Archive for December, 2009

Be Careful What You Post!

Posted: December 3, 2009 by Matthew Casey in Articles
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Recently a New Brunswick Tory party member got into some hot water over a comment that he posted on his Facebook page.  He was expressing his thoughts on the provincial budget.  Now this got me thinking about how common it is nowadays to hear of people getting into trouble over things they post on the internet.

The word privacy in today’s society means almost nothing.  People seem to have given up privacy for some infatuation to publicly display their lives on websites like Facebook.  While I don’t feel there is anything wrong with social networking, I can’t understand why people feel the need to post everything they do and everything about themselves on these sites. The false sense of anonymity that the internet provides seems to make people keener on saying anything.  But would we all go out to the middle of a crowded place and start barking out personal information for all the people to hear? I think not.

Now before you email me and tell me that only their “friends” can see it, that’s where we’re wrong! Honestly, how many people that are added to profiles on Facebook are actual close friends? I’m thinking probably not too many, and if they were all really close friends than people must have one heck of a social life to balance spending time with all of them.  So my point is that people don’t necessarily know who they are adding to their network all that well and they don’t know who these people know.  Most often people are quick to add anyone they had a conversation with at some point.

Take this for instance, if one was to post some wild party photos on their page or perhaps a statement on how much they hate their boss, this could land them in serious hot water.  Who’s to say that one of the “friends” on their network doesn’t know their boss? Perhaps they see the photos or the statement and think they should tip the boss off.  In a matter of seconds the employee’s career is finished.

Some people argue but what about my privacy rights? This is like saying I want to go swimming but I don’t want to get wet. If you post something on the internet then it is a form of publishing.  Therefore it is being put out there with the intention of being read or viewed by the public, and therefore people can do with it what they please.  If you don’t want people to know that the last time you called in sick to work you actually went to a beach party, then don’t post pictures of yourself having a grand old time on the internet!

—Matthew Casey

The world is such a busy place.  The simple life has gone the way of the dinosaur.  In fact the only thing that is “simple” about life today is how easy it is to rely on technology.  We are so caught up in over complicating our lives with things like cell phones and other devices.  We are connected twenty-four seven to the workplace.  Gone are the days when we left your work at the door on the way out of the building. We now take it with us everywhere we go.  So it should come as no surprise that we over complicate Christmas!

Gone too are the days when Christmas was about spending time with loved ones and family.  Nowadays it seems to be all about the shopping and the hustling and bustling to beat the crowds at the stores to get the hottest items on the shelves. Our lives are already so caught up with long working hours. For some odd reason society seems to be driven to the need to take away more of our personal time so that we can spend it in overcrowded stores spending more money than we should on gifts.

The emphasis on Christmas seems to be more on what are you getting me this year? rather than I’m so glad we can spend time together.  For me, and maybe it’s because I’m over simplistic, Christmas is more about spending time with my family.  I really could care less about the gifts.  Christmas has always been for me the one time of year that we can all take time out of our hectic lives to spend together in one common place.  We always share a delicious Christmas dinner and good laughs and cheer later on throughout the evening.

When I think of Christmas it takes my stress away because I know I’m going to get to spend time with family.  But I always get a little chuckle when I hear other people talking about how stressed they are that December 25 is right around the corner.  We have overcomplicated the day so much that, what was meant to be a relaxing time with family seems to be just another day of stress and tribulations like the other three hundred and sixty four out of the year.

I’m sure people of days gone by would get quite a kick out of how complicated we’ve become.  I don’t let myself fall into this trap.  Christmas is a day to relax and enjoy family togetherness.  I don’t let it become anything more complicated than that!

—Matthew Casey

Take It Easy…The Eagles had it right!

Posted: December 1, 2009 by Matthew Casey in Commentaries
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Okay, so the end of the semester crunch is definitely on.  I’m inundated with projects and tests to study for.  There are only twenty four hours in the day and for me right now it seems like each and every hour is being eaten up by something.  Every class is demanding a piece of my time.  I’m sure that I am not the only student who feels this way at this time of year!

When we get caught up in the rush of everything we tend to forget the simplicities of life, the little things that might just brighten our days ever so much.  For instance the other day I was writing a hefty research paper for an English class and was getting so stressed out.  After three solid hours of dedication to this task I decided to simply go outside for a little walk.  Just some fresh air made me feel so much better; it took a lot of the stress away.  The air sort of cleared my head and allowed my thoughts to flow so much better when I got back, and the walking didn’t hurt anything either.

Another important thing to keep in mind during this crunch time is perspective. Yes school is very important but in reality why get so worked up over it?  There are things that are more important such as family, friends and our own personal mental health and well being.  Just do your best, set out a list of things you want to accomplish during a day and do what you can.  Don’t over criticize yourself and don’t beat yourself to death if you’re stuck on something.

In the end I always tell myself, I am one person, I take it one step at a time and I can’t do miracles. This keeps me grounded.  Even if I don’t quite get the best mark in the end on the project I still don’t fret.  I know that I still have family and friends who care about me just the same regardless of how I did on that project for that class.

—Matthew Casey