Bright Lights; Sleepless Nights.

            We all do it: go to bed with the television blaring; sending that last good night text; checking your email just before bed.  It’s become a habit in our society to stay in complete touch from the moment we wake up to the second we fall asleep.  But is this habit becoming detrimental to our health?

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The Huffington post reported that a 2008 study funded by major mobile phone makers themselves showed that people exposed to mobile and television radiation took longer to fall asleep and spent less time in deep sleep.  Because so many people use their phones as alarm clocks, leaving the phone less than arms reach away, people are more tempted to update themselves when they find they can’t fall asleep at night.  Because of this, people are spending less time sleeping, leaving themselves prone to sleep deprivation, compromised immune systems and trouble regaining normal sleep habits.

Let’s do us all a favor and put away technology if only for eight hours. It’ll give everyone just enough time to miss you, and the only thing people like more than knowing everything is a little bit of mystery.

 

-Gabriela Teresa Gonzalez “Gigi”

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Tenerife International Song Festival- by Carlos Bowers

I want to share my experience traveling to Tenerife, Spain last year to represent my country in the Tenerife International Song Festival 2012. This is one of the biggest goals I’ve accomplished in my singing career because I always had the dream of representing Mexico in an international event, so this was definitely a dream come true. Sixteen countries were selected to participate in this huge competition and Mexico was one of them with my song: Sueña Ya (Dream Now). Me and the delegates of the other countries were hosted at the Tenerife Hotel for more than a week and had the opportunity to get to know the island pretty well. We all became friends, but we never forgot that we were representing our countries and were actually competing against each other for Best Performance and Best Song of the year. The organizers of the event made sure that we felt comfortable and took us to the beach, shopping to different malls, and to an amazing zoo where we had the opportunity to see very impressive animal shows and where we were able to interact with birds and monkeys. This was one of the best trips I’ve been in my life. It was my first time in Spain, and I really enjoyed it!Image

If it’s Social it’s Social Media…

What is social media? Social media has extended our interactions with other human beings into the the “virtual” realm of the internet and all the technologies the net now inhabits, effectively blurring the distinction between our real lives and the ones we lead online. There is no limit to the multitude of platforms social media runs on. Ask anyone to define social media and you wont get the same answer twice. So, what exactly does social media entail? If you look up the definition you’ll get a very vague definition. With a very vague definition, social media is left to the people to define and understand. Most would argue that to be considered a platform of social media, you must be able to communicate on an open forum with people. Sharing videos, photos, and audio files are just an added extra. By this comprehension, social media has been around before Myspace was even thought of. Remember the days of web 2.0 when you had a LiveJournal?– that’s social media. And don’t forget the most simplistic form of social media, e-mail. Will this ever end?
Why does this matter? and what does this mean? For one, it means it is now easier for me to find people that can keep me away from working on my paper (and other schoolwork), and this matters because this kind of virtual socializing holds more appeal than doing things which should be of higher importance!

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-Romina Herrera

[Culture]

Technology and Us:To Dissconnect or Not?

By David Levitan

We live day to day on our technology and it has become an extension of our lives. I can honestly say I don’t know how I can without my smartphone for longer then 48 hours. I feel a constant need to be connected to the world whether its via Blogging, Social Media, or some form of outlet found over the web.

Smartphones keep taking leaps ahead to paint the reality of what the world is like digitally. For every photo we post to the web there is the information of longitude and latitude embedded in the data. You see the Google Earth car with the cameras all over it driving around painting the Google Maps data.

Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and every other social media outlet we are connected and paint a version of the digital age version of ourselves. That image might not always be the truth but it is a digital image of ourselves non the less.

So would you be able to disconnect from it all? Leave the glow of the fluorescent screens and spend it outside or reading a physical book over the glow of a tablet. It is something of an addiction to this generation and age. We may take breaks from Social Media but we go back to it or the updated version of it with such a passion to it.

Let’s think about it this way currently the trend is to be in the digital age, we want to be trendy and with the times. Yet for some of us we take this being trendy and hip to far and become so obsessed and way to connected to these devices. You watch television and the ad’s show wireless receivers for Televisions and how the kids have it so easy now compared to the older sibling who’s only 3-5 years older then them.

Technology these days are evolving quicker then we can keep up with. Google Glasses are coming soon and even technology where we possibly don’t even need to leave our houses anymore for a trip. I am sure the computers from Minority Report are only months from being revealed as well where you just use your fingertips to control the screens.

So where do we draw the line? How do you tell if you are addicted to technology or not?

My suggestion take a weekend and unplug, leave your phone on the counter and step outside and enjoy it.