Find My “Friends”? 

Do you use Apples sharing app “Find My”  to locate your friends?  Is your fear of missing out so great that you are tracking where your friends are just to make sure you are not being left out? If so, you are not alone.  Find My app may have originally been designed to find lost computers or dogs, but it is now frequently used to keep tabs on friends and family.   

Location sharing apps are proliferating.  They have become staples in friend groups and are used as a measure of status in the group.  Knowing where your friends are and with whom comes with all sorts of issues- from breach of privacy to skipping conversations, because you already know where they were and with whom.  Why do people enable location sharing?  It can be ostensibly for safety- if parents know where their kids are, the belief is that they will act and be safer. But why do your friend groups need to know?  There does not seem to be a whole lot of benefit knowing that your friend is at the dog park right now- how is the information beneficial? especially when you consider the possible negative impacts.  What if your friend was at a planned parenthood clinic or a psychiatrist office ?  What if she wanted to keep this private, so turned off her location tracker-how does that make you feel? Has your anxiety just escalated because you do not know where they are? It seems much simpler to text your friend and say where are you, want to meet for coffee? then to serendipitously tract her and show up at the dog park. There does not seem to be a convincing reason to have this tracking device on 24/7.  Yes, perhaps if you are driving across the province or going out on a blind date, but being continuously monitored, even if it is by your friends, can have negative impacts.

            Consider that according to the New York Times (2018) at least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services . Several of those businesses claim to track up to 200 million mobile devices in the United States (N.Y.T.,2018). These businesses tract your daily movements.  It is very easy to find out who you are, and know your schedule. They can tract your location within a few yards and are updating your location, sometime up to 14,000 x per day.  They then sell you information to marketers, looking to sell you something based on the data accumulated from your activities. And this is a hot market. In 2019,  sales of location-targeted advertising reached an estimated $21 billion.  Best case scenario, these companies are just going to try and sell you something, but what if the data gets hacked?  What is your privacy worth to you?  What is your child’s privacy worth? Perhaps it is time to turn off those tracking devices and trust your friends and family.  And if not, there are air-pods now that you can discretely hide in your friend’s knapsack.  

What do you think?  Have you been part of a friend group sharing location data?  Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Facebook: #respectmyprivacy. Do you know who’s tracking you? Read about it:

Instagram: Are you being tracked? Read more at : #respectmyprivacy, #nomoretrackers

Blog 3: Is Social Media Impacting Your Job Search?

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Social media has come a long way in business.  I can remember when anybody looking for a job had to make sure their Facebook account was private. We have all heard of employees losing their jobs for trash talking their employers or making misogynistic  or racists statements.  Although we still need to make sure our on-line persona is employee appropriate, social media has evolved from something that can get your fired, to something that can get you hired. 

            Robert Walters found that over half of employers research potential employees on social media before hiring, which may impact their decision to interview a candidate or offer a role. Social media has become a powerful tool for employers to find and vet potential employees. Social media has become a way for you to authentically market yourself.  You can curate your brand image to make yourself standout – whether its your creativity, athletic prowess, charitable work or amazing travel adventures.  Social media has the potential to tell your story. If your resume is a short story, your social media can be a novel- but make sure potential employers are not reading the latest fantasy or tragedy! Make yourself the next best seller!

LinkedIn has been the dominant job searching and recruiting platform. Without a LinkedIn profile, a job seeker is missing out on job opportunities, networking opportunities, career advice and practical skill building workshops. LinkedIn is a necessity for established  professionals, but it has also expanded to serve those just starting out on their career path.  Tips on writing resumes or effective interview skills can support novice job seekers.

But LinkedIn is not the only social media site you should explore.  Get on Twitter and follow leaders in your field. Join Instagram and post those images of your incredible skills. Having a cultivated, authentic personal on-line brand can bring you to the attention of employers looking to hire.  They may see you before you even know a job exists!  So, use social media to your advantage- build your personal brand on-line and find your dream job! Let me know how social media has helped or hindered your job search in the comments below.

How important was social media in finding your last job? Let me know how you found your last job.  Complete the survey below and check back next week for the results:

Facebook: Is Social Media Impacting Your Job Search?  Maximize your reach. Find my blog at

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Twitter: Find your dream job #beabestseller, #socialmediajobsearch

School Boards Are Overwhelmed with Kids in Crisis

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Seattle Public school which educates over 50,000 students, is suing the companies that own TikTok, Instagram, You Tube, And Snap (article)  They claim that their social media platforms are having a significant effect on the declining mental health of students.  Since schools are the primary source of help for students, the board is suing for the cost of hiring additional mental health support staff.  The board believes that social media was designed to be addictive.  Keeping kids glued to their screens increases advertising profits. Did you know  that according to a 2022 report by Common Sense Media, the average teen spends 8 1/2 hours per day on social media? It is only fair that the companies use some of those millions of dollars of profit to help the children, whom they have harmed. 

While working with teens for over 25 years, I have seen their mental health decline.  Far more children are burdened with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.  Teens especially, are struggling with learning because of the negative impacts of social media.  And these are not temporary issues.  We know that when teens fall behind in school, drop-out rates increase, and they become under-employed.

Young people need help now.  The average wait-time in Ontario is somewhere between 6-18 months to see a psychiatrist.  These wait times are too long for kids.  We need to get kids help faster. The education, medical and social services systems are all stretched.  Perhaps holding these social media platforms responsible for paying the cost of medical help, will make a difference in the lives of kids, without stressing Canada’s social systems further.  If Seattle has figured out that school systems are not funded to fix or prevent the problems caused by social media- our school boards can too. Social media platforms must be held accountable for a business model that puts profits before people. Reach out to your school board trustee and tell them you want social media platforms to take responsibility.  Let’s bring on the lawsuits!

If you need further information         Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders

                                                Your Child’s Mental Health

                                                CHEO Mental Health Resources for Children

Twitter Make them accountable- #bringonthelawsuit    

 Facebook: Make Social Media Accountable. Contact your school board trustee. Bring on the lawsuits

Is Social Media Defective?

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A California court may decide if social media algorithms that encourage addictive behaviours and lead to ill health effects, especially amongst teens, are liable under product liability law.  The ill health affects of social media on children are not news to parents or apparently, to Facebook and Instagram.  Documents revealed by Frances Haugens, Facebook’s product manager reveal that the parent company Meta has long known about the negative effects social media has on kids.  Despite knowing, the plaintiffs claim, they have failed to act.

            Perhaps the reason they have failed to act is due to a provision in the  American Communication Act of 1996, known as Section 230. This legal shield has safeguarded companies from product liability claims. It essentially allows them  to hide from the ramifications of what users post on their sites. Section 230 has now come under fire for failing to protect children from harmful or inappropriate content. Check out the story here.

The internet can be a powerful tool for learning and exploration for children and young people, but it can also be used to spread dangerous and damaging content. Social media platforms have a responsibility to ensure age-appropriate content filters, parental control options, and more education and awareness campaigns. Platforms must also take a more proactive approach to monitoring and moderating content that is aimed at young people. This includes more stringent moderation protocols to ensure that dangerous and inappropriate content is removed quickly and efficiently. The only way it seems to get social media to be responsible is to make them pay for the damage that they inflict. 

It took many years for cigarette companies to be held liable for addicting and killing people.  How long will it take to hold  social media companies responsible?  We as Canadians cannot do much about American laws, but we can do something about Canadian Law. Bill C-10, C-11 and C-36 were proposed to make the internet safer for everyone. However, these bills dissolved in 2021 with parliament. We need new legislation to protect everyone, but especially our children. I know I worry about what my kids are being exposed to and I am sure you do too.  We need these laws and we need to make this happen now  as social media continues to consume our children’s lives.

Canadians take action now! Contact your MP to make the internet a safer place for children. Speak out and make your voice heard – it’s time to #ProtectOurKidsOnline!

Tweet: Speak out and make your voice heard – it’s time to #ProtectOurKidsOnline!