Privacy. Does it still exist?

Guest Post by: Anna Ogunkunle, Marquette University ’15 Public Relations & Spanish

ACWhen you make a Twitter or Facebook account they always ask whether you want to make your page private or public. Choosing the private setting makes you feel safer because no one but your friends and people you approve can see your post.  But is it really true? Is your page really private or is it something you’re told to feel safer. Since the development of social media the idea and definition of privacy has changed for the worse. Nothing you post online is actually private. People can find a way to see everything, but do these people also need to include future employers?

In today’s world it is completely normal to have the information for your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account on your resume. By doing this you give the employer the right to look through these pages and find out a bit more about you. Most people usually clean up their accounts so future employers don’t see certain things, but what happens when you are at a job interview and the interviewer asks you to log into your Facebook account? Your hands immediately becoming sweaty because there are some things just meant for you and your friends to see and you try not to give a rude expression. Asking applicants and employees to log into their social media accounts has become an issue in the workplace. Is this really an appropriate question to be asking employees and applicant? When it comes to a job interview there are certain things applicants shouldn’t be asked and their social media information is one of them. It is not only a breach of privacy, it is unnecessary. An applicant’s resume should speak on the behalf of the applicant and not what goes on in their life. It’s understandable that the person will be representing the company outside of work but many people know how to keep work and life separate. A person’s private life and what they do shouldn’t affect an applicant or employee because the company feels the need to know what they are doing outside of work. People sign up for social media sites as a way to connect with their friends and be able to express themselves. Employers will take away this freedom by asking to look at people’s accounts and snooping around. Privacy is what everyone seeks and a company shouldn’t be breaking employees or applicants right to privacy.

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Doctors – the New Spies

Guest Post by: Khalil Perry, student

Is there an ethical problem with doctors spying on your social media accounts to make sure that you are following their health orders?

The emergence of social media has changed the way our society communicates and interconnects forever. At the drop of a dime, one can network on a variety of social media platforms of all different realms. Some use social media to promote businesses and brands, while others use it to connect with their favorite celebrities. However, recently many issues have come up surrounding personal privacy and social media. Is it safe for all of our information to be so public? This has always been the ethical issue surrounding social media amongst all of its glory. For years, many employers have been using social media to look into the lives of potential and current employees. A positive for a business, but a negative for people working or looking for jobs and who may like to have a little fun outside of work. Regardless of your opinion on that, what if I told you that doctors are now using social media to spy on patients? What if you needed a transplant of some sort, but your physician happened to do a background check on you and finds a social media account of yours with pictures of you doing unhealthy activities, such as drinking alcohol? What if they denied you the transplant? Welcome to the new, harsh reality of a new technologically advanced era!

AIn a recent article on NBC NEWS website, a discussion came up that discussed doctors spying on patients. Specifically, one man who needed a liver transplant was denied when pictures surfaced of him binge drinking. Though he already had a history of this and went against his doctor’s orders to stop drinking, the question is, how ethical is this of the doctors? Just because somebody is causing harm to their own body, does that mean that they should be denied medical help? As the article described, it’s almost like a “death sentence.”  For example, if one’s back really hurts and pictures showing them doing physical activities surface, should they be denied medical treatment? Or, if you are experiencing issues concerning high blood pressure and pictures of you surface at a BBQ eating ribs, are you then also denied medical treatment? How far will this go? Now, that is not to say that if one doctor denies you, another may accept you. Nevertheless, the fact that social media may now play a role in your medical treatment is a scary and disturbing thought.

I believe that physicians using social media to spy on patients to see if they are following their medical advice are acting unethically and immorally. I know that many people in this world are foolish and do bring many medical issues upon themselves (through eating poorly, smoking, drinking, etc.), but that should not make sick patients live even more miserably, searching for the “golden doctor.” If you went to school to be in the medical field, it shouldn’t matter how the person got to their physically vulnerable stage. It should be about the love of helping people in need of medical treatment. If this does emerge as a popular thing to do, just how far will physicians take it? For example, if one is injured in an unsafe neighborhood, will the doctor say, “Well, he shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Find somebody else to take the bullet out of his heart.” I believe this is completely unfair and disturbing. All people have different learning experiences and it just may take that near death experience to stop doing whatever it is that is harming their bodies. Simply put, social media started out as something very helpful and accommodating. Moving forward, I’m just not sure any more as social media becomes more and more a nemesis used against us. Who knows what other ways social media will be used to spy on us in the near future. All I can suggest is that we all be extra careful about what we are putting on the Internet about ourselves!

The World is Changing, One Soda at a Time.

Guest Post by: Kevin Clancy, student

Just when you think the world is moving in the right direction, something as simple as a commercial comes along and shatters your thoughts. This past weekend marked the 48th viewing of the NFL Super Bowl, which is considered by many Americans to be a national holiday. Apart from being the pinnacle of sporting events in American society, the Super Bowl acts as the marquee event for advertising as well. Because so many Americans tune into the program, advertisements can cost upwards of 5 million dollars to run and often feature famous celebrities and non-traditional storylines. Although most companies stick to funny skits or epic visuals, many companies use the opportunity to take a different path.

Coke cans

This years Super Bowl started off with a relatively uneventful collection of advertisements. Yet, interspersed between the epic car advertisements and many, might I ad MANY, lackluster attempts at slapstick comedy, were a few commercials that chose the less beaten path and challenged viewers to think deeper. One such commercial put out by Coca-Cola involved one the nations most beloved hymns, “America The Beautiful”. Now I know what you are thinking, “Oh great, another America’s the greatest country in the world chest thump”…wrong. The ad starts with a lone woman singing the first lines of the song set to a background of American esc. things. Yet, once the second stanza begins, we as viewers are shocked to learn that the next singer belts out the words of the song in Spanish. This change of language becomes a common theme throughout the commercial as a total of seven different languages are represented in the song by the end.

As the commercial finished, I took the time to reflect upon the message. Coke, being a global brand, has always pushed for acceptance of diversity and is no stranger to advertising with different languages. I feel the ad was meant to show the unity of this country and display the work that Coca-Cola has done to bring us as a society, closer together. At the time, I really thought nothing of the commercial and simply continued to watch the game. However, while perusing twitter after the game, I found that many people could not shake the commercial and somehow felt disrespected by its message.

Coke SM

I personally think it is ridiculous for an American to become upset over coke’s advertisement. We live in a country that is considered by its people to be “the melting pot” of cultures. Furthermore, people soon forget that their very grandparents lived in a babel esc. society no more than 100 years ago as immigrants of all different backgrounds and languages struggled to make it in a new world of opportunity. Singing an inherently “American” song in different languages is in my opinion, as American as it gets. We should be proud of our multi-lingual country and all who call it home.

The Dissonance of Language: Foreign Does Not Mean Evil

Guest Post by: Kevin Garofalo, student and cultural critic

“A language!                                                                                                       Deep within the collective awareness of these people they carried, all unconsciously, a language that could say things to them that they did not want to hear… a complex and subtle combination that had evolved the way all languages evolved.                                                                                                                 Out of necessity.”

– Frank Herbert: Heretics of Dune

B Garofalo

It is confusing to me that the people of the United States of America accept a word like “YOLO” to describe their adventurous, personal lives. Whatever happened to “Carpe Diem?” Maybe it is true that Latin is a dead language, but at least the people of Rome thought of more reasonable acronyms (SPQR). When did American-English become the standard of speaking to judge what is good or bad?

The act of verbal communication has been around for many thousands of years, in many thousands of dialects. Yet, when an exposition of a selection of these languages is paired with a song that has the word “America” in the title, a good deal of people in North America suddenly have a problem. This is what happened as a result of Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” advertisement during the Super Bowl this year. Xenophobic is a great word to describe what a lot of people felt – and still feel – but I think it is more of an ego problem.

NEWS FLASH: American-English is not the only language in the world. Do you ever wonder what kinds of verbal stories you could hear in Italian? French? Vietnamese? I do! Hell, I would even enjoy one in Pig-Latin! When we limit ourselves to just one language, we immediately close ourselves off to the rest of the world. Maybe you are saying to yourselves: “Yeah, but the rest of the world knows English so I’ll be able to communicate.” They do not; and neither does the population of North America know every language that exists in our world. So why is English better?

The quote from the Dune series above describes a language that is actually a dance. Like many of the cultures represented in the “It’s Beautiful” advertisement, the dancers are criticized in the story. The dancers are even beaten to death because of their outrageous display of fanaticism. Why? It is simply because those who do no speak their language felt threatened. Still, the dancers spoke for a reason: to be heard. Is that not one of our basic human rights?

America acted just as those non-dancers toward the Coca-Cola advertisement when it spoke out against the advertisement. Why? Fear, plain and simple. America cannot accept what it does not understand; if we do not understand the languages that dominate the rest of the world, then we are doomed to reject them outright and with no question. Learn another language or better yet, learn two! The United States of America is not the only country that exists on this planet, and that is a good thing. So adapt, because it is – as Frank Herbert says – necessary if we are to live with each other as human beings.