Social media is ubiquitous today. Almost every adolescent is on at least one platform. But many of them fail to realize how oversharing personal information on social media can put them at risk. Cybersecurity experts have found that posting personal information can give hackers the tools they need to answer security questions and gain access to a victim’s profile.

Part of the “oversharing dilemma” stems from the parents. If a child has never been taught the risks of oversharing, they will come to view it as normal. Especially if all of their friends are constantly Tweeting their location and posting info about their families on Facebook, an adolescent will be likely to behave in the same manner.

Posted in Living & Lifestyle
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Being a parent is not easy and this is especially true in the age of social media, smart phones and the Internet. More than ever, parents need to monitor their children and what they are looking at online. Plus, there is the added challenge of talking to kids of all ages about gender roles and discipline in the home.

Eric Gati, the founder of CynicalParent.com, has published the results of a new study that touches on the above subjects. Gati says he “learned a lot in this study, like the fact that there are more than a handful of very common fears that parents have about their kids using smartphones and social media, either from too young of an age or for too many hours per day. We also learned that 98% of parents find it important to monitor this, we were amazed at how conscious parents are of the inherent risks of social media”.

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When you are growing up, your parents are the ones that take care of you. They make sure that you have enough to eat, give you a roof over your head, and are there for you whenever you need to talk to someone who really understands and cares. It seems as if they are going to live forever – and it is hard to imagine the day when they start to slow down or need your help to cope with life.

That’s why it is so surprising when you finally realize that your parents are starting to get on in years. Perhaps they are not as agile as they used to be, or they may find it a bit difficult to handle all of the day’s challenges. When you reach this point, it is often very difficult to know what the best approach to take is. On the one hand, your parents are still your parents, so you don’t want to take control away from them. On the other hand, you want to make sure that they are safe and secure, and it is clear they might not be unless things change.

The single most important thing you can ask yourself is whether your parents are able to continue living in their own home. If they are, this is the best thing for them – it is somewhere they know, it has happy memories, and they will still feel that they are in charge of their lives. Many more people are doing this now as they age – in fact, aging in place is becoming a common trend in the US, and there are lots of resources available to help people who want to do this.

Posted in Living & Lifestyle, Relationships
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Bus waiting at a station

I like to walk around our beautiful neighborhood in the morning. It is one of the things that make me happy. I do it to warm up my body and mind, get my creative juices flowing (into the voice recorder on my mobile phone) and be ready for another great day.

About half way through my walk, when I was already going at a good pace and feeling pretty pumped, I saw a young Chinese woman leaving one of the houses and saying goodbye to a young man standing on the doorstep.

Suddenly, the young woman noticed a bus at a stop about 200 meters away. She became visibly uptight, her pitch rose and she looked like she was asking the young man what to do (as I do not speak Chinese, this is all my interpretation).

The man gestured towards the bus and looked like he was urging the woman to run for it and try to catch it. She kept pleading with him until he joined her and they started running toward the bus stop.

By the time they decided to run and crossed the street, I had been half way to the bus and it was still there. There were no passengers in sight, its doors were closed and it kept waiting.

Posted in Personal Growth
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News flash

In our time, pressure seems to be everywhere. There is a wealth of information like never before, which means we could find out about anything we wanted, only this takes time, so we look for “drip feeds” that will give us up-to-the-minute updates and we assume our sources do a reasonable job at finding and telling things as they are.

Reality is a bit different, unfortunately. Most of our information feeds are controlled by a fairly small group of huge profit-driven conglomerates, which make their money by selling. To sell well, they need people to “see red”, so they inspire fear via TV news broadcasts, bold newspaper headlines and various other methods.

The result of this is the general view that violent crime is everywhere, that different people cannot live together in harmony and that all too often, the only way to sort things out is to wage war on another ethnic group or country, even at the cost of “friendly” life.

So what can you do?

Posted in Personal Growth, Relationships
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Woman feeling hurt

As a partner, a parent and a person, it is likely you find yourself in familiar situations, feeling the same familiar feeling and wondering how you got there. It may be as you walk in the door after a long day at work. It may be when some misunderstanding with your partner or your (teenage) child quickly escalates to an unpleasant exchange of verbal blows. It may just be when you look in the mirror.

All negative feelings are some form of fear and that fear is a defensive feeling aimed at protecting our self from being hurt. Some part of us recognizes certain words or behaviors as a form of attack raises the alert by creating this protective feeling.

The thing is, the “attack” pattern may have been saved in our mind when we were little and certainly in a particular context, both of which are longer in effect. However, our reaction is a subconscious one, which means there is no time for logic, but also that to get rid of this type of reaction we must “talk” directly with our subconscious (this is called Neurolinguistic Programming or NLP).

Posted in Personal Growth
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Film projector

Picture yourself sitting in an old cinema all by yourself, watching a movie. Turn your head towards the back wall and see there a big window. Behind the window, there is a projection machine. In that machine, a long, wide film is running, a film you have created.

A strong light travels through the film towards the screen. You can see the beam of light getting wider as it travels through the air, showing flickers of colors and movement inside it. Follow the beam of light with your eyes as it keeps on going and getting wider, until you are facing forward and looking at a huge screen, which practically fills your entire fields of vision.

As you look, you become absorbed in the movie, finding yourself emotionally attached to some of the characters, fearing some of the others, hating a few and getting carried away with the story.

Real life is very much the same. We become absorbed in our own story, which we project onto the world. When we interact with other people, we each look at our own “film” and can get into all kinds of trouble.

Posted in Personal Growth, Relationships
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You know, lots of people follow trends. So much so that trendy gadgets, fashion, language and behavior are no longer questioned by many. They are simply followed, as if they were some force of nature. This video blew my mind when I saw it. It demonstrates in a symbolic way what each and every one of us should be doing in order to reverse some of the bad trends in our society and create a better environment for everybody. Which way do you read the script of your life?

Posted in Global Village, Personal Growth
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The world is full of different people, with whom we have relationships of varying closeness and intimacy. More often than not, we find ourselves in conversation with someone wanting to say something, but saying something completely different, because saying what we think would produce the wrong results. This even happens with our partner sometimes, not to mention the kids.

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Hostile young woman

Absolutely everybody receives some criticism in life. Some of us have the misfortune of growing up with critical parents, while others bump into their first critic at school, but we all have to face criticism at some point, right?

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