Blog#1 COM0011

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Is social media affecting your mental health ?

Is social media affecting your mental health ? a question I find myself asking all the time. After watching Bailey Parnell’s TEDx talk – Is social media hurting your mental health. It made me self reflect on the countless times I have spent scrolling through Instagram asking myself the same questions Bailey Parnell asked herself . Why am not that successful? , if only I was that beautiful , doubting my self worth over others instagram posts and instagram highlights . I really have been so sucked into the social currency like talked about in the TEDx talk I had forgotten just like me those perfect posts and highlights were only the best of a persons life not reality . I have noticed as my social media use goest up it does affect my mental health. I get anxiety over the way I looked over a post , anxiety over of missing out if I took time to social media detox . With 70% of Canadians on social media I know I am not alone , Has social media affected your mental health if so how?

Reference used “Is Social Media Hurting Your Mental Health ?” Performance by Bailey Parnell, Youtube, Tedx, 22 June 2017, 

Social Media to the Rescue

We can talk a lot about how bad social media can be, our addiction to it, and how it seems to take over every part of our lives. However, social media can be there to helps us when disaster or tragedy strikes. 

Mother Nature or other Disasters are all scary.  With the help of social media, we are able to learn more about what is happening and where.  It is able to alert those people living in affected areas faster now thanks to social media and technology.  One great example of this was The Tornado that hit Ottawa.  I was in downtown Ottawa when my phone went off.  Tornado warning!!! I quickly looked at my phone, looked around me and went on with my business.  I mean, really a Tornado in Ottawa?!  After dropping my daughter off at her curling practice, I headed to our hotel.  The sky was a funny, warm yellow colour and the wind and rain had picked up.  Still nothing triggered for me.  Naïve?  Maybe.  As we looked out our window to the building across from us, I noticed people on their balconies taking pictures and videos, but we couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary.  Being from the country, I thought to myself, funny city folks, taking pictures of wind and rain.  We left the hotel, had dinner, and went to pick up our daughter from curling and that’s when we figured it out.  All of a sudden, my phone went crazy with incoming emails and text messages about the Tornado that had hit Ottawa.  Facebook lit up, with pictures of the damage, areas that were affected and who needed the most help. As a result of this information, within minutes, local businesses were responding by offering shelter and delivering free food where it was needed most.  It seemed so surreal.

Picture from

We have all watched on TV or Facebook when these disasters hits.  We watch social media postings for The Red Cross so we can text donations or await the “gofundme” pages so we can do our part and feel that we are helping as much as we can.

Although we sometimes feel that technology and social media are taking over our lives and personalities there is an up side.  In times of trouble or disaster, using social media allows us to reach out a helping hand, and lets us feel we are contributing to our community, family or friends.  

We all have a family member, or a friend who was just given a horrible diagnosis. It’s heartbreaking.  They feel very alone and vulnerable.   They look for support, anywhere they can.  With social media, they have that.  With the touch of a button, they can turn to a family member, friends and even strangers for support.  With “gofundme” pages to help a family in need in our local area, our donations make a difference and are sent quickly and effortlessly.  Consequently, we feel we are supporting our communities more than ever before.

Another example for us was when a friend’s farmhouse was inundated with bats.  They had no idea there was a problem when they bought their dream county farmhouse.  They turned to their insurance company for resolution, but it was unwilling to help them.  They were struggling under the debt it would cost to fix their home for their growing family.  They turned to social media.  Their “gofundme” page grew donations in a matter of hours, along with heartfelt messages of support which were posted with each donation.  The local TV station learned about their story and broadcast it for all to see.  This broadcast allowed so many more people to hear what they were going through.  Amazingly, after the broadcast, their insurance called them for a meeting and after a few meetings changed their mind and decided to cover all the expenses it would cost them to build a safe new home. Thank you social media! Thank you local TV station, and Thank you local community!  Their “gofundme” page returned all donations back to the people who contributed as the money was no longer needed.  (Although this was incredible news for this family, it is noted that not all situations are this lucky).

Ottawa Citizen
Published on Feb 23, 2018
Dewan-Arcand family farmhouse overrun with bat

Just when I think I would love to have grown up in a simpler time, with less stress, less technology and more time for my family, I am reminded how lucky we are to live in this age where we can do so much to make a difference in the world, at home, in our cities, towns and communities for our family, friends and neighbours. Has a similar situation ever happened to you?  Have you personally ever reached out on social media for support or help? I’d love to hear from you and read your stories.

Facebook: Social Media to the rescue.  Check out this blog to see how social media helps people in need.

Twitter: Social Media to the Rescue! #socialmediahelp #community

Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat oh my! Social Media is a Parent’s nightmare!

Photo credit Cynthia Stacey

As a parent I am constantly bombarded with the social media frenzy and the questions that accompany it.  What age should they be allowed to use it? How do I monitor it? Helicopter parenting vs full on trust that they can handle it?  It is a never ending circle of advice, scaring tactics and information overload that would send anyone toppling over the edge of insanity.

I’ve learned over the years that my job as a parent is to teach them right from wrong, arm them with the skills they need to make their own decisions and let them age appropriately deal with issues on their own.  This applies to social media as well. My kids are on various social media accts and so far they have been successfully navigating this world and even teaching me a thing or two.  That doesn’t mean I let them have free reign.

 I have rules.

  • I subscribe to every social media acct that they do. They have to follow me and I follow them.
  • I monitor what they are posting. If I don’t like it, they take it down.
  • All security settings are in place so they are never just public domain. Friends only.
  • I teach them about the very real dangers of being online. Don’t talk to people you don’t know. Don’t post where you are. Don’t give out your email or phone number or any personal details.
  • They have to show me their unlocked phone anytime I ask. I check who they are talking to and what they are posting.
  • My favorite rule of all: If it feels wrong, it probably is. When in doubt ask me.
  • I limit the use of it as well: homework first, not at the dinner table etc.


One of the advantages I have is that my kids inadvertently rat each other out.  I actively listen to what they are saying, even to each other.  “Did you see Becca’s Snapchat story?”  hmm…I didn’t see that…”Becca show me your phone. Why am I not getting your Snapchat story?”  Please explains can be very scary concepts. (*giggling to myself at my own ingenuity!)


So what about you? What are your thoughts on kids and social media?  Any tricks to keeping them safe that you want to pass on?


Should your child have a social media account?

5 Reasons You Don’t Need to Worry About Kids and Social Media

Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids


Facebook Logo  Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat Oh My! Social Media, is a Parent’s nightmare!

Twitter Symbol  Twitter, Instagram, snapchat oh my! Information overload!


Tonight’s debate has been brought to you by Twitter

On Monday night, my boyfriend and I girded our loins and watched the first U.S. presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It was as simultaneously hilarious, terrifying and infuriating as anticipated, and much ink has been spilled in going over the nuances of each candidate’s performance. A couple of my favourites are John Doyle’s piece for The Globe and Mailand the following image/comments on an article on


Screenshot from

As much as I already knew that social media now play a big role in the U.S. election cycle, it was while watching the debate that it REALLY hit me just how many resources both traditional and online news sources now devote to engaging readers/viewers over the various social media platforms.

Driving voters and viewers to social media

In the weeks and days leading up to the debate, many of the news sites and blogs that I follow were heavily promoting the fact that they would be live tweeting, fact checking, and otherwise providing commentary via social media during the event. I hadn’t consciously planned to watch the debate with any online accompaniment, but sure enough, over the course of the evening my boyfriend and I created something of a command centre in our living room. The TV was tuned in to NBC, I was reading comments on my Twitter mobile app, and my boyfriend was reading a live transcript of the debate while also flipping between fact-checking sites.

And it wasn’t just the media that had driven us online – Hillary herself encouraged viewers several times during the debate to visit her website to find real-time fact checking. We certainly did as we were told!

More engaged, or more distracted?

I’m still not sure of how to weigh the value of all the online interaction around this election. Does the high level of online engagement during the debate just emphasize that our culture has a limited attention span, and that our brains are now wired to seek constant novelty? Or is social media’s embracing of the presidential debate (and vice versa) a sign that American democracy is getting stronger, and the voters more engaged? The candidates and the networks seemed to suggest that listening to 90 minutes of political debate on its own is no longer possible, and yet I often (and happily) will sit and listen to a podcast for that length of time. Regardless, I certainly felt more engaged with this debate than I have in years previous – which I suppose says a lot, considering I’m not even an American voter.

What do you think? Should political debate stand on its own merits, or is it better that it have social media accompaniment? Is the marriage of political debate and social media a sign of distraction, or a sign of engagement?

COM-0011 If no one reads your blog is it social media…???

I often wonder how many people actually are social and how many are just acting how they think they are supposed to act from watching reality shows.

I often wonder if memes are some persons news source and so make life decisions based on this source.

I often wonder how the assassination of two presidents and one civil rights activist would have presented itself on social media if it was present at that time like it is now.

These are just a few things I wonder about but not only that I wonder if anyone reads what I blog about, besides the people who are supposed to read it like fellow classmates and the teacher.

How does one quantify the effect the blog has on a person besides following where they go after they read the blog? Hang on lets back up a bit, how do I get the blog published to begin with? Why would I?

It is relatively easy to search the word, blog, and following the links you can find all sorts of blogging sites as well as You Tube videos to explain “how to blog” . I was invited to one blogging website but never had the courage to post anything however I have written articles for magazines and websites but never a continual blog.

So once the venue is decided the content or subject is next, something current maybe and finally the easy part the blog itself. But who is going to read it and how do you know the effect it will have with the consumer is the intended one.

There are many apps and websites that can track this info but just for the sack of argument they all show lots of website traffic, more Face Book likes and increased Twitter buzz but not an increase in sales, do you junk the campaign you just spent money on creating or do you as a company ride it out and see the end results good or bad?

The best part about social media campaigns is the ability to create with the input of your intended consumer or even let them create it themselves. Many companies are letting their “customers” decide the next flavor and get reimbursed for it.

This is the next model of social media companies will emulate: the consumer commercial experience. By letting the customers be the commercial the company creates a better relationship with the pockets it needs to open.

Companies will want to have “real” customers interact with their product on a more personal basis and the emotion created is impetus for selling the product, get them to “FEEL” better for using the product or service.

This one is particularly disturbing to me.

It’s less about the service or product and more about the experience but it is the same game as the snake oil salesman use. It’s all based on a system of avoidance where the company avoids any negative comments or inferences no matter how small to the point of looking like they are in denial, which they are by using this technique.

The “customer in the fold” technique means decisions are made on a more community/social experience rather than a “we are the company and we make things for you, whether you like it or not” experience. Share holders are becoming a bit more green and intelligent than they used to be.

How this model will evolve into in the future is my question because this model does not follow the edicts of capitalism which is based on oneness not communal or social sharing or ideas or believes? I do believe the capitalists will use the information they glean from abusing this model to their full advantage and eventually corrupt it like they do most systems created by man.




COM-0011-Blog#2 Anti-Social Media

I grew up in a time when social media was simply either the guy who takes his holiday photos to work to show them to his buddies or the conversation at lunch is about what was on TV the night before certainly not that he might have had a fight with his wife or girlfriend. Social media was much less unassuming to understand and it was less diversely shared, as only close colleagues could see it, so unless it gets published by another means only the few can view it. There were no cell phones, no Wi-Fi, no websites; hell there wasn’t even a cheap calculator till 1974, so places to share were very personal, so feedback could be immediate, intimate and usually honest without being hurtful and always humorous, hopefully.



I know it was when I gave my first slide show of our school trip to the Mediterranean when I was seventeen that social media can be very powerful tool in a group setting if presented the right way. I had taken some provocative pictures of a few members of our group and combined them with some witting story telling of our events and everyone was laughing, even the teacher. One of the explanations it remained such a memorable event was that to many they had participated in the incident and the reliving of the incident brought back certain emotions that all were able to share as a group at that time and not just individually. One could feel the cohesiveness, the closeness of the group as they shared and relived their experiences with the rest of the class and how the other classmates were now considered taking the trip next year.


For me it was a good way to do my public speaking final test; in the dark and get a good mark. I am shy by nature so public speaking was not one of my favorite things to do but the re-telling of our time on and off the ship gave me a certain amount of confidence within the class and also some respect, probably, maybe even some resentment but I didn’t realize it at the time. Being an adolescent you really don’t know much around you but what happens from day to day so if there were any bad comments nobody said anything. So feedback was positive and thus the patterning began.


I would take pictures and slides and show them to friends and some family and I got nothing but good feedback. Even at school when I joined the photography club and learnt how to develop black & white film and as things developed, so to speak, pun intended too, I got good positive feedback. It wasn’t until I showed my slides to my father and he critiqued them did I start to feel not so good. He had worked for a major photographer earlier in his working life and always had good camera equipment and took a lot of pictures. So comments from a “professional” did mean a lot to me: Not so much forty years later.


Now I had a conflict going on in my head. I took the pictures and I thought they were at least good. The majority of the feedback I got was again good. So why was this person not agreeing with the others and just humming and hawing about whether it is a “good” picture. At times one could insert the word “like” into this conversation instead of “good” just to bring it into today’s terms. So what do I do? Do I say to this person “you don’t know what you are talking about” or do I just shut-up and take it? It was late 1970’s and with my father’s upbringing you didn’t talk disrespectful of your elders. So that was it, my picture taking slowed to a crawl, I stopped taking it as a serious career path and pretty much put the camera away till I had something I really wanted to remember and that came in the form of motorcycle racing.



As the communication, electronics and computers industry evolved to give us the methods, venues and the devices used today to create and share our own personal social media currently, the playground has become lawless in areas never imagined. Now I’m sure there were personal sex films back in the early film days but much not as may or as prevalent today because it was easier to make now. Forty years ago you would have to be friends with a film developer or risk the police finding out from the druggist or he might get copies made for his buddies: Great times. So media is universal, ask any caveman but the way it’s distributed is how we get ourselves into trouble. Social media is more prevalent today as it is being industrialized and the problems inherent in manmade systems will appear gradually at first then into more serious issues until we do something about it. Man is somewhat predictable around certain behaviors.


So why does Anti-Social Media exist? Balance?  Or just human nature? It has always existed but my choice is balance and if you have positive social media then anti-social media has to exist just so we can tell the difference, I guess? It’s like on Star Trek you can’t have matter without anti-matter and if the two mix with each other then the universe will blow-up. Well not that bad but bad enough to make some participating in the dance of social media threads, whether freely or not, end their lives based on their interaction on the various social media outlets. When does one person’s social media become another’s anti-social media? One could argue it was just a joke, a prank, it was all in fun but who decides especially after someone has ended their life because of it? Now the courts can thank-fully.


Now just as social media can get over done so can anti-social media be dangerous but it can also be liberating. The Arab Spring is a good example of how anti-government social media created a movement that has a very constant effect even today; witness the conflict in Syria is a direct result of this anti-government social media campaign. Now early anti-social media was the social activism of the 60’s, the investigative report programs of the 70’s and 80’s, the social consciousness documentaries of the 90’s and now anti-social media has evolved into this type of controversial information sharing.

Arab Spring Social Media



Good or bad, social or anti-social, it’s all media on the interweb and without it the internet would be a desolate place sort of like some cities in China: All built but no one can afford the housing. Businesses are banking on this new model of creating consumers and have tasked social media to be its pipeline to drive sales and profits. The internet needs both positive and negative media to exist and business will have to adapt and bring, negative or antisocial media, into their wheelhouse in order to better deal with the consumer landscape that presents itself.













COM0011-Social Media:New or Recycled

      We are a world of, “Let’s create this and see where it takes us”, many times not knowing or even thinking about the consequences. The wheel, atomic bomb, cigarettes, guns, TV, planes, government, the internet, I could go on but I hope to have illustrated this point. We do this out of necessity and at times possibly out of boredom so the future of some endeavors can depend on it’s uniqueness and longevity only to the current population, sometimes…ML-S 2016…lol…

Coca-Cola commercial 1971

      I think for me this was the first attempt at social media and how advertisers were just cracking the code to get consumers to shop, without them thinking about it. I was thirteen when I saw that commercial for the first time it really did two things to me. It made me see the power this melody could have on people and how if you find the right notes and combine them properly one can create some pretty universal music that could transcend language, religious, cultural and color barriers instantly. Secondly, it showed my how powerful the advertisers were becoming.

Memories of 1971 ? Where Were You ?

       I’d like to thank Johnnyboy792 for that. So at thirteen I had issues with James Bond, they were trying to retire Sean for a newer version and some were just not buying the change. Drugs were an issue even more so with Nixon in the White House and the war had polarized people as Muhammad Ali gets out of jail; The fight though good was not Ali’s best. TV movies something the networks were trying gave us Brian’s Song, which like all good tear jerkers has been redone a couple times. If I’m not certain I think I saw a remake on Netflix.

       In continuing with the 70’s theme to show how basic the communication systems were and how communications satellites were second to spy satellites. This was the era of radio, the Walkman 1978, MTV was still years away so vinyl, turn tables and BIG stereos, BIG motion pictures, matinees at the movies were you would spend the afternoon watching  movies at the local cinema for five bucks. Big motion pictures like Patton 1971, One flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 1976, Rocky 1977 and The Godfather parts one and two, 1973 and 1975 respectively.

     At the beginning of this I was reminded of Marshal McLuhan and his “media is the message” statement. I think his light bulb analogy is still relevant today. The notion that the bulb has no content like TV or newspapers but provides a media for social interaction to take place by providing lightness were darkness was. I’m not going to get into a drawn out discussion of his views suffice to say many marketing firms see his doctrines as such and use them to their clients advantage.

Wikipedia Marshall McLuhan

     I would like to take the light bulb analogy further and relate it too the internet, where the internet is void without content much as the light has no content but the internet provides the venue to allow social interaction as does bringing light to dark areas. The various websites also prove another of McLuhan’s theories that

” individualistic print culture would soon be brought to an end by what he called “electronic interdependence”: when electronic media replace visual culture with aural/oral culture. ” from Wikipedia.

      I am reminded that he was speaking more than 40 years ago when he coined “The Global Village” phrase that I’m sure could be the mantra of social “mediaites” today. In studying McLuhan’s writings the word visionary comes to mind as he made assumptions based on his study of print media and it’s evolution as well as the effect it has had on the culture of the societies that embraced the “new” at the time, technology.

      Just like  today with the internet we have a vast wasteland that is constantly being filled with content some useful some really no very useful non the less it has impact on people thus it has ben deemed social in content. People make the decision as top how social something can become and cat videos are an example of how something cute can get one million views quickly.

Funny Cat Jump Fail 2015

      The “Jump Fail” videos I enjoy more than the cutesy pie kitten ones, but then again it’s my choice right. So this one has over 600,000 views and has good music some nice editing and doesn’t go for too long so the boss can’t get too upset with you watching it at work because isn’t that where most social media is consumed…at work. I won’t get into the stats on porn or how that industry has developed thanks to social media but the smart money goes to the industries that can change their perception in the marketplace and turn their naysayers into their loyal consumers and they are doing via very well crafted social media campaigns.

      So where am I going with all this and my ADD mind, I’m not sure but I will try to get this to make sense. Social media is not new to the internet but the internet is new to social media. By that I mean to say we have always had social media right from the caveman drawings to the creation of music to the written word to the printing press and so on right up to today’s interweb way of communicating through and with the various devices we have today.

      It wasn’t until my mid fifties that I decided to embrace a smart phone. I resisted the notion that my step-daughters needed such devices in school or to make them popular. Hindsight being 20/20 has allowed them to agree that may not have been the best approach to go through high school continually NEEDING the newest phones just to make friends. I held my tongue and watched as the whole “experiment” went sideways and that was very hard to do. I see this happening today with various “friends” on Facebook as they “put it all out there”. Now it can be said that there is a lot of honesty and humility needed to do this and do it correctly but human being humans and perception being perception some think the post is attacking them. How bizarre…??…So one person’s social media becomes another person’s “perceived” problem all based whether they were having a bad day.

             One behavior and very basic human trait that I have noticed from my seven pages on Facebook is that people have very steadfast ideas surrounding certain issues and can’t take advice nor even the slight smell of advice: which is very normal reaction to a perceived loss of self. I can’t agree because I am……..???? whatever they label themselves they can’t and won’t see any other opposing view. This is one of the reason for multiple pages, right wing, left wing, religious, non religious, police lovers, non police lovers it’s a gauntlet of opinions and they are attached to pockets with money that businesses need to access. To do it can be dangerous to say the least and without a strategy maybe even suicide in the social media arena.

            So I embraced the cell phone and then the smart phone and then I got a Facebook page but not just one…I have seven pages  I manage now and I created a website too, so I could show off all my social media and hopefully make some money. I have a Goolge Plus page  and a YouTube channel where I post my fishing videos. I have also done some podcasts and they appear on Spreaker. So I still have some to investigate like Instagram and Pinterest but soon they will have my presence. The ability to network all the various media outlets is something I am learning.

            The future of social media, if I maybe so bold to extrapolate, will mean the demise of the big marketing firms, I believe unless they see a way to utilize personal social media at a national level to their own advantage. The market place is now moving into an area of each business taking their own marketing in house. With the advance of user friendly software and cloud services their need to out source marketing I think is waning  and will be able to be done by a group of dynamic individuals who have analyzed the market place and can develop a plan to met their specific groups needs. Much like us in this course after we pass…LOL…..

COM 0011 – Blog 5 – #elxn42 or How Social Media Can Change the Political World

So, I have a limited presence on social media, by choice (I use them enough on the job and take a step back in my personal life), but I did follow some of the latest elections (#elxn42). That hashtag was everywhere, so you couldn’t ignore it, and given it was the longest campaign in Canada’s history, I figured I had some things to learn!

elxn42I decided to dig up some data with the help of colleagues and the data make you wonder if elections are won with social media nowadays… what do you think?

Disclaimer: this is in no way a political post, just a gathering of social media stats and tactics.

The Huffington Post’s article Canada’s First Digital Election Will Change How Campaigns Court Votes sumed the change between 2011 and 2015 pretty well : ˝In the four years since Canada’s last federal election, digital marketing has gone from the awkward teen at the table, to a full and equal member of the board˝. It’s actually a pretty interesting article as a whole and it was written during the campaign so it’s interesting to see how it really turned out!

There were four times more tweets in 2015 than in 2011. Mentions of #elxn41 during the campaign was about 715,000 and 96,000 on Election Day. Mentions of #elxn42 during the campaign was over 3,400,000 and on Elections day was over 470,000.

The Liberal party was on more social media networks than the Conservative Party and the NDP together. PM Trudeau was on nine different networks, compared to four each for Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair.

Social media tactics included the more obvious and erm… quasi-traditional… ads, as well as Facebook Q&As, but even plaforms were launched live on Facebook.

Then, I saw that some parties engaged into Ask Me Anything events on Reddit… That, I find more risky but also more rewarding, I think. When you can’t hide anywhere and you commit to answering ANY question, I think it can get very tricky. That being said, if you can pull that off, you’re most likely earning votes!  If not, then it can break a candidate’s campaign and election!

I also did some research on  It looks like even the petitions became a social media tool. Party leaders replied to the petitions during the campaign (for example, the Canada Post door to door delivery).

I don’t think the 2015 elections were ruled by social media, but it definitely became a lot more prominent. I think all parties had good return on investment, which makes it worth their while. I think compared to the United States we still have time to grow, but we’re making leaps and bounds. Our mindset is changing as we’re better social media users. Who knows what 2019 elections will be like?

Source of the picture: Social Media Lab,