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.
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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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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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Is Your Water Actually Water?

This is what's really in your plastic bottle of water.

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Plastic bottles can be extremely convenient for many of us who are always on the go. We may thus inaccurately conclude that these beverages are "cheap" because they only cost a dollar or two. Taking into account all the possible health problems that can arise from these bottles and meticulously count how much we could be saving if we did not purchase them daily, however, buying one reusable water bottle may actually be a lot cheaper – and healthier.

A recent study in 2018 tested contamination of bottled water with plastic in "eleven globally sourced brands of bottled water, purchased in 19 locations in nine different countries," including Dasani and Aquafina from the United States. The study found that "of the 259 total bottles processed, 93% showed some sign of microplastic contamination," and detected "roughly twice as many plastic particles (>100µm) within bottled water as compared to tap water on average." Because the specific plastic particles they found were most prominently fragments instead of microplastics, the authors concluded that "at least some of the plastic contamination may be coming from the industrial process of bottling the water itself." Furthermore, the authors suggested that "the fragments could also be breaking off the cap, even entering the water through the simple act of opening the bottle," as most frequently detected polymer in the water was polypropylene.

In addition, previous research has indicated the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in bottled water. Specifically, a 2013 study assessed the activities of anti-estrogens and anti-androgens in 18 bottled water products. They not only detected "significant antiestrogenicity in 13 of 18 products" but also found "16 samples were antiandrogenic inhibiting the androgen receptor by up to 90%."

This is significant because these hormones – estrogens and androgens – are critical in preserving our endocrine system, which includes the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal gland, in addition to ovaries and testes. In the first Scientific Statement of The Endocrine Society, it claims, "we present the evidence that endocrine disruptors have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, prostate cancer, neuroendocrinology, thyroid, metabolism and obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology."

Perhaps then it is our duty to avoid EDCs and abandon bottled water altogether.

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