We are living in a technology-obsessed society. Even those who argue they aren’t obsessed, I bet they won’t deny they need their gadgets. These days, phones and tablets are doubling as computers as everyone is on the go, trying to get their fill of information and entertainment. But what some don’t know is how much these devices are turning into vices, as they are beginning to affect various parts of our health. Continue reading “Is Your Computer Making You Sick?”
The solace of the shower is one of the few moments in life when our attention is not trained on a smart device. Without the pixelized stimulation we’re accustomed to, our brains tend to turn to life’s great questions for entertainment and nothing illustrates this better than r/Showerthoughts, a subreddit where people post- you guessed it, their shower thoughts. Continue reading “r/Showerthoughts takes on the ‘Important’ Questions about Apartment Living”
I’d like to know the statistic for how many new podcasts are started daily. I’m willing to bet it’s at least double digits. Anyone with a voice and a microphone can create a podcast these days, which is lovely in the sense that you can literally find anything you’re looking for…but it makes it hard to sift through to find the things really worth listening to.
Allow me to save you some time. Instead of browsing through hundreds of podcasts hoping to find one that strikes your fancy, give Mystery Show a try!
Here are 5 reasons you should immediately hit “subscribe” on the Mystery Show podcast:
#1 – Solving mysteries is fun!
The premise of this show involves host Starlee Kine (of This American Life) researching mysteries brought to her by friends, acquaintances, or the magic of the internet. Starlee readily admits she’s no Columbo, and the types of mysteries she takes on are light and low stakes. You still get the fun of solving a mystery along with Starlee, but with a humorous touch.
#2 – Starlee Kine is the human-whisperer.
As a host, Starlee does a fantastic job of keeping the story surrounding each episode’s mystery engaging, but what I find even more impressive are her fascinating asides with the people she encounters in her investigations. Starlee has an amazing way of connecting with other people quickly, and one of my favorite parts of listening to the podcast is hearing her make deep connections with other people over conversations about things like Britney Spears tickets.
#3 – You can enjoy Mystery Show without dedicating years of your life to it.
Let’s be real, finding a podcast that’s less than an hour but still feels substantial can be a pretty big ask. Mystery Show episodes generally run about 45 minutes, give or take, which makes them perfect-sized nuggets for a single listen. You get the full story, start to finish, but you also still have time to eat, sleep and breathe.
#4 – The mystery topics are amazing.
I mentioned Kine’s mysteries tend to be light and low stakes, which is true…but they are also deceptively fascinating. Stories about unreturned videos, vanity license plates, and Jake Gyellnhaal’s height…you might not think these would take 45 minutes, or that they’d be particularly interesting, but you would be so wrong. Kine embraces each of her mysteries with enthusiasm and earnestness, so despite being low stakes, no stone is left unturned in solving these mysteries.
#5 – It will leave you wanting more.
As of now, there are only six episodes of Mystery Show available. I know, right?! Enough to give you a taste of how great the podcast can be, but certainly not enough to satiate your fun mystery-solving needs. According to the website, season 2 of Mystery Show is “in the works,” so hopefully more episodes will be coming soon, but for now you’ll just have to enjoy the delicious appetizer that is season one.
Now do yourself a favor and check out an episode of Mystery Show…just make sure you have a KIND bar handy, because the ads are most certainly going to make you crave one. 😉
There are some truly great Pinterest hacks out there. Where else would I go to figure out how to maximize my storage space or fix a broken bronzer? Along with the life-saving hacks out there, though, are the not-so-useful ones that seriously make me question the logic of people sharing their advice. To avoid trying out a hack that might do more damage than good, check out the below list.
Use cotton to lengthen eyelashes.
If you’ve ever gotten one of those irritating little strands of cotton in your eye, you’ll know that the absolute last thing you should be coating your eyelashes with is cotton. For the sake of your eyeballs, buy yourself a lengthening mascara and some false lashes and leave it at that.
Break off clips from the ends of hangers to use as bag clips.
I guess if you are really desperate for a clip to hold your chips together (is anyone ever though?), you could break off the clips on the ends of your hanger to use, but who really thought that this was efficient? Save your clip hangers for hanging your pants – it will be way cheaper and easier to just get a bag of clips intended for your food.
Mix cocoa powder with lotion for an instant fake tan.
I actually tried this one, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that it’s not worth your time. I ended up with completely uneven streaks all over my body and a ruined container of lotion. This might work out ok if you spend hours mixing the lotion and blending into your skin, but you’re definitely better off with using something actually intended for fake tanning.
Make grilled cheese in the toaster by turning the toaster on its side.
Yeah, sure, if you want burnt cheese all over the sides of your toaster, go ahead and melt away. There are so many more efficient ways of melting cheese on toast that won’t end up with a mini fire, though, so maybe pass on this one.
Put a lighter to your eyelash curler before using for a longer-lasting curl.
Please do not try this at home. When I first heard someone suggest aiming your hair dryer at your eyelash curler before use to heat it up, the thought of hot metal near my eyes got me nervous, but actually bringing a flame to the curler for the sake of beauty? Not worth it.
Contour your face with utensils.
Why is this necessary? Aren’t there flat-edged brushes on the market made for this exact purpose? And why does a line so sharp it needs to be stenciled out with metal need to be drawn onto your face in the first place? Your utensils should stay in your kitchen, not in your makeup bag.
Create marble nails in water.
This is a nice idea in theory, but I can’t imagine this would end up with anything other than strangely mixed nail polish colors all over my hands… and probably furniture. I’ll leave the designs to the pros.
It’s definitely tempting to test out every Pinterest hack you come across, but please try to Pin wisely, and let us know what hacks you’ve come across that nobody should try!
There’s a lot that can be said about the ability to Google someone before a date. If you’ve met them online or through a dating app, this can be the best way to make sure they are who they say they are. Safety aside, it can be hard to not search out of blatant curiosity. “Do we have a lot in common? What does he do for a living? Do his friends look like people I could get along with?” All valid questions! We’ve probably all done it at some point. Not a big deal, but in an attempt to not to come off too creepy, follow this advice to make your date feel as natural as possible.
Keep your lips sealed
So you’ve looked him up and you hit the Google jackpot: you found it all. You know what sports he played in school, saw pictures circa 2009, what he wore to his sister’s wedding, and what kind of person his ex seems to be. All interesting, but definitely not worth sharing with him. If anything you already know comes up in conversation, do yourself a favor and act like it’s the first time you’re hearing about it. Don’t be like me and tell him that your mom watched his high school graduation speech and definitely approves.
Ask lots of questions
Again, pretend it’s all a mystery to you. Ask anything that comes to mind or maybe already came to mind and you already know the answer to thanks to your internet stalking spree. It doesn’t matter either way. If you don’t ask, you’ll come across as uninterested. If you do, he’ll definitely be impressed with how engaging you are. Plus, if you already have some idea of what he’s into, you can ask questions that you think will probably spark an interesting conversation. Just don’t be obvious about it.
Do everything in your power to not be awkward when he brings up something you found out on your own. Maybe even practice your poker face before you two meet up. The last thing you want to do is ruin your date because he sees your uncomfortable reactions and has no idea why you’re wincing at the mention of his childhood friend Alex. Just smile and nod and change the subject if you really must.
If you must do some pre-date sleuthing, then go for it ⎼ just don’t let it blow up in your face. Besides sharing with your best friend, of course, keep that knowledge inside for the time being. Maybe if all goes well you can even own up to it one day.
Technology has turned communication on its head. I no longer live in a world where people casually converse with the person ahead of them at the grocery store. Instead, you will find a series of people with their heads down and thumbs avidly keying a screen that illuminates their face while sending society into a dark age of relationships.
This is an exploration of what my personal experiences mean and the remorse I feel over a time of communication gone by, no longer enjoyed often.
What is Romance Again?
I won’t be so morbid as to say that swoon-worthy moments are dead, but they sure are far-fetched, if not totally forced. My idea of a Darcy darling has been replaced with Tinder tastelessness.
I am definitely not a damsel in distress, but are there any hot knights out there that I can ride alongside? What happened to the good ol’ days when I was courted by horse and buggy? I miss my sweating palm as I dialed my boyfriend’s house phone and was forced to leave a voicemail on the family line.
Comfortable as I may be lounging in my favorite PJs, I am not forced to swipe left or right robotically on my coach as I eat dinner and dessert—alone. Again. Hey, no judgments here!
This is no Arthurian legend that I’m living here. I am no character in my favorite Jane Austen novel. I left my land line in the ‘90s with my Tamagotchi pets and Furby. While I am happy to have left many misogynistic social practices in the past, where did the romance go?
There has to be a meeting point between the past and present where a “truly, madly, deeply” kind of love can be secured and kept safe from hackers. I haven’t found it yet, but maybe we can figure out the code.
I “Like” Them:
There is an immediacy that is not only inherent in social media, but also intrinsically part of our lives with the advent of the smartphone. These days you can’t escape notifications and there is no reprieve from hounding texts.
While it is so convenient to have my social life attached to my palm at all hours of the day *insert eye-roll here because I’m obviously being sarcastic*, I can’t help but scoff and think “Who cares what so-and-so is doing at such-and-such an hour?!” Although, I say this as I go ahead and “like” their photo anyway, because that’s the society I live in and I am addicted to the pressures of cyber friendships too.
How can we change this dedication to the cyber “like?” It’s such a massive part of our lives now. I went to dinner the other night with my girlfriends and as we all posted pictures, our conversation wove in and out of social media talk:
I’m so glad the semester is over. You used such a good filter. I just had a major sale the other day, so I am going to make my quota. That’s awesome! No one has liked my picture yet. I did. Yeah, but no one else has. Did you guys see the trailer for the new Leo movie?! Omg, that looks amazing. I can’t wait to see it. Ugh, look who just liked your picture. Who? Just look…
And so the story goes—we momentarily step out of our physical reality into this outside experience so closely tied to what I’m doing at that moment. It’s a new layer of my life that I haven’t quite figured out whether I “like” or not. Regardless of how I feel, this movement towards technological living has given society a new power over the individual as we are swayed towards a virtual reality in tune with others.
No Wait before the Date:
Remember when Christmas was exciting and there were presents wrapped by a mysterious, fat, and happy man who rewarded us for being good? Well, the jig is up. We send Christmas lists to friends and family without any intrigue or mystery because we have to know what we are getting—we have to know that these gifts are right for us.
The innocence is gone as we eat, drink, and are merry with friends and family over the holidays and find ourselves being set up on “blind” dates that aren’t so blind anymore now that we can stalk profiles. With or without the wine, you are drunk on the notion that this might be the one, distorting your understanding of the situation. You now have the ability to kinda-sorta know what they look like, so essentially, you have signed up for “blurry” first date (since people very rarely look as good in real life as they do in pictures).
Then the questions start pouring in… How do I know I like him if I don’t even know if he reads? Is he liberal? Does he like the outdoors? Is he allergic to dogs?! These are all questions I need answered which profile stalking deters us from finding out because catching a glimpse of someone’s pictures categorizes them. We are never able to remove those first impressions with his ex-partner or his agility while doing a keg stand in ’09—we never get a clean slate and it doesn’t give us a chance to find out who someone truly is now.
It is this immediacy that I have qualms with because it has ruined “the wait.” You don’t need to wait around to meet someone because the best versions of those people reside within a little device that fits in your pocket. You are immediately notified when they added you to be a “friend,” and when they “liked” your picture, but what these notifications lack is the meaning within this virtual communication that can only be relayed with human contact.
I mean, what does an Instagram “like” even mean?! Also, how should I react to a man commenting “Gorgeous!” on my profile picture—along with so many other women’s?! These roadblocks didn’t exist for centuries and all of the sudden I’m plopped into a dating scene that is nothing short of understanding social hieroglyphics that include emojis and acronyms for every occasion.
This all sounds nice and confusing, if not a bit superficial and weird, but what about when things don’t work out? What happens when you can’t escape the virtual reality of your ex-spouse?
I Can’t Quit You:
We have all been confronted with the issue of that is *cue dooming sound effects*: the ex. They pop up on your newsfeed time and time again. They went to your spot. They went on a trip that you had talked about. They started dating someone new.
This is where my relationship with technology becomes unhealthy because I always go back for more. How do you move past the “Ugh, I hate them but I want to know what they’re doing” stage? It’s hard but there has to be a way to rewind the clocks to the time when I didn’t have an app that reminded me of our painful parting words with status updates and pictures fun outings.
The best way to channel the years when you were able to move on without a siren going off in your broken heart every time you go online is to un-friend them. I tried it out recently for the first time and it worked wonders. I no longer had the ability to look or see anything. After deleting their phone number, the unhealthy habit was broken forever. Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done for ever,” and it’s true because I never have to see him again, or anyone else that I don’t want to see, since I took control of the situation and learned to remove myself from their life. Don’t mind me; I’ll just be dancing down my new singing, “I’ve Got the Power.”
The point I’m trying to make here is un-friend and un-plug as you see fit. Be a “friend” to yourself first. No one can do it for you, so I say take the power that resides in the stroke of your finger as you eliminate the unnecessary and invest in your value. Go out there and wink at that hottie across the coffee shop. Ask for your friends to refrain from showing you pictures of a successful banker who used to party like a rock star. Join a hiking club and have conversations with someone new.
These are all experiences that are available to us now, but we forget when we are inundated with notifications that people “like” us on our lit up screen.
Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be deleting my social media accounts any time soon, and I do believe in the good power and logic behind the technology that keeps my life moving forward, but sometimes you have to take the time to reevaluate the big picture and what it takes to get there. There just isn’t an app for that. I can’t download my partner (even though I sometimes wish I could—it would be a hell of a lot easier). I have to cultivate that relationship myself, the old fashioned way.
Share the Love:
While we may have created these obstacles that did not haunt people in the past, and while they are painful realizations to overcome when faced with a virtual reality layered on top of our everyday existence, social media is a powerful tool for us finding love and loving life.
We can share things with friends and family. We can celebrate others’ successes and invite them to cheers to our own. Just remember to stay grounded within this experience. Technology and the social media that it makes so easily accessible is a simulacrum of what is and always will be reality.
In the End:
I think we found our answer to finding that “truly, madly, deeply” kind of love within this society which is to remember that technology and all that it brings is not our physical reality and to stay true to ourselves when we find our world looking more and more filtered.
Between Two Ferns is a Funny or Die production hosted by Zach Galifianakis. The show has some off-color humor and is not the normal style of interviewing of celebrities we’re used to. Most talk shows joke around and ask about a celebrity’s personal life and career, while Between Two Ferns has Zach attempting to poke fun and the celebrities not having it. Here are just a few episodes where you can witness the hilarious sense of humor the show has.
One of the most popular episodes of the show is when President Obama stopped by. At first, Zach attempted conversation by asking if Obama was upset he couldn’t run a third term, to which Obama responded that him serving a third term would be a lot like a third Hangover movie. After joking, Zach finally gets down to business and says the only reason Obama stopped by was to plug something. Obama then eagerly begins encouraging young people to sign up for health insurance through Healthcare.gov. Despite the plug, the episode is definitely a must see!
After a very eventful year for Bieber, he went on the show, where Zach poked fun at his bad behavior. For example, he lectured Justin on the peeing in a bucket incident by saying it’s fine to do so, just don’t post it on the “internets”. Eventually, the lectures turn to Zach getting frustrated and taking off his belt to beat Bieber. Bieber remains expressionless through most of the video up until the belt comes out.
Zach and Bradley Cooper have been friends since before working together on the Hangover movies, so when Cooper stops by, things get a little tense on set. But that’s mainly Zach’s fault for writing a concession speech for his friend for the Academy Awards. They get into an argument where Zach yells, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST JOIN THE BOY SCOUTS IF YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF SOMETHING?” Also, a fern is thrown in Zach’s face. Overall, the best and funniest episode. Even President Obama mentions how great Bradley Cooper was during his visit!
So if you like celebrities poking fun at each and trading to each other for laughs, head over to Funny or Die and watch all 20 episodes of Between Two Ferns. Zach has many other guests such as Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, and Will Ferrell, and each episode is hilarious and entertaining.
Imagine the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. Multiply it by ten. Are you imagining something absolutely, incredibly adorable? Yes? Good. Now let me ask you this: Does this little bundle of joy you’ve got conjured up in your head also help you stay healthy? Oh… It doesn’t? But now you’re probably starting to think that something this cute and helpful would be pretty darn amazing, right? Well, then, I’ve got just the app for you!
It’s Fourdesire’s Plant Nanny, and it’s something you should start downloading right now!
Here’s the gist of it: You choose a plant you want to grow – you unlock more options as you keep playing – and then you water it periodically throughout the day. But what makes it interesting is that you’re only allowed to feed it when you drink water.
Basically, your goal is to drink enough water to help your plant grow. To do this quickly, you’ll have to drink 100% of the water needed for someone of your height, weight, and activity level (all of which you will input when you start your Plant Nanny experience).
As you help your little cactus or devil’s ivy grow big and strong, you’re also helping yourself become healthier at the same time! It’s a bonding experience. Do a good job and your plant will be all smiles! Do a bad job and your plant may begin to wilt or even die. So, seriously, drink a lot of water – this is high stakes stuff!
It’s the perfect app if you enjoy cuteness and know you need to be drinking more water, like me. And best of all, it’s free!
So look it up in your phone’s app store, give it a try, and start living a happier, healthier and cuter life!
How often have you been scrolling Tumblr or Twitter and seen a Vine star that you know you’ve seen more than once? I know I personally find myself scrolling through Vine when I can’t sleep and next time I look up, it’s 2 a.m. For six-second videos, they sure can take up a lot of your attention! Even if you’ve never even opened the Vine app, there is a high chance you’ve seen or heard of these five Vine stars.
- Lele Pons
Lele Pons was the first Vine star to surpass a billion loops. The Miami-based star coined the phrase “Do it for the Vine!” which involves ridiculous activities like pieing a police officer or getting in the back of a random truck. Most of her Vines include her trying to get a boyfriend and how difficult it is to be a girl.
- Thomas Sanders
Thomas Sanders is known for his clean and family friendly Vines. Besides his Stitch and Stewie impressions, he very rarely alludes to anything pop culture related and is a breathe of fresh air when everyone is doing very similar things. Sanders is famous for his Storytime! Vines which entail him narrating a stranger’s life and them reacting to him.
- King Bach
Bach is a Vine star that has probably benefited the most from his popularity on the app. He has made Vines with celebrities like Justin Bieber, Tyga and Kendell and Kylie Jenner. He has also landed roles on TV shows like The Mindy Project and Wild ‘n Out. His Vines usually revolve around unfaithful relationships and jokes with his friends.
- The Gabbie Show
Like a lot of Vine stars, Gabbie focuses on relationships and lack thereof. But she is still hilarious and includes her friends and fellow Vine stars Jessi Smiles and Axl James. If thousands of six-second videos of Gabbie isn’t enough for you, she also works for Buzzfeed and has a weekly Youtube show called Just Between Us.
Honestly, no one on this list makes me laugh as hard as Meech. All his Vines are pretty random. They cover friends, relationships, and parents. All in all, it’s not hard to find a video by Meech that you can relate to and laugh at. Meech definitely falls under the not family friendly category, especially when his friend and fellow Vine star Dope Island is involved.
Like Twitter and Instagram, Vine is the perfect app for self-expression and time wasting. So next time you can’t sleep or need a laugh – download the Vine app! And be sure to subscribe to the top five mentioned here because you can’t go wrong with them as you delve further into the world that is Vine.
According to a ton of studies, women spend around 8-10 hours on their phone a day. With that much time spent, why not spend it on something productive? Here are a few apps that could benefit women whether it be through organization, safety, or just plain fun.
- Period Tracker
There are thousands of apps to track your period but Period Tracker by GP International LCC is my personal favorite. It is so simple to use. You have a calendar and the app allows you to enter the dates you start and end your period. It shows you your light and heavy days so you know how many pads or tampons to keep in your purse that day. It also shows when you are ovulating and fertile – whether you’re trying to get pregnant or avoid it completely.
- 10 Daily Yoga Poses
What better way to start off your day than with yoga? The app 10 Daily Yoga Poses by Play Simple gives you 10 yoga poses that you hold for 30 seconds each. It starts off with easier poses and gets a little more difficult the more you use the app. It is definitely the best way to get the sleep out of your eyes and your blood pumping. And it only takes 5 minutes!
There are quite a few safety apps out there for women but the one that makes me feel the safest is SafeTrek by SafeTrek, Inc. The app is a lot more user friendly than most safety apps. After you enter your name and number, the app asks you to put in a 4 digit pin code. Then it displays a button that you hold when you’re in an area you don’t feel totally safe in. If you remove your finger from the button, the app asks you to put in your 4 digit code. If the code isn’t entered within 10 seconds, the app alerts the authorities of your location and help will be on the way.
- Our Groceries Shopping List
Whether you’re shopping for yourself, your roommates, or your family, Our Groceries Shopping List buy HeadCode is a lifesaver. You just enter everything you need to buy at the store and the app breaks it up for you into categories such as produce, bakery, or dairy. That way you are able to get everything you need from one section of the store without forgetting something and have to go back. This app is beyond necessary for keeping you organized in your busy life.
After a list of totally useful apps, you may ask, “What the heck is Snapchat doing on this list?” Well, I asked around 50 girls what the app they use the most is and Snapchat was the number one answer. What is the huge appeal of Snapchat, though? Well, instead of posting on Facebook or Instagram, you can share a picture of yourself or something you’re doing without the expectation of someone commenting or liking it. Snapchat is fun and more flexible than other social media and according to most girls, absolutely necessary to have on their phone.
So what are you waiting for? I know you’re reading this on your phone! Go download these apps and make those 10 hours on your phone more fun and productive.
Karlie Kloss is a world-famous supermodel, fashion icon and Girl Squad member all-in-one. The mega star has found herself thrust into the spotlight thanks to her successful modeling campaigns with companies like Victoria’s Secret and Dior, just to name a couple. Kloss has recently been seen strutting the catwalks at various fashion weeks, as well as red carpets all around the world.
Let’s be real. There will always be someone trying to be internet famous SOMEHOW whether it be through a viral fail video or Instafamous all because of their epic photos. I came across the IG handle “socalitybarbie” who basically pokes fun at it all. Just remember, not everything is as it seems on screen. Continue reading “Ashleeeybash: Socalitybarbie pokes fun at social media & I don’t blame her!”
Alright all my single ladies. It has happened. Technology has put the ball in our court!
You’re probably thinking, “What in the world is she talking about?” Well, let me explain. The other day I was watching The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Noah’s guest was Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe. At first, I had no idea who she was and what Bumble even meant but after Noah explained she’s a co-founder of the hit app Tinder… it all made sense. On the show, Wolfe was promoting her brand new app, Bumble, which is a bit like Tinder… but with a twist! Continue reading “New Bumble Dating App Puts the Ball in the Ladies’ Court”
This era of human history is all about “the screen.” We love our smartphones, tablets, touch screen watches and laptops, and we love to share every moment of our lives through these devices and the wonderfully addictive apps that come along with them. And that’s fine. We’re all guilty of it. But it poses a serious question. Continue reading “Watching Life Through Screens”