What is a Digital Footprint, and Why is it Important for us to be Aware.

I’d have to admit, like many others around the world, I’m always on the internet and literally excessively dependent on it. I’m constantly using my various social media accounts, searching things up on Google, and logging into different websites. And what’s most scary about that is that most of time, I’m unaware. Unaware about the terms of services and privacy settings, because why bother reading through all that important information, that is an agreement giving the site a lot of my personal information. No doubt almost everyone just agrees with them, and goes one with their regular lives. I know I’m guilty of it.

Public Domain image via Thinglink

For those of you who are completely unaware on this topic, allow me to briefly explain. Every time we log into a website, post a picture or a status on a social media site, send a message to a friend, or search something up on a search engine, we leave a mark that states that we were there. What we do, what we say, where we are, can all be seen by people around the world. Complete strangers, people who you don’t know a single thing about, can find out about the last restaurant you were at, where you’re going on vacation this summer, even where you live. And most of this information can be found by simply searching up your name on any search engine. And this digital footprint that we leave behind, is all of our doings, we have the control in our possession of whether we want it to be positive or negative.

In this day in age, especially for teenagers, having control over our digital footprints is a lot more difficult than one may imagine. Because a lot of it is no longer under that particular person’s control. Friends, family, acquaintances, even strangers, all have a way of affecting our footprint. Which is why it is so important to make sure that you are surrounding yourself with people who you can trust and blocking those who are potentially harmful for your footprint. It indeed is quite difficult to keep out all of the negativity, but really it is in your hands to create the safe environment for yourself online.

Now, I chose to search myself up on Google and see what content would pop up. Since my name probably doesn’t belong to anyone else out there, a lot of the stuff that came up, were indeed mine. First off, my blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram accounts and the sort came up. Which are all pretty positive accounts of mine. And then local news articles that featured my name, as well as some of the extra-curricular activities that I have participated in were also brought up. Which I am pretty proud of. One thing that did come up, that was kind of embarrassing, but not something that is a mark on my reputation was, well pictures from my Grade 6 class blog. The pictures are just candid moments of when my classmates and I worked on various activities in class, most of them are just from a long time ago, so they’re kind of cringe-worthy. But other than that, fortunately everything that came up were mostly of my favor, and I would not be ashamed to show my family members, including my grandparents.

 

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Anne of Green Gables

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Public Domain image via Pixabay
  • Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. It was written for all ages, however it has been considered a children’s novel since the mid-twentieth century.
  • It recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old imaginative, talkative, red-headed orphan girl who is very sensitive and very insecure about her appearance, especially the red colour of her hair. She exhibits a interest in nature, words, poetry, beauty and anything romantic.
  • So, what occurs in the novel, is that, a pair of adult siblings named Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who live a very quiet life on a farm called Green Gables in a town named Avonlea, decide to adopt a boy from an orphanage. And they’re not doing it because they’re lonely or want to experience parenting a child but because they just want someone who can help Matthew with farm chores, since he’s getting older.
  • The Cuthberts ask a woman who is already travelling to the orphanage, to pick up a boy for them. But the message somehow gets to her differently, and the woman leaves a girl to meet Matthew at the train station.
  • At first, the Cuthberts are shocked and plan on returning her to the orphanage, but with time Anne wins Matthew and Marilla over with her innocence, uniqueness, emotional poetic speeches, and especially her very brutal history, where she was treated as an unpaid servant and babysitter in unstable homes.
  • After a rough start, she becomes a part of community. Anne makes a best friend named Diana Barry, who she calls her bosom friend and is also her neighbor. And also makes an enemy, Gilbert Blythe, a boy in her class, who makes fun of her hair.
  • No matter how much she tries, Anne just can’t keep herself away from getting in trouble. She makes many mistakes like intoxicating Diana with wine she mistaken for raspberry juice and dying her hair green.
  • Anne does well in school too, mostly because she competes with Gilbert. When she’s 15 she has to board in another town for teaching school, and she graduates there with a scholarship. And Marilla and Matthew are very proud of her.
  • However, her happiness, doesn’t last long, because one of her loved ones passes away, and a reason to sell Green Gable’s comes up.
  • What Anne does is on you to find out, and you’ll just have to read the book in order to do that.

Differences Between Right Wing Policies and Left Wing Policies

I feel like sometimes I mess up when discussing about the 2 different types of political views, so down below are some common beliefs of the both sides, and of course one could be a mix of both or one more than the other.

LEFT- Wing Policies RIGHT- Wing Policies
Environment – Committed to curbing the effects of climate change, protecting natural resources, and ensuring the quality of air, water and land for future generations.

-Supports investing in clean-energy and protecting ecosystems.

-Environmental regulations should be based on science.

-The government’s role should be to provide market-based incentives to develop the technologies to meet environmental standards.

-Environmental policies should meet the needs of localities.

-Environmental policies should focus on achieving results processes.

Trade and Business -Fair trade: International trade should be regulated on behalf of social justice.

-Committed to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainability.

-Free trade: businesses should be able to trade across borders without regulations.

-Does not want to restrict imports from, or exports to, other countries.

-Support open markets with no restrictions.

Healthcare -Support free or low-cost government controlled health care.

-There are millions who can not afford and are deprived of this basic right.

-Everyone has the right to affordable healthcare.

-Government should provide equal health care benefits for all, regardless their ability to pay.

-Support competitive, free market health care system.

-All have access to health care.

-The government should not  control health care.

-Health care should remain privatized.

-Socialized medicine have higher costs and everyone gets bad quality.

Immigration -Support legal immigration.

-Undocumented immigrants have a right to: health, education, financial aid, welfare, social security, and medicaid, regardless of legal status.

-Unfair to arrest millions of undocumented immigrants.

-Support blanket amnesty for those who enter illegally.

-Support legal immigration only.

-Oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants.

-Illegal immigrants do not have the same rights as legal immigrants.

-Borders should be secured before addressing the problem of illegal immigrants.

– Government should secure borders and enforce immigration law.

Economy -A market system in which government regulates the economy is the best.

-Government must protect citizens from the greed of big businesses.

-Unlike the private sector, the government is motivated by public interest.

-Government regulations in all areas of the economy is needed to level the playing field.

-The free market system, competitive capitalism, and private enterprise create the greatest opportunity and the highest standard of living for all.

-Free markets produce more economic growth, more jobs, and higher standards of living than those systems burdened by excessive government regulation.

Taxes -Government should help the poor and needy using tax dollars from the rich.

-Taxes enable the government to create jobs and provide welfare programs for those in need.

-Government programs are a caring way to provide for the poor and needy in society.

-Lower taxes and a smaller government with limited power will improve the standards of living for all.

-Support lower taxes and a smaller government.

-Lower taxes create more incentive for people to work, save, invest, and engage in entrepreneurial endeavors,

-Money is best spent by those who earn it, not government.

 

Global Issues: Women’s Rights

I’m thinking about starting a blog series like Eeman’s stories, however, mine aren’t going to be chapters for a story, but rather posts on different global issues that our world is facing today. So today, I’m going to start with women’s rights.

CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay

I’ve always had a strong pull towards feminism and fighting for women’s rights. I’ve always been proud of being a female Muslim in a western society. And was always very protective when it came to women, and I guess I consider myself a women’s rights activist who just hasn’t been noticed yet.

Our society is facing such a huge issue, and for some odd reason, we just give a blind eye to it. I honestly want to get straight to the point. Yes, it’s true the world has evolved and women are slowly climbing up the stairs towards equality. Yes, women are in the workforce, are receiving education, and can vote. We have people like Malala Yousefzai, Hillary Clinton, Emma Watson, Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie and so much more who are working hard to shatter the glass ceiling. Yet the problem still exists. Let me explain.

Women don’t only live in first world countries. There are still many women out there in third-world countries, who aren’t even aware of the rights they deserve. What about them? I don’t know about others, but I personally find myself to be very concerned for them.

In their societies, they’re looked as burdens from the moment they’re born, they are rushed into marriage at very young ages, have very little education, because they’re expected to stay home and clean, cook, and do everything for the male family members.

I have nothing against the opposite gender, of course, and don’t wish fro them to be lower than women either. All I think is needed, is the equality, no differences between men and women, no stereotypes. I want to see a future where a woman can go out and make a living, and a man can stay home and raise the children, without being judged by society.

CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay

We’re slowly starting to see this in the western society, and people have no problem in accepting it. Yet for some reason, third-world countries are still living with their old customs and ways. I understand this is their cultures and way of living, it’s their societal rules, but what bothers me the most is the fact that, with all due respect to men, what is true is that women do the harder tasks,  they run the family, raise the children, and at the end of the day they receive the least amount of respect and appreciation.

I hope to see in the upcoming days, a society where women don’t have to fear men and the judgments of society. Where they can pursue the educations and careers they wish, where they can marry when they’re ready, have control over their lives, and receive the rights, respect, appreciation, and freedom that they deserve.

Characteristics and Traits of a Good Leader

Down below is a list of characteristics and traits I believe a good leader should have. Let me know if there is anything else that would describe a good leader, in the comments below.

CC0 Public Domain Image via Pixabay
  • Good Leaders are honest, trustworthy, reliable, cooperative, proactive, flexible, respectful etc.  
  • A good leader always has to think three steps ahead, working to master their own environment with the goal of avoiding problems before they arise.
  • A good leader will adapt to new surroundings and situations, doing their best to adjust.  
  • A good leader must be willing to work to understand the needs and desires of others.
  • A good leader has to ask many questions, consider all options, and lead in the right direction.
  • A good leader will treat others with respect, and will ultimately earn respect.  
  • A good leader will work to consider all options when making decisions.
  • A good leader will evaluate the input from all interested parties and work for the best of everyone.
  • A  good leader must create access to information, for them to be able to use it for the good of their people.
  • A good leader will recognize the efforts of others and reinforce those actions. And appreciate their efforts to create a better place to live.

Is Working Towards Connection, Splitting Us Apart?

We’ve become so dependent on technology, that we give a blind eye to the negative effects of it. Yes, the world has become so advanced due to technology and now all information sources are as close to one’s fingertips. It is most certainly providing us with uncountable ways of connecting, networking, making friends, and preaching our opinions. However, through this process, have we ever looked back to see how it is separating us and leaving us more lonely than ever?

CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay

No need to deny this, because it’s true. Today, one is so busy with connecting online, that we don’t realize than in reality, we’re sitting alone on our phones. We don’t realize that we’re not actually with our friends, but rather only with a simple metal object that we’ve made our life source.

Why is it that we don’t come face to face with people and start conversations and feel more comfortable with talking on social media platforms? Why is it that we rather text our friends and ask for what we have for homework instead of asking them at school? And why is it that whenever we’re alone, our hands automatically reach for our phones, so that we don’t seem alone. We know the answers but choose not admit them, because it would make them true.

We really need to take a step back and try to reconnect with those surrounding us and value our time with them more. Because why talk to someone through a device, when we can easily have a more intriguing conversation with the same people face to face.

Like how Eeman said, in her very well put blog post about the world of technology, she too has noticed that in her world of books and galore, technology has made its way in as well.

There were actually times when my friends and I were all sitting together, but none of us were talking, I had my book out, silently reading on my own, and the rest of my friends had their phones pulled out, and were on Facebook, or Snapchat. So basically we were all together, sitting in the same place, but not even looking at each other, or saying a word to one another ~Eeman

It actually is really heartbreaking that we’re not doing anything to stop ourselves from being completely alone. The time is coming fast, and in the near future, I can see for us to have no need to even speak. Technology will do everything for us, and we’ll sit there interacting with robots.

CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay

In a TEDtalk, by “Sherry Turkle: Connected, But Alone” she starts off talking about how her daughter texted her saying “Good Luck”, and that it gave her a warm feeling, however leaving a hole in her heart. Because of technology, there was no need to say the same thing face to face, even though it would feel so much better.

The video really opens eyes to our current situation. It gives us an idea about how bad our dependency has become. Whether we accept it or not technology is splitting us apart and leaving us ALL to be alone together.

Today’s the day, if we unplug from technology starting now, our futures will be brighter, our lives will be simpler, and our friendships and relationships with others will be stronger.  Let’s make a move before it’s too late, before we lose everyone in the race of finding more friends. Let’s not have a lonely future set up for ourselves. Let’s change, and let’s do it now.

Why Video Games Should Be Banned For Minors

Here’s a little passage I wrote a while back on why violent video games should be banned for minors. Just an opinion, comment below what you think. Here you go!

Let’s look at the world today. There is crime and violence everywhere and there has to be a cause for it all? Research on the effects of media violence has been conducted for over 40 years; the first serious studies on the effects of violent video games on children only appeared in the 1980’s. Our youth today, are exposed to many aggressive and violent games and finding them to be a source of entertainment. Because of the violent video games today’s youth are inspired and are slowly becoming the characters in the video games they play.

Today 97% of teenagers in the Unite States of America play video games. 90% of those children play violent video games. Many social scientists expect video games to have an impact on minors for the following four reasons:

1. Children are more likely to imitate the actions of a character with whom they identify. In violent video games, players participate as a character, and even choose which weapons they’ll use while fighting other characters.

2. Video games by their very nature require active participation rather than passive observation.

3.Repetition increases learning. Video games involve a great deal of repetition. If the games are violent, then the effect is a behavioral rehearsal for violent activity.

4.Rewards increase learning, and video games are based on a reward system.

Now, early research proves that because of violent video games, minors tend to become more aggressive. They become more prone to confrontation with their teachers. They start to engage in fights with their peers. And they start to see a decline in school achievements. Violence in our society, of course, is not fully caused by violent media. But research shows that continuous exposure to violent media causes minors and adults to believe that violence can be an acceptable, positive way to solve problems.

For example, Aaron Hamel was killed and Kimberly Bede was injured when two stepbrothers in Tennessee, aged 14 and 16, opened fire with rifles they’d found in their home. The boys cited Grand Theft Auto III as the inspiration for their real-life destruction.

Violent video games such as Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Halo and Assassin’s Creed set a very violent picture to minors. Games like these basically inspire minors into making violent actions. Can you imagine sitting in your passenger seat when a man you don’t know jumps into your car and drives off then starts to smash into other cars.

On September 23, 2013, Zachary Burgess stole a car with a woman sitting in the passenger seat and did just that. What was his motive? He just wanted to see what it was like to “play Grand Theft Auto in real life.” He put his own, the woman’s and others’ lives in danger because he wanted to have a little fantasy joy ride like he would in the video game. Violent video games inspire just that.

Now, what about school shootings? We all know all schools consist mostly of youth. And these same young children are exposed to very violent video games. Studies prove that school shootings are usually caused by bullying, problems with teachers or staff, mental illnesses, or especially seeking popularity. But 75% of the school shootings that occurred in the past 30 years have been inspired by violent video games. 

For example, on April 20th, 1999, two teens went on a shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killing 13 people and wounding more than 20 others before turning their guns on themselves and committing suicide. This massacre took place because these teenagers were influenced by violent video games.

After all I have stated, why shouldn’t violent video games be banned to minors. If we look at a balance scale, the video games cause more harm than good. Violent video games have made our world a scary place to live in. And I believe banning these games are for the betterment of the whole. It would stop students from being distracted from school, and will help them grow to be much more knowledgeable people. It will stop crimes, violences and other horrible actions harshly. And lastly it will help our world be a better place to live in for our future generations.

 

CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay