2015 December

#FridayFive: 5 tips for the tech-free holiday

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It’s nearly Christmas time and we hope that you will get to spend it with your friends and family. And wouldn’t it be nice to give yourself and your family a bit of a technology-break too? Instead of being glued to the screen at a Christmas table, live-tweeting your Christmas gift unboxing or Instagraming every piece of food that gets on your plate, how about you forget about your phone and tablet for a couple of days and enjoy the company of real people for the change? If you can’t imagine the world where this is possible, we have a few tips to get everyone onboard with the idea.

1. Have a gadget-free dinner. Now, there’s a well-working trick that’s been circling around, and you probably know about it: get everyone at the table stack their phones in the middle and whoever reaches for the phone first pays the bill. This might not work if you’re having a meal at home, but you can come up with a different penalty for taking the phone (or tablet) out of the stack.

2. Reward the gadget-free time. Candy works well, if you have any stocking-stuffers around this might work great too. That’s probably going to work best with the kids, but they might be the ones mostly distracted by the phones or tablets.

3. If a friend texts – call them back. If you are waiting for an important text or contact – make a phone call out of it. First of all, having a verbal conversation is more personal. Secondly, sending messages back and forth might distract you for a much longer time than a quick phone call would.

4. Plan activities during dinner. Any conversation can get into a stall, and as with any other parties, Christmas get-together would also benefit from some extra entertainment. Schedule in some games or activities during your Christmas dinner. Go on a walk or a hike with your family and friend after opening your Christmas gifts.

5. Have a “Social Media break”. If your family and friends really cannot sit through a Christmas dinner without Instagraming, Facebooking or Tweeting – pencil in a break for the social media updates & check ups. Perhaps, this might result into a more thoughtful updates too.

These might be handy even after Christmas too. We hope you have a very peaceful and joyful holiday.

#FridayFive: 5 tips for sharing something on social media

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Pretty much all of us with a decent access to the Internet have some sort of a social media profile. We like sharing our happy moments, sometimes sad moments, commenting on other people’s moments or to post something to lighten up mood or express a concern. However, sometimes we tend to forget how these updates might affect our lives and relationships with other people, and in some occasions social media posts can get us into a real trouble.

So, here are 5 basic principles of sharing something on social media.

1. Pictures. Think about who you want to see your pictures. If it’s shared on Facebook, you perhaps want to make sure that you select the type of people that see your post. You can do that by selecting “Public” or “Friends Only” right next to the “Post” button. It’s a good practice to keep your posts mainly “Friends Only”. If they are “Public” anyone can see these photos by simply looking you up on Google.

2. Avoid posting anything when you’re at work. Depending on your work of course, but you would think that your boss would like to think that you are working somewhere between 9-5. Posting something often during the work hours can affect your future employment too. Modern day employers are now looking up your social media profiles and can see when you’re posting something during work hours or if you’re posting something embarrassing that could potentially cost you the job.

3. Comments. Sometimes you feel like you have something to say on the matter. In general, if you don’t have something nice to say, it’s probably not a good idea to say it. But if you’re really thinking of expressing your thought on something someone else has said, think about it: is your comment visible to public, can it get you in trouble and if you can stand your ground when someone approaches you on a subject. Whatever you do, think about your reputation and the reputation of the person you’re posting your comment to. Be nice, and don’t get people in trouble.

4. Are you oversharing? Some things are meant to be kept private. Share happy moments, or remarkable moments, moments of significance. If you’re posting 10 pictures of the cat looking out of the window, or posting 15 links to funny videos each day, perhaps you should reconsider why you’re on the social networking site in the first place. It is the place to share. But it’s also a place to socialise on. Instead of posting those 10 pictures, catch up with the friend you have not heard from for a while. Same time, more significance to you.

5. Think twice, post once. When you feel you have something to say, when you feel you have a rant brewing up, why not simply pick up a phone and call a friend and discuss it? Perhaps, the matter is simple and not as the-end-of-the-world as you have imagined. A good friend will help you get through it better than a few strangers who post on your comment on Facebook.

And most important outtake from this: think before you post. You never know who will find your posts & sometimes it’s just easier and better for yourself to talk to someone instead.