3 questions to help you decide if you should #deleteFacebook.

social media Apr 02, 2018

Government and industry scrutiny continues to grow over the revelations about the data of 50 million Facebook accounts being used by Computer Analytica. Consumer concerns also seem to be at an all-time high, resulting in a #deleteFacebook movement to encourage people to quit the world’s largest social media channel. Although Google searches related to deleting Facebook have tripled since the news broke, it remains to be seen how many people will follow through and delete their account. A recent poll of Canadians showed that only 1 in 10 plans to ‘abandon’ Facebook at least temporarily. With all the apparent outrage, why are so few likely to quit?

Much has been written in the past few years about the addictive nature of social media. Technology designers leverage our psychological vulnerabilities to grab our attention and hold it for as long as possible. So, it’s not surprising that many people find it difficult to break free from Facebook, even with...

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The benefits & limitations of a digital detox.

social media unplugging Jan 31, 2018

My husband and I had a lovely, relaxing four-day getaway last week. We took a ferry to Vancouver Island and spent our time nose-deep in books, laughing over meals with friends and walking through rainy forests. All in all, it was delightful—and not one bit of it was documented on Facebook. In part, this was because we’d agreed to do a Facebook detox while we were away. Although we’ve both reduced the time we spend on social media somewhat, over the past few months, I was curious to see what it would be like if we cut the ties more formally for a specified period of time.

Heading into our trip, I assumed we would find it more difficult than we did. We each thought about checking into Facebook a few times over the four days but we didn’t. In some ways, I was surprised at how rarely we did think of it and then, when we did, how easy it was to resist. But, I should have known that our Facebook detox would not be as challenging as it could have been. Why is that?...

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Why technology’s makers don’t want to be its users.

social media Jan 02, 2018

You know that part in the movie, when the protagonist is served food or drink by someone who clearly won’t touch it themselves? We all know what comes next if the protagonist actually consumes it.  Something very bad will happen to them. 

This warning sign could be applied to other scenarios. Imagine if you had an architect design a house for you but they refused to enter it when it was complete. Would you be hesitant or nervous about living there? I think some would find that concerning and look for ways to validate the safety and integrity of their new home.

Let’s consider yet another situation. What if the people who design social media went on record saying it “exploits human vulnerability” and “you don't realize it but you are being programmed"? Does that raise any concerns for you? If so, how much? Enough to make you rethink your use of social media?

This last situation isn’t one I made up. There have been numerous tech insiders...

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How to use social media on vacation and still stay present.

social media Oct 07, 2017

Vacations are a wonderful way to take a break from our everyday lives and experience something new and different. And, with the help of technology, we can now easily share our adventures with others from almost anywhere in the world. But at what point does our sharing detract from the richness of the experience we are seeking? Over the last few years, I think I finally reached that point.

I always take my camera with me when I go away so I was shocked to realize I’d forgotten to pack it when we went to Japan a couple of years ago. It turned out alright though, as I had my iPhone and the camera app did a fine job of capturing everything I wanted. Having all my photos on my smartphone made it so easy to share what we saw and did on social media throughout the day. It was great for keeping everyone up to date and I loved reading people’s reactions. Forgetting my camera turned out to be a blessing, I thought.

So when we went to China last year, I purposely left my camera...

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