The subjectiveness of objectives

Objective: to wow readers with an interesting blog article and write something read-worthy. 

Now, was that really necessary? You already knew I wrote this with the intention of someone reading it and being humored, enlightened or otherwise intrigued. Granted, it’s different than including an objective on a resume, but it is the same concept. I am drained from all of the conflicting dialogue from career counselors and professionals on whether an objective is standard or outdated. 

Prof. A: “Oh, you really should include an objective; otherwise, how do I know what you want?”

Dr. M: “Why on Earth did you put an objective there? I know you want a job already.”

Ms. J: “It’s nice, but where is your objective telling me about yourself.”

Mr. D: “Well, you can make room for the rest of your experience section by deleting this useless objective line.” 

I am curious to know others’ views on this matter. Professionals? Job seekers? Please, enlighten me. 

“Ok, Glass. Here’s what we think.”

Not long ago, Google introduced Glass, the next generation of ubiquitous computing. As more and more beta versions of the wearable technology become available, people are beginning to form concrete opinions about its applications and possible repercussions.

A discussion amongst four Colorado State University students in the journalism program captured some concerns and benefits surrounding Google Glass’s foreseeable public introduction.

“I just wonder about the implications of [accessing] Netflix while driving,” said Colleen Canty, a junior journalism and technical communications major. 

Canty, like many others, primarily voices concerns about where technology such as Glass is compelling society as a whole. According to her, the entire value system is shifting. People no longer value quality time; they are in a constant flux, always scrambling to capture the moment and never to live in the moment.

Contrarily, Deanna Cox views Glass as a potential solution to that enigma.

“What if Google Glass could change the way we vacation and have fun?” Cox asked, addressing the group. “What if we could be more invested in what we are doing while still being able to document it by just looking at it with Glass on?”

Currently, Glass is available only to those included in the testing and application development process. However, Google is preparing to make the technology publicly available this year.

By using simple voice commands following the prompt “Ok, Glass,” users can quickly read texts, check email, snap pictures, record video and more. The technology wears like glasses, with a small camera lens positioned just over the eyebrow.

The flood of articles citing privacy concerns has made the implications of such a technology clear. Student’s mimicked those concerns during their discussion, raising questions about the inconspicuous nature of the glasses and the recording capabilities.

Despite the fact the technology is not yet publicly available, glimpses of potential conflicts have surfaced. In October 2013, a California woman was ticketed for wearing Glass while driving. The ticket was later dismissed, however, it was an eye-opener to many states that, shortly after, passed legislation banning use of the technology while behind the wheel.

Jillian Keller, a junior journalism and technical communications major, pointed out one of the key issues surrounding the legislation.

“She had it on, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she was using it,” Keller said regarding the incident in California.

Predictions can be made surrounding the blend of technology and driving. One need only look at the struggle officials have faced with enforcement of the laws regarding texting and driving. The issue, as Keller articulated, is in the ability to prove use and not simply possession of the technology while behind the wheel.

Perhaps the most voiced concern regarding Glass, though comes in the midst of Edward Snowden’s now infamous leaking of top-secret National Security Agency paperwork, revealing that the agency has collected untold amounts of information about U.S. citizens through phone and email data.

Skyler Leonard, an English and journalism double major, points out that technology like Glass only simplifies collection of personal information for the government.

“When you can already give up private information through email, what kind of information could you give up through what you see everyday?” he said.

However, since Snowden leaked data revealing government monitoring activities, Google is one of several companies to publish secret orders it has received from the government requesting customer information. Google, along with Apple and Microsoft, also sued the government in an attempt to declare the requests for information a violation of users’ privacy.

To many, the issues of privacy raised by Glass are overstated. Glass has little more capabilities than the average smart phone when it comes to recording and taking photos. Furthermore, students discussed many benefits Glass offers.

“It’s efficient, it’s productive, it makes sense,” Canty summed up.

Canty is not the only one who voiced positive aspects of Glass. Leonard spoke of possible work applications within journalism.

“The thing that I think is really cool is [interviewing] would be really helpful if you had Google Glass as a journalist,” he said.

For better or worse, the students all agree on one thing: the technology is not a passing trend.

“I don’t think it’s a fad,” Cox said. “I can picture every single person wearing one and connecting with each other that way.”

Stand up for yourself

ImageWe all know by now that a sedentary lifestyle can be damaging, but not many know the details behind the fact. I alternate between an office and classroom setting all day, most days, so it can hardly be helped.

The Health Hazards of Sitting,” published on the Washington Post‘s website, offers a helpful and quick-to-read diagram explaining just what sitting does to your body. While some of their “studies” are pretty laugh-worthy (“people who watched the most TV in an 8.5-year study had a 61 percent greater risk of dying.” As in, apparently, if you don’t watch TV you won’t die), some of it is genuine and correct.

It offers some tips to counteract the symptoms, but I thought I’d share some of my own tricks as well.

Have the right furniture. Many companies have taken up serious ergonomics programs in recent years. In most cases, if you just ask, you can have your chair traded for an exercise ball or a more body-friendly chair at the least. One company I worked for also provided standing desks so you didn’t have to sit while at your computer (granted, some people may find that a bit extreme).

Stretch, stretch, stretch. You can really never stretch too much. Arms, legs, chest, neck — do it all. Mayo Clinic offers some good “office stretches” on their site.

Be social. Instead of emailing someone, walk over to their desk. Use breaks and other opportunities to get up and move around. Walking is really the best way to counteract the symptoms of a sedentary lifestyle.

Other than that, do all the other junk like eat well and exercise. That should help. 🙂

Colorado’s newest medical marijuana patient causes some outrage

ImageThe debate over medical marijuana is no longer hard-hitting news, especially for those of us in Colorado. But, as with everything else, some new development arises, thrusting it back into the spotlight. The latest fiasco centers on Colorado’s newest patient: 3-year-old Landon Riddle.

The first image that came to mind when I read about a 3-year-old medical marijuana patient was that of a toddler holding a joint; that would certainly be cause for some distress. However, the actual facts make for a valid debate.

It’s worth reading the whole story on CNN (3-year-old is focus of medical marijuana battle). But, I am curious to know people’s opinions on this matter. Do you think subjecting a 3-year-old to marijuana is justified?

Ultimate interviewing prep package

I have read many insightful articles recently on Ragan about how to land a job through a great interview. All are worth sharing, and, combined, can prepare you for mastering your next interview. Read about what to do and what not to do when trying to land your dream job! And, check out this infographic full of information you wish you would have known during your last interview:

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Getting away with murder

Affluenza. I won’t lie; the first time I heard this word I thought it was a weird new strain of the flu. In actuality, it is a term used to describe someone with a sense of entitlement who is irresponsible and, now, apparently above the law. 

Recently, a Texas teen plead guilty to four counts of intoxication manslaughter after killing four pedestrians while driving under the influence of alcohol and Valium, deemed Affluenza as his defense … and got out of serving up to 20 years! 

I’m no criminal law expert, but it seems that if this was a legitimate defense, probation would not be a fit punishment. It’s essentially saying that teens with an unwarranted sense of entitlement and who have been allowed to get away with everything should continue to be allowed to get away with everything. After all, it’s only fair. You can read the whole story on CBS News

Not for commercial use

Talk about your horror stories … this is a bit of old news, but not for some. Bloggers beware: you are not immune to copyright infringement and the obnoxiously large fees that come with it. Ragan talks about their $8000 mistake in their story, “How using Google Images can cost you $8000.”

It’s a scary notion that is not just a cautionary tale for commercial sites; there are numerous instances of common, non-profit making bloggers such as myself that have been fined thousands (or millions) for mistakenly using copyrighted images. Know the laws! 

The U.S. Copyright Office offers great information on whether you can use someone’s work. Here’s just the tip of the iceberg:

You can be held liable for copyright infringement even if:

• It was an accident
• You take it down
• You edit it
• You cite the owner / creator / photographer
• Your site isn’t commercial
• You include a disclaimer
• You found it on the Internet 

Safe blogging!

Tricks even your mother didn’t know

I read so many of these “life hacks” on a daily basis. They seem to be everywhere now, but they never get old; each list seems to have something new to try that makes my life easier in the most simple of ways. 🙂 ViralNova, with their “89 Life Hacks,” has to have one of the best lists I have seen. What a great way to start off the new year!

Photo from ViralNova (www.viralnova.com).

Photo from ViralNova (www.viralnova.com).

Soda Pop Life Hack

Photo from ViralNova (www.viralnova.com).

Taco shell life hack

Photo from ViralNova (www.viralnova.com).

Another one about misspelled words …

This is my second post on misspelled words; however, in my defense, this one centers on common misspellings on résumés and it’s completely silly. I think someone at Ragan was misinformed. That’s not to say their list of most commonly misspelled words on résumés is incorrect; but, the way they are claiming the words are being misspelled is outrageous … just read some of them:
volunteer (voulunter)
assisting (assiating)
applying (apllying)
recently (resently)
profits (proffitts)
maintenance (mainteance)
efficiently (efficently)
preparation (prepration)
distinct (distict)
judgment (judjement)
schedule (schuele) … really?

Safe travels

With the holidays nearing, it’s a good time for a quick reminder to travel safely and use caution if you’re heading out of town.

Independent Traveler is a great resource with 10 quick tips for holiday traveling. But, in our tech-crazed society, the bigger threat seems to come with social media over-sharing. I found this infographic on Visual.ly that captures huge threats to safety as a result of social media sharing. Stay smart and stay safe! Happy Holidays. Image