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Ed Vasicek: Problems with Modern Technology | Opinions

The golden rule of social media is to “tweet what you want to be tweeted”. Today’s column looks at some of the problems posed by modern technology.

Let’s start with trolling. What is trolling? “A troll is Internet slang for someone who deliberately seeks to incite conflict, hostility, or discussion in an online social community. Platforms targeted by trolls include YouTube comment sections, forums, and chat rooms. …trolling can occur anywhere there is an open area where people can freely post their thoughts and opinions.” (Source:

I have learned to unfriend people who abuse Facebook to entertain at the expense of others. However, some Internet forums can be good places for legitimate discussion. But trolling is sneaky and cunning.

Next is cyberbullying. “Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about another person. It may involve sharing.Some cyberbullying crosses the line into illegal and criminal behavior.”

Young people are often victims of (or they perpetrate) cruel and devastating cyberbullying, so parents need to monitor what is happening to their children. Many teens commit suicide because they were humiliated in front of their friends on social media.

What is Facebook Jail? I think it’s a funny term, but some people see “Facebook Jail” as an attack on free speech.

“Facebook Jail is the term used when Facebook suspends an account…for violating the Facebook Community Standards, whether intentional or accidental.

“For violations, suspicious logins, or spamming, Facebook will suspend your account’s ability to post or use certain features for a period of time.” (Source:

Unfortunately, Facebook is monitored by a strict automatic formula (algorithm). In certain contexts, racist or hateful language may be used innocently. Let’s say you are talking about garbage bags. White trash is for recycling…” The algorithm flags the term “white trash” and thinks you are participating in hate speech! Lo and behold, you find yourself in a Facebook prison! Computers are linguistically rigid and not very good at reading context.

Good news? In most cases, a typical sentence for “Facebook jail” he is a week. Even in cases where false arrests occur frequently!

When mobile phones first came out, they were for making calls. After that, we added characters and finally transformed it into a smartphone. Why are many authorities recommending that children not be given smartphones until they are 14 years old?

It is well known that smartphones have changed society in many ways. Some are positive (e.g. emergency calls, GPS), and some are negative, or very negative.

According to the organization “Wait Until 14:00”, smartphones have reinvented childhood. Children no longer go outside to play with friends or read books. Many children use mobile phones for 3-7 hours per day. Smartphones are addictive and mimic the brain reactions associated with alcohol, drug or gambling addiction. They interfere with schoolwork and actually reduce how well children learn and take tests. They are physically altering our children’s brains. In addition, they interfere with sleep. Some kids wake up multiple times in the middle of the night to check their texts. Children are more likely to be rebellious if they spend a lot of time on their mobile phones.

The article states, “Many tech executives don’t allow kids to use cell phones until they are 14, according to a New York Times article. You can send, but you won’t be given a data plan until you’re 16. If the leaders of digital giants like Google, eBay, Apple, and Yahoo are delaying smartphone launches, this gives us pause. Shouldn’t it? Successful tech entrepreneurs are protecting their kids from smartphones, shouldn’t we be doing the same?” (source:

It’s never been easier for parents to keep up with the latest challenges. It’s overwhelming these days, but it’s worth it.