“Distracted Doctoring” – updating your Facebook status in the O.R.

Do you know what your O.R. team is up to while you’re lying there out cold during surgery? The New York Times has taken a revealing peek at the impact of electronic devices like smartphones on modern medical care – and it’s not a pretty picture.

The troubling issue is that your doctors, nurses and techs can be focused on the screen and not the patient, even during moments of critical care.  This includes the neurosurgeon making personal calls during an operation, a nurse checking airfares in the O.R., and a frightening poll showing that half of technicians running bypass machines during open heart surgery had admitted texting while working on a cardiac procedure Continue reading

Social media: a fad or a revolution?

Watch this short (4:26) and compelling little video called Is Social Media a Fad – or the Biggest Shift Since the Industrial Revolution?, for the answer to our title question today. It’s from the brainiacs at the U.K.-based group redIT.

Think that, by fast-forwarding through those TV commercials, you can avoid the advertising onslaught?  You’ll think again after seeing how marketers are tracking you down through social media.

Big thanks to Stephanie Holland at She-Conomy for this heads up.

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News flash: smartphone users obsessively check their devices

In a study that could be described as confirming the bleedin’ obvious, Finnish researchers have found that many smartphone users obsessively check their devices for e-mails, social media and news. Really? Seriously? I could have texted that conclusion over to Finland long ago and saved them a lot of time and tax dollars.

Who hasn’t endured the supremely rude experience of chatting happily with a friend whose phone chimes suddenly to life, requiring said friend to instantly interrupt the conversation in mid-sentence because she has to check out the latest cute kitty YouTube video – while you stand there waiting like an idiot with your finger up your nose? Who hasn’t sat, dismayed and annoyed, at the dining room table watching a young relative madly texting from his lap during a family dinner? Who hasn’t been distracted by glowing phone screens popping up in a darkened movie theatre while users check Facebook throughout the film? Can these people not turn their phones off even for two short hours?

Obsessive? I’d say so. Continue reading

Why some people should avoid social media completely

In February, the American Red Cross social media specialist Gloria Huang sent the following tweet out on the organization’s Twitter feed:

But the party girl’s rogue tweet stayed up only about an hour on the site, before a flurry of complaints prompted the organization to remove it. Huang later blamed the mistake on her “inability to use Hootsuite(a service that enables users to manage multiple Twitter accounts).  Continue reading

The Vancouver riots: a backlash against the backlash

True confession time: I still have not told my mother that I was sent to the principal’s office back in Grade Six. The only reason for this is that our principal, Mr. Devine, let me and my friend Sheila off with a stern lecture about whatever minor school rule we had just violated. But Mr. Devine wasn’t the worst threat to our mental and physical health on that day as the two of us stood weeping hysterically outside his office. The real threat would have been facing our parents back home, along with the terrifyingly certain consequences that “causing trouble at school” would bring.

Back then, the concept of logical consequences was perfectly understood by all of us. Everybody – our parents, teachers, friends, neighbours – knew and accepted (along with all physicists since Newton) that for every action, there would inevitably be an equal and opposite reaction. And that parental reaction would be far more painful than anything Mr. Devine could dish out. No exceptions, no excuses, no getting off easy.

That was all part of making sure that we would not grow up and one day decide to set fire to police cars in downtown Vancouver.

So when watching hours of live news footage of thugs terrorizing the streets of Vancouver during last week’s Stanley Cup riots, I couldn’t help but sadly ask myself if we have somehow raised an entire generation of spoiled brats who have never had to grasp the foreign concept of facing logical consequences of their actions?  Continue reading