POSTS WITH TAG: internet

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    The teen years are a time when you're expected to make dumb mistakes. Back in the day, we were able to do and say stupid things and -- if we were lucky -- learn from them and move on to become better people. Yeah, not so much anymore thanks to Twitter and Facebook.

    "Sarah" isn't the first teenager -- and she won't be the last -- to learn the hard way that one thoughtless tweet could possibly ruin her life, despite the fact that she's only 14 years old. The young girl, whose social media account has since been deleted, reportedly made the grave error of sending American Airlines a ridiculously reckless tweet. She pretended she was a terrorist who was planning a major attack. Uh, 14 or not, you could say the airline took her message very seriously.

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    I've been writing online for a long time, and I thought I'd address a few questions I've had over the years about how the sausage gets made. Excuse me if this is a little insidery, but I wanted to talk a little about how and why we're now inundated with "You Won't Believe How This Smiling Baby Will Change Your Life!" and "35 Funniest Sidewalk Signs of All Time" posts on Facebook and Twitter.

    There are a few types of web content, the most prevalent of them being "online journalism." I wrote a book about it, and it's what I've been doing for most of my professional career. And I'm part of the problem. Let me explain.

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    On April Fool's Day, I read a post that had me shaking in my Ugg boots. It basically described changes to Facebook that would allow users to see who had viewed their profiles.

    Thankfully, it was just a prank post, so amateur cyberstalking may continue undeterred. Because really, do you want your ex or your crush or your high school nemesis knowing that you occasionally check out their pages out of sheer, morbid curiosity?

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    America, today's the day! If you haven't yet signed up for health insurance, the deadline is TODAY. So head on over to and ... uh oh, whoops. Um, this is so embarrassing ... apparently went offline for six hours earlier this morning. Then it came back, stronger than ever! Except not so strong, because it crashed again around noon. Oh wait -- it's back up again now! Give it a try? At this point you have a 50-50 chance of being able to complete an application.

    Those of you who started an application only to have the website crash on you in the middle of the process, you should have received an invitation to try again. I believe it looked something like this ...

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    It's hard to imagine there was a time when you could break up with someone or be broken up with and then never, ever have to see his horrible, beautiful, heartbreaking face again. Ah, what a comfort it must have been to be able to cry for a day, talk it out with friends, and then know you could move on. There was no high-tech way of keeping tabs on that person, and even if you heard through the grapevine that he had a new girlfriend or wife, you could make it through life without viewing 100 photos of her and knowing hair that shiny actually exists outside of a shampoo commercial.

    Boy, are those days gone. It's now pretty much possible to locate and stalk every boyfriend you've had since kindergarten. Not that you plan on doing this, of course, but here are 7 websites that have made it super easy for "ex-boyfriend stalking" to become an international sport and for no one to ever fully get over and past the ... well, the past.

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    Happy birthday, World Wide Web! Remember when we still called it that? The Internet turns 25 years young today, and whether you think it's the greatest invention since the light bulb or the entire reason our society is falling apart, you must admit it's difficult to imagine our lives without it. Think about it: many of us wouldn't have met our soul mates if not for the Internet. We'd still be faxing thousands of pages of paper a day at our jobs instead of sending email attachments. Lots of us wouldn't even have jobs, or would have very different jobs, if not for the Internet.

    Still, as someone who celebrated all of my single-digit birthdays before the Internet was born, I'd be lying if I said life is so much better now. Here are 4 things the Internet totally destroyed and 4 ways it made life even better.

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    You can use a lot of words to describe your typical 7-year-old: cute, sweet, spunky, sensitive. But "soulful" is usually one of those adjectives you save for folks who have a bit of living under their belts. Angelina Jordan from Norway defies all norms. The tot, who recently appeared on Norway's Got Talent barefoot and clad in a long white dress, brought judges to tears with her flawless rendition of Billie Holiday's "Gloomy Sunday." Her performance has since been viewed and shared by millions of people around the world, who are blown away by this little girl's tremendous voice.

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    A recent (and hilarious) survey proved some pretty interesting things about the average American's understanding of the technologies that most of us use every day. I love my computer and I love my TV and everything both devices do quite dearly. Still, I'd only consider myself borderline-literate when it comes to understanding the world of tech and all its splendors. But apparently I'm doing a lot better than some other folks currently kickin' it on this fair planet of ours.

    Did you know that 1 in 10 people polled actually think that HTML is a sexually transmitted disease? If that were true, I might as well swatch my person in a body-sized prophylactic, because I'm up to my eyeballs in the stuff daily. Ew. I've made myself ill. But that wasn't the only tech term that threw folks for a loop.

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    No matter how many people either get arrested or at least get a heap of scorn for posting stupid selfies, well, people are gonna keep on doing it! There is just something about showing off your antics, be they criminal or just inappropriate in nature, that seems to be irresistible for many. It's almost like it didn't happen if other people don't see it! The latest person to join the ranks of selfie stupidity is Army private Tariqka Sheffey, who posted a pic of herself on Instagram hiding in her car so she wouldn't have to salute the flag.

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    When I think about kindergarten, I picture a peaceful environment that is both fun and educational. At this grade level, children are getting their first taste of being away from mom and dad for long periods of time -- which can be super scary. With hope, caring teachers are introducing them to books and fascinating subjects that will awaken in them a life-long love of learning, while taking their emotional needs into consideration and disciplining them in ways that teach, and don't disrespect.

    Well, that's the ideal scenario, anyway. In reality, some school administrators, like the principal of one school in Connecticut, aren't thinking twice before doing horrendous things, like dragging 5 and 6-year-old children across the hallway as if they were animals.

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