A New Approach To Getting Out Of Doing Something You Don’t Want To Do

High School is not fun for everyone. Teenagers are often not the kindest of people–particularly to anyone who might actually be an individual or be different in some way. Social media has made that worse–bullying doesn’t stop anymore when you close the front door of your house behind you. Bullying on social media has resulted in teen age suicides. Bullying has always been a problem, but it seems as if we are not teaching our children to be resilient. One article seeking to solve the problem might without realizing it illustrate why the problem exists.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article stating the following:

Middle and high school students are citing anxiety as their reason for pushing back against assigned in-class presentations as research shows that nearly one-third of teenagers have an anxiety disorder.

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that an estimated 31.9 percent of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 exhibit some form of anxiety. It’s an increase that experts say has been driven by the rise of social media, more pressure on students to go to college and other factors.

Students and teachers are split about whether offering alternatives to oral presentations will help anxious students or hurt them by letting them get around developing public speaking skills. The issue was brought to the foreground of discussion after a Sept. 8 tweet from a high school student that said “stop forcing students to present in front of the class and give them a choice not to” was retweeted more than 130,000 times.

“Nobody should be forced to do something that makes them uncomfortable,” a 14-year-old eighth grader identified only as Ula told The Atlantic in a Wednesday story. “Even though speaking in front of class is supposed to build your confidence and it’s part of your schoolwork, I think if a student is really unsettled and anxious because of it you should probably make it something less stressful. School isn’t something a student should fear.”

The word I would use to describe the above statement is not suitable for this blog. If students are not taught to face their fears as students, how are they going to face them as adults? Taking challenges away from students robs them of the opportunity of learning how to overcome challenges. The world is not always going to be sweet and padded. They might as well learn that before they leave school. For example, if I were allowed to vote on whether or not to go for my annual physical exam, I would vote not to do it. It makes me anxious. Therefore I should not have to do it. I really don’t think that works in real life.

Submitted by Amy Collett

Tips for starting a home-based business

First-Timer Tips for Getting Your Home-Based Business Off the Ground

It’s easier than ever to start your own home-based business, and this sort of project can not only be fun, interesting, and convenient, but also it can be profitable as well. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because the opportunities are there you don’t have to plan carefully. If this is your first home-based business, you will need to consider what type of work truly suits your lifestyle, what tools you need to get started, how to draw people to your business and how to keep yourself motivated. Here are some essential tips.

What business is right for you?

Sure, you can do anything if you put your mind to it. But why start from square one when you can give yourself a head start? Hobbies can be turned into thriving businesses. Professional skills you’ve learned through other careers can be monetized. Getting a new business off the ground is hard enough, and you will make it significantly harder if you try to do something you either aren’t good at or that you dislike.

So, first step is to do something you love. But that’s not all. The next step has to be evaluating the market potential of your business. Selling a product from home is a great idea for many, and the Internet has made it simple these days. High-tech products such as selfie drones, HIIT equipment and smartwatches are profitable business ideas. You may make the best bird-themed potholders the world has ever seen, but you can’t make a successful business out of it if there’s no market for them. Ask around. Do some research. As Inc.com notes, “What you don’t want to do, however, is base your decision on the opinions of your friends and family.”

Don’t begin without the ultimate tool for success

The best tool you could have to aid in your new business is a ton of start-up capital. Of course, the vast majority of people don’t have that. So settle for making sure you have the second-best tool for success: a strong online presence. The first step of creating this is in your website. Your website is your portal to growing your local business. It should be well-made, clear, easy-to-navigate and fast. You should focus on reliable hosting and outsource the job of building it if you aren’t experienced in web design.

Optimizing your site for local search (when people search for things “near me”) and having SEO (search engine optimization) in mind is the first step to drawing customers, notes Forbes. Beyond that, getting involved in social media will help you make a name for your business. It’s vital to have well-maintained Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Snapchat presences. Blogging can also help, as having good online content associated with your business can boost its ranking in search engines.

Stay productive at home

Working from home poses a unique challenge: How do you stay motivated when you’re surrounded by all that comfort? You have a business to run, but lurking everywhere are distractions such as the TV, kids or your bed.

First things first: Force yourself into normal office hours. Instead of simply working off and on whenever you feel like it make sure to stick to a schedule. Some other great tips include getting up and getting dressed (literally) for success, keeping a separate office space away from everything else and making sure you get some exercise throughout the day.

Starting a business can be scary, but you should know that you have the tools available to you to succeed. Part of the joy of running a business from home is that you don’t have to pay the overhead of a brick and mortar space and you get to be your own boss. While that sounds awesome, it won’t work unless you pick a business that truly suits you, set yourself up to accomplish your goals every single day and utilize the power of an online presence.

Photo by Pexels

 

The Media Double Standard

The media double standard reflects the double standard of some of the more vocal protest groups. Forbes posted an article on Tuesday that beautifully reflects this double standard. The article deals with the environmental threat posed by the protesters at the site of the future Dakota Access Pipeline. The threat is not a perceived future threat, such as is claimed by the protesters if the pipeline were to rupture, but an actual threat that must be dealt with before the spring thaw. I strongly suggest that you follow the above link and read the entire article–it is done almost as a parody of The Twilight Zone.

The article reports:

There is of course no national media uproar condemning the protesters who have created the current mess, or the conflict groups that helped to organize them, raised millions as a result of the conflict, but are contributing nothing to the cleanup.  Nor is there any negative media mention of the dozens of celebrities who have visited the site to get a little free publicity over the last several months, or drawn attention to themselves by supporting the cause on social media, but who also are doing nothing to help with the clean up effort.

The Washington Post managed to find space to publish a story on the situation on Monday, but its story angle was completely sympathetic to the protesters – whose efforts have now cost Morton County taxpayers almost $33 million at last count, with millions more to come – and to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose national call to action last summer was the catalyst for the influx of the outside protesters.  Indeed, a January tally of the almost 600 protesters who have been arrested during this protest action demonstrated that more than 94% of them hail from out of state, and more than 180 had criminal records.

The Washington Post’s story makes no mention of any of that, no mention of the dozens of abandoned cars or of the estimated 200-plus large truckloads of garbage left behind by the protesters that remain at the site.  No mention of all the arrests of out-of-staters, or of the massive cost to Morton County.  Indeed, the only real mention the Post makes of trash in the camp reads as follows:  “In the slurry running through camp are the remains of a mostly abandoned mini-city: an unopened packet of Top Ramen, a broken shovel, a mud-soaked glove, a pacifier.”

The article explains the threat to the water supply of the area:

The state of North Dakota also manages a website – NDRESPONSE – that provides excellent documentation of the real status of the protest site.  Their reporting has very clearly demonstrated that there is far more “in the slurry running through the camp” than the Post’s report implies, and with another week of spring-like weather to come, concerns about the potential for that slurry turning into a stream carrying pollutants into the nearby lake are very real indeed.  “We are very concerned about the potential for significant flooding and runoff into the lake later this week,” Keller said.

Given the way in which this situation has developed over time, it is fair to provide an admittedly partial list of well-heeled celebrities who have either visited the protest site since last August or expressed their support via social media for the #NoDAPL protest, and who are now making no effort whatsoever to assist in cleaning up the looming ecological disaster their “water protectors” have left behind:

The pipeline poses a minimal potential threat. The protesters have created an environmental disaster. If the state of North Dakota cannot clean up the mess before the spring thaw, the local residents will not have safe water to drink. The protesters have done immediate damage. The pipeline is engineered to be safer than alternative methods of transporting oil.

This is a picture of some of the mess left behind:

The double standard here is amazing.

 

 

Social Media Can Have Drastic Consequences

The Daily Caller posted an article about a selfie that went wrong. In this case, wrong is in the eyes of the beholder–I think it went wonderfully right.

The article reports:

The head of Air Force Central Command reported that an online selfie of an Islamic State militant led to airstrikes on a base held by the group “in less than 24 hours.”

Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle said in recent remarks that airmen at Florida’s Hurlburt Field were scouring open-source online feeds when they found a photo of “some moron standing at this command” and “bragging about the command and control capabilities” of the group.

Don’t ever post anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t mind seeing on the front page of The New York Times.

Islamic terrorists generally use social media very well. It is one of their prime recruiting tools and is also useful as one of their communication tools. There has been some consideration of making social media unavailable to terrorists, but aside from the obvious problems in doing that, in the case of the terrorist selfie, a terrorist social media post helped the western powers fight terrorism. We need to fight terrorism using every method at our disposal.