All The Tracking That Facebook Does To Customize Your Experience Is Making You Lazy

All The Tracking That Facebook Does To Customize Your Experience Is Making You Lazy

Trust them, they're journalists.

It's time we, as consumers of media, talk about something...

It's important, so, grab a coffee or something and take a seat.

Here's the thing, and higher powers know I am not the first to bring this up, but Facebook, Twitter and other social media are severely limiting our worldviews.

Odds are, you're like me and spend too much time scrolling and a majority of what you're seeing, besides the cutesy engagement photos and pumpkin spice selfies, are click-bait versions of the same thing.

If you're liberal or tend to click on left-leaning content, then that's what you're seeing on your feed.

It's kind of like how if you're searching for a burgundy colored clutch to match that dress you're wearing to your cousin's wedding or a new Hugo Boss watch to add to your ever-growing collection and all of a sudden every time you log into Instagram or Facebook all your seeing are ads along the same vein as the item in your recent shopping search.

Every click you make is being tracked.

Websites recognize you, Google knows your birthday and Facebook talks to you about the weather in your area.

Besides making me increasingly more paranoid, the creepy tabs the internet keeps on me can be occasionally useful. It can help you find out when that exact watch you're looking for goes on sale or tell you when it's someone's birthday that you may have otherwise forgotten.

But all the tracking that Facebook does to customize your experience is making us lazy. It's making us less exposed to opposing viewpoints and devolving us into uninformed, lazy, news consumers.

I know, I'm guilty of getting sucked into it myself. But it's OK, there's hope.

The very first thing people ask me after learning my major in college is always something along the lines of, "What's the point of staying up-to-date with the news if it's all biased and sensationalized?".

Well, it's like this...

Would you trust a stranger on Craig’s List with no reviews or apparent credentials to fix her car? The answer is no because it’s likely you would take it to a trusted mechanic.

It’s as simple as that, it’s about credibility, and journalists have a job to do just like any other professional.

They’re not orating in front of a jury or wearing stethoscopes to check your heart rate; they’re behind cameras and computer screens, but just as lawyers are bound to justice and doctors to do no harm, journalists are bound to the truth.

And it's true, a lot of sources are biased, that makes this day and age simultaneously the worst and the best era for news.

It's the worst because it's fragmented, dependent on speed and clickability over accuracy. And it's the best because it's immediate, global and encourages people to be vigilant, to pay attention and become their own news aggregates.

I won't lie to you, staying informed takes time. It requires you to get your news from all sides, to listen to NPR and read articles from the Huffington Post, while also seeing what Fox News and CNN are posting. And understanding that those sources have agendas.

Their content is catering to a specific audience.

But paying the most attention to sources like Politico, Al Jazeera and your local paper. These are my standby sources, the ones I know are likely to give me the facts and keep me the most current with what's going on in the world.

The truth is, even with the most reliable sources, you'll never escape agenda and pandering. So, I implore you to take a more holistic approach to being informed and stop letting social media dictate your worldview.

Cover Image Credit: pxhere

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The Hairdo Diaries

The average day of a girl who just lost half her hair volume.

I am unpleasantly awoken by a blaring alarm at 8:30 am telling me it’s time to get my butt up if I plan on making it to Organic Chemistry on time. So naturally, I snooze the alarm for 10 more minutes before even considering crawling out of my comfy warm sanctuary. When I finally do find it in me to stumble out of bed I groggily head to the bathroom, pulling my hair into a top knot on the way. I pause mid-stride as I am momentarily confused as to where half of my hair has gone.

Light brown hair that used to reach my mid back now only falls at roughly my shoulder. Since its early it takes me a second to remember that little over a week ago I hacked it all off. Coming from someone who used to cry when I was forced to trim my ends, this seven inches shorter thing has taken some getting used to. When I finally do reach the bathroom I have roughly ten minutes to be out the door so it’s go time.

After a quick brushing of teeth, it’s time to tackle the monstrosity that is my bed head. Back when I had long hair it was impossible to deal with in the morning. It was a tangled disaster every morning but I wouldn’t even dream of combing it since it would cause the loose waves to frizz and resemble the main of a horse. Since cutting it all off, I no longer have to deal with that frizzy disaster. It does seem though that I have traded one problem for another as now my hair sticks straight up in the morning and refuses to sit down atop my head. Instead it choices to resemble Mount Everest or one of the girls’ hair from Jersey Shore. With a frustrated groan, I run a comb through it and stick it back into a bun before garbing my bag and heading out the door.

It is less than two minutes later when I meet up with a friend to walk to class that she informs me that I missed a huge chunk of hair at the back of my head that is not secured in the top knot. I grumble that I didn’t miss the piece of hair but rather the piece of hair decided that it didn’t want to play nice. I silently curse myself for not taking the time to secure shorter pieces of hair at the back of my head with bobby pins because they’re simply not long enough to stay in an up-do by themselves.

When I finally reach class, I am now faced with the difficult decision between trying to blindly half up half down my hair or throwing it into a low pony and looking like a colonel man. There’s a huge chance I’d have a lumpy half ponytail at best but it’s better than looking like Paul Revere with a tiny low ponytail and shorter wispy pieces of hair framing my face. When I finally am able to reach the bathroom I do my best to deal with the situation but eventually, give up and throw my hair into the classic man bun. At least now I look like a cool hipster teenage boy instead of a revolutionary one.

As I continue my day on campus I am meet with the unavoidable question that has haunted me for the past week without fail. Whenever I run into anyone I do not see on a regular base I am undoubtedly questioned “oh. Did you get a haircut?” I must then attempt to refrain myself from spitting out some bad line about dying my hair invisible. When I respond that “yes, I did, in fact, cut my hair” I am meet with pretty much the same line of “it looks so healthy!” Whether it is good or bad that that is the number one comment I’ve gotten so far is still up for debate.

When I finally do get home and grab the opportunity to shower I am reminded of my hair, or lack thereof, as I make the mistake once again of attempting to use too much conditioner. This new hair to conditioner ratio is the trickiest math problem I’ve done in ages apparently. Once out of the shower I’m reminded of the perks of the new hairstyle as it takes me approximately ten seconds to comb my hair. I am further reminded when my hair is air dried in less than ten minutes. I do run into an issue with the new length however when I look in the mirror and am stricken with how curly my hair is. What was once mild long waves has been replaced by very short and very curly locks.

With the shoulder length brown curly hair, I now sort of resemble those portraits of Jesus. Now I just need the sandals and the robe and the two of us will be identical. When the time comes for me to attempt to style my hair for a night out, all hell breaks loose. I can’t really curl it because my hair won’t keep loose waves but tight curls stick up and make me look like little orphan Annie. Straightening it isn’t much better as it won’t really stay straight for more than ten seconds anyway. When I finally give up and change into clothes that aren’t legging and a T-shirt I can’t help but look into a mirror and think “oh so that’s what my shoulder looks like in this dress.”

Cover Image Credit: Savanna Lloyd

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10 Necessities All Equestrians Should Have In Their Ring-Side Backpacks

Your guide to the perfect ring-side backpack!

There's hardly ever a time where you won't find me in the barn without my backpack. Stocked with all of my riding essentials, especially at shows, I've created a list of my top 10 necessities to keep when ring-side!

1. Hairnets. They stretch, they rip, and they disappear... so always have a backup pack!

2. Boot polish. Squeaky clean boots are a girl's best friend!

3. Water bottle.

So, you should too!

4. Power Bank. So you don't have to worry about your phone dying and you can get every minute of your ride on video!

5. Snacks

6. Fluff Monkey. Perfect for last-minute ring-side touch ups/wipe downs of boots!

7. Extra hair ties. Just like hairnets, hair ties also break and disappear. But, they are absolutely necessary!

8. Black shoelaces. No number string? No problem!

9. Band-Aids & Neosporin. One word: blisters!

10. Advil/Tylenol. You might not feel it now, but you're going to in the morning!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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