What is your Digital Legacy?


We all will leave a legacy behind – something that was unique to us. Did you know you will also likely leave a Digital Legacy? This type of legacy includes your social media posts, any past and present email messages you may have written or received, digital photos you may have taken, any blogs or websites you’ve started, as well as valuable loyalty reward points you may have accumulated.

Some social media sites offer a solution for those of us wanting to plan ahead for our inevitable demise. Facebook, for instance, offers its users the opportunity to create a Legacy Contact. I discovered this when my younger brother recently passed away. He was under 40 and had an active Facebook account. After his passing, I attempted to memorialize his account, but was unable to. Had he created a Legacy Contact (whether appointing me or someone else), his account could have been become memorialized.

Other social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter, as well as email service providers, such as Hotmail, Google, etc, allow a relative to close the departed loved one’s account. Typically, a death certificate is required, as well as specific information about the person wishing to close the account.

If you have a blog or other electronic content that you would like future generations to see, consider creating a document that includes all passwords, usernames, web addresses, as well as your wishes regarding your content. Keep a hard copy of this document with all other important papers (will, healthcare proxy, etc).

If you have specific questions regarding your Digital Legacy, contact a trusted legal representative, especially if you feel the cyber information you’re leaving behind is complex and valuable to those not related to you. And be sure to appoint a trusted friend or loved one to be your Legacy Contact if you have a Facebook account.



4 tips to managing Facebook groups


Facebook. Like it or not, it’s probably here to stay, at least for a while. The world of Facebook has brought families together and torn them apart. It’s given rise to an industry and created yet another business marketing strategy. Facebook groups can be sources of support for those dealing with debilitating health issues, as well as industry-specific sources of advice and referrals.

Other groups, created for selling used items, can be great for bargain hunting. These types of groups can also be a hotbed of drama. Far too many people wish to find inexpensive items (sometimes giving fake sob stories to receive things for free) in order to post those items minutes later into a different group with a large price tag attached. I understand the concept of ‘buy low, sell high’. Scamming people by pulling at their heart strings, however, is disgusting.

If you happen to be an admin of a Facebook group, and wish to minimize the chance of scam artists joining your group,  please consider these recommendations:

  • Ensure your group is ‘closed’. This gives you control over the membership.
  • Before you accept someone into your group, scope out their profile. If they haven’t had a Facebook page for more than a few months, I would hesitate to accept them into your group.
  • Ask existing group members if they recognize the name of the person requesting to join.
  • Send a private message to the person requesting access to your group. Explain the group’s guidelines and request that the guidelines be followed before the person is granted access.

Your time is valuable. You don’t want to be constantly monitoring your group, watching for unwanted posts or reading messages from existing group members who want you to deal with those posts. Ensuring scam artists stay out of the group to begin with will save you future issues.


Want to work from home? Consider these challenges…

computer-15812_640As a freelance writer and editor, I have the ability to work from home. I frequently have deadlines, which I can typically meet. There are times, when I’m struggling with a particular piece, that the deadline seems closer than it is. It seems to be during those times when my children require the most attention. It’s as if they sense my level of stress rising and they wish to push it over the edge.

If you’ve ever considered working from home, take some time to reflect upon a few things. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How do you react to stress? Do you reach for ‘comfort food’ to soothe your soul? If this is the case, working from home could lead to tremendous weight gain, depending on your level of self-discipline.
  2. Speaking of self-discipline, how do you rate? If you have an important project that requires attention and your favourite tv show is on, where does your priority lie? Keeping focus on the big picture is a major aspect of being your own boss.
  3. If you have young children likely to be around while you’re working, how do you plan to keep them occupied? Timing also comes into play here. Avoid beginning a project near your children’s typical breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack times. In the case of my children, they can eat their weight equivalent in food (maybe only a slight exaggeration, but not much). I won’t even look at my projects until each of my boys have had their fill. Even then, my window of opportunity is approximately two hours, so I must work quickly and furiously.
  4. Are you a Social Media addict? While working on an article, sales letter, email reply, whatever your business requires, keeping that Facebook tab open may be a bad idea. The temptation to check and see if anyone’s responded to your last post can be difficult to resist for some people.

These are only a few aspects of the work at home experience that must be considered. Are you someone who works from home? What challenges have you faced?




5 things to keep in mind when commenting on a Facebook post

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If you are active on social media, you have no doubt noticed the proliferation of spelling and grammatical errors littered throughout your news feed. For those of us who cringe when we see incorrect usage of ‘their’, ‘they’re’ or ‘there’, these errors give us a headache. Here are five things to keep in mind, the next time you start to comment on someone’s Facebook post:

  1. If spelling and grammar are truly a challenge for you, create a list of words that you struggle with. Find a dictionary and research (or Google) the proper spelling and usage of these words. Keep this list near your computer, or keep a separate word file on your phone, so you can refer to the list when wanting to use these particular words. After a short time, you may find these words no longer challenge you!
  2. Please review your posts before sending them out into the world! Taking a minute to read what you’ve typed will often be enough for you to notice the errors, giving you the opportunity to correct them.
  3. Consistently using improper spelling and grammar gives others a lower opinion of your intelligence. It may sound harsh and perhaps a bit unfair, yet it remains a fact.
  4. When commenting on a controversial subject or something that invokes strong emotions, using incorrect grammar and spelling can deter your meaning from being clear. This can lead to hurt feelings, which may not have been your intention.
  5. Any comments or posts you make are often seen by hundreds of eyes. Keep this in mind and choose your words wisely. Would something you post on someone’s wall be better suited to a private message? Words used in anger, posted for public viewing, can come back and bite you in the proverbial butt when you least expect it. This is also the case with excessive profanity.

We all wish for our opinions to be heard. Ensuring the words we choose to use are correct, both in meaning and spelling, will allow us to express our opinions clearly.

Do you hear me? Why people are begging to be heard.


In our world of ‘connectedness’ we are surprisingly alone. Each time you look at Facebook, you’ll see numerous posts where people are reaching out, telling personal stories, showing pictures of their meals and sharing links to videos they enjoy. Are these people simply social personalities who believe everyone is their friend? No. I would argue that these people are hungry for someone to hear them.

There remain very few ‘villages’ where inhabitants look out for each other. These ‘villages’ give people a sense of belonging. When their baby is born, they are provided support from extended family and neighbours alike. If a farmer has a large crop to harvest and is struggling to get it done, often other farmers within the area come and assist. A crisis brings families together. These days, a crisis brings people posting to your wall or tweeting their support. Although it ‘feels’ supportive, it is intangible. No one is bringing you meals for your freezer. No one is offering to help mow your lawn. Really, everyone is busy taking care of themselves and their own families. The sense of community – supporting each other as a collective – has gone by the wayside.

Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg wants to bring the internet to the entire world, to ‘connect’ everyone. I think this type of plan assumes that people want to be connected with the world. I believe there are still some lovely small communities with families who are quite content being connected with each other and perhaps the towns and cities surrounding them. Connecting these communities or ‘villages’ with the world, although providing them amazing opportunities, can also bring to an end the need or desire to connect with their next door neighbours.

Are you connected to your neighbours? Your community? Are there people who ‘hear’ you?