Your Facebook Profile Is Making Me Depressed

Facebook regularly turns me into a jealous mess. Everyone in my network seems to have either a book deal, an award or an article in the New Yorker (I currently have none of those things). On Facebook, people seem to have the energy to shotgun beers on Friday night (I mostly shotgun the best seat on the couch). Someone's always staring at a breathtaking view or exercising their way to a "personal best."

I'm afraid of Instagram. It would likely reduce me to a puddle of tears.

Go on. Roll...

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Why a $7000 Benefit Is An Insult to Veterans' Families

This week, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) announced a proposed benefit of $7,238 for family members caring for severely ill or injured veterans. You'd think Jenifer Migneault, the wife of a man who suffers from PTSD, would be celebrating. But she's not.

The 42-year-old Quebecois woman is known in Parliament for chasing the former minister of Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino, down a hallway to plead for help. Her husband, Claude Rainville, served for 20 years as a traffic technician...

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How the Internet Ruined Me for International Women's Day

*This blog appeared March 6 in the Ottawa Citizen

This year, I'm not feeling especially connected to International Women's Day. No, I'm not a misogynist who thinks women get a touch too emotional during that time of the month to deserve equal pay. I love that on previous Women's Days the UN has focused on hunger, poverty and violence against women. My problem is that this Women's Day feels more like a Hallmark celebration than the complex version of feminism I encounter online....

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'The Dress' Proves We Hate People Different From Us

Last night, the colour of a dress seduced the Internet. Yes, it was a cool optical illusion. Yes, other than Victoria's Secret Swim Special there wasn't much on TV that night. But the real reason the dress continues to captivate our attention is because humans love to form groups based on often trivial similarities.

Once we form these groups, we love to fight with outsiders. People were more interested in pledging allegiance to #teamwhiteandgold or #teamblueandblack than reading...

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Scolding Anti-Vaxxers Won't Change Their Minds

Many Canadians fist-pumped when they heard CBC host Anna Maria Tremonti eviscerate an anti-vaxxer on Monday's The Current.

Darlene Tindall, a 39-year-old Sudbury mom, yoga instructor and energy medicine practitioner was a prime target for ridicule. In a soothing voice, she spoke about chakras, anecdotal evidence that vaccines leave children "vegetated" and about feeling bullied by the pro-vaccine side.

"Why is it bullying when someone tells you truth?" asked Tremonti...

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Coming to Work Sick Is a Disease

Last week, I went to work sick. I'm battling my second cold in a month and felt I had already overplayed my work-from-home card. I didn't want to e-mail yet another iteration of "I'm walking mucus" to my boss, press refresh 1,000 times and neurotically analyze the response ("does 'sure' mean he's mad at me?") When it comes to taking a sick day, our lives turn into Woody Allen movies.

But the real disease is our inability to rest. A U.S. survey by Redshift Research found that about 60...

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Coming to Work Sick Is a Disease

Last week, I went to work sick. I'm battling my second cold in a month and felt I had already overplayed my work-from-home card. I didn't want to e-mail yet another iteration of "I'm walking mucus" to my boss, press refresh 1,000 times and neurotically analyze the response ("does 'sure' mean he's mad at me?") When it comes to taking a sick day, our lives turn into Woody Allen movies.

But the real disease is our inability to rest. A U.S. survey by Redshift Research found that about 60...

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How Socks Can Help Solve Homelessness

It's winter in Canada, which means the middle class becomes so cold that it starts to feel sympathy for the homeless. We start to imagine what it might be like to be caught in the jaws of this cold snap without a Canada Goose parka or long johns. It's a humbling thought -- one that might even spur the most staunch Libertarian to donate a little. But rather than embrace the giving spirit, critics are unfortunately focused on the right way to give.

At the centre of the debate on how to solve...

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How Socks Can Help Solve Homelessness

It's winter in Canada, which means the middle class becomes so cold that it starts to feel sympathy for the homeless. We start to imagine what it might be like to be caught in the jaws of this cold snap with a Canada Goose parka or long johns. It's a humbling thought -- one that might even spur the most staunch Libertarian to donate a little. But rather than embrace the giving spirit, critics are unfortunately focused on the right way to give.

At the centre of the debate on how to solve poverty...

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Why You're Making the Wrong Kind of New Year's Resolution

In my first year of university, I made a poster with a quotation from Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw: "As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. And when that happens, I guess she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, buckle up and just keep going."

I made the decorative choice during a period in which I also wore a housecoat and a full face of makeup to morning lectures. But behind my saccharine bubble letters, the modern proverb...

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Why CBC Should Keep the Q Archives

The Fifth Estate documentary about Jian Ghomeshi opens with the now-disgraced host reciting his trademark refrain: "Well hi there." His raspy voice is no longer Canada's comforting morning soundtrack. It's a chilling reminder of a duplicitous man who charmed Barbara Walters in public and allegedly choked and beat women in private. Now that Ghomeshi has been charged with four counts of sexual assault, his voice is full of contradictions.

But if the CBC has its way, Canadians...

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Without Men, Feminism Can't Stop Violence Against Women

After Marc Lépine killed 14 women at Montreal's École Polytechnique, his actions fuelled a rejuvenated feminist movement across Canada.

Before he committed the murders in a classroom in 1989, he told the men to leave. In a suicide note he blamed feminists for ruining his life. Women knew exactly what to do: get mad. In every city and most towns, they held vigils and protests. But men struggled with how to support a movement that wasn't theirs.

Lee Lakeman, who was...

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Don't Call the Conversation About Sexual Assault Pointless

Online, over the phone and around dinner tables, Canadians are turning the problem of sexual assault around like a Rubik's Cube in an effort to make sense of why 90 per cent of all sex assaults go unreported. Why only one in four of the cases that make it to court result in convictions. Since the Jian Ghomeshi allegations broke, the discussion has widened in scope after two Liberal MPs were recently suspended for alleged "personal misconduct" and former deputy prime minister Sheila...

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The Jian Ghomeshi Story Turned Us into Social Media Fools

On Monday morning, my Facebook feed read like a verbal walk of shame. Groggy and hungover from knee-jerk reaction, the shame set in. "And I realize all the info isn't in but I gotta apologize to every person I know for my initial reaction to this story." "Less than an hour later, I felt like a big idiot, reacting to a story in this crazy news cycle. In the absence of more information, I regret jumping to the conclusion..."

My page was littered with people who hated themselves for their...

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Eizellen einfrieren? Facebook bietet nur an, was Frauen wollen

Letzte Woche schockte die Technikbranche ganz Nordamerika. Der Auslöser war nicht etwa eine App, die weiß, wann das Toilettenpapier zu Ende geht, oder ein iPhone, das auch als Bügeleisen dienen kann. Die schockierende Nachricht: Facebook übernimmt ab jetzt bis zu 20.000 Dollar der Kosten für das Einfrieren von Eizellen. Eine Idee, die Apple ab Januar auch annehmen wird.

Über Nacht wurde die Heimat der Technikfreaks zum Zentrum einer...

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Eizellen einfrieren? Facebook bietet nur an, was Frauen wollen

Letzte Woche schockte die Technikbranche ganz Nordamerika. Der Auslöser war nicht etwa eine App, die weiß, wann das Toilettenpapier zu Ende geht, oder ein iPhone, das auch als Bügeleisen dienen kann. Die schockierende Nachricht: Facebook übernimmt ab jetzt bis zu 20.000 Dollar der Kosten für das Einfrieren von Eizellen. Eine Idee, die Apple ab Januar auch annehmen wird.

Über Nacht wurde die Heimat der Technikfreaks zum Zentrum einer...

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Facebook's Egg Freezing Is What Women Want

Last week, the tech industry shocked North America. It wasn't with an app that knows when you're out of toilet paper or an iPhone that turns into an iron. It shocked us with news that Facebook now covers up to $20,000 in egg freezing expenses, a lead Apple will start to follow in January.

Overnight, the land of geeks has become the nucleus of a raging debate over women's reproductive rights. Some argue the money would be better spent on services that help working mothers, such as on-site...

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Dear North America, You're Not As Great As You Think

Last week, Iranian-American scholar Reza Aslan taught all North Americans a lesson: don't generalize when it comes to regions of the world you know nothing about. In an interview with CNN, Aslan destroyed Bill Maher's two cents that the Muslim world "has too much in common with ISIS." His message? Not all Muslim countries are the same. While women are brutally repressed in Saudi Arabia and Iran, they have equal rights in Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia....

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Why Your Best Ideas Come in the Shower

The end of summer is marked by the turning of Facebook statuses. Gone is the wave of posts that read like love letters to the sea. "After two weeks of looking at the ocean, just as I realize where I actually am, and what I might honestly feel, and what the world could actually look like, I have to leave and start racing again," wrote one friend. When I read his post in August I had just returned from a week of staring at the Bay of Fundy. The waves massaged my brain and I had been able to write...

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No Parent Should Have to Choose Between Groceries and Back-to-School Clothes

Mercy Osagie ended her kids' first day of school lying on her couch in tears. The 38-year-old who moved to Toronto from Nigeria 13 years ago is still waiting for a Permanent Resident Card, but that night her cheeks were wet with a different worry: back-to-school expenses had left her with only $400 for September.

Since the single mom's only source of income is $2,800 each month from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Osagie will have to cut off her Internet for September....

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