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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

Lesbian women less likely to receive birth control counseling, prescription

While lesbian women were less likely to report receiving a birth control prescription or birth control counseling compared with heterosexual women, they were more likely to report having received sexually transmitted infection (STI) counseling, testing, or treatment.

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Image used for illustration purpose only; photo by Jairo Alzate from Unsplash.com

Lesbian women were less likely to report receiving a birth control prescription or birth control counseling compared with heterosexual women. However, they were more likely to report having received sexually transmitted infection (STI) counseling, testing, or treatment, after adjusting for sexual partners in the past 12 months.

This is according to a new study that used data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2015, and published in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Bethany Everett, PhD, University of Utah (Salt Lake City), and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and the University of Chicago (IL), investigated sexual orientation disparities in the use of sexual and reproductive health services and receipt of contraceptive counseling in clinical settings in the past 12 months.

In the article titled, “Do Sexual Minorities Receive Appropriate Sexual and Reproductive Health Care and Counseling?” the researchers also explored whether having male sex partners influenced sexual minority women’s use of sexual and reproductive health services and the types of sexual health information that they received.

The researchers found that, in a clinical setting, lesbian women were less likely to report receiving birth control counseling at a pregnancy test and lesbian women without recent male sex partners were less likely to report receiving counseling about condom use at an STI-related visit compared with heterosexual women. 

“This new research emphasizes the importance of considering both sexual orientation and recent sexual behaviors when addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of sexual minority women,” said Susan G. Kornstein, MD, editor in chief of Journal of Women’s Health and executive director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA. “Using inclusive sexual and reproductive health counseling scripts may facilitate the delivery of appropriate sexual health-related information.”

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Health & Wellness

Transmasculine adolescents, teens who don’t exclusively identify as male or female at greatest risk for suicide

50.8% of transmasculine adolescents between the ages of 11 and 19 have attempted suicide at least once, while 41.8% of nonbinary adolescents – those who don’t identify as exclusively male or exclusively female – have attempted suicide.

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Transgender adolescents are at greater risk for attempting suicide than cisgender teens who identify with the gender they are assigned at birth. This is according to a study from the University of Arizona, which takes a deeper look at who within the transgender adolescent community is most at risk.

More specifically, transmasculine adolescents – or those who were born female but identify as male – and teens who don’t identify as exclusively male or female are at the greatest risk for attempting suicide.

The research, done by Russell Toomey and his colleagues and published in the journal Pediatrics, is consistent with findings on transgender adults and could help inform suicide-prevention efforts for transgender youth.

In the past, research on transgender adolescent suicide behaviors focused on comparing transgender youth as a whole group to cisgender youth as a whole group, rather than looking for any within-group differences that might exist.

Toomey and his co-authors found that 50.8% of transmasculine adolescents between the ages of 11 and 19 have attempted suicide at least once, while 41.8% of nonbinary adolescents – those who don’t identify as exclusively male or exclusively female – have attempted suicide. The next most at-risk adolescent groups were transfeminine – those who were born male but identify as female – at 29.9%, and those questioning their gender identity, at 27.9%.

Risk was lower for cisgender teens, or those who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. Among females, 17.6% said they had attempted suicide, while the number for males was 9.8%.

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The findings are based on an analysis of data from the Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors survey, a national survey designed to provide a snapshot of youth behaviors, attitudes and experiences. The survey focuses on 40 developmental assets know to be associated with healthy development, as well as risk behaviors, such as depression and suicidal behaviors. Data was collected over a 36-month period between 2012 and 2015, and from 120,617 adolescents, most of whom identified as cisgender.

Survey respondents were asked, among other things, about their gender identity and whether or not they had ever attempted suicide. Nearly 14% of all adolescents surveyed reported having attempted suicide at least once.

“Nonbinary youth are putting themselves out there every day as not being read by society as male or female, and there hasn’t been much research on this population, but we expect that they’re probably experiencing the highest levels of discrimination or victimization from their peers and from communities, based on their gender presentation,” Toomey said.

The researchers also found that sexual orientation exacerbated suicide risk for almost everyone in the survey. The only population whose risk didn’t seem to be affected by sexual orientation was the nonbinary population.

“Nonbinary youth do not identify as totally masculine or totally feminine, so it complicates an understanding of sexual orientation, which is rooted in a binary, male-female understanding of gender. Thus, for these youth, the combination of gender and sexual orientation may be more complicated,” Toomey said.

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Toomey and his colleagues similarly examined the impact of other factors – including race and ethnicity, parents’ educational attainment, and the types of communities where teens grow up – on suicide risk.

They found that although cisgender teens who belonged to a racial or ethnic minority had a heightened suicide risk, race and ethnicity was not associated with higher suicide risk in transgender teens.

Toomey and his co-authors also found that some factors that seem to protect cisgender teens from suicide risk – such as having parents with a higher level of educational attainment or having grown up in a more urban versus rural community – do not have the same effect for transgender teens.

Suicide ranks as the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults ages 10 to 34 in the US alone; and research suggests that between 28% and 52% of transgender people attempt suicide at some point in their lives. As such, trans-specific factors should be integrated into suicide prevention and intervention strategies.

“Transmasculine youth and nonbinary youth are the two populations that often are the least focused on in the transgender community,” he said. “So really reorganizing our efforts to focus in and try to really understand and learn about the experiences of these youth is critical.”

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Health & Wellness

Bullying, violence at work increase risk of cardiovascular disease

People bullied frequently (almost every day) in the past 12 months had 120% higher risk of cardiovascular disease, while those exposed most frequently to workplace violence had a 36% higher risk of cerebrovascular disease (such as stroke).

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People who are bullied at work or experience violence at work are at higher risk of heart and brain blood vessel problems, including heart attacks and stroke. This is according a study – “Workplace bullying and workplace violence as risk factors for cardiovascular disease: a multi-cohort study” – done by Tianwei Xu et al. and published in the European Heart Journal.

It is worth stressing that the study was observational, and – as such – “cannot show that workplace bullying or violence cause cardiovascular problems”. However, it – nonetheless – shows that “there is an association (between the two),” and so the results “have important implications for employers and national governments.”

“If there is a causal link between bullying or violence at work and cardiovascular disease, then the removal of workplace bullying would mean we could avoid five per cent of all cardiovascular cases, and the eradication of violence at work would avoid more than three per cent of all cases,” said Tianwei, the lead researcher.

Bullying ‘follows’ LGB people from school to work

It is worth noting that members of the LGBTQIA community are more exposed to bullying. A study released last April 2018, for instance, investigated gender expression and victimization of youth aged 13-18, and it found that the most gender nonconforming students reported higher levels of being bullied, were more likely to report missing school because they feel unsafe, and are most likely to report being victimized with a weapon on school property.

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Sadly, for LGBTQIA people who are bullied at school, the bullying follows them to the workplace. A study released in November 2018 found that 35.2% of gay/bisexual men who had experienced frequent school-age bullying experience frequent workplace bullying. Among lesbian women, the figure was 29%.

For Tianwei’s study in particular, the researchers looked at data from 79,201 working men and women in Denmark and Sweden, aged 18 to 65, with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), who were participants in three studies that started between 1995 and 2011; the participants have been followed up ever since. When they joined the studies, the participants were asked about bullying and violence in the workplace and the frequency of their experience of each of them. Information on the number of cases of heart and brain blood vessel disease and deaths was obtained from nationwide registries.

The researchers also took account of other factors that could affect whether or not the participants were affected by CVD, including body mass index, alcohol consumption, smoking, mental disorders and other pre-existing health conditions, shift working and occupation.

Nine percent of participants reported being bullied at work and 13% reported experiencing violence or threats of violence at work in the past year. After adjusting for age, sex, country of birth, marital status and level of education, the researchers found that those who were bullied or experienced violence (or threats of violence) at work had a 59% and 25% higher risk of CVD, respectively, compared to people who were not exposed to bullying or violence.

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The more bullying or violence that was encountered, the greater the risk of CVD. Compared with people who did not suffer bullying, people who reported being bullied frequently (the equivalent to being bullied almost every day) in the past 12 months had 120% higher risk of CVD, while those who were exposed most frequently to workplace violence had a 36% higher risk of cerebrovascular disease (such as stroke) than those not exposed to violence, but there did not appear to be a corresponding increase in heart disease.

1-in-4 girls, 1-in-10 boys report self-injury or attempt suicide due to fighting, bullying or forced sex

“Workplace bullying and workplace violence are distinct social stressors at work. Only 10-14% of those exposed to at least one type of exposure were suffering from the other at the same time. These stressful events are related to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease in a dose-response manner – in other words, the greater the exposure to the bullying or violence, the greater the risk of cardiovascular disease,” Tianwei said. “From this study we cannot conclude that there is a causal relation between workplace bullying or workplace violence and cardiovascular disease, but we provide empirical evidence in support of such a causal relation, especially given the plausible biological pathway between workplace major stressors and cardiovascular disease.”

The effect of bullying and violence on the incidence of cardiovascular disease in the general population is comparable to other risk factors, such as diabetes and alcohol drinking, which further highlights the importance of workplace bullying and workplace violence in relation to cardiovascular disease prevention. For Tianwei, “it is important to prevent workplace bullying and workplace violence from happening, as they constitute major stressors for those exposed. It is also important to have policies for intervening if bullying or violence occurs.”

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Other interesting findings from the research included the fact that bullying in the workplace occurred mostly from colleagues (79%) rather than from people outside the organization (21%), whereas violence or threats of violence at work originated mainly from people outside the organization (91%), than from within (9%). This, combined with the fact that those exposed most frequently to workplace violence were not more likely to suffer from heart disease, suggests that workers may have received training about how to deal with violence they encounter as part of their jobs and may be better equipped to deal with it and avoid long-term consequences.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Choosing the right area for your new home

When looking for a new home, it is important to do your research and look into various aspects of the area you are considering. This will help to ensure you make an informed–and correct–choice.

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Moving to a new home can be an experience that is both exciting and challenging. Even finding the right property for your needs can be difficult. In addition, you need to ensure you choose the right area for your new home. It is important to do your research and look into various aspects of the area you are considering. This will help to ensure you make an informed–and correct–choice.

Fortunately, there are online tools that you can use in order to help you make the right choice about the area you move to. This includes PeopleFinders, which enables you to conduct everything from a cell phone number search to an address search. This means that you can find out more about the area you want to move to before you make a firm decision.

Some of the Factors to Look Into

So, what are the key aspects to consider when you are moving to a new home and area?

One of the first things you should look at is what the area is like in terms of crime and whether there are any dubious characters (such as sex offenders) in the area. This will, of course, be especially important for those with children.

In addition, you need to ensure that the property itself is suited to your needs in terms of features and size. For instance, if you work from home you will want to make sure there is a suitable room you can use as a study.

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You need to ensure that the property itself is suited to your needs in terms of features and size.
Photo by Cindy Tang from Unsplash.com

Another thing you can do by using the PeopleFinders online search tool is to find out more about your neighbors. It is important for people to get along with their neighbors if they want to avoid unnecessary stress and enjoy a peaceful life. The ability to learn more about them through people searches and public records searches will make it easier for you to learn more about them.

There are other important factors that you need to consider if you are deciding whether the area is right for you. First of all, you need to find out more about the local facilities and amenities in the area. There are specific  amenities and facilities that may be important to you, including nearby elementary schools and colleges, medical facilities, shops, and entertainment venues.

Finally, you also need to look at the transportation options in the area to ensure you can get around with ease. If you drive, you will want to make sure  you can get to and from work, college, or any other places to which you have to regularly travel. If you do not drive or do not have a car, you should find out more about public transportation options in the area.

You need to find out more about the local facilities and amenities in the area. There are specific  amenities and facilities that may be important to you.
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Looking at all of these factors will help to ensure you make the right choice when it comes to moving to a new area with which you are not familiar. The ability to do all of this research online means that you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by doing the research quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home.  

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Health benefits of sexual intercourse

We are always looking for one way or the other to get in shape and have the perfect body. And ways to relieve pain as well as prevent heart attacks. Well, search no more, we found one of the best solutions to all these problems. It’s called… SEX.

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We are always looking for one way or the other to get in shape and have the perfect body. And ways to relieve pain as well as prevent heart attacks. Well, search no more, we found one of the best solutions to all these problems. And you do not need to win from sa online casinos to afford it.

Read more about the health benefits of sexual intercourse.

Lazy to Exercise?

We know how you can be lazy to go to the gym. Well, one of the health benefits of sexual intercourse is that it counts as exercise.It might not be the treadmill, but hey, all we want is the exercise right.Besides, when you start getting into shape, they will still want to know what your trick is.

Sexual intercourse uses about five calories a minute. So depending on how many calories you want to reduce, you can just goal out and time your sexual intercourse session. Instead of gym subscriptions, here is an easier way of getting rid of the excess weight.

Sexual intercourse helps to keep estrogen and testosterone levels in balance. 
Photo by Becca Tapert from Unsplash.com

Reduces Heart Attack

We try by all means to avoid a heart attack. We even stop eating some of our favorite foods because they increase chances of us getting heart attacks. Research, however, dictates that a good sex life can reduce chances of heart attack, however there are other activities that can help you to  reduce heart attach such as playing Top jeux de casino that can be an entertainment

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Other than raising our heart rate, sexual intercourse helps to keep estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.  If one of those levels gets lower, we experience problems like osteoporosis, which is the thinning of bones that can cause fractures.

Pain Reliever

The first thing that we reach for when we are in pain is a pain reliever. However, we can always try out another option, how does an orgasm sound? A top professor from the Rutgers State University of New Jersey says an orgasm can block pain. He goes on to say that having an orgasm releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold.

Okay, maybe an orgasm is too much to ask, stimulation without an orgasm has the same effects. For the women, the professor says, vaginal stimulation can block chronic back, leg pain, menstrual cramps, arthritic pain and even a headache at times.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

5 Ways to feel the holiday spirit

It’s that time of the year again when the holiday spirit is all around us. And I say: Why not make the most of it by enjoying it?

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Yes, it’s that time of the year again when the holiday spirit is all around us. In a country like the Philippines, it – in fact – started as early as September (when what is called the -ber months started, covering September-December) and won’t end until mid-January, when Filipinos mark the Feast of the Three Kings. So the holiday spirit is really inescapable, as malls are decked in Christmas-related decors, kids start their door-to-door caroling (for a fee), offices hold once-a-year parties (as bosses hand out annual bonuses to employees), and DJs in radio stations/TV anchors keep counting the days left before we all mark Christmas and the start of the New Year.

This is not to say that everyone is touched by the holiday spirit. Because there are some who feel the stress brought by the season instead of the joys it brings. And so for these people, partaking in the festivities isn’t necessarily easy.

Worry not, though: With the belief that this season should be enjoyed by everyone (not just kids), we have here five ways to help get you in the festive spirit.

1.  Play the right music.

There’s a running joke in the Philippines – i.e. that the moment you hear Jose Mari Chan’s Christmas in Our Hearts being played on air, it must already be Christmas. This makes Chan adored… and admittedly hated by some.

But the thing is, you don’t have to just stick to Chan’s songs because there’s more to Christmas music than Chan and, yes, jingle bells and reindeer. And many of the popularly played music for the holidays are chart-toppers.

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There’s more to Christmas music than Jose Mari Chan and, yes, jingle bells and reindeer.
Photo by Mohammad Metri from Unsplash.com

In the UK, the modern fascination with the race for the festive No. 1 started in 1973, thanks to glam rock bands Slade and Wizzard. Not surprisingly, the Christmas No. 1 has been a feature of the UK Singles Chart since 1952, after the week’s best-selling singles was first published in the New Music Express.

Here are some interesting FYIs:

  • 35% of all Christmas No. 1s are cover songs – meaning originality isn’t always the best way to go when it comes to Christmas singles, given that covers account for 23 of the 66 festive number ones
  • Four acts have ever had multiple Christmas No. 1s: The Beatles, Queen, Cliff Richard and Spice Girls
  • Just 12 out of 66 number ones are actually about Christmas; surprisingly, 33% of Christmas No. 1s are actually about love

But there are numerous holiday-related songs to enjoy.

There’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid (released in 1984), which has gone on to sell over three million copies – more than any other Christmas single. 

There’s Last Christmas by Wham! (released in 1984), the best-selling UK single that actually never reached number one.

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues (recorded in 1987 and released in 1988), which reached the top 20 on 15 separate occasions since losing out to Always On My Mind by the Pet Shop Boys in 1987.

And there’s Cliff Richard’s festive-themed chart-topper Saviour’s Day (released in 1990).

Incidentally, more pop songs (30 chart-toppers) than any other genre scooped Christmas number one. In fact, Ariana Grande (4/9) is the current favorite in the online betting this year. So you may want to consider other genres, too.

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Rock songs account for 11 Christmas number ones, including Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, which took the title in 1975 and 1991 and is the UK’s third-best selling single of all time with 2.53 million sales.

Easy listening, with crooners claiming number one seven times between 1952 and 1976, the most recent of which being Johnny Mathis’ When A Child Is Born.

Choral songs, which are also chart-toppers, most recently A Bridge Over You by the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir in 2015.

Or you can even consider soul (with two chart-toppers), dance (also with two chart-toppers), instrumental, folk, disco and a cappella.

The point is, if it gets you in the groove, play it/listen to it. This way, you may finally ease into the holiday mode.

2.  Deck the halls… no, make that the whole house.

Put up the Christmas tree. If you manage to get a fresh one (by ditching the plastic trees), so much the better. Because once set up, staying near that tree, sniffing that pine aroma, is certainly going to pull some strings in you and make you feel… Christmassy.

Bring out those flickering lights, hang the parol (Christmas lantern), place that wreath up, ready the poinsettias, hang the stockings…
Photo by Markus Spiske from Unsplash.com

But don’t stop there: bring out those flickering lights, hang the parol (Christmas lantern), place that wreath up, ready the poinsettias, hang the stockings…

All these help make you anticipate that something special is bound to – and will – happen.

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3.  Watch some classics.

Particularly if you’re – say – Netflix- or HOOQ-crazy or is a couch potato, opt to watch some flicks that will remind you why this season is special.

If you’re not keen on a movie that is hard-selling Christmas, there are other holiday-linked films worth considering.
Photo by Sven Scheuermeier from Unsplash.com

Off the head, must-consider include: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944); It’s a Wonderful Life (1946); Miracle on 34th Street (1947); White Christmas (1954); Home Alone (1990); The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992); The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993); and Love Actually (2003).

If you’re not keen on a movie that is hard-selling Christmas, there are other holiday-linked films worth considering, including: Gremlins (1984); Die Hard (1988); The Family Stone (2005); Edward Scissorhands (1990); and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005).

4.  Join the parties.

There’s nothing wrong with flying solo; but the holiday season is really about togetherness. So try to get out of your shell and/or comfort zone and mingle. Consider this as an opportunity to party and not be judged for being overly festive (meaning, yes, you can drink and party all you want).

The holiday season is really about togetherness.
Photo by Mel Poole from Unsplash.com

5.  Share the spirit.

There are many who may not be as fortunate as you and be unable to celebrate the holidays – e.g. forgotten seniors in old-age homes, kids in orphanages, sick kids in – say – a cancer ward in some hospital, homeless families, et cetera.

As someone who may be in a better position, give some joy by reaching out to them. Maybe – just maybe – by seeing that you’re actually in a far, far better position than many others, you’d understand that there are actually things to be thankful for this season.

As someone who may be in a better position, give some joy by reaching out to them.
Photo by David Everett Strickler from Unsplash.com

So, yes, it’s that time of the year again when the holiday spirit is all around us. And I say: Why not make the most of it by enjoying it?

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