Unplugging From Social Media

Unplugging From Social Media

Life outside the realm of "likes" and "retweets"

The pros and cons of social media are a hot topic these days. Many people, companies, and organizations love the convenience, availability, and connection that the social media world offers. On the other hand, there are the skeptics that abstain from getting sucked into the paradox of "likes" and "retweets." I am not here to convince you or get you to change your view on social media.

I am here to challenge you.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to completely cut social media out of my life. I didn't delete my accounts entirely, but I did delete the apps to make the social media world less accessible to me. At first, I remember thinking how stupid I was for doing this. There were times that I just laid on my bed staring at the ceiling because I couldn't think of anything better to do and I had already binge-watched all the good shows on Netflix.

As time went on and I discovered life without the constant buzz of notifications, I learned to appreciate the little things in life a lot more. For example, a friend who took the time to ask me how life was. Genuine conversations weren't as scary as they once were when I used to find my social identity in my likes. Also, I had SO MUCH free time that I started trying new hobbies, like cooking, that I had never thought about trying before.

This may not happen for everyone but at least for me, I had lost my identity on social media. When I cut it out of my life, it was like I had no other choice but to develop my identity all over again because I didn't have my "likes" and "followers" to determine how successful I was.

Overall, I have loved my new social media free life. Please, do not mistake this as a hate post against social media. It is a wonderful, magical thing and you wouldn't be reading this article right now if it didn't exist. Rather, I just want to recommend "unplugging" from this fast-paced realm for a week or a month, go do something you love and don't document a single thing. Just enjoy it for the sake of itself. Whatever it is. Go enjoy your life free from the anxiety of updating your status, determining who did or did not like your post, and being retweeted.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Ornatowski

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8 Video Games That Will Make Anyone Who Grew Up In The 90s Feel Nostalgic

If you were a kid in the 90s, then you probably loved these classic games!

Gaming today is vastly different than it was 30 years ago. Back in the 1990s things were way more limited. If you wanted to play a multiplayer game, then you needed to make the walk to your friend’s house and sit five feet from the TV with your wired controller in hand.

So, if you were one of those kids who grew up in a simpler gaming era, then blow your cartridges and strap yourself in for a blast of nostalgia with these fan-favorite games!

1. Super Mario World

There’s nothing that defines a classic childhood video game better than the many adventures of Mario the plumber and his loyal dinosaur companion, Yoshi! Growing up in the 90s, we spent hours upon hours exploring Mario’s world as we attempted to save Princess Peach from the evil Koopa King, Bowser. If you were a real expert of the game, then you probably even made it to the secret Star World where you could unlock the different colored Yoshis!

2. Mario Kart

Speaking of Mario, there was another game that took the 1990s by storm—and that was Mario Kart! Whether you were playing it on your Super Nintendo or Nintendo 64, you probably had a lot of fun racing against your siblings and friends, while also arguing over who would get to play as Yoshi. Only the true Mario Kart pros were able to conquer the dreaded Rainbow Road stage, while the rest of us just spun right off the ledge!

3. Pokemon Red and Blue Versions

Pokemon opened a world of opportunities for kids to set off on their own adventures while taming monsters that they could use to battle or trade with their friends. Your ultimate goal was to catch them all so you could get those sweet bragging rights and be the coolest kid in class. The only way to get them all though was to get Mew, and according to your friend’s uncle’s co-worker’s nephew’s friend who worked for Nintendo, it could only be found under a truck off the coast of Vermillion City. Better get hunting!

4. Spyro the Dragon

Everyone loved the adorable, little, purple dragon who was just attempting to save all of his dragon friends from turning into stone! Spyro was one of those games that you could sit in front of your television playing for hours while your younger sibling nagged you to let them have a turn. Back in the day, Spyro was the face of PlayStation!

5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

In Ocarina of Time, you got to play as Link as he traveled through time in order to save the kingdom of Hyrule from perishing at the hands of Ganon. This was a game that you were definitely calling your friends on the phone in order to get some much-needed help at solving all of the puzzles hidden in the depths of each dungeon. Not only that, but there was no way you could enter the darkness of the horrifying Well or Shadow Temple by yourself—you always needed a buddy to be sitting there beside you to keep you from getting your pants scared off.

6. Sonic the Hedgehog

In order to play this game, you’ve gotta go fast! If there was one console in the 90s that gave the Super Nintendo a run for its money, then it was the Sega Genesis—and a big part of the reason why stemmed from Sonic, the running blue hedgehog, giving Mario some hefty competition. Running through loops and hills while collecting rings at the speed of light gave 90s kids a rush like no other video game of the time had before!

7. Crash Bandicoot

Before creating award-winning titles in the early 2010s, like The Last of Us and the Uncharted series, game developers at Naughty Dog were in charge of creating this series of games focused around the crazy bandicoot, Crash! Along with Spyro, if you owned a PlayStation then Crash was definitely a piece of your valuable collection. Spending time busting boxes and battling Cortex was something every Crash fan loved to do.

8. Mortal Kombat

Often considered to be one of the most violent games of its time, Mortal Kombat was forbidden by parents in the homes of many 90s gamers. If you wanted to play this skull-cracking fighting game, you probably needed to do it over your friend’s house (who, in your opinion, had the coolest parents in the world). Whether you played as Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, or Johnny Cage, you probably had a blast demolishing your friends with fatalities.

Cover Image Credit: flickr.com

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Tips For Keeping Makeup Application Tools Fresh

Cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges

I know the struggle of keeping makeup brushes and sponges clean. Even on a daily basis, I love doing my makeup, and I have tried many different ways to clean these tools without ruining them. Here are some tips if you have the same issue!

First of all, make sure you are cleaning your application tools often enough. If you do your makeup every day, it is best to wash your brushes and sponges once every 2-3 weeks. This eliminates leftover makeup, bacteria, grease, and everything that you don't want to be putting directly onto your face every morning.

There are products such as micellar water that are made specifically for makeup removal. I have one from Ulta that came in a bottle to directly spray onto makeup brushes. You simply spray and wipe the brushes on a clean paper towel. However, this isn't very effective for makeup sponges or other application tools.

If you don’t want to invest in a special product, you can also use materials that are already at your house. Cover your makeup brushes in dish soap (the antibacterial kind if you have it!), and place them in a mug, bristles down, for about 15 minutes. Don't leave them soaking any longer, especially if your brushes have wooden handles. Then, rinse them well, and put in an empty mug, bristles up, to dry. This process works the same with beauty blenders, just squeeze out excess water and let dry on a paper towel.

Keep in mind that natural hair brushes, often with black or brown bristles, are more fragile and will shed more easily. On the other hand, synthetic hair brushes, often two-toned with a white or colored tip, are more durable. They both have benefits, depending on the specific use.

Whether you like minimal makeup or full glam, don't forget to clean your brushes and sponges!

Cover Image Credit: Jaclyn Hill

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