destroy young girls self-esteem and alter their perceptions so greatly, that it could lead to an eating disorder? Why is the media so fixated on perfection, and an unattainable beauty that even the models and celebrities on these covers cannot attain without the use of photoshop?

demi

Take for example teen star Demi Lovato, a 19-year-old celebrity with thousands of young girls that idolize and look up to her.  Demi recently got out of rehab for eating disorders and self harming.   Throughout her journey and even now, Demi has been extremely vocal about her disorder and an advocate to help teen girls with the same issues.  You would think that with Demi’s cover story about her battle with anorexia that the magazine wouldn’t photoshop her right..as it’s unethical.  However, as you can see Cosmopolitan decided that even a girl with an eating disorder is still eligible for photoshop.   This is just one of the billions of cases where the media will stop at nothing to strive for that unattainable and unrealistic beauty.  The media clearly does not care about the images that they are portraying and the perceptions of young girls they are altering and influencing. It’s a scary thought to think that the media has such a strong impact on how we think and feel about ourselves especially when it concerns our looks and what is acceptable in society.

These unrealistic standards of what women’s body types should look like are increasingly getting worse.  Decades ago women with full-figured bodies were embraced and loved, and being extremely thin—which is what women strive for now as the ideal body, was not what anyone wanted.  Fast forward to now, and it is the COMPLETE opposite.  “THIN” is what everyone wants, and there is no emphasis placed on being healthy and fit, the emphasis is put on the number that shows up on the scale.  Even the diet magazines, are all extremely photoshopped..so with all this chaos of messages stating that we should be thin, tall, and tan to be beautiful and happy, where are the realistic messages?  Where are the messages in the media that talk to young girls about being healthy? And that the number on your scale doesn’t define who you are as a person? What about telling young girls that who you are is perfect right now?

It’s Time to take a Stand

As girls are looking to these magazines, they’re constantly comparing themselves wondering why their body looks nothing like what they are seeing.  With the constant comparison to the girls in the magazine covers comes a lack of confidence and decrease in self-esteem.

We need to increase awareness to young girls about how extremely distorted these images are, so that when they look at these images they will not fixate on what they do not have.  They will realize it is completely fake, and unrealistic.  Luckily, one girl and her friends did take a stand.  Julia Bluhm wrote to Seventeen Magazine, asking why there are no girls on the cover that look like her or her friends.  Seventeen Magazine was responsive to her letter, and went as far as meeting with her.  Julia is an eighth grader who first hand is seeing the effects that photoshopping in the media has on her friends and classmates.   Though Seventeen Magazine met with her and agreed to hear her opinions and listen to her demands of eliminating the use of photoshop on their covers, the magazine did not adhere to those demands.

How could Seventeen Magazine agree to stop photoshopping their images when they are in this world where beauty is all that matters?  If they do not perfect the images on their covers, the magazine will not sell.  It seems as though this issue is a never-ending one.  We want the digital altering of images to stop because it has such an impact on us yet, we are buying into what the media is telling us.  If we truly want to take a stand we need to stop listening to what the media is telling us about their perceptions of beauty, and start listening to our own and what personally makes us happy.  They can sell these images all they want, but we do not have to buy into them.

The media is at huge fault for providing us with unrealistic expectations and setting unattainable standards regarding beauty.  But individually we are all at fault for listening to them and trying to live up to these expectations that they are setting for us. So where does it end?  The media will not stop photo shopping these images, and individuals clearly are not going to stop buying the magazines and listening to what the media has to say about beauty.

For starters celebrities that are on these covers and advertisements need to take a stand and not allow the magazines to digitally alter these photos.  The celebrities on these covers are the trend setters; they need to realize that what they are doing is having a huge effect on young girls.  Once they start taking a stand against this issue, a realization will occur that these images the magazines are selling are extremely unrealistic.

 Before and After

BRITNEY

Britney Spears along with other celebrities have chosen to somewhat take a stand, and release the before and after pictures of themselves on photo shoots.  As you can see in Britney’s photo she has been extremely remodeled; skinnier legs, smaller bum, no cellulite, the list goes on..she was basically dropped down a dress size.  The fact that celebrities are releasing these photos into the media to show how much photoshop is changing them is great however it’s not a big enough step.

Celebrities need to go one step further and say enough’s enough with digitally altering images.  They need to only release the before photo’s and not have the after photos even occur.  Once celebrities say no to digitally altering images, the magazines will not have any images to produce, which means they will have no choice but to use the un-photoshopped image of the celebrities.

Though this is a real extremist point/step to take, one that seems extremely farfetched, something like this NEEDS to happen and soon.  These before images need to become public knowledge and teens everywhere need to see that celebrities are just like them, and you are perfect the way you are.  Once the media starts changing the way they glorify beauty and perfection, teens will then understand that they do not need to be a size 0 just to be happy.

Realistically..Will this ever happen? 

Beauty and sex sells.  In magazines and advertisements you would never see someone who is “average” looking promoting something, you are surrounded with images of perfection..thanks to photoshop.  Though these images are nothing close to reality, they are certainly not going away anytime soon.

We are so fixated on perfection and beauty that we allow the media to influence and alter our perceptions on what beauty truly is.  We allow the media to dictate and set these standards for what is socially acceptable regarding our looks.

From young girls to women we are constantly looking and comparing ourselves, not just to images in the media but with each other.  We are always looking at the newest diets, and trying to perfect ourselves to what the images we see in the media.

Until we decide to take control and block out what the media has to say about their standards of beauty, this cycle is never-ending.   We need to decide where this cycle stops, and when these standards and fixation on perfection is diminished.  We need to focus on empowering young girls and women of all ages that who they are currently, is beautiful.  Until people realize that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and what the media says about their perception of beauty isn’t true, the cycle of digitally altered images will never stop.

 

References

Beacham, Charles. “Teens ask Seventeen Magazine: “Where are the girls like me?” – NY Daily News.” Daily News America – Breaking national news, video, and photos – Homepage – NY Daily News. N.p., 2 May 2012. Web. 25 Jan. 2013. <http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/teens-seventeen-magazine-girls-article-1.1071386&gt;.

“Eating Disorders – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis – Condition Factsheets – Body & Health.” Site Map – Body & Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2013. <http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/condition_info_details.asp?disease_id=48&gt;.

“Photoshopping: Altering Images and Our Minds | BEAUTY REDEFINED.” Beauty Redefined|Promoting Healthy Body Image & Rejecting Media Beauty Ideals. N.p., 30 Nov. 2011. Web. 16 Jan. 2013. <http://www.beautyredefined.net/photoshopping-altering-images-and-our-minds/&gt;.