Sunday, January 24, 2010

Someone Is Always Watching.

After last fall and news from Iran its no surprise the power Twitter has had on politics world-wide. Another case of a tweet that has had immense power locally is that of user @OGLE_Toronto who on Friday posted a TwitPic on their Twitter account of a sleeping Toronto Transit Commision ticket collector.

In effect, this tweet has become a lightning rod for transit riders frustrated with the TTC and has sparked a media controversy.

The responses have been mixed, with that of the TTC Workers' Union stating that:

it is "disturbing" that a transit rider snapped a photo of what appears to be a sleeping ticket collector instead of checking to see whether the worker was okay.

While Adam Giambrone, head of the TTC has created a “blue-ribbon task force” to propose ways to improve the commission’s customer service. However somehow, this controversy seems far from over.

As Mashable says:

The world is changing because of social media. Information can be spread in real-time to millions of people. It’s the same power that has helped raised millions for Haiti and forced big companies to listen to their customers.

But somehow, personally I seek very little solace in the lesson we might learn from technology as being that 'someone is always watching.'

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marriage... It's Changed.

With the release of today's Pew Research Center report, many preconceived ideas about the economic dynamics of marriage seem to be turned on their head.

Entitled "The New Economics of Marriage: The Rise of Wives," the study shows that a "larger share of women today, compared with their 1970 counterparts, have more education and income than their spouses. As a result, in recent decades the economic gains associated with marriage have been greater for men than for women."

As the Washington Post details;

Looking at the impact of nearly four decades of social change, the report shows that men increasingly get a significant economic boost when they tie the knot -- improving their household incomes and often pairing up with a partner who has at least as much education as they do. Compared to 1970, when men usually married women with less education and fewer wives worked, these changes have contributed to a "gender role reversal in the gains from marriage," the report said.

"What's radically changed is that marriage now is a better deal for men," said Richard Fry, co-author of the report, published by the Pew Research Center. "Now when men marry, often their spouse works quite a bit. Often she is better-educated than the guy." In 1970, unmarried men "had a higher economic status than married guys," he said, "but no longer."

While there is no doubt these significant economic changes for married people combined have trasformed the dynamics of marriage, what I believe is worthy of further research, is the impact, if any, on that of how these trends have affected the social and interpersonal dynamics of marriage. Perhaps then, with better understanding of contemporary marriage and shifting societal expectations we can learn and accept all who choose to undertake its demands.