Advice, Life

The Age of Non-Awareness

Music, social media, games, e-books, messaging. What do all of these have in common? They are all distractions. They have become even bigger distractions since the growth of technology, especially with the growth of the cell phone. It is really amazing all the power one has at one’s fingertips with this tiny device. One can kill almost any boredom, keep up with classwork, stay in contact with loved ones, and do almost anything with the tools now available on the the cell phones. However, like it has been said before, with great power comes great responsibility and many cell phone users are doing quite the opposite. The more technology seems to grow, so do the amount of accidents and deaths from cell phone usage. While there have been many stories where having a cell phone on hand has saved many lives, it does not balance out with the amount taken. Many will blame the cell phone for this, but it cannot take the blame alone. The blame falls with the individuals as well. By not letting ourselves become irresponsible with cell phone usage and then letting the distractions from it overwhelm our sense of awareness, we leave ourselves open to mistakes which leads to accidents or worse.

This article below is one of many that show how much our everyday awareness has become effected. In this news article, they speak of how a shooter who had his gun put in plain sight was looked over because everyone was more focused on their phones and not the situation unfolding around them:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/san-francisco-train-shooting_n_4066930.html

It is pretty scary reality how people can get so sucked into the world of their phone to notice such a serious threat in plain sight. Some believe this will get worse with the rise of technology and while this may be true, there are measures we can take to be more responsible with this phone power we have come to possess. If we can take these measures and turn them into habits, then maybe we can not only keep ourselves safe but the people around us.

TIP 1: Make “Airplane” mode or “Do Not Disturb” mode your best friend
– Before you get in the car or take a walk somewhere or do anything where awareness of traffic and surroundings is needed, put your phone in one of these modes. By doing this, you can keep messages, calls, or notifications that most feel obliged to look at or answer from distracting you. You can focus on the things around you and prevent any accidents. It can also teach that you do not need to be at everyone’s whim at the drop of a dime or need to know what is going on in the world at all times. This alone can lessen stress to some extent.

TIP 2 : Out of Sight, Out of Mind
– If you worry that either of those modes are too easy for you to turn off and on. There is the option of putting your phone one of those modes or turning the silent mode on and throwing it into the bottom of your back or purse. Somewhere unreachable. However, I don’t recommend doing this if you work, travel, or live in a unsafe area. Because even though your phone can be a distraction, it can be a lifesaver in a pinch.
TIP 3: Always looks, Never assume
– This rule applies to everyday people but mostly school and college people because that is where I see it happen the most. They literally will walk right out in the middle of the street without a second thought. Most the time it is because they are looking at a phone, but I have seen many not looking at their phones do this also. No matter where you are crossing the street at, even at a legitimate crosswalk, you need to always look before you walk because you never know when somebody could just not be looking, distracted by their phone, or are just going to fast that they end up running that red light. I have seen all three of these examples happen and usually the person who got hit gets turned into street pizza.

TIP 4: Turn that racket down
– So this tip is mainly for those music lovers out there that either have a million songs on their phone or listen to a music streaming service on their phone. There is nothing wrong with listening to music, but you also need to be responsible with it when you are out walking or driving. If you want to listen it loud, thats fine. But don’t blast it so loud that you forget about your surroundings. You have to keep your senses and awareness alert at all times. I love music, I live and breathe it, and I know how hard this can be especially when your favorite song comes on. But it is better to be safe than sorry or dead because you did not hear the car vooming through that stop sign or someone walking behind you getting ready to mug you.

TIP 5: Learn the Wonders of Being Unplugged
– The best moments I remember having with friends or family was when I turned my phone off to enjoy the time I was spending with them. Heck, one of my favorite things to do is to go to the park and turn my phone off. This way I can fully immerse myself in the nature around me and chill. Not only is unplugging really good for stress levels, but it can really open your eyes to the many things you were missing out on.
I hope these tips help in some way and get through to some of you. This article is meant to remind you of how important your awareness and safety is. When you let devices like phones hinder your senses to where you become oblivious to the world around you, you not only put yourself in danger but it also can show little you think of yourself. You are way more important than any silly device that gives you some entertainment from time to time. Lives are more important than that silly device. Some people you meet may make you think otherwise, like your boss who is always nagging in your ear about something arbitrary or that customer who talks down to you any chance they get. But you should still place importance on your life and others. Love yourself and those around you.

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Advice, Life

M.A.P. : Making A Plan

Setting goals and getting stuff done is what life is all about! Or is it? Everyday you can find people making hash tags about achieving their goals, D.I.Y. Pinterest ideas, self-help planning books and even merchandise for helping to set/attain goals. There is an endless amount of resources for anyone that wants to start making a plan for themselves. There is an array of things that you can do this for, such as setting plan for what classes you need to take for college or steps needed to be taken before trying to land that big job you want or even just for your overall life in general. The possibilities are endless. However, plan making is not easy for everyone. There are many hurdles people run into along the way of making or sticking to a plan and there are two things that seem to really stick out as problems.
The first is being overly influenced by someone like a family member, friend, or someone you look up to. There is nothing wrong with following in the steps of a parent or an individual you respect or look up to. However, this can lead to early burnout before any or all goals are reached and sometimes a feeling of discontent even when you do reach all your goals. This usually happens because the plan you made was not your own. This situation also happens with people who have had a path or set of goals forced on to them because they are expected to be something that is not even close to who they are or want to be. This can also lead to feeling the pressure of you feeling like you have to live up to the expectations of others or the need to be exactly like someone. This is why making a plan for you and only you is very important. Also, when you make a plan for yourself, the feeling of satisfaction when you complete your plan will feel much more rewarding.
The second thing that can almost instantly become a problem when making a plan is taking on too much at once or even setting up goals that are not realistically within your reach at this very moment. Sometimes you have to work yourself up to those bigger points. Stress is one of life’s many vicious monsters that comes in many different forms and is not something one should take lightly. Stress in large amounts can cause detrimental damage to your health. This is why you should always be mindful of it even in plan making. A good suggestion is to start with a small set of goals within a small time frame and then stairstep from there. An example would be make a small list of 5 – 10 goals, they can be anything from errands or projects that need to get done fairly in the next few weeks or in a month. Then once all goals have been reached for that small plan. Then you can move on to a bigger list of of maybe 10 – 15 goals that need to be completed in a 2 -3 month period. After each plan is completed, you stairstep up a bit more each time. This will not only help you gradually get use to setting and completeing goals, but also lower the amount of stress and boost your confidence when it come time to take on the really big goals you have in mind.
I hope this article has helped you or someone you know in some way. Like I have said before, I am not a doctor of any kind. Any advice I give is from personal experience, the experience from friends, and knowledge that I have gained from books or articles. I hope you always try to remember that this is your life and so when it comes to the goals you want to achieve, that only you should get to call the shots. Do not be swayed by others or feel you need to conform to the society around you. In the end, it is about your passion and your happiness. Also, never be afraid to try for something, but also do not forget to be kind to yourself when you run into a problem or a failure. That is all I have for now. Thank you for your time and lots of love until next time.

“He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life.” – Victor Hugo

Curiousity, Life

The Popularity of the Geek

For many, many years, the stereotype of geeks had often been looked down upon, frowned upon, and sometimes cause you to be the target of bullies. That goes especially for those of the comic, and anime fandom. However, that way of thinking has slowly begun to shift over the last two decades. Now, that is not to say it has completely stopped. There are still many people in society, who have that way of thinking still. But for the most part, being a comic, or anime geek, has become more acceptable and perhaps even to the extent, more popular. There are many signs of this.

For example, the growths of some of your major conventions like San Diego Comic Con, and Anime Expo. When San Diego comic con first began back in 1970, they pulled in about 300 people (Rowe, 2017). In 1998, they surpassed 40,000 people, and then in 2015 (contributors, 2018), they surpassed 160,000 attendees (Weisburg, 2015). Now, let’s look at Anime Expo. When Anime Expo first began in 1992, they pulled in 1,750 attendees (contributors, Anime Expo, 2018). In 2004, they surpassed 25,000 attendees (Expo, 2016), and then in 2016, they surpassed 100,000 attendees (Expo, 2016). That is an incredible jump in numbers. Slowly over time, more and more people are becoming less afraid of letting people know they are a geek. In fact, there are many that are even proud of being a geek. This openness of being a geek, has even begun to show among the stars of Hollywood, and the music industry.

Robin Williams, Keanu Reeves, Samuel L. Jackson, Rosario Dawson, Ryan Reynolds, Maisie Williams, Avril Lavigne, Eminem, and many, many more have come out as either comic book geeks (Mitchell, 2017), or anime geeks (Peters, 2018). The list just keeps growing, and growing. Also, many stars have even begun attending conventions as fans.  At least some of the stars mentioned above have been spotted at conventions, either as themselves, or in cosplay (Hamblin, 2016). While the numerous reveals of celebrities opening up about their inner geek, along with the increasing growth of this geek fandom, has brought joy to many geeks alike, there seems to be a new problem on the rise. The problem that seems to come with most things, that grow in popularity. The problem being that everyone seems to want in on it.

It is nothing new when people want to be like the cool, or popular kids, or like their favorite celebrity. In the past, being a geek was never considered to be one of those cool, or popular things. However, with geek popularity being on the rise, that issue has begun to apply to being a geek now. There are people who claim to be a geek now, even when they are not, mainly for the attention or because they think it is the thing to be. This has begun to bring an upset to many, in the overall geek fandom. Now, this is not to be confused with the people wanting to be a geek, and wanting to actually get into a variety of fandoms, because they are authentically interested. This is aimed at the people who only want to be a geek for disingenuous reasons. They will say they are into a certain fandom, or cosplay from a certain fandom, but have never seen any of the media (movies, shows, or books) from said fandom.  Many articles have begun to pop up about this problem. Although, many of the articles found seem to mostly be aimed at what is known as the ‘fake geek girl’. There have been some signs of the ‘fake geek guy’ popping up as well. While many geeks do their best to overlook this problem, it is slowly becoming harder to do so overtime. The problem of these ‘fake geeks’ is not only the bad mark, or name they may end up giving real geeks of certain fandoms. It is the overall damage it can have on geek camaraderie. For many geeks, especially those that remember the times of when being a geek was something you kept a secret to not get bullied, or looked down upon for. Finding someone who was genuinely interested in the same fandoms, was extremely difficult, and a joyous occasion when it happened. But now in this age of high geek popularity, the worry comes of not finding someone who likes the same fandom as you, but someone who is actually genuine about their love for the same fandom as you.

The geek fandom has come a long way over time, and not only in the states, but all over the world. The examples above, are only a few of the signs of how much it has grown in numbers, and popularity. As more times passes, it is highly likely it will continue to grow even more and hopefully for the better.

“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.” – Simon Pegg

 

Works Cited

contributors, W. (2018, July 5). Anime Expo. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Anime_Expo&oldid=848957574

contributors, W. (2018, July 7). San Diego Comic-Con. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=San_Diego_Comic-Con&oldid=849180409

Expo, A. (2016). About Page. Retrieved from Anime Expo: http://www.anime-expo.org/about/

Hamblin, A. (2016, July 21). Comic-Con: 10 times celebrities went undercover. Retrieved from San Diego Union Tribune: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/the-conversation/sdut-stars-undercover-at-comic-con-2016jul21-htmlstory.html

Mitchell, N. (2017, September 21). Secret Geeks: 15 Celebs You Never Knew Were Comic Book Nerds. Retrieved from CBR: https://www.cbr.com/hollywood-celebrity-comic-book-nerds/

Peters, M. (2018, January 31). 10 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Loved Anime. Retrieved from Comicbook: http://comicbook.com/anime/2018/01/31/celebrities-who-like-anime/

Rowe, P. (2017, July 15). Comic-Con by the numbers. Retrieved from San Diego Union Tribune: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/entertainment/comic-con/sd-me-con-numbers-20170715-story.html

Weisburg, L. (2015, February 21). Comic-con badges sell out in record time. Retrieved from San Diego Union Tribune: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/tourism/sdut-comic-con-badges-sell-out-record-time-2015feb21-story.html