Facebook Launches ‘Messenger Kids’ for Children Ages 6-13

On December 4th, 2017,  Facebook launched a new app called ‘Messenger Kids‘ which is slightly similar to the normal Messenger App but more targeted towards children ages 6-13 . It is mostly a texting and video chatting app, that allows parents to have complete control over who their child can add and thus communicate with. The app has no advertisements for children, and doesn’t require a Facebook account, it also has fun filters, stickers and augmented reality like Snapchat to attract the children, therefore making their video chats and text messages a lot more interesting. Facebook said its 100-person team that built the app for teens and kids consulted with parent groups, advocates, and childhood-development experts during the 18-month development process and the app solves most of their concerns.

Image result for messenger kids

Nevertheless, some people still remain concerned, and believe that Facebook is going against it’s decision of creating an age restriction of 13 in the first place. And others are frightened that this app may enable for their 6 year olds, who are still significantly young to talk to their friends about anything and everything. Yes it stops children from giving fake ages, and also gives parents complete control, but this could sooner or later become a platform for bullying and other sorts of harassment among children, as their parents can’t control what their children are saying to others.

However I personally believe that this app has potential, and seems to ensure complete safety and  may properly introduce children to communication through social media. Which I wish I could have had when I joined social media. I had friends who joined with fake ages, and I indeed felt left out. I chose to, or was rather forced to join the world of social media when I was actually supposed to. But to be completely honest, the age restriction didn’t stop many others from joining. Which is worrying, and is why I think this app is a good idea, because it is controlled access until children are matured enough to understand who is safe to talk to, and who is not. Plus it’s fun and entertaining with all the stickers and galore. Overall I think, Facebook has taken a risk, but is stepping towards a great idea. In the comments below, let me know what you think, are you more into the risks or do you have hope in the potential of Messenger Kids?

Image result for messenger kids


The Next Best Thing: Virtual Reality

The world is advancing, new technologies are being introduced, and everything is slowly turning to the world of technology. Something that has recently blown-up is virtual reality. It at this point is only used for the sole purpose of entertainment, however it has great potential to change the near future and how society will work.

I personally believe that new technology is great. if there is no innovation, are we really advancing towards the future or are just freezing time. Now that there is the research and the knowledge on how to make change, so why not use it to invent things that could be of benefit for the whole. And virtual reality has the ability to do just that.

Photo Credit: Yelp Inc. via Flickr cc

It may seem like an advanced toy now, but in the near future experts infer that virtual reality will be used almost everywhere. Here are some places virtual reality could take off.

  • In movie theaters – to give the audience an enhanced experience of the movie.
  • Travelling – you can go places, from your own home.
  • Amusement Parks – will add extra excitement over real-life experiences, like dragons and fairies on roller-coasters.
  • Help with training – put people in real situations so that they more educated about the field they are in.
  • Real Estate – used to gives buyers a more realistic view of houses.
  • Courtrooms – to give judges a better understanding of evidence and crime scenes.
  • Fashion – to give consumers a sense of how the clothing will look on them, without trying them on.

These are just a few sectors where Virtual Reality could be introduced, however I believe in the future it has the potential to do even more amazing things.

Now here is where the controversy comes in, I know many intellectuals out there are worried about virtual reality taking over actual reality. I am not in favor of that, I find it to be frightening. However I feel like virtual reality is going to change things for the better, I don’t think in our time it will be able to advance enough to take over actual reality.

In the comments down below, let me know what you think. Are you looking forward to the new innovations virtual reality will bring, or you worried of it taking over the reality we live in now?

An Invention That Could Change Lives

I’m no inventor, but I have ideas that could potentially be inventions that have the ability to change the lives of people, even though I probably would never be able to execute them in reality. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

So recently I’ve started looking at most nutrition facts on the packaging of food, and I still kind of doubt the accuracy of them, and its really hard to estimate the amount for the servings you would normally eat, which would obviously be a portion of what is in the packaging, not all of it.

CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay

There really is no way of being sure of what is actually in what you’re eating, which could be a struggle for those who are very health conscious. And it can be difficult to sit there and calculate how much calories you’re taking in, which probably scares some people away from being healthier. And not everyone eats everything from stuff that is in packaging, how do you calculate the calories in the meal your mom just cooked?

So get this, I’m thinking why not have a phone app that can scan your food and tell you exactly how many calories and other nutrition facts you have in that amount of food, not more nor less. Leave all the calculating for technology to do. How will this change the lives of people, you ask? Well for those who wish to put an effort into living healthy, I believe will never have to look back at manually calculating calories no more. And no, I do not know if this will ever be possible.

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.


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.

A Few Of My Favourite Poems

Here are 7 of my most favourite poems. Let me know in the comments below which one is your favourite and why. 🙂


To Society:
Julie Martinez

We blame society, yet we fail to realize
that each and evey one of us makes up
society. Everyone should
Realize that we are each living, breathing
human being; all with our own struggles.
We all go home and stare at the mirror wishing we could
be someone different, we all
struggle to find our place in this world, and
We. All. Have. Our. Own. Struggles.
So why go out of your day to make
Someone else’s worse, when you can simply
Move on with your life, or even better, help someone
Else for a change. Because, you see, if
You live in a world where everyone blame society,
You might as well blame yourself,
Because you are a part
Of society too.

His Command
By: Heather Noor Brooks

What is it you think you see when you look at me?
No rights, no freedoms, oppressed and scared?
Why?  Because I cover my hair?
What will it take to make you understand?
This path I walk is God’s plan!
Just as in the Bible, He commands
For you to cover yourself, except your face and hands!

So please, do not pity me
I cover myself because HE commands
as I humble myself to HIS holy plan!
With my scarf and modest dress
I command of men my full respect!
They do not look at me as an object or prize to obtain
But value me for my intellect and self-respecting ways!

So the tear you see roll down my cheek
is a tear for you and not for me!
For the one who is truly oppressed
are the slaves to fashion, beauty and dress!
As the men of the “modern world” undress you
to sell their shoes and cars
You starve, your purge, you implant and you tuck
to still never feel pretty enough!

So with my head held high, and my veil pulled tight
I walk with pride tonight
With hope that someday you’ll see
Just how LIBERATING it is
to be covered like me!

Felicia Hemans

The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle’s wreck
Shone round him o’er the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,
A proud, though childlike form.
The flames rolled onhe would not go
Without his Father’s word;
That father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.
He called aloud‘say, Father, say
If yet my task is done?’
He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.
‘Speak, father!’ once again he cried,
‘If I may yet be gone!’
And but the booming shots replied,
And fast the flames rolled on.
Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death
In still yet brave despair.
And shouted but once more aloud,
‘My father! must I stay?’
While o’er him fast, through sail and shroud,
The wreathing fires made way.
They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
And streamed above the gallant child,
Like banners in the sky.
There came a burst of thunder sound
The boyoh! where was he?
Ask of the winds that far around
With fragments strewed the sea!
With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part
But the noblest thing which perished there
Was that young faithful heart.

Caged Bird  By Maya Angelou

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Pablo Neruda

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.
I love you only because it’s you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.
Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.
In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.

Imtiaz Dharker

Hand shaking on the stop-cock, she looks
at the X, the warning cross,
the water-tap unlocked, its padlock cracked.
Breath hacks in the throat, Check your back.
Turn it on and an anxious mutter swells
to thunder in the plastic bucket. Don’t spill it.
Fill it to the top. Lift to the hip, stop,
balance the weight for the dangerous walk
home. Home.
Don’t lose a drop.
From the police chowki across the track
a whistle, a shout. Run. Don’t stop. Don’t slip.
A drag at the hip. Hot, hot underfoot. Water slops
up and out in every direction, over the lip,
over her legs, a shock of cool, a spark of light.
With her stolen piece of sky, she has taken flight.
Behind her, the shouters give up. She puts down
the bucket. The water stills
She looks into it, looks up to where the blue
is scarred with aimless tracks.
Jet-trails cross each other off
before they die out, a careless X.

We Rulers of The Earth
Sandra M. Haight

Homo Sapiens we call ourselves, rulers of this Earth,
Intelligent and civilized, but what is all this worth?

We’re working hard to conquer space—we landed on our Moon.
We better solve our problems here, or soon we will face doom.

New industries and factories constructed every day,
And poisoning the air we breathe—is this the price to pay?

Energy sources are shrinking—what happens when they’re gone?
Will Man of Earth ever learn to work with Nature as one?

Some in this world are starving still while others hoard their gold.
Intelligent and civilized, at least, that’s what we’re told.

We cure disease with drugs that may cause sickness as result—
How many dearly paid for this ‘experimental cult’?

We have become a plastic world where everything is fake,
From the foods we eat to how we look—when will we awake?.

We’re civilized we tell ourselves, but fight our fellow man,
If only we could solve world stresses through a better plan.

With government corruption and morality sinking low…
The price of progress we may say—is this the way to grow?

We have upset Earth’s balanced ways, destroying Nature’s scheme—
We’re intelligent and civilized—is it all a dream?

Will we ever walk on Nature’s path, take her by the hand,
Restore the beauty meant to be on Earth, our dying land?

Homo Sapiens we call ourselves, rulers of this Earth,
Intelligent and civilized, but what is all this worth?

What Is Success and What Determines It?

When we think of successful people, we think of those who have brought themselves to a position of financial stability, fame, luxury and achievement of specific goals. For example I think of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, J. K. Rowling, and many others. But the question is, what is behind all their successes and what determines success in our eyes?

Public Domain Image via Pixabay
Public Domain Image via Pixabay

I’ve recently started reading a book, called The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, which is basically a book where the author analyzes the success of many people like the Beatles, Bill Gates, and many hockey players. He emphasizes a lot on how cultural differences, by-born intelligence, rational decision making, and consistent practice has an impact on a person’s future and success. I would really advise you guys to read the book and take a look at his opinion on success.

“Do you see the consequences of the way we have chosen to think about success? Because we so profoundly personalize success, we miss opportunities to lift others onto the top rung…We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail. And most of all, we become much too passive. We overlook just how large a role we all play—and by “we” I mean society—in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

However, my opinion on success slightly differs, with Malcolm Gladwell as I believe that success can be acquired by anyone who wants it. I think determination, ambition and hard work can take anyone towards achieving their goals and being successful. Success shouldn’t be determined by how much money a person has in their bank account, or how reknown their name is, but should be determined by the hard work and effort the person puts into getting to that level.

I know in today’s society, we see a man in a fancy suit, shiny shoes driving a luxury car, and automatically label him to be someone successful. Sure, maybe he is, but we never look into it. Situation may be that his father was someone highly successful, and after graduating with a post-secondary education degree, he chose to join his father’s business. What I mean to say is that, this man has it all, the financial abundance, fancy lifestyle, education and so on. But is he truly successful? Did he really have to work hard and sweat at all to get to the position he is at?

Public Domain Image via Pixabay
Public Domain Image via Pixabay

In my eyes, a man who has a high school degree, and has started a family business for the sake of providing for his family, and is somewhat well known in his area for a hard working and determined man is just as much successful as the man I previously described. This man probably doesn’t have a huge house, fancy clothing, a luxury car, or a post-secondary education. But at whatever level he is at, he worked hard to get there, and that right there makes him someone successful, in my eyes, of course.

Comment down below, and let me know what success means to you. What do you think it means? What do you think should determine it? How should it be looked at and what is needed in order to acquire it?