They're Watching and Recording Everything You Do

Image from washingtonpost.com

I thought an interesting topic for this blog, that I have had personal experience with, would be the theory that smart devices can actually see and / or hear what is going on in your home. But I also would like to focus on how this also pertains to social media. I have two examples that are a little scary when you really think about it. I was with a friend, and they were helping me sort stuff that I had under my couch, that I had pretty much forgotten about. My friend found a package of empty gel capsules, that I had bought like three years ago, to use for a supplement that I was trying. I completely forgot that I had them. Anyways, my friend pulled them out and I said yeah let’s just throw them in the closet somewhere, because I really had no use for them now. Later that day, I was on my computer, on Facebook, and, incredibly, I saw an ad on my Facebook page from Amazon advertising empty gel capsules. It goes without saying that I see countless ads on my computer, on Facebook, my homepage, or otherwise, but I had never ever seen an ad for gel capsules. And the fact that it was on there, literally hours after I had found them under my couch, and briefly talked about it with my friend, blew me away. My other example involves a close friend. She was home cooking Korean BBQ on her own, no one around or anything like that. She has cooked Korean BBQ before, so did not need to do any research whatsoever on the internet to learn how to cook. She told me she was on YouTube later that night, and sure enough, on the recommended videos, there was a tutorial on Korean BBQ. The incredible thing is, she does not own a TV, just a laptop, and her phone. So here are two startling examples of the fact that we were just doing something completely random in our homes, and, within hours, each of us was subjected to advertisements and video recommendations of what we were doing and talking about.

Image from news.noretheastern.edu

It’s incredible to know that everything you do, and say in your home is actually being monitored. There is some debate on which devices are capable of monitoring your home activities. In my case, I own a smart TV, a Google Home, and Amazon Echo, and, of course, my phone and computer. So it is entirely possible that any or all of those devices could be monitoring the day-to-day activities that occur in my home. The question is, is it something that you should be concerned about? An interesting article from howtogeek.com discusses whether this intrusion is something that you should worry about.

Imaga from thesun.co.uk

In terms of how this relates to social media, it is clear by the examples that I provided, the various social media platforms are part of this so-called ‘conspiracy.’ They seem to be the benefactors of this data that is compiled by your devices. With my examples, advertisements and recommendations showed up on Facebook and YouTube. That would indicate that these companies are all working together; the manufacturers of the devices provide the data to the social media platforms, and then you are presented with that advertisement or recommendation, in an effort to influence, and grab your attention. A fascinating article on iot-now.com discusses how data collected by smart home devices is used on social media platforms to improve targeted marketing strategies.

Personally, I have more or less conceded that the trade-off for increased technology, that allows for an improved in-home experience, is that you have little or no privacy now. I am confident that nothing goes on in my home that is so out of the ordinary that I need to worry about what data is collected. I am simply not that interesting. But I would love to hear from everyone, how do you feel about the fact that everything that goes on in your home is being recorded and stored? Is it simply a case of, this is the world we live in? Or, does it upset and concern you, to the extent that you will take steps to maybe limit the types of devices that are in your home, and what they will be able to record?

Improve Your Food Game With Social Media

Image Source

Do you love to cook? Are you great in the kitchen? New ingredients your thing? Or do you dread having to prepare meals, have challenging special dietary needs, or find yourself cooking the same things over and over again? Either way, social media is a game-changer for experienced home chefs, those who have been known to burn water, and everyone in between.

Here’s how to use social platforms to maximize your time spent in the kitchen, learn some new skills, and fill up lazy evenings with entertaining food content – after all, you can only watch The Office so many times!

Facebook

You may already follow your favourite restaurant on Facebook, but you may be missing out if you stop there. Restaurants often have promotions, special menu items, and giveaways that are only advertised online. There are also many Facebook communities for recipes and meal ideas, as well as specialty groups for those with dietary restrictions. Out of ideas for your kids’ school lunches? Suddenly lactose intolerant? Did you get an Instant Pot for Christmas and you’re terrified of it? Facebook has your back!

Instagram

Do you want to learn how to cook the perfect #sousvidesteak? Are you unsure what to do with that bag of #hemphearts in your pantry? What exactly is #gochujang? If there’s an ingredient, method or recipe, you can bet there will be a #hashtag associated with it. Use the “follow hashtag” tool on Instagram and have curated content show up in your feed!

Instagram is also a great place to find niche food accounts. Just in case you need a whole feed devoted to poutine or weird kitchen gadgets!

Youtube

There is a YouTube chef for everyone! Look up the author of your favourite cookbook, or simply decide on a style of cuisine that appeals to you, type it into the search function, and see what you find. Try Sam The Cooking Guy, Cheap Lazy Vegan or Alton Brown for inspiration here. All three of these channels are entertaining and informative, but very different in style and content.

Another treasure trove of culinary goodness are Youtube test kitchen channels. Up until a few years ago, test kitchens were primarily a behind-the-scenes tool that the food industry used to trial recipes for their magazines, shows, and restaurants. Lately, thanks to social media’s reach, some of those test kitchens have evolved to become learning tools (not to mention entertainment!) for the rest of us, by creating content especially for viewers. Test kitchen staffers double as on-screen personalities and teach viewers about new techniques, tools, and best practices, create innovative recipes, and dive into the more unusual side of cooking, just in case you wanted to learn to ferment your own kimchi. My personal favourite is Bon Appetit, the test kitchen behind the famous magazine.

Reddit

Reddit is a discussion platform that allows users to share posts, images and links in any number of forums (called subreddits). Users and their posts are rated by other users in a system of upvotes, downvotes, and the content that appears first is usually by the best contributors. It is also a hotbed of excellent resources. r/askculinary is a great place for finding cooking help, and is also a fantastic source of inspiration for meals. If you’re a great chef but need help with your presentation, try r/culinaryplating. Or, if you’re brand new to cooking and need help with… well, everything, go ahead and join r/cookingforbeginners and work your way up to a kitchen pro status in no time.

Pinterest

This is the home of all of the great food blog content. A majority of bloggers post their content to Pinterest to expand their reach and increase traffic to their site, so if you’re looking for a blog that features Indian cuisine, gluten-free recipes, slow cooking, or any other niche, this is a great place to start your search.

Pinterest is also one of the best places on the internet to find visually appealing, easily digestible information, in the form of infographics. If you need a measurement conversion chart, a meat doneness temperature scale, or a primer on what produce to store in the fridge or on the counter, look no further than Pinterest.

Are you an experienced home cook or a rookie? What’s your favourite foodie account on social media?

Improve your food game with social media, whether you’re a newbie or a pro! http://bit.ly/2vEUFI8

Kitchen problems? Use social media to become a pro chef! #yummy #cooking http://bit.ly/2vEUFI8

How Social Media Consumerism Is Negatively Affecting You

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Image by Mediamodifierfrom Pixabay

It used to be that when someone wanted to purchase a product, we would go into the store and talk to the store employee or ask a friend or family member about the product. We also usually only purchased the products that we needed and saved products we wanted for gifts. Now, we are constantly bombarded with people trying to sell us everything online, from detox teas to watches to appliances. We now have instant access to product information online, from reviews to specs and if we can’t find what we’re looking for we can post our questions on social media. We are constantly posting what we eat, what we buy, what we wear; our posts on social media have become consumption-oriented, there is much more targeted advertising, and it has become easier than ever (and immediate) to shop online. Here are some ways that social media consumerism affects you (and not in a good way):

Excessive Spending

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Image by Hannes Edinger from Pixabay

Social media has such a huge influence on how we spend our money, especially with a majority of what we see online being consumer-based. It is a huge marketing platform and seeing these kinds of posts can lead to excessive spending on our part, quite often on products we don’t actually need. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that what we are seeing is an advertisement because it is so specific. Trying to keep up with those you see online, impulse buys, or not wanting to be left out are all reasons that social media gives us for spending our money, and most of the time it convinces us to make purchases that we cannot usually afford.

Increased Negative Feelings

It is well known that social media is not good for our mental health; we constantly compare ourselves to those we see online and due to the push on consumerism, we are frequently reminded of what we don’t have. Everyone is out enjoying their fancy vacations and good food, and here I am at home eating crackers, feeling terrible and wondering why I’m not in Greece eating whatever it is you eat in Greece. I am well aware that a majority of social media is fiction, but it still feels unfair. Research done on the link between consumer-based content and well-being found that these posts trigger social comparison, which lowers self-esteem and increases anxiety levels. These feelings sometimes led to retail therapy and shopping sprees, as participants in their survey hoped to close the gap between what they saw online and their own lives (Hillbun, 2018). Of course, this didn’t solve the problem and actually created more troubles as it increased financial debt for the participants (and of course, the comparisons don’t stop).

Social media is a great tool as we can use it to make informed decisions about our purchases, but we need to be more aware of how social media affects our spending and how it contributes to over consumerism. Creating a budget, asking yourself if the item is a ‘want’ or a ‘need’, and being more self-aware are a few ways to disrupt social media’s influence on your wallet (Carter, 2018).

Were you aware that social media affects you? What other affects have you found social media has on your spending habits? Leave me a comment below!

 

Facebook: Is Social Media Affecting Your Spending? http://bit.ly/3bCj2Xr

Twitter: watching out for #consumerism on social media http://bit.ly/3bCj2Xr


Becker, Joshua. “How Social Media Influences Us to Buy.” Becoming Minimalist, 2019, becomingminimalist.com/social-media-consumerism/

Carter, Shawn. “Social Media May Be Making You Overspend-And It’s Not Just Because of the Ads.” CNBC, 15 March 2018, cnbc.com/2018/03/15/social-media-may-make-you-overspend-and-its-not-just-because-of-ads.html

Collins Community Credit Union. “How Social Media is Affecting Your Spending.” 8 January 2018, collinscu.org/whats-new/blog-press/how-social-media-is-affecting-your-spending

Ho, Hillbun. “Commentary: Unhealthy Culture of Consumerism on Social Media Fueling Anxiety and Low Self-Esteem.” CNA, 7 August 2018, channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/sharing-shopping-on-social-media-unhealthy-anxiety-10576258

3 Free Apps to Help Your Headspace

Image by Elle Hughes

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am a mindless social media scroller. I waste a large portion of my time on social media for no good reason, in my last post you can see how I curved my Instagram experience into a more useful tool. Now, I am going to show you some more apps that can be beneficial for you, your headspace and your time.

1. Pinterest- Mood Boards

Pinterest has always been one of my favourite social media apps. It was my go to app for inspiration for school projects, simple recipes or outfit ideas. Lately, I find myself getting overwhelmed by Pinterest and scrolling without intent. 

Recently, I came across this great idea called:

Mood Boards 

Everyone interprets them differently; my interpretation is that it is a board (physical or in this case virtual) in which you save,

  •  Pictures
  • Destinations
  • Colours
  • Sayings

Basically whatever speaks to YOU

You can create as many mood boards as you want! 

For example, I have a mood board for my house décor and mood board(s) for my fashion inspiration. I have pictures of paint colours, wood finishing’s, tiles and windows- all of which I would like to have in my house one day. I also have mood board based on colour or just general aesthetic! As you can see below

Images from my Pinterest

Creating mood boards are slightly different than your average Pinterest board because they tend to follow a more focused theme, whether that is through context or colour. I find that when I am creating a new fashion inspiration board such as one inspired by 90’s fashion specifically satin pink, I find that I am calm and relaxed while trying to search images that fit the aesthetic I am looking for. 

This helps with my headspace as it gives me a little get away from reality and lets me scroll with intent. I also set time limits for myself so that I don’t waste all day on Pinterest or finish a whole new mood board in one day- because where’s the fun in that?! 

2. Meditation/Yoga apps

One of the great things about social media is that it gives us an abundance of options for whatever it is we may be looking for (literally). Another tool that I use to help my headspace, is using a yoga and/or meditation app. 

The one that I use in particular is called Yoga for Beginners.

Image from App Store

 It is a free app that you can download from the app store or google play store. It has 16 different routines that you can choose from that vary from beginner to advanced. The app is very advanced for being free. It gives you a preview of every move that is going to be used, attached with videos if you would like to see how to do it correctly, then you press the play button and a very calming voice with soothing background music starts and walks you through the exercises. It is very meditative and a good little reminder to take care of yourself throughout the day. I even use some of the exercises when I am on break at work and need to detoxify my mind.

Although this may not be “social media” it is a great tool to use to breakaway from excessive use of social media and to get into a better headspace. This is a great option for people that

  • Don’t have the extra cash to go to yoga classes
  • Are unsure on where to start with yoga/meditation
  • Want something accessible at any time of the day

If you would like to know more about the benefits of yoga you can read this article to learn more! “Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life” (Nevens, 2019)

3.Colouring Apps

Image by ASHISH SHARMA

 If you aren’t so much into actually meditating another way that you can achieve relaxation is through colouring apps. “Coloring has the ability to relax the fear center of your brain, the amygdala. It induces the same state as meditating by reducing the thoughts of a restless mind. This generates mindfulness and quietness, which allows your mind to get some rest after a long day at work” (Beaumont, 2019) More on the benefits of adult colouring can be found here

Happy Colour is the app that I use, it is a great app that can help with your stress levels, concentration and headspace. This free app is basically just a virtual paint-by-number. 

Image from the App Store

If I find myself at home after work scrolling through Instagram or Twitter and becoming discouraged or if my time management app kicks in (whoops) that’s when I go to the happy colour app. I recommend setting limits for yourself on this app as well as it seems to make time go by quickly. You could use 

  • Time management app
  • Set a goal, “I am going to finish this picture by 4”
  • Buddy system! This one is my favourite, whenever I am stressed and use my Happy Colour app but know that it is almost time to start dinner I hand it over to Mom or any other willing participants so that they can finish the picture for me!

Sharing is caring after all!

Another thing to keep in mind when using this app is that it is for relaxation not to add more frustration to your life! When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by an image or colour scheme- stop. Take a break and pick it up at a later time! 

There are plenty of colouring apps out there, this just happens to be my favourite. For a more detailed list look here

Well, there you have it! My top 3 free apps that can help with your headspace and get you into a better mindset about your day or even life! Do you have similar apps like this on your phone? Do you find that they help? Let me know in the comments!!

Twitter:

Help your headspace with these 3 free apps available for IOS and Android! #mentalhealth #headspace #colour  http://bit.ly/appscar

Facebook:

If you’re looking to improve your headspace but don’t know where to start- here are 3 free apps that you can download to start! Available for IOS and Android!  http://bit.ly/appscar

References

Beaumont. (2019). Health Benefits of Colouring for Adults. Retrieved from Beaumont: https://www.beaumont.org/health-wellness/blogs/health-benefits-of-coloring-for-adults

Nevens, N. (2019). The Benefits of Yoga. Retrieved from American Osteopathic Association: https://osteopathic.org/what-is-osteopathic-medicine/benefits-of-yoga/

The Psychology of Social Media

Is social media addiction a real thing?  We live in an age that everyone has a cell phone and is constantly connected.  Is it something that can be controlled, or are we just doomed by the draw of a bright little screen?  Is there hope for us and the next generation, or is it too late and we will forever be helpless to the cravings of hitting that like button just one more time?

Is the addiction real with social media?  It only takes one glance around in a social setting to see that social media has become an addiction.  I have often observed sitting in a restaurant and viewing a table of friends all on their phones.  What used to be a time of social interaction has quickly become social media distraction?  Behaviour that used to be considered rude has now become the social norm.  In the article “What Is Social Media Addiction” it states that, “psychologists estimate that as many as 5 to 10% of Americans meet the criteria for social media addiction today (Hilliard, 2019, para 1).”

Blog #3

Image found on blog.socialchamp.io

What makes social media so addictive?  Like any product, there is a lot of research put in to the success of the utilization of a product.  The seller wants to have repeat customers, so everything is created in such a way that an addiction could be formed.  In cigarettes, there is nicotine.  In pop products, there is caffeine. In social media, they depend on the social responses that will keep you coming back for more.  According to Keep It Usable, they say that “social networks are physically addictive as well as psychologically. A study from Harvard University showed that self-disclosure online fires up a part of the brain that also lights up when taking an addictive substance, like cocaine. (Keep It Usable, 2018, para 8)”  So every time someone likes one of our posts or validates one of our pictures, it sends happy signals in our brain, which then creates the addiction to want to do it over and over again.  Another reason we get drawn back in is a feeling called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). “Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is a large driver of social network use, particularly for those aged thirty and under. Sixty-seven percent of users say that they’re afraid they’ll “miss something. (Keep It Usable, 2018, para 5)” We think the minute we log off we will miss something so we stay online.

Can the social media addiction be broken?  Just like any other addiction, it takes a desire and then a plan to make a change.  The same as any other addiction lighting up receptors in our brain, the best way to break an addiction is one of two ways, wean yourself off slowly, or cold turkey.  Personally, I don’t think there will be quite the same side effects as coming of a harmful substance, but it will take a plan to ensure success.

digital detox

Image found on portfolio.lotincorp.biz

As much as social media can be addictive and possibly take up maybe too much space in our life, the addiction can be broken.  Despite the fact that we crave recognition for a photo well taken, or base our popularity on the amount of “friends” we have, our behavior towards social media can be changed.  With a desire and a plan set in place to spend less time on the light that draws us in, there is hope to get back to basics.  I challenge you today to take one day, set social media aside to actually and actively be social.

Will you take the time to engage offline?

 

Articles:

Hilliard, Jena. (2019, December 6). Social media addiction. Retrieved from https://www.addictioncenter.com/drugs/social-media-addiction/

Keep It Usable. (2018). Psychology of social networks what makes us addicted.  Retrieved from https://www.keepitusable.com/blog/psychology-of-social-networks-what-makes-us-addicted/

 

Facebook – Is social media really additive?  Have you ever wondered why you just can’t resist to click “like,” click here to find out more http://bit.ly/31VdORY

Twitter – Is FOMO real? Don’t miss out!  Click here http://bit.ly/31VdORY

#FOMO #thestruggleisreal #doeverything #yesman

What Happens Once Live Streaming Really Takes Off?

A few years ago, as I was on a long road trip from Miami to Ottawa, I was listening to a random TEDxTalk which described live streaming events in Norway described by Thomas Hellum. I was fascinated to hear how 3.2 million viewers watched the live streaming from cameras attached at the front of a ship as it sailed from one end of Norway to the other. The producers called it Slow TV, a way for people to slow down the hectic pace of everything else in their lives and truly appreciate being in the moment to appreciate what they are seeing and feeling.

Figure 1 The route taken by the live-streaming ship described in the TEDxTalk. Retrived from http://bit.ly/2Hqmzu0

Figure 2. Coastal scenery, as seen by live-streaming viewers on the TedxTalk. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2Hqmzu0

Today, many live streaming platforms exist, including those on YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Twitch, Younow and Periscope. I often look at Periscope just to see what people are putting on their live streams. It’s funny and strange to see that people will put anything on. I’ve seen people eating their morning cereal, filming newsworthy incidents like fires, and young drunk people live streaming themselves while sitting on a sofa. The ones producing the videos will respond and interact to comments typed in by viewers. The site has an interactive map tab to allow us to see all the active live streams around the world on the platform. Although it does not really seem to have much of interest going on at this time, I do see a lot of potential in its future. I find Periscope and other live streaming sites to be fascinating.

I believe that live streaming will be keep growing to the point that we will be able to explore all corners of the world and experience any type of extreme adventure. We will be able to join people and have a first person perspective as they climb places like Mount Kilimanjaro, participate in a marathon as if we were actually in the race, feel the excitement of every bump as our country’s Olympic skier maneuvers through moguls trying for that gold medal. Senior citizens, paraplegics or anyone will be able to put on Google Glasses and be able to enjoy the scenery as someone motorcycles through the mountainous twisty roads in the Andes. Viewers will be able to do activities and see the world as if they were there.

Live streaming through the first- person perspective will provide us the opportunity to appreciate the moment without the need to do anything else. Simply enjoy the ride. At a time when multitasking is a norm, live streaming will allow us to escape and enjoy an experience of our choosing, whether or not we are physically capable of doing it.

References:

https://www.twitch.tv/

https://www.youtube.com/live

https://www.facebook.com/live/create

https://www.younow.com/login

https://www.periscope.tv/

https://www.google.ca/glass/start/

Social media and the sincere apology

Over the past few weeks I had the experience of upsetting someone at work during a phone conversation. Yes, by phone. After the call, I realized that I had upset this person and tried numerous times to call and apologize.

Sadly, this person was too upset by my actions to respond. Eventually this person’s boss contacted me to let me know I had upset this person (please know: I am actually very fond of this person and I normally have a good relationship with them). My first instinct was a great big “Duh. I know. I have been trying to apologize”. But I was also terribly upset, and frankly ashamed, that I had upset this person. This is not who I thought I was. But it got me thinking.

In the age of social media: where has the sincere apology gone? A true, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean that”?

Sure, your package is mis-delivered or lost. You receive poor service. Someone cuts you off while you are biking. So you complain. But, if you get an apology, how sincere is the response? Businesses live in fear of poor reviews. But being sorry is flat out just being sorry. And in the world of social media, people are quick to vent their upset. Don’t get me wrong: sometimes organizations deserve it, but often this means we are more likely to do the same to regular human beings we know closely, somewhat, or only on social media. In any of those scenarios, they are still human beings.

I encourage you to read an article by Suzanne Alyssa Andrew in The Walrus on Social Media, Online Accountability, and the Meaning of an Apology (Follow her on Twitter). While interviewing Matt Cahill, a psychotherapist, he reflects on Sarah Schulman’s book Conflict is Not Abuse. In Schulman’s book, she maintains “… that people are increasingly conflating conflict with threats, so instead of listening, negotiation, and resolution, we get an enormous smokescreen under which people can feel justified in denying any wrongdoing. In other words, you start by calling out a misunderstanding or disagreement and wind up having to defend yourself from a terrible accusation.”

So, saying sorry doesn’t always come as easily as it does for Justin Bieber. And it also involves egos on both sides. And that’s just a bad place. Especially on social media.

Source: YouTube (https://youtu.be/6MXPCQt1eEA)

My response to my inappropriate behaviour was a bit shocking. I was initially sad I had upset someone, but when called on it: I was sick to my stomach that I had hurt someone, AND also upset that they were unable to speak up for themselves and open the door to an apology when someone is trying to give one.

Could it be possible that social media has made apologies not matter?

Did social media kill the sincere apology? http://bit.ly/38rzEPA

Social media: The end of the sincere apology http://bit.ly/38rzEPA

How COLOUR Affects Social Media

Have you ever wondered why Facebook is blue? A part of the reason is because Mark Zuckerberg is colourblind, but blue is a colour that allows individuals to feel calm and secure. Believe it or not, colours help trigger emotions, for instance how consumers feel about a brand. ‘According to a study called Impact of Color on Marketing, people make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62 to 90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.’ (buffer.com) Colours can help consumers understand what type of personality the brand is.

Facebook Logo
Image from pexels.com

Our experiences and society help determine why specific colours catch our eyes. Neutral colours like grey, black and brown are rarely used, with the exception of fashion brands such as, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Boss, etc. However, these brands identify with elegance and power. Primary colours like red stand out, the colour is associated with urgency and power. For example, users that scroll through Coca Cola’s instagram page take notice of the same vibrant red colour adorned on their pop cans. Thus, consumers are able to connect the intended colour  on Instagram posts straight back to the brand.

Image result for coca cola instagram page
Picture from DigitalWellbeing.org

In brief, colour on social media is influential. Colour can help differentiate your brand from other competitors. In particular, the brain can recall information easier by remembering apparent colours. A simple detail like modifying your social media page from grey to yellow can help match your brand’s personality and connect you closer to your audience. Therefore colours are a great feature in social media that can help convey a positive impression of a brand.

 What do you think about how colour plays an important role in social media? What colours make you feel a certain way? I would love to know. Let me know in the comments below!

Facebook: The important role of colour in social media http://bit.ly/3bxTZob

Twitter: How Colour affects social media http://bit.ly/3bxTZob

Asthana, R., Ayers, R., Stevens, G., Troy, J., Koropenko, O., Johnson, E., … Socialnomics Trends. (2019, May 16). The Role of Color Theory in Digital Marketing. Retrieved from https://socialnomics.net/2018/10/27/the-role-of-color-theory-in-digital-marketing-and-social-media/

Peters, B. (2018, October 31). 7 Psychology Facts That All Social Media Marketers Should Know. Retrieved from https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-psychology-facts

Social Media and the Modern Parent

Just recently I became a mom for the first time. I couldn’t wait to share pictures of our beautiful baby girl, but then I thought; I’m not quite ready to share her just yet. Now that she’s three months, I share more pictures of her on Facebook due to the simple fact that our family is in B.C. and it’s just easier than texting everyone. However, we’ve ensured that we turned the share feature off on any photos of her so that we can control the audience. We do have family that will only share pictures on special occasions, but they also have all their family members close, allowing them to see the little ones in person much more frequently.

But, I’ve seen many occurances in public where the child will do something for the first time and the parents rush to grab their phones and decide if it’s good enough to post. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve certainly taken pictures but that doesn’t mean they need to go on social media. You can look through my phone and see thirty pictures that are basically the same. New mom!

There’s always that one parent that will bombard you with bragging; little Johnny got an A in science, ate all his veggies, and scored the winning goal during his hockey tournament. But thanks to social media, you don’t need to hit up the playground to get all this information. Nope, it’s all right there on social media while you’re taking a personality quiz. You know all about little Johnny whether you want to or not. You see the comments and reactions, and a little competition starts in your mind. Some parents start to compare, and even question their own parenting style. Why though? We’re only seeing what they’re posting on social media. What we aren’t seeing is that Johnny failed math, and had to sit at the table for hours to finish those veggies.

A national poll from the University of Michigan Children’s hospital found that 75% of parents overshare. They say “sharenting” ranged from inappropriate pictures to details regarding where their child might be at a certain time. It also mentions that parents may create an online identity for their child just based on what has been shared. Many parents don’t think they overshare, but if you were to ask a friend or family member would they agree? Nothing sadly seems to be off limits as to what people will share; not all of it good! A friend of mine was so excited when her son was potty training, that she felt she needed to share the details in the potty on facebook. Needless to say, I really didn’t need or want to see that. #Gross.

image source: Pexels.com

Social media can be a great way to reach out to other parents for advice from how to get baby to sleep, to simply “my kid ate cake for breakfast. Does this make me a bad dad?”. Most of the times, the responses to these questions are positive; and then you get that one. You know the one I’m talking about; the negative Nelly who according to them has the PERFECT child, and would never let their child do any of things being mentioned. Despite all the positive feedback that you’ve gotten, that one negative comment can make you feel like you need to rush to chapters and pick up the latest parenting how to book. I was raised with the mindset of “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything” and I believe that even with social media.

I was born long before social media was really even a thought, so I was forced to play and socialize. My mom would put on my favourite Disney movie (was definitely Sleeping Beauty) just to get things done around the house. No harm no foul, but it was not a replacement tool for parenting. I understand even now with a little one that sometimes you go into survival mode just for 5 minutes of quiet, but so often anymore I see a little one with an Ipad to their face and the parent with a phone. Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing the odd time, but how often does that happen? Has social media become a babysitter for some?

Image source: Pexels.com

Are you a social media parent? http://bit.ly/2UUXLCr

Modern Parenting- Do you overshare? #modparent #socialmedia #parentlife http://bit.ly/2UUXLCr

Trigeminal Neuralgia and how charities use social media

This time my blog post will be very personal again. I want to talk about Trigeminal Neuralgia a topic that is close to my heart. 

Trigeminal Neuralgia is best described as chronic facial pain. I have it since I’m 13 years old because of a sinus surgery (that went wrong).  
Over the years I had surgeries, different medications, injections in the face and countless other methods that I tried but nothing helped. It just dulls the pain a little. There has not been a day without pain for me for the past 17 years! And it affects every aspect of my life.

This is also the reason why I’m so passionate about bringing awareness to my illness and over the years I joined many Facebook groups where we talk about our experiences with medications, surgeries and doctors and how to handle our daily lives better.  
Trigeminal Neuralgia is known as one of the most painful conditions known to mankind and not many people know about it. Even some doctors don’t know what it is and it happened to me that they had to use google in front of me. Yes, that happened.

Photo by Ana Bregantin on Pexels.com

Light up teal

To bring awareness to the illness and in the hope that Trigeminal Neuralgia will be added to the “Health Topic List” the Facial Pain Association initiated the International Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day on October 7th.
We are also hoping that with the “Light up Teal Day” we can get better access to resources and get more funding for Trigeminal Neuralgia and other Facial Pain Disorders. 
In 2019 almost 200 buildings all over the world where lighting up for us. In 2020 it will be the 8th time that we are having the International Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day and the goal is to have even more buildings light up teal for us this year. 

Source: http://bit.ly/39vULA7

How charities use social media

The facial pain association uses specific hashtags to promote the “Light up Teal Day”. Some include #LightUpTeal #trigeminalneuralgia #FacialPainDisorders #TNTeal and #WHOHealthtopiclist 

“Light up Teal” and the unique hashtags that are used with it, are good examples how to spread awareness and make the public more aware in the hopes that the audience acts in real life. That can be a letter to the government or fundraising for research.

Charities often blog or post about individual stories that can be inspiring to other people who have the same illness. I know that reading other people’s experiences helps me a lot.

Of course, charities that want to raise funds have usually a donate button on their websites or an online shop where you can buy merchandise (T-shirts, coffee mugs etc.).
I think we have all seen the pink ribbons for breast cancer or the red ribbons for HIV. Trigeminal Neuralgia has a teal ribbon that you can buy as well.

Most charities focus on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where they always reach a different audience as we know by now. On Instagram and Facebook charities like to post Info graphs and statistics.
LinkedIn is mostly used to show what the company does and not to promote the charity itself. Charities usually find their employees there.
But they all use hashtags as mentioned earlier. Most charities have a hashtag that is unique for their cause.

Some charities might also have their own Facebook group. The Canadian Trigeminal Neuralgia Association has their own private group on Facebook where everyone can share their experiences and stay up to date on events and the newest research developments.

This is just a short summary of how charities use social media today.
Are you part of any charity? Or do you follow any charity actively online?
I think we forget sometimes that one click can mean a lot to a person. It does to me. Thanks for reading.

Take a look at my newest blog post about Trigeminal Neuralgia and how charities use social media. http://bit.ly/31NFacw

Here’s my newest blog post about Trigeminal Neuralgia, social media and how charities make use of it. #TN #FacialPain #Socialmedia http://bit.ly/31NFacw


Source: Facebook & Twitter Logo from https://logodix.com/

https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/technology/social-media-how-charities-are-championing-digital-platforms.html