Put Your Damn Phone Down!

In Canada, 21% of all fatal accidents are caused by using a phone or electronic device. (Reviewlution, 2022)  Although, there is a Do Not Disturb function on phones and other safety features most people don’t use them. Every time a notification comes through, everyone has the tendency to look down to see who it is or what someone has sent them. As social media has grown so has people’s addiction and reliance on their phones. As the next generation of drivers are hitting the roads, how do we find a way to stop them from looking at their phones? And are we setting the right example?  How many times has a parent told their child to never text and drive, then pull up to a green light and pick up their phone. 

(Reviewlution, 2022)

Social media addiction has become a real problem with 50% of teens in the United States believe they are addicted to their device. (Shepherd’s Hill Academy)  This addiction to social media doesn’t go away when we get behind the wheel. And the consequences are fatal. Now, when you hear there has been a serious accident people ask where they impaired or texting? 

Adults are also addicted to their phones and have become reliant on google maps, waze, and other gps services. Those apps say they can not be used while driving and ask ‘are you a passenger’? How many times do people lie and say ‘yes’. 

We need to be more responsible but how? Highways are now offering places to pull over and text. Phones are offering apps that will show people you are driving and will get back to them later. But not everyone is using them. We still want to feel connected all the time even if we are risking our life to do it. 

Educating everyone, young and old, on the dangers of social media addiction and the risks involved when driving is important but is it ever going to be enough?  Maybe autonomous driving will be the answer. Until then drive safe!


Put your damn phone down, how to save lives preventing texting and driving #textinganddriving



Put your damn phone down, how social media addiction is putting drivers at risk #textinganddriving #socialmediaaddiction

Shepherds Hill Academy. (n.d.) Teens and Social Media Addiction.


Pandurov, Marija. (2022) Reviewlution. 13 Crucial Texting and Driving Statistics for Canada in 2021. https://reviewlution.ca/resources/texting-and-driving-statistics-canada

Wedding Wars!

Wedding season is upon us, after all the lock downs and quarantines couples are finally getting to have their big day to celebrate with loved ones. Many couples have been waiting for two years to finally tie the knot. Locked away with nothing but time on their hands couples have been busy scrolling Pinterest, Instagram, and shopping online. And now they all want their weddings to be exactly what their vision boards look like and more importantly better than every other post on Instagram. The war is on to have the best wedding posts!

Wedding websites like Wedding Wire (https://bit.ly/3p15nRj) are popular spots to find out everything you need to know and what to buy for the big day. Every venue is competing to be the top wedding location and booking up years in advance. Photographers are booking up just as fast and charging as much as $5000 to $10,000 for the big day. Then there are the dresses, suits, flowers, decor, DJ, limos, wedding party gifts, make-up artist, hair stylist and the new trend of destination bachelor and bachelorette parties.  The list goes on and on and it is becoming a full time job to coordinate. Or you can hire one for between $3,000 and $10,000. All this is making couples crazy for the latest trends. Photo booths are out and photo walls are in just search “instagram worthy wedding photo wall” and see what you get? 


The wedding industry popularity had been growing thanks to shows like “Say, yes to the Dress”, but it was hard hit during the pandemic. Now, it is coming back with a vengeance and has done an amazing job at capitalizing on couples wanting to have that perfect wedding.  Social media is buzzing with everything wedding and the industry is hitting unseen and expensive heights. The average price of a wedding has been rising and depending who is reporting it averages around $30,000. I think that is a little low having chatted with several friends who have recently got married. According to Allied Market Research, the global wedding services market size was valued at 160.5 billion in 2020, but is estimated to be $414.2 billion by 2030. (Chauhan and Deshmukh, 2022). 

Not every couple wants a social media wedding. Some couples ask for an unplugged ceremony.  But most seem to looking for that perfect wedding shot. With all the time, money and stress that goes into a wedding it can be wearing mentally as well as financially. But just like social media it brings people together. All of your loved ones that are not able to share this incredible experience with you are able to, through Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. It should a special day. But according to Money Wise, 1 in 3 couples go into debt for their wedding. (King, 2022)

So, I have to wonder, is it all worth it? Would you rather do a destination wedding and spare the effort and save a lot of money. Or, maybe head to city hall and use the money saved to put on a mortgage. Or are you going to enter in the wedding wars and hope your wedding is Insta worthy. 

Facebook Post: Weddings for less! #diyweddings

Twitter Post: Are Weddings worth the price? #weddingsforless

Way, Hannah. (2019) This photo would have been perfect if not for a phone in the way. https://www.insider.com/wedding-photographer-phone-use-at-weddings-2019-7

Allied Market Research. (2022) Chauhan Samriddhi, Deshmukh Roshan. https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/wedding-services-market-A15864

CBC Radio. (2020) How social media has influenced the wedding industry. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/undertheinfluence/how-social-media-has-influenced-the-wedding-industry-1.5495111

King, Romana. (2022) 1 in 3 couples go into debt to get married; is that a good idea? https://moneywise.ca/managing-money/wedding-debt

Big Blue Checkmark

Twitter To Accept Blue Check Mark Requests in 2021 Following 3-Year Hiatus  : NPR
Bobby Allyn (November 24th, 2020) Twitter announced on Tuesday the company would start accepting applications in 2021 for users to be verified after a three-year hiatus. https://n.pr/3b0cAhe

Some kids grow up wanting to become astronauts, rockstars, or even the President but in my world we all wanted to get drafted and play in the NHL. But only about 1 in 4000 kids that start out playing hockey make it to NHL. For those of us that did it came after hours spent on the ice, in the gym, countless injuries and sacrifices. So, you would think that after we walked through the media gauntlet after being drafted, we would relish that moment, which we did, for a few minutes, then we all wanted to check our phones to see who got verified.  

Harry Scull Jr. (May 28th, 2019) Rasmus Dahlin, right, met with a large media scrum last year at Buffalo’s Harborcenter. bit.ly/3vc8t8Q

So, what is the blue check mark anyway. Being verified on Twitter and Instagram is essentially the platform confirming that you, your product or business is actually authentic. Why is this so important? What can you even get out of being verified on social media anyway? Some celebrities use their status to promote themselves, boasting of how many followers they have. Some use it to promote their products or businesses, but some also use it to promote their causes and charities. 

Matt Dumba and Mitch Marner are great examples of players who do just that. They used their social media presence to build a brand off the ice to better their communities. Matt Dumba, from the Minnesota Wild, partnered with Budweiser to create the Tape Out The Hate Foundation as well as promoting the Hockey Diversity Alliance in the fight against racism.

Matt Dumba [@matt.dumba]. (January 8th, 2022).”Tape out Hate”. Retrieved from bit.ly/3RRaTTU

Mitch Marner, one of the youngest stars on the Toronto Maple Leaf’s partnered with Intact Insurance to promote his charity the Marner Assist Foundation. Partnering with a large company has helped him raise money for resources and events with proceeds going to the youth and children in his community. 

Mitch Marner [marner_93]. (July 15th, 2022). “Marner All-Star Invitational”. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3IZDlix

Along, with all the great opportunities that being verified gives you there is also a huge downside. You become a target of hate mail, trolling, fake accounts, and constant messages from fans, business and basically anybody wanting to help promote you or want you to help promote them.  So is it worth it?

At the end of the day, you don’t need that small blue checkmark to have a positive impact on social media. All it does is give their ideas and products more magnification. People like Dumba and Marner have inspired me and I hope that more people whether verified or not chose to use their voice in a positive way and ask themselves “What good can I do with my voice?”

What will you do with yours?



Twitter: Verified for good or for evil? #Verified #TapeOutTheHate #MarnerAssistFoundation https://bit.ly/3zuBXkR

Facebook: Verified the good, the bad, the ugly which one will you follow? https://bit.ly/3zuBXkR

Seny Takes: Calabogie, the next Mont Tremblant

Mont Tremblant has become an all seasons vacation destination known for its stunning views, great restaurants, and attractions for all ages. But what if there is another up and coming destination only an hour from Ottawa. Calabogie, is quaint little town known for its ski hill, golf course and lake, but with its proximity to Ottawa most of the tourists are day trippers’. I have always wondered when people would start to take notice of this hidden gem and now it seems they have.  Thanks to some new businesses with a little more social media savvy the word is getting out.Check out the Somewhere Inn Calabogie. This new rustic boutique motel is the new spot to go to for a weekend away. It was completely renovated from the old Jocko’s motel and now how’s a modern vibe.  Some friends stayed their last weekend for a wedding and loved it. With its own bottle shop, live music and other things going on like yoga there are lots of things to do there. Check out the owner’s unique story here: https://bit.ly/3PzzMS2 or visit here to book your room https://somewhereinn.caThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is westgrove_somewhereinn_23-1.jpg

Image by Niamh Barry via somewhereinn.ca

Calabogie Lodge, a time share, has been around forever but it also has something new to offer (https://calabogielodge.com). On The Rocks restaurant, has become a huge hit with the younger generation (https://bit.ly/3uU4E84) Located right on the lake this place offers up cool cocktails a seasonal fun menu and outside ice bar in the winter, it is super original and there is nothing like it in Mont Tremblant.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 287502941_173639695031584_1172937211583271069_n.jpgImage by unknown via On The Rocks Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ontherockscalabogie/photos)

Calabogie was always a great spot it and has had lots to offer like the Motorsports Park, but what was missing was more things to attract tourists to stay longer https://calabogiemotorsports.com. And now they are getting them. I just spotted another new business this morning. The Mad River Paddle company which offers all sorts of rental water equipment and has a funky little store (https://www.madriverpaddleco.com). Then there is the Oh-el-la Cafe and the famous Calabogie Brewery Company so many cool spots to take in. (https://bit.ly/3OicKy6 ; https://calabogiebrewing.comThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is calabogie-brewing-co.jpgImage by Management via Calabogie Brewing Company TripAdvisor (https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g609112-d12910828-Reviews-Calabogie_Brewing_Co-Calabogie_Ontario.html#/media-atf/12910828/336685621:p/?albumid=-160&type=0&category=-160)

The real estate market has boomed in the Ottawa area and thanks to Covid, it is impossible to get a waterfront property at a decent price. With only a population of 2600 people, there is lots of room to grow and expand homes and businesses in Calabogie but prices there have been climbing too, cottages are getting harder to buy as its popularity is growing. So if you want in to this hot new spot you better do it fast.  With all this to offer why hasn’t Calabogie already become one of the biggest tourist locations for the Ottawa population. They just have not tapped into the new wave of marketing. There is no coordinated social media presence for the area. They have a Calabogie Facebook group that targets the locals but nothing that really goes after the younger generation of tourists. Individual businesses are starting to tap into that market. The locals may not want to become the next Mont Tremblant but it may not be in their hands anymore it is in the hands of the social media as businesses continue to grow and find new ways to reach their niche market.Calabogie could be one post away from the boom its been waiting for. Will you be the one with the newest vacation destination or will you be posting the same photo at the same place in Mont Tremblant?

Social Media Posts

Twitter:”Everything you need to know before Calabogie booms and how you can get in on the ground floor: https://bit.ly/3OcYSoS

Facebook:”Calabogie, the next must see vacation destination. How this hidden gem will be the next Mont Tremblant: https://bit.ly/3OcYSoS

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