Where is the ‘Social’ in Media?

 

Like thousands of others, I’ve been a part of the social media scene for a while now. It has been enjoyable for the most part, but I’ve been noticing over time that something is missing. Maybe this whole social media scene could use a light overhaul; an infusion or transfusion of some kind. Especially since it has become a main vein in the broad band(s) of communication. Have you noticed that when you put yourself out there and try to ignite conversations, all you hear are crickets? Or maybe some pins dropping? Why is that? Maybe your topic was a bit much, so people feel that it is better to just be quiet and leave you out there hanging on a limb all by your lonesome. But wait a minute….aren’t these the same people that are ‘friends’ with you;oftentimes the initiator of your ‘friendship’ status? So why aren’t they being social? After all, that is what this thing is called right? Social Media?

I sometimes feel like I’m just typing words that float off somewhere out there into the ozone, where I can only hope they are received. But the maddening thing is that you know that you’re being heard but for whatever reason, you get no response. Are some people afraid to put themselves out there, just a little in order to respond? Instead, they prefer to just creep in the background and check out what you’re doing and saying and whether others are responding or not. The social media scene would seem to be a great sounding board and a way to communicate without face-to-face conversation; if that is what you’re in to. So why not use this avenue to say something? Anything!

I’m starting to really wonder why this huge arena has been labeled ‘social’ media? Have we forgotten what ‘social’ means? Would you go to a bar after work with your co-workers, only so you could sit alone in a corner and not be bothered by anyone? Certainly not. Or would you host a big family picnic only to whisk yourself away to your room leaving everyone behind to fend for themselves? Absolutely not!  So then, what is the purpose of having a ton of friends, if no one is interacting with each other? Oh, excuse me. Some people only interact with certain people, cliques if you will,  a whole other future post. But my apologies….I digress. I guess my whole point is that there could be a bit more interaction on the ‘social’ media scene. Maybe it should be called Interactive Media? Then again, maybe not. This just might create even less interaction once a formal name meant to define and drive this entity is given to it. What do you think? And please…..by all means….say something! I dare ya!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

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Multiple Choice(s)

 

All of us have had to make choices at some point in our lives. Some have been easy and required little to no thought, while others have been difficult and required much consideration. You might be someone who finds it stressful deciding what you’re going to where to work every day. Or you might be the person that undergoes much stress in deciding which shoes go better with an outfit for an upcoming fancy gala. No matter how superficial or crucial the decision(s) may be, a choice has to be made; a stand has to be taken. Now, you can always opt to simply do nothing. But how far will that get you?

According to the Associated Press, a New York teenager by the name of Kwasi Enin has recently been the talk of the  national news media. You might question why? This student found himself in a most unique situation;one that I’m sure was the envy of many. Incredibly, Kwasi had been accepted to all 8 Ivy League Colleges. As if this wasn’t extraordinary enough, he was also accepted to several New York colleges. Is there no end to this teenager’s potential? And just think….he’s just getting started!

Kwasi’s parents, Ebenezer and Doreen Enin, who both emigrated from Ghana in the 80s, have always encouraged both Kwasi and his sister Adwoa to excel academically according the Associated Press reports. Evidently, the message was heard loud and clear! A.P. also states that Yale has always been a top contender for Kwasi in terms of his choice of colleges. A recent visit to this prestigious university’s campus tipped the scale as Kwasi made his decision. He liked the fact that everyone was welcoming and that he had met many geniuses during his visit. Kwasi also noted that Yale’s residential college system is good to all of the students as reported by AP.

The Associated Press reports that Kwasi wrote a passionate essay for his Yale college application where he expresses his love of music. Yes. He is also an outstanding musician! Surprised? Hardly. Even though Kwasi has a great love for music, it is not the direction he is headed. He aspires to become a physician and will be attending medical school.  Wow! Quite a lot to absorb for a student who is only 17 years old. But something tells me that he will do just fine. Kwasi Enin was faced with a huge decision and he had 8+ selections to choose from. After careful consideration, he weighed all his options and made his choice.  How would you handle it if you ever find yourself  faced with multiple choices?

That’s My Dawg!

 

Out of all the different breeds of dogs there are, not to mention the cross-breeds, my all time favorite has to be the very regal German Shepard. For as long as I can remember, I have always been partial to this highly intelligent and protective breed. It is simply the most beautiful dog ever!  Yep, this is my quest! The next dog I will own will be one of these beauties!

The closest I’ve come to owning a German Shepard was when I owned my dog Sasha who past away last June. I miss her dearly. She was a Shepard mix but had all the great qualities of a  full-blooded Shepard. Sasha was loyal to a fault.  And talk about a bark….oh my! I can remember being on the phone and being asked by various people, if I owned more than one dog. I would simply laugh and remark that all the barking was coming from one loud-mouth, lovable dog.

Sasha was the perfect pet, friend, companion and protector. I never knew how strong the bond could be between a dog and its owner, until Sasha came into my life. She had more personality than some humans and was smarter than a whip! You couldn’t get anything past her; eyes always on me, keeping a close watch. Even though I know I will get another dog one day, it is painfully obvious to me that Sasha can never be replaced and will never be forgotten!

But until then, I’ll keep my eyes on the prize. I hope to raise a Shepard from a puppy and plan to take her everywhere with me! When we’re out and about, and someone asks me, “who’s that you have with you?” I will simply respond in my Chris Tucker voice( from the ‘Friday’ movie), “that’s my dawg!!!

 

My mother – The Unknown Comic

Everyone has a mother. It would be nice to think that everyone loves their mother. Maybe you have a mother only you could love. Would it be safe to say that nothing or no one can replace your mother’s love? Fortunately, I can say that wholeheartedly. My mother has always been a constant and rock-hard presence in my life. She has fought for me as a child, when I knew nothing of fighting. She came to my school when I was harassed almost every day by the same boy during my 5th year of high school. I remember coming home upset, sometimes in tears, complaining about this ‘same’ boy that continuously bothered me. My mother never hesitated;she would show up at the school promptly as if she were reporting to work. She would in no uncertain terms, let the principal know that there would be problems if she had to keep coming down to the school. I wish now that I could rewind to those times and watch it play out again. I’m sure my mother had the principal and staff in stitches. Especially with what I now know about her natural sense of humor!

I recall a time in my life as a grade school student, the Halloween season was in full affect. The children could wear costumes,bring treats, and their parents were invited as well. My mother showed up that afternoon dressed in attire that was a combination of a hobo and a farmer! I know….can you even imagine?! I just remember being mortified and just staring at my mother as if she had two heads! If I could have run away and denied even knowing who she was, I’m sure I would have. But I was embarrassed, not crazy! At the end of the day I survived, but I think I stayed on guard after that…never quite knowing what to expect from my blossoming comedic mother.

I’ve come to notice over the years, that she just seems to get funnier. And she doesn’t even try to be funny – it just seems to happen.  My mother was recently ill, so I took her to the ’emergency’ room. As soon as it dawned on her that she would be waited on hand and foot, she quickly dug in and got very comfortable with the idea. Please understand, this is not to take away anything from the fact that my mother was ill. She was and gave us all quite a scare. But by the same token, I’m sure the staff were tickled to tears by her, but were happy to say goodbye when the time came!

My mother lives outside of the city;what some consider the country. I live in the city, but have been staying with her while she recovers from her illness. Honestly, there have been a few times where I could have pulled my hair out from the roots…and I love my hair. My mother is not the easiest person to live with, not to mention her current ‘under the weather’ state of being.

I had been on a phone call with one of my sisters. My mother always gets a little jealous concerning our interaction. Still trying to figure that one out but hey, that will probably be another post!(smile)  I was on the phone with my sister, and my mother interrupted the conversation numerous times to say the darndest things that could have waited until the call ended. When that didn’t work, she even went as far as to crouch over as if she was struggling; in the most dramatic fashion. It took every bit of self-control I had to continue my conversation without allowing her to interrupt as was her plan. I had to fight back the strongest urge to burst into hysterical, teary-eyed laughter, but I maintained!

She had a follow-up doctor’s appointment yesterday of which I accompanied her to. She had began making little complaints before we even left the house. She was getting around fine, so I started the car and waited for her to lock the front door to the house and get in. I heard her ever so lightly mumble under her breath that I didn’t even help her get in the car. I just started praying on the spot for God to give me the strength to get through the errands without my head popping off my shoulders. I took the deepest of  breaths as she got in the car and sat in the passenger seat.

When we arrived at her doctor’s office building, she exited the car with her cane (that she doesn’t need mind you) and proceeds to try and cross over to the building by way of the grass and bumpy landscape. I suggested she use the sidewalk to avoid falling, but of course she insisted on doing things her way. There was a small flight of stairs once we entered the building. Now here I am, about to assist her up the stairs after being almost ‘torn a new one’ from not assisting her to the car in the first place. She walked up those stairs with such speed that I almost fell down in shock. I had to quicken my step just to keep up with her. All this, after moping around the house at the exaggerated speed of a snail. My mother the comedic actress! We got to the check-in window and of course, everyone there was familiar with her. They all greeted her at the same time by her first name. You know, kind of like on the sitcom Cheers whenever ‘Norm’ would enter and they would all say, “Norm” together in unison. I was thinking, “where am I?” They were reacting to her like they were her fans and she was of course loving it! I was merely a bystander.

I accompanied my mother to the exam room to help fill in any blanks she might leave out when speaking with her doctor. Her doctor asked if my mother was depressed. My mother thought that was a silly question and pretty much said as much. I, being in the role of bystander as far as my mother was concerned, knew the doctor was on point in asking her if she was depressed. She had been wearing the most ‘woe is me’ expression and demeanor. Why wouldn’t she be asked that?! And out of all the discussion that went on at this appointment, my mom’s main concern was whether or not she could eat ice cream! Okay…that was it! And this appointment was only the 1st of many stops that we had to make on this journey! As you can see, we made it through! I tell you…if my mother weren’t so downright funny, this would definitely be a different kind of post! Gotta love her…and I do!

 

 

Two Wings and a Prayer

Ever since I was a little girl, airplanes have fascinated me. I remember my grandmother taking a flight occasionally and how she seemed to do it with ease. Every time I saw one of those gigantic objects in the sky, I simply could not understand how it could possibly stay in the air, not to mention fly from place to place. I had secretly sworn to myself that I would never fly.

Little did I know at the time, that those feelings of fear and apprehension would manifest securely into my adult life. I knew that I was not alone in my fear of flying, better known as aerophobia.  I of course came to understand with much more clarity what was happening in adulthood than when I was a kid. I realized that there were maybe 2 little men flying this large piece of equipment.How could these planes possibly stay in the air? Couple that with dozens of passengers with baggage adding to the weight of this already over-sized aircraft. Being aware of these facts only made my fear of flying stronger, if that were possible.

I wondered for years about this, but was not so curious to find out for myself. However, deep inside I knew that I wanted to conquer this fear but how? I wasn’t even able to accept the fact these planes could stay in the air, even though I had seen it a hundred times with my own eyes. But, I couldn’t help but be curious about how cool it must be to fly from one place to the next and arrive fresh and collected. Would this ever be a possibility for me? Or would I just resolve myself to driving everywhere? There went my dreams of seeing California and Rodeo Drive, considering my east coast residency.

An opportunity came up in August 2008 giving me the chance to conquer my fear of flying once and for all. My sister was planning a mini-vacation to Baltimore, MD and D.C. and asked if I wanted to come along with her and my niece. I jumped at the chance. I knew that once I purchased tickets for my son and I, there would be no turning back! I was extremely excited about it, nervous, but excited.  I was finally going to go on a real vacation and fly some place to do it! It was a first flight for myself, my son and my niece.

The flight went well and I handled it with much more ease than I ever thought I would. The take off was totally exhilarating! Once we landed, thoughts rushed into my head promptly reminding me that I still had to make a return flight back. Thankfully, the flight back went smoothly as well. I had prayed, I had flown, I had done it! I had finally accomplished something that has been haunting me for years! But would I do it again?

I caught a late night episode of Nightline recently and what do you think was the featured subject? People with a fear of flying! Evidently, there’s a retired USAF pilot turned therapist called the Plane Whisperer! Who knew? Where was this man when I needed him? He offers these classes where people with this fear, take lengthy flights to try and conquer their fears of flying. A  good portion of these classes center around teaching people to learn to control their breathing when feeling anxious. The Plane Whisperer also supports that there is a 1 in 60 million chance of dying as a result of flying, no matter how often a person flies. Amazing! Somehow, I think that even had I been armed with this information prior to my own flight, I don’t know that it would have made much difference.

During a flight with the Plane Whisperer and other passengers, one woman was practically hyperventilating and became very nervous and agitated and wanted to stop and open the windows. It’s like she didn’t have any air.  Her feelings of anxiety were very evident and I felt like I could relate to what she must have been experiencing. The fact that she wasn’t in control of the plane was the biggest thing for her to get over. By the end of the segment, she was calm and was making her way to putting her fear(s) behind her. It had taken her 4 classes to make the flight to Las Vegas, but she did it. Another man, changed his mind about the flight after his fear overtook him. This very fear had prevented him from attending his own parents’ funeral. But he still couldn’t bring himself to get on that plane. He just wasn’t ready.

It would be safe to conclude that the only way to conquer this fear or any other for that matter is to just do it! But you have to resolve it in your mind that you will not let your fear(s) keep you from living and doing the things you love. So say a prayer, then take to the skies by way of 2 wings and a prayer that are only going to help get you there! Happy flying!!

Why Microwave Popcorn Is An Absolute Health Nightmare

Thanks to ‘Be Like Water’ for sharing this very informative article. I have never been a fan of popcorn and evidently, that’s a good thing! Read more…..

Shoe machine

This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while compliments of gossipgirlnetherlands. This has to be many a woman’s dream! Enjoy!

Gossip Girl

Shoe machine

Every girl should have one in their room to save up and stash some money

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