Cell Phones And Social Media

Cell Phones And Social Media

A Lethal Combination?
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Take a second and think about your morning routine. What’s the first thing you do after you wake up? Do you brush your teeth? Wash your face? Take a shower? Or a combination of the three? Unfortunately for me, my cell phone is the first thing I consult after catching a few solid hours of sleep every night. But I don’t gloss through emails or glance through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter just for the hell of it. I don’t scroll through my newsfeed or unfollow incessant sub-tweeters just because I have nothing better to do at 8:00am.

Every morning, I surrender myself to social media because I feel oddly disconnected from the world if I ignore the whirlwind of online news and ever-changing gossip revealed on the internet. I read and respond to emails in the wee hours of the morning because in today’s world, with the most current technological advancements, people expect you to answer their questions or fulfill their requests immediately. It’s almost impossible to escape the virtual world of notifications that dictates our lives.

Red flags bring our attention to new Facebook posts, blue flags inform us of new Twitter followers, and orange flags remind us of new Instagram photos that were uploaded after last night’s party. We’re unable to ignore these notifications because it’s difficult to separate ourselves from the platforms that allow us to document our lives on a daily basis. If we forget to check our social media profiles before bedtime, then we fall asleep feeling uneasy because we’ve locked ourselves outside of the world where living happens – the world where our lives are recorded through chains of posts and threads of pictures.

Smart phones provide us with constant access to these social media platforms. Our daily lives are interrupted by the red balloons that pop up on our home screens; these notifications encourage us to disrupt our normal routines even though we recognize that the ‘love’ we might or might not receive on Facebook has no direct correlation to our own self-worth.

Honestly, the reality is that we’ve all been duped by social media. We’ve all been sucked into these online portals because we have the ability to enhance our image by cropping out the parts we don’t find good enough to share with the public. Sure, social media has done a bunch of good for the world. We’re able to connect with friends from all over the globe, we’re able to raise national awareness for worthy causes, and we’re able to express our opinions to a wider audience.

But the dangerous combination of cell-phones and social media is truly affecting the way in which we live our lives. Instead of submitting to the overwhelming urges we might have to scroll through Facebook or check our emails, we must learn how to silence our phones in order to realize the beauty our real lives in the real world. Spending quality time with quality people is the best way to spend our days. But we can’t even begin to make memories if our eyes are constantly glued to our phone screens. Although our cellphones follow us like faithful shadows, we certainly have the ability to shift our attention to more important things in life.

So let’s make a pact, you and I, to decrease our phone usage so that we can spend more time enjoying life with the people that matter most. I’m all in. Are you?

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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