Posted in current-events, environment, Family, Parenting, Personal, Politics, raising kids, Teen

Don’t Look Now, But Social Media is Taking Control of Virtual Reality

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a stressful week of dealing with kid issues, a pandemic, work, and writing. Because I had a lot on my plate, I didn’t get a lot of writing done, but that’s okay. I needed to take a little break and refuel.

But enough about that, today I want to talk about a trend I see happening. First, I need to give you a little background, though.  Hubby and I were shopping for a virtual reality headset for the boys for Christmas. We found one we really liked because it wouldn’t be obsolete in two years. Anyway, we were all set to buy it when we discovered that in order to activate it, my son would have to open his own Facebook account.

We dug in our heels and didn’t buy it. We don’t want our kids having social media accounts right now. Especially after watching the show “Social Dilemma.” I remember after watching that show, I made the remark to my hubby that soon this is going to be seeping into the kids’ video games, and not two months later we run into the above scenario.

This is dangerous. The reason being that it’s giving social media platforms way too much control. They are changing human behavior by creating personalized click bait for each member. Their goal is to increase engagement, so your child will spend his free time on their site. Now that they’re invading video games, they’re going after the younger crowd. They’re looking to expand their customer base and more importantly they’re going to gather the same information about your child that they’re gathering about you.

social media, likes, engagement

I don’t know how we can stop this. Facebook bought the company that created the virtual headset my hubby wanted to get for our son, so they can require this. No one is stopping them. So, what happens when your child spends more time with their computer than they do with people? Loss of social graces, loss of the ability to communicate face to face, and the loss of empathy.

All these skills are needed to navigate today’s world. What happens if you as a parent do their do diligence and try to teach these skills to your children? They’ll be the only ones with these skills and get lost in a sea of dealing with socially inept humans. It’s a sad state of affairs. I’m not sure what we can do to stop this from happening.

Do we have the government regulate social media? Who trusts the government these days? What are your thoughts? Do you have any ideas? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Documentaries, Personal, social media

The Social Dilemma: A Documentary

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after watching a documentary over the weekend and I thought I should share it with all of you.

The documentary is titled “The Social Dilemma,” and it was eye-opening to say the least.  It explains what is happening behind the scenes when we “like” or click on a link on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

When I first became aware of social media, I thought these sites were collecting data about their users to sell to advertisers and this is happening I’m sure, but there’s another more sinister process going on here.

What social media doing is working very hard to keep you engaged. That’s right. We are the product. Our thinking. Our opinions. It’s all being processed, and we’re being manipulated to stay engaged with social media by the items that show up in our newsfeed.

For example, let’s say I like elephants. So, I like or comment on a random post about elephants and this gets processed by Facebook and suddenly, I find all kinds of images of elephants showing up. It’s to keep me engaged. So, social media is stealing our time and taking it away from other things, like face to face interactions. We are the product folks. Let’s use social media wisely, and if you get a chance, check out the documentary. You’ll be glad you did.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today, I appreciate it! How do you feel about social media? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in community, current-events, quarantine

What Kind of World are We leaving for our Kids?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of working and writing.  Earlier today, I happened upon a Facebook post. It was one of my friends and she is a mom of young kids. She was complaining about the sticky doorknobs and the mess kids generally leave behind and was asking parents of older kids if they really missed the sticky mess.

facebook, meeting, social

 

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I’d like to answer that question and the answer is yes. I miss all of it. Sure, cleaning up after the kids wasn’t fun, but I kept it in perspective and didn’t beat myself up if my house didn’t look perfect. After all, I had kids, and I wanted them to grow up being comfortable, exploring their world. So, if it was a little messy, I was okay with that.

 

Toys on a carpet

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I miss when my boys were little guys and they would snuggle with me before falling asleep. I miss that baby smell and their giggles and their adventurous spirits. So, yeah, I miss it.

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However, I love each stage they go through, and I love seeing them grow and learn. For example, when my youngest started reading before he started school. I loved that and I was so proud. I loved how he started doing Par-Core and mastered that. I loved when my oldest would come to me for help with his homework and when he started taking Karate lessons. I loved each stage.

karate, kids, explication

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They amaze me with how much they’ve grown and learned. I love their personalities. My oldest for his quick wit, kindness, and honesty. My youngest for his drive, passion, and focus. I love the fact they get along and can compromise with each other. They both have amazing problem-solving skills.

But I also worry. I worry about how cruel this world can be. I hope I’ve helped them develop enough skills so they can survive it. Not only survive it, but to thrive in it. I know that’s what every parent wants, but right now our world is not a happy place.

 

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I wonder what the new school year will bring. I wonder how my kids will be learning and if it will be a good experience for them. I worry about their social skills. They haven’t been using them as much lately because they’ve been communicating with friends online.

Public bus in Granada | Nicaragua

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I also wonder about what kind of world we’ll be leaving behind for them. What’s going to happen with all the chaos going on right now? Will it change anything? I sincerely hope so, but I don’t know. I worry about the problems they’ll be inheriting and how they’ll affect them.

I hope when we’re finished with all this craziness, the world will be a better place. Our kids deserve it.

 

 

Posted in Writing

Do you Self-Sabotage?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after an amazing Memorial Day weekend. We had awesome weather and we were on the lake, listening to the waves lap the shore and the far off buzz of jet skis and speed boats. The scent of grilling meat filled the thick, hazy air. It was almost summer. It was so idyllic. We haven’t had that kind of a weekend in a long time. I also got some writing done. Boy did that feel good.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

But enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about something that we all do to some extend or another. We self-sabotage. Why do we do it? In my opinion, we do it because we don’t believe we deserve to be successful, whether our goal is to be traditionally published or make the New York Times Bestsellers list. There’s an underlying belief deep in our subconscious that we don’t deserve to make our dreams come true. We sabotage ourselves in a variety of different ways. I’ve listed a few below. See if you recognize yourself.

The Procrastinator:

This person truly believes they want to accomplish their goals, but in reality, they find fifty million other things to do besides their writing. They’ll do housework, read Tarot cards, or just plain hang out on Facebook until all their time is sucked away.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

To remedy this situation, recognize when the procrastination bug hits you and stop. Take a deep breath and look at why you’re avoiding your writing.  Are you at a spot that’s difficult? Are you stuck? If so do something to get yourself moving again. Sometimes it’s best to step away from the project and go for a walk to clear your head. I’ve worked out many plot holes while traipsing through the woods and you can, too.

 

The Waffler:

 

Photo on Visual Hunt

This person also believes he wants to accomplish his goals. He’ll even seek out advice from Critique Partners and other experts in order to bring his writing to the next level. However, he won’t accept any of the advice given to him because he disagrees with it. He likes his story just the way it is. He’s not really looking to make his story better, he’s looking for someone to tell him how great he is.

To remedy this situation, you first have to recognize that you’re doing it and admit it to yourself. That’s the hardest step. Then you have to take steps to really listen to the advice from the experts you’re working with. As uncomfortable as that may be, that’s the only way you’re going to grow as a writer.

 

The Ego-maniac:

Photo on Visual hunt

This person believes his story is the best and even though he seeks out advice from experts he never ever takes it because they just don’t get his vision for his story. Sometimes that may be true, but not all the time and if you fall under this category you may want to take a step back and reexamine the feedback you’re getting. If more than one person is giving you the same advice, you need to consider it.

To remedy this situation, you have to again recognize yourself in the behavior and check your ego at the door. Establish a relationship with another writer and ask them to be your critique partner. You also might want to explain to them about your big ego, that way they won’t get frustrated with you when you argue with them over the changes they think you should make in your story. Then follow their advice. 🙂

 

The Doodler:

Photo credit: .bravelittlebird on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

This person is someone who writes but it’s more social than anything else. They join all the Facebook groups on writing and engage in all the Twitter chats and even belong to a writing group that meets once a week or once a month. They talk about the story they’re writing, but they rarely finish the story they’re working on. They just like talking about it.

To remedy this situation, you have to make the decision on whether you really want to finish your story or not. If you just enjoy the social aspects of talking about your work, that’s okay there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you do want to finish you’ll have to cut back on the socializing and put your nose to the grindstone.

So there you have it, four types of self-sabotage. Do you recognize yourself? If so what steps are you going to take to remedy the situation? Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

Posted in Slice of LIfe

Tweeters Behaving Badly

 

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Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back with another Slice of Life post and today I want to talk about Cyber-bullying.

 

Photo credit: Jason A. Howie via Visualhunt / CC BY

This week i learned that two of my Twitter pals were being bullied on Twitter. (They don’t follow each other or know each other). It upset me. Why would anyone take the time to harass someone on social media? It doesn’t make sense.

Photo via Visual Hunt.com

One of my friends received personal attacks, taunting her. Telling her she was fat and she should kill herself. This blows my mind and makes me angry. This is all because she doesn’t support Trump. Is this what our political process has become?

If someone voices an opinion that you don’t agree with, then ignore them. Why do people feel the need to engage in such a hateful manner? What are they trying to accomplish?

The awesome thing about social media is that you can engage with people from around the world. It’s a great tool. It’s not to be used as a way to bully people. My friend happens to be strong and was able to handle this negative crap. But what if she were emotionally fragile at the time these tweets started coming her way? What if she really did try to kill herself?

My other friend has someone who’s spreading lies about her. Who has time for this? And what is their motive? This girl is an up and coming author, she isn’t a threat in any way. The only thing she can do is ignore these tweets and report this behavior to Twitter.

In our public school system we’re trying to teach anti-bullying tactics. How are our kids supposed to learn these behaviors if they see adults behaving this way?

Now more than ever we need to be kind to each other. This type of behavior is getting way out of hand. Let’s start a ripple effect in the direction of kindness. Let’s see if we can be the change we want to see in the world.

 Photo credit: Steve.r via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC

 

Thanks for reading my post. If you’d like to read other Slice of Life Posts click here.

If you’ve ever been bullied by someone on social media, how did you handle it? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment!