Saturday, January 28, 2012

Technology Etiquette

Over the past ten years technology has become more a part of our daily lives than ever before. Between the Internet and smart phones, we are living in a completely different world. I admit that I have a love-hate relationship with technology. We all have to agree that the resources we have at our finger tips is utterly amazing. My fear with technology though, is that we may miss out on the authenticity of a true hands on experience once we are swept up in the techno world.

I notice more and more that people seem to be focused on a device in their hands than on the people around them. For this reason, I've decided to break down the "dos and don'ts" of this new era. All I would ask of you, the reader, is to give it careful consideration.

One of the most disturbing trends I've seen recently occurs when a family goes out to dinner. Over and over sitting in a restaurant, I see parents shove a phone, ipad, Nintendo DS or other device in front of their child's face. The free babysitter is in high demand. This is 100% a technology don't. If you cannot discipline and/or engage your child for fifteen minutes until the food arrives, you need to take a long, hard look at your relationship with your child. That may sound harsh to some but it is the truth. Children crave some amount of attention from their parents and as a parent you should be willing to take on that responsibility. Where will children learn social skills and other crucial emotions such as empathy, compassion etc. if they don't learn it from their family? Video games and movies are completely acceptable in a child's life, however there is a time and place for these and the dinner table is not one of them.

A technology do, would be playing a movie or bringing their Nintendo DS during a long drive. Travel can wear on the best of us. I wouldn't completely rule out conversation or perhaps a book, but technology can be a wonderful luxury in this situation.

This technology don't should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, I think some may need to hear it. If you are on a date or meeting a friend, do NOT text or take calls in the middle of this get-together. This would especially apply to a dinner or other one-on-one occasion. It is rude. It also implies that the individual you are with is not important/interesting enough to keep your full attention. This is a very clear, honest signal. Now if you are on a date (especially early on in a relationship) and this occurs, I would suggest politely addressing the issue or accepting that this individual is not the right choice for you. They obviously do not value your company.

A technology do, would be to only answer your phone in the case of an emergency. Politely explain this to your present company and take the call. Another do, would be if you are partaking in a relaxed visit at home and an important call is received. If for example, your spouse calls because they've forgotten that you are not free to chat, answer your phone. Politely tell the caller that you are with your friend Gayle at the moment and will return their call when you are free to talk.

I've seen this next technology don't, fairly frequently and frankly, I don't like what it says about our culture's mentality. If you are purchasing an item or at a restaurant, it is rude to talk on your phone while a server or cashier is trying to deal with you. These people are not your slaves, there to wait on you hand and foot. Their time is just as valuable as yours and they deserve that respect. You are also being rude to the other customers that now have to wait for you to hang up your phone before they can be helped. An even worse case scenario would be if you are attempting to hold a conversation with both the cashier and the person on the phone at the same time. Now you can add one more person to the list that you are being rude to.

A technology do in this situation is very simple. If you are about to check out and you receive a call that you must take, let the person behind you go ahead. If you are at a restaurant, politely ask the server to give you a moment because you must take this call. If perchance you fall victim in this scenario and are on the phone with the etiquette offender, let them know that you have recognized that this is not a good time for them to talk. Explain to them that you will let them go and they can call you back at a better time.

There is one more no-brainer that needs to be addressed. This is a technology faux paus that I believe many of us may take for granted. You should never, ever text, or use any kind of distracting device while driving. You shouldn't read a newspaper either although its not very technology related. I've seen it happen, so it needs to be addressed. The dangers of driving are often forgotten. If you are reading this article for example, you have not died in a car crash. Some will not learn the lesson here until they have. That is a hard lesson to learn. There are many factors that contribute to accidents but one of the easiest to avoid is a technology distraction. Whatever text you receive, it is not as important as your life. You need to understand this. Any one text could be the one to cause a fatality. Do you want other drivers on the road with you, texting on their phone instead of focusing on not taking your life? This is a simple matter of respect. While you are driving, it is not the time to focus an ounce of your attention on your phone or anything else.

The technology do here, is to simply wait until you've stopped your vehicle and arrived at your destination to check it. Put your phone out of reach if you have to. Remember the technology is not going anywhere. It can wait. If you are reading the newspaper while driving, put it down! Read it on your work break or at home to relax. If you desperately need to know the news, that's what the radio is for. That is a great use of technology while driving. Just listen while you drive and pay attention to the road.

All of these etiquette "dos and don'ts" are very simply a matter of respect. While we are free to connect with individuals all over the world, we need to respect those around us. Somehow, those nearest to us have been forgotten in the technology revolution. These technology don'ts should be socially unacceptable. Let's all take a moment to consider our behaviour and address the issue.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A quote from Mother Theresa:

I read this quote in an article today and thought it was a beautiful and strong point.  It is self-explanatory and can stand on its own:

"Every human being created by the loving hand of God has been created in his image to love and be loved."-Mother Theresa

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Inspiring Bits of Advice From Very Wise and Successful People:

This blog I have decided to feature two people that are much wiser than I am.  The first video is a speech by author J.K. Rowling.  I have nothing but respect an admiration for Mrs. Rowling.  I would love to sit down and talk with her over tea (her place or mine) and bombard her with questions on life and also the Harry Potter books.  But for the time being it seems unlikely she will be inviting me over...perhaps I should send her and invite.  After the last film comes out she will surely have a lot more time that would be best spent with a perfect stranger in another country like myself.  Anyhoo, since that is not liekly for awhile, I will have to settle for interviews and speeches that reveal very much I think.  I think it is so enlightening that it is worth sharing with any readers, friends or visiters to my blog.  Please enjoy:


Bill Cosby is some one I grew up watching on television as a kid.  Although I don't have TV at my house now, when visiting my dad, I still enjoy watching old reruns of "The Cosby Show."  Laughter might be underestimated by some people, but personally I see so much value in it.  I also find it a very intimate way to bond with other people I connect with in my daily life.  I was too young at the time to know otherwise, but I've previously read that "The Cosby Show," made huge steps in breaking down race-related walls that still existed in the U.S.  I also found his speech to be very enlightening and funny.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Be Grateful!

It's been awhile since I blogged on this particular blog, mainly because I didn't feel anything strong enough to blog about.  But that has changed.  Today was an exciting day for me. 

For several years now, I've really, really, super, duper wanted a beach cruiser.  My new, but very good friend also was in the market for one.  After a few weeks of looking, we went into the bike shop today and purchased two gorgeous beach cruisers that we absolutely adore.  We returned to my house to unload them and started making room to store them.  While this was happening, I was struck with the realization that I am incredibly blessed.  I am proud to say that I highly value the people in my life and do not take them for granted.  Yes, I've had some bad people in my life, who are no longer a part of it, but the good ones make such a huge impact on my life.  I am lucky that I've had the chance to know and trust bad people, because it makes me appreciate my true family. 

Now back to the story of my day: While making room for the bike, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the fact that I have had the privilege to acquire so many wonderful "toys."  That's really what many of them are.  Yes I've made money off my photography equipment but other than that, I've had the wonderful blessing of either purchasing or receiving these items.  It's somewhat embarrassing to admit that I didn't fully realize the magnitude of this blessing sooner.  While people and pets are far more valuable than any material thing, I am so thankful for the chance to play and enjoy the world around me.

As my day turned to evening, I visited my dad for dinner.  We talked about his mother and uncle.  We  agreed that we couldn't have asked for more loving or kind family members.  For me and I know several of my other family members, they are heroes we strive to live up to.  My grandma passed away when I was 6.  Although I miss her and wish she had been able to live longer, I am grateful for the memories I have of her.  I am truly blessed to have known her at all.  So my advice today is to be grateful for what you have.  It could always be worse.  There is some one somewhere who would give anything to have your life.  People die everyday wishing to have the simple joy of being alive that you are so lucky to have.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crazy, Party of 1

You know your friend's crazy ex? The one everyone calls psycho? If not, that's because you are the crazy ex. Ok, to be fair, you might still be known as the crazy boyfriend or girlfriend. But one day you will graduate to the crazy ex. Don't be that guy or girl. If you are at all confused or unsure, please read on...

Let's discuss the process of how one is branded crazy. Bear in mind that I am not a psychiatrist and have no authority in the clinical diagnosis of mental health. However, I did take a Psych 101 class in college and I pretend to know what I'm talking about, even when I don't. So, onward. The Scenario: It's guy's night. Your boyfriend is out having a great time with his buddies. You were not invited for obvious reasons. Even though you spent the day with your boyfriend, you're upset because he's not with you. He's out having a grand time while you are sitting at home in your pajamas, listening to Taylor Swift songs. You're pining away without him and starting to resent him. Since you miss him SOOOO much you decide to give him a call. Just to check in. You dial. Ring. Ring...Ring..."Yo, bra it's Skipper..." You hang up before the beep.

Now, you decide he couldn't reach his phone in time, so you call back....and back. Without even realizing it, you're getting insecure about where he is and what he's doing. Instead of thinking logically, paranoia starts to set in. The possibility that he can't hear his phone over the noise, never crosses your mind because you already know he lied and is cheating on you with a 15-year-old stripper named Skittles. Her rainbow tastes better than yours.

You call again and get no answer. OH HELL NAW! *Insert snaps in the shape of the letter Z.* Nobody puts Baby in a corner! Not willing to stand for this blowing-you-off-business, you call his bff's phone. Again, no answer. Typical. Better call back just once and maybe he'll pick up this time. Nope.

So you text your boyfriend accusing him of no longer caring for you. Finally, over at guy's night, he pulls out his phone and looks at the screen. He sees your missed calls, and your text. His buddy nearest to him sees the approximate 87 missed calls, all from you. It's not long before his bff discovers he also has missed calls from you. Congratulations, Psycho Girlfriend. You've just been blacklisted.

You will never date in this town again. All his buddies will be warning their friends not to get involved with you. They will warn those they love about the psycho girl. These potential suitors will breath a sigh of relief and count their blessings, having dodged a bullet. You were looking a bit attractive for a minute, but alas, it must have been a trick of the light. Desperate doesn't look good on anyone.

Ok pause. Fortunately, this is an imaginary scenario (for some). We will now go back and discuss what went wrong?

1. The Scenario version of you doesn't have a life. She is setting herself up for a disappointing night. She isn't out having a good time or at home entertaining herself by making a macaroni necklace. She is sulking and pouting. Scenario you should take this opportunity to do something enjoyable for herself. This will give both of you some space and make the next meeting together that much more enjoyable.

2. Scenario you is pining for him. Literally pining. It says that. This is very bad. It's been hours since you last saw him and you're already pining. A clearheaded individual would realize that they will be perfectly fine being apart for a couple hours. They have a healthy relationship and know that trust is key. If you have to hire a private eye or constantly check up on your significant other, then you shouldn't be dating them. If they wanted that type of relationship, they'd have adopted a family of leeches to raise on their face.

3. Scenario you called him. You shouldn't have don't that. The only reason scenario you called him at all, was just to check up on him. You've interrupted his fun. You are a party pooper without even being there. A party pooper is a terrible thing to be. You could have just sent a simple text along the lines of, "Hey have a good time." That would have been a simple way for him to reply if he had a free moment and wanted to check in with you.

4. Scenario you called back after he didn't answer the first time. Now you're becoming clingy. Cling is so unwanted that some one invented a product to put in your dryer so you don't have to deal with cling from your clothes. Here is the rule of thumb for how often you can call someone that doesn't respond: You can call them once. You may or may not leave a voicemail. After this you can send them one text message. That is IT! No exceptions! You do not try to contact this person again, until they respond to your first attempts! If they haven't replied it's for one of two reasons. 1. They are busy and can't at the moment. 2. They are ignoring you. As Georgia Nicholson would say, "Have some pridenosity." And if a fictional teenager knows it, then you should too. Scenario you's behavior isn't appealing to anyone. Just keep it healthy.

5. As far as everything else the scenario you did, it's irrelevant. You've already passed the point of no return. Once the call list has exceeded the non-psycho quota, you are a lost cause.

So just remember...Don't be that guy or that girl.

~Miss Advisess

Monday, January 24, 2011

Catching The Ever Elusive Dream Job

Catching the ever elusive dream job is a common struggle for many people of all ages. Sure, you have a job that pays for your lifestyle. Your steady income is vital to your survival after all. Perhaps you are not happy for those 40+ hours a week, but you've adapted to the misery. You've grown accustomed to your boss' tantrums or the monotonous tasks that you spend your days doing. Well it's time to STOP living your life this way! Give your life a meaning. You are the only person who can save yourself from this situation. So let's discuss how...

I believe for most people two factors are at work in holding them back. The first is a lack of a clear path. People are looking for some kind of guidance--a GPS of sorts, to guide their career path. Here's the thing: There isn't one. Don't panic! Stay with me. There never was one. You have to build your own road. You're not in school anymore, so it's best you know that there are no multiple choice questions with the answer simply given to you. You have to find the answer through trial and error. This may seem daunting but it's truly not so bad. In the November issue of "O The Oprah Magazine," I found several inspiring articles focusing on finding and executing your calling in life. Patti Smith suggests a profound idea which I would like to pass on. Now, here's what to do:

1. Get a pen and paper.
2. Sit down and be completely honest with yourself.
3. Write down any activity (regardless of how irrelevant it may seem) that has made you truly happy. Think back to your childhood as well and list those activities. They may be the most eye opening.

After you've completed the list. Contemplate how you can take one of these activities a step further towards a career. In this same article, Patti Smith warns that the next step may not be a completely logical one. If you listed reading, the logical career choice may be to become an editor. If you try this step and find you are dissappointed, go back to your list. Try to think of a less traditional step or look at your other activities. Do not get stuck at a job that is not fulfilling for you. It will not bring you happiness and life is far too short to waste your time on such a dead end.

The second factor that I believe holds people back is fear--more specifically, a fear of failure. This is a mental obstacle that you need to overcome. In her book, "What I Wish I knew When I Was 20," Tina Seelig advises that in business, do not view failures as an end to your goal, but rather as an obstacle that you must overcome. This is a marvelous and profound outlook! It simply means, learn from your failures and push onward. Do not give up on an idea you love. Only turn back to your list if you are not enjoying yourself. J.K. Rowling in an interview explains (paraphrasing) that through her struggles and most trying times in life, she learned the most. Without her failures would she have been able to write the Harry Potter series in their most powerful and successful form? Consider the struggling artist cliche. The artist creates beautiful art because he/she is inspired from the challenging life they lead. Failures are the trials that shape us. So do not let the fear of failure hold you back, embrace the lessons you will learn from failures and carry on.

Another thought I will share is this: you must do it. You will not regret the things that you DO, do but those that you don't. So be honest with yourself. Quell the excuses and take action. This is the most vital step. You will not find a fulfilling career if you do nothing.

One day we will all leave this earth. We cannot know when, but try to truly imagine if today was your day and you were faced with your Creator, what would you have to show him that you've done with your life? Atleast try to be the best you can be and offer your abilities to the human race. Remember, money is not the measure of success. When your day comes, you cannot bring money or material possessions with you.

"I came to believe that if you have a gift, you have an obligation to share it with others. It's as simple as that."-Andrea Bocelli

Do not let others discourage you or put doubt in your mind.
Do not be hindered by jealousy from others.
Prove the above individuals wrong.
Do not give up.
Surround yourself with positive and inventive people.
Be a positive and inventive person.
Do it!

~Miss Advisess