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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

4 Tech realities pop culture needs to catch up on

When portrayed by pop culture, adaption of tech by various generations tend to be unrealistic. Here are six more examples that all writers for TV shows, movies, and particularly advertising need to catch up on…

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For anyone reading this, it is safe to assume you are – at least – a digital immigrant. Our generation is the first to truly grow up around technology; the first children of the digital age, and all the advancements it has been able to offer to society.

However, society can sometimes be a little slow to catch up, at least on a pop culture level. For example, older people – those over the age of 55 – are over characterized as being clueless around technology, relying on their children to help them navigate the new digital world.

In reality, those over the age of 55 are also digital immigrants. They were in their early 40s when the internet moved from a niche academic project to a way of changing how we interact with the world forever. Older people aren’t technologically illiterate; just look at the age demographics for Facebook on www.statista.com if you want that confirmed.

The above example is far from the only way that pop culture has misjudged the tech revolution and how it has changed the way we see and interact with the world. Below are six more examples that all writers for TV shows, movies, and particularly advertising need to catch up on…

‘ONLINE DATING IS CREEPY!’

TV shows have been spinning stories about how creepy online dating is for over a decade now. The premise is always the same: a character we care about goes on an online date. The date is either incredibly creepy, or somehow unhinged. The idea that is pushed as a result is almost offensive: online dating is weird. Proper people meet their mate in the real world. Get offline and start socializing.

The idea of socializing to meet a potential romantic partner is fine, but here’s the thing pop culture writers seem to have ignored: online dating is becoming the norm. 15 years ago, sure, most of society was extremely sceptical about online dating, furthered by the perception that anyone who is keen on the internet is likely to be an overweight manchild who lives in their parents’ basement.

Now, times have changed. Online dating has become a standard facet of life and it can be incredibly successful. Most of us know at least one couple who met online or via a dating app– it’s not remotely weird anymore. Yet for some reason, pop culture has yet to update to this reality, and online dating is still seen as outright bizarre in a plethora of TV shows and movies– which is all the more odd when you consider some of the writers of these TV shows and movies will have used online dating. It’s a trope that really, really needs to go.

‘TECHNOLOGY IS TO BE FEARED!’

There have been countless TV shows, movies, and video games that have sought to teach a lesson: technology is a bad thing. Technology is forcing humans to lose touch with their humanity. Technology will, ultimately, be the doom of the human race.

This is such a bizarre story to tell, yet for some reason, it keeps being told. Are there risks to technology? Of course– there are numerous tech developments that may prove problematic in years to come, and even the most devout tech fan needs to accept that.

However, technology is not inherently dangerous, troubling, or a cause for huge concern. The next time a TV show or movie tries to teach this lesson, then it’s worth remembering some of the things that technology has allowed us to achieve:

  • Medicine has never been safer due to technology. From robot surgeons that never tire to diagnostic exams that the doctors of 50 years ago could only have dreamed of, technology has changed human health for the better.
  • Technology has allowed processes and construction to be more refined than ever before. From companies like www.LaserLight.com making advances in micro-machining through to the incredible increase in data storage capabilities, technological advances have allowed us to make everything smaller, more compact, more easily managed.
  • Technology has changed the way that we interact with people for the better. 20 years ago, if your dearest relatives moved to Canada, then you’d probably lose touch with them almost entirely. Save for a Christmas card and a couple of extortionately-expensive phone calls, they would largely disappear from your frame of reference. Nowadays, if your family moves to Canada, that’s not really a problem – you’ll still be able to follow their everyday lives on social media, talk to them on Skype, and swap pictures and stories within 10 minutes of an important event occurring. The connectivity that we are able to enjoy as a result cannot be underestimated.

So while there are potential threats to heed warnings of when it comes to tech, there’s no need for such a heavy-handed approach to dealing with technology. A little more insight into how tech has improved lives would be nice.

#3 – ONLY ‘WEIRD’ PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN THE INTERNET

We’re all interested in the internet these days– it’s impossible not to be. The internet is the source of so much of our lives. It’s how we connect with friends and family; it’s how we find jobs; how we undertake education; it’s even how we can engage in activism by writing blogs and publishing opinion pieces. The internet has allowed voices to be heard that would have otherwise remained silent…

… which is why it’s so mystifying that being interested in, and vociferously using, the internet is still seen as something only “weird” people engage in.

Not sure you’re convinced that such a reductive, obviously-incorrect portrait of internet users is still in existence? Enter Exhibit A, a music video:

This is Lily Allen’s “URL Bad Man”, which depicts a respected music journalist as… a loser who sits in his mum’s house ranting on the internet (you can hear the journalist’s side of the story here, if you’re interested). This video is three years old now, but it was still ridiculous three years ago; nothing has changed about internet habits and user interactions in the past three years. It’s all the more bizarre, given Allen’s age, that she would dismiss internet users, writers, and content producers as bitter, lonely, and miserable.

It’s an attitude that persists. People who like using the internet, engaging on message boards, playing games online– they’re losers. TV shows and movies even take this trope further by insisting that these people need to “learn to live” and “stop being obsessed with their screens”– forgetting that we’re all only obsessed by our screens because our screens hold our lives now. It’s akin to mocking someone for using a paper diary 20 years ago.

#4 – HACKING. PERIOD.

Hacking, as depicted in TV shows and movies, is almost entirely nonsense. The visual shown is usually something along the lines of:

  • The “hacker” pulls up a screen on a computer
  • The screen is usually black, with green text (for some reason)
  • They begin typing something at a ridiculously fast pace
  • They then gain access to anything and everything they may want to see on another person’s computer.

Hacking… doesn’t work like that. It’s time-consuming, error-prone, and often doesn’t elicit anything in the way of material at all. Hacking definitely doesn’t involve speed-typing a string of code into a mysterious screen; nor does it only take a few seconds to gain absolute access to sensitive files.

In some ways, it’s easy to see why TV shows and movies depict hacking in this way. Firstly, it’s mystifying; as the “hacking” isn’t actually remotely close to what hacking constitutes, the TV show/movie cannot be blamed if someone tries to copy it. Secondly, most writers don’t truly understand what goes into hacking anyway, and as hacking is primarily used as a plot device, it’s not worth their time and effort to find out more.

While it’s easy to understand why hacking looks so terrible on TV shows and movies, it is nevertheless somewhat disconcerting that hacking is always portrayed as a sure thing. The character wants information and is then able to hack their way to this information. This kind of scenario doesn’t help with the paranoia many people fear about technology in general, so the occasional depiction of a failed hacking attempt wouldn’t go amiss.

IN CONCLUSION

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The reason many of these tropes exist in pop culture is, frankly, because they are an accepted part of pop culture. While we may now be well ensconced in the digital age, many of us carry over the beliefs and ideas that formed our childhood; TV show writers, advertising executives, and movie producers are much the same. We might know that these portrayals are misleading or false, but we’re used to them, so they become a staple.

In the future, and particularly as Generation Z become content creators, we may see these tropes finally begin to die out– but for now, it looks like we’re stuck tutting every time we see them.

Health & Wellness

Gender identity conversion efforts associated with adverse mental health outcomes

Reported exposure to conversion efforts before the age of 10 also was associated with greater lifetime odds of suicide attempts.

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Photo by Fernando @dearferdo from Unsplash.com

Gender identity conversion efforts to try to change a person’s gender identity to match their sex assigned at birth were associated with increased likelihood of adverse mental health outcomes, including suicide attempts.

This is according to a study helmed by Jack L. Turban, M.D., M.H.S., of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

The study, tiled “Association Between Recalled Exposure to Gender Identity Conversion Efforts and Psychological Distress and Suicide Attempts Among Transgender Adults”, and which appeared in JAMA Psychiatry, involved nearly 28,000 transgender adults from across the US. This observational study is based on the results of a survey distributed through community outreach to transgender adults in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, some territories and overseas U.S. military bases.

Of 27,715 transgender adults who responded, 19,741 (71.3%) reported having spoken to a secular or religious professional about their gender identity and of these 3,869 (19.6%) reported exposure to gender identity conversion efforts.

That exposure was associated with severe psychological distress during the previous month and prior suicide attempts during their lifetime compared with transgender adults who reported talking about their gender identity with a professional but weren’t exposed to conversion efforts.

Reported exposure to conversion efforts before the age of 10 also was associated with greater lifetime odds of suicide attempts.

Limitations of the study include its inability to determine causation; it didn’t capture conversion efforts by others such as family members; and it’s possible that some adults with worse mental health might have sought conversion therapy.

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The study findings support that gender identity conversion efforts should be avoided in children and adults. Professional organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association, have called conversion therapy for gender identity unethical and ineffective, and some countries have already outlawed the practice.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Running safety tips that are rarely spoken of

When looking online to consider the mainline (and yet completely coherent) running safety advice, it’s all the same. Find the right shoes, keep your form up, listen to your body, breathe well, stay hydrated, look around your environment. All of this is important. Yet the following running advice is rarely given to keep people safe.

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Running is a beautiful sport of course, but it’s much deeper than that. Humans once survived by endurance hunting, that is running so far and long that animals simply became exhausted trying to get away, leading us to secure dinner for that evening.

It is your right to run where you can, on pavements, through public woods, and on public footpaths.
Photo from Pixabay; used by CC0 License

Running is in our DNA, our bloodstream, and our bodies are remarkably well adapted for it. Running is completely free, and one of the most popular methods of cardiovascular exercise. Running is a representation of life, hard at first, but quickly adapting to grow as something in your control, and you get out of it exactly what you put into it.

However, running safety is never something you should ignore, no matter how natural the activity is. Yet when looking online to consider the mainline (and yet completely coherent) running safety advice, it’s all the same. Find the right shoes, keep your form up, listen to your body, breathe well, stay hydrated, look around your environment. All of this is important. Yet the following running advice is rarely given to keep people safe. We hope to break that trend now.

Keep Valuables Hidden

It’s not uncommon for many to listen to music while they are running, or to keep other worthwhile equipment on them. If wearing top of the line running gear, excellent running shoes and perhaps even nice running shades, you can often stand out as someone with a little wealth. This can lead someone with bad intentions to take note of you, and if you are tired at the last leg of your run, you might find yourself less equip to run off or fend them off.

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This is why keeping your smartphone hidden through zipped pockets, ensuring that wireless headphones are only used in relatively public areas or that you keep an eye on your environment as much as you can will make the most difference. 

Understand Your Rights

It is your right to run where you can, on pavements, through public woods, and on public footpaths. However, it can sometimes be that when construction work is taking place, or other unclear diversions between the road and the pavement are causing you confusion, that you are impeded or even hurt by motor vehicles or those who haven’t a runner’s best interests in mind.

This is where understanding where to find the legal representation you need and deserve can make the most difference over time. Understanding your rights to this end might just help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Consider Your Eating Habits

Running fasted or running with a light breakfast is often the preferential option for many morning runners, but it is essential that they build up to these habits and keep them consistent rather than letting them fade every weekend, or jumping into a hard fast immediately. When you find what’s right for your body and give yourself enough time to digest food, you are in the best possible position. But you certainly need to be careful.

With this advice, we hope your running habit can become even safer than it is now.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

How to ensure you reach your potential at the gym

Getting into the best possible shape isn’t just a case of turning up, getting a sweat on, and going home.

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Photo by Daniel Apodaca from Unsplash.com

Your entire reason for heading to a gym is to get into much better shape than before. Each week you want to be better than the last. You may not manage to hit that particular level of consistent growth, but you’ll try anyway. Your goal is to become the best version of yourself when you enter that gymnasium, and you’ll try all kinds of things to tick that big box. 

Getting into the best possible shape isn’t just a case of turning up, getting a sweat on, and going home, though. It helps a lot, but it’s not the be-all and end-all, unfortunately. There are a multitude of other factors that go into it. They’re not difficult or complicated, so you’ll be able to wrap your head around them pretty quickly.

Here are four things you should probably do if you want to become the person you’re always picturing in your head.

Form Over Everything!

If you’re lifting weights or doing a particular movement, then you need to get it spot on. It can be very easy in this judgmental society to opt for what looks the best, but you’ll want to avoid what’s perceived as good and do what actually is good. By this, we mean you should focus less on doing heavy weights in order to impress people. Lower that sucker and do it properly. You’ll want your overall fitness and performance to be a lot better than the five-second glance someone sees of you. If you lower the weight and do it slower, then you’ll get WAY better results. Fact. 

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Hit Each Muscle Group 

Back day is boring for some. Legs are skipped all the time. Triceps? Some people won’t do much of that. If that’s your attitude, then you need to leave that way of thinking at the door and conjure up a better work ethic. In order to become more adept overall and be in better shape, you need to focus on your entire body. You’ll become better at the lifts you DO likes if you build up the other ‘boring’ areas. 

Once you get into the groove, you might start to become somewhat addicted to training.
Photo by Danielle Cerullo from Unsplash.com

Eat The Good Stuff!

If you want to put on weight and muscle; you’ve got to have a good calorie surplus. Just eat more than you already are – and make sure the foods are super good for you. Are you trying to shift a few pounds? Well, you need a calorie deficit. Don’t starve yourself. Just eat a LITTLE less. You can still enjoy the foods you already eat; just don’t completely devour them. Stopping when you’re full is a good start – a lot of people tend not to do this. A lot! 

Don’t Train If You Don’t Have To!

Once you get into the groove, you might start to become somewhat addicted to training. You may not have a physical addiction, but if you don’t go, then your mind might start playing tricks on you. You might start to feel down because you missed out. You might even make yourself feel a little guilty. 

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Don’t worry about not training. You SHOULD have days off in order to recover. You should especially stay away if you’re feeling a little too sore or ill. A few aches and pains in the back should be enough of a warning sign not to do any deadlifts or squats. Don’t overdo it: you may drive yourself crazy.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

4 Ways to counteract overthinking and catastrophizing

If you overthink heavily for, say, an entire year, that’s a lot of time thrown away as you would have accumulated a lot of time in your own head instead of doing productive things. There are things we can do in order to cut down on the overthinking, though.

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Ah, yes, overthinking! One of the worst things a human being can do to his or herself. You’ve definitely done it before, so you know exactly what is and how it can absolutely destroy you. There are people out there that spend the whole day doing it. Crazy, right? It’s so easy for a person to fall into this trap. It becomes almost like an addiction. They begin thinking about something, but they then need to dig a little deeper in order to convince themselves that it’s okay – it never works out, though, as the thoughts become even worse and more negative.

Do something. Do anything. This is probably the best piece of advice you can possibly receive.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash.com

If you overthink heavily for, say, an entire year, that’s a lot of time thrown away as you would have accumulated a lot of time in your own head instead of doing productive things. There are things we can do in order to cut down on the overthinking, though. It can be beaten. It will always be with us because our brains are amazing and are constantly picking up patterns and memories, but we can lower its intensity in this regard.

Here are a few ways of doing so:

Recognize That It’s Never, Ever, Ever As Bad As What You Think

The first idea we’ll talk about is through the act of doing a little more thinking! It’s a little counterintuitive, but it’ll help. You need to realize that what you’re picturing in your head is absolutely not going to happen. Something along those lines may occur, but your catastrophic thoughts are not going to come to fruition – at all. You’re creating a storm in a teacup for absolutely no reason. Get out of that little imaginary instance!

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Don’t Stare At Social Media As Much (Or At All!) 

Social media has done a lot of good in terms of bringing people together, teaching people, and making businesses more prosperous. It has its drawbacks, though, and those drawbacks are pretty heavy. When you get a little too deep into the world of social media, you can find yourself caring too much about the littlest thing that’s on there. You might start developing relationships that don’t actually exist. You might view someone else’s fictional life as something that you want – no matter how realistic it actually is (which, a lot of the time, it’s not). Social media has a great way of making you feel worthless if you go down that rabbit hole too deeply.  

Try A Little CBD And Similar Products  

CBD Oil has become very, very popular over the past couple of years due to its ability to help with the likes of anxiety and depression. It doesn’t fix a person straight away, but it can soothe their minds. It works with a lot of people, so even if it’s a placebo, it might be worth considering! It contains traces of the cannabis plant, so it’s still quite a taboo oil at this stage, but it’s not like heading to a marijuana store and getting some sweetleaf concentrates every few days. The psychoactive and addictive elements are removed, leaving the traits that are best for mental recovery and relaxation.                                               

Don’t Idle

Do something. Do anything. This is probably the best piece of advice you can possibly receive. When your mind is on something, you don’t have the mental capacity to worry about stuff like you were before. You’re too busy focusing on the task at hand. Obviously, you’re only putting the worrisome thoughts to the side for a bit, so they won’t vanish forever, but if you can get into the habit of placing them aside, then that’s a great first step.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Easy ways to improve your small business efficiency

By automating any monotonous tasks, you can then save your team time and you can also give them the chance to be far more productive with the tasks that have been assigned to them.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder from Unsplash.com

The best way for you to make more money for your small business would be for you to focus on efficiency while also making sure that every one of your processes are streamlined.

Take a look below to find out more.

Automate what you Can

It doesn’t matter whether you automate your payment process or whether you invest in an automatic route software for your fleet because you need to make sure that you focus on efficiency as much as possible. By automating any monotonous tasks, you can then save your team time and you can also give them the chance to be far more productive with the tasks that have been assigned to them.

Encourage your Team to Talk Face to Face

Sure, sending a quick email to a co-worker may seem like an efficient way of communicating but sometimes it can hinder your efficiency. All the back and forth can easily take up way more time and you may even find that there are mix-ups too. This can really make it difficult for you to get something done, and the best way for you to avoid this would be for you to try and encourage face-to-face communication as much as possible. This will keep everything moving forward and it will also encourage your employees to work better with one another too.

Limit Interruptions

If your team are having a hard time completing tasks efficiently then this could be because they are having constant interruptions. One way for you to help yourself here would be for you to try and schedule all of your meetings for the same day rather than having them throughout the week. This will help your team to get everything they need clarified on the first day so that they can spend the rest of the working week getting everything done. If you want to take things to that next level then try and limit pop-ups, email alerts and notifications from your project management software.

All the back and forth can easily take up way more time and you may even find that there are mix-ups too. This can really make it difficult for you to get something done, and the best way for you to avoid this would be for you to try and encourage face-to-face communication as much as possible.
IMAGE SOURCE: Pexels (CC0 License)

Vehicle Management

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If you have a fleet of vehicles, it may be worth hiring a fleet management company. When you do, you can then spend more time focusing on the core aspects of your business. Little things like this can make a huge difference and you would be surprised at what an impact it can have on your team morale too.

Task Management

Task management software really is worth having and it can also help your team to stay focused throughout various projects. Another benefit of having it is that it will show you what needs to be done and when, so you can easily tell your team the tasks for the day. Some types of software even show you what your other team members are working on too, and this can really work wonders for your level of communication. If you want to take things to that next level, then consider creating a custom software. This will help you to really stay on top of everything and it will also make it way easier for you to manage your company.


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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Marketing your small business as effectively as possible

If you want to make a serious profit, you’re going to have to make your products obvious to the market and encourage people to buy them.

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Photo by Campaign Creators from Unsplash.com

Running a small business is an extremely complex task. You’re going to have to find and create a product or service that stands out from the crowd and can sell. You’re going to have to run market research to ensure that it’s something your target audience is interested in and will buy. You’ll have to manufacture physical products, run tests and ensure they’re safe or you’ll have to train in your craft if you’re selling a service to make sure you’re the top of your game. But once you have what you’re going to sell, your journey isn’t over.

The marketplace is increasingly saturated and you’re going to have to fight to stand out from the crowd. Sure, you might get a few organic sales where people come across your products or services of their own accord. But if you want to make a serious profit, you’re going to have to make your products obvious to the market and encourage people to buy them.

This process is known as “marketing” and you’re going to have to spend a whole lot of time and effort on it. There are various forms of marketing out there, varying from online marketing to physical marketing. For now, let’s focus on physical marketing.

The custom pop up banners infographic 2019 edition below will show you everything you need to know about pop up banners in particular.

Infographic Design By custom pop up banners infographic 2019 edition

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