Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Facebook’s Stance On Immigration

People move places all the time. Although we have long since abandoned our nomad lifestyle, there is still a likelihood for individuals to move to another place or country in the course of their lifetime. It is what we commonly call immigration. People migrate for a lot of reasons although the top reasons are because of work, or attending an educational institution or they got married and is moving to the hometown of their spouse for good. Sometimes, people from a certain place tend to migrate to a particular country but there are times when it differs a lot from person to person. After all, the world is our oyster and nothing should stop us from exploring every nook and cranny of this planet if we have the means to do so. Other times, wanderers fall in love with a certain place or with a particular local that they end up staying there far longer than they initially intended.

Over the years, we have seen philanthropist businessmen speak up on various causes that are personally important or relevant to them. Migration has been one of those issues and continues to be a topic of debate especially at a time today when terrorism continues to be a threat to everyone. For instance, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook is pro-immigration and advocates less restrictive policies from the Trump administration. However, it seems that his business policies collide with his personal beliefs and ideals knowing that the company has been maximizing profits from anti-immigration groups in America in their ad campaign. Now, everyone can see the double mask Facebook is wearing when it comes to the topic of immigration as its owner speaks up about liberal migration ideas but the company does the exact opposite.

That legacy of dreamy utopianism continues to inform the tech industry’s self-perception, even as its financial imperatives collide with its politics. On Thursday night, Reuters reported that Facebook and Google were among nearly two dozen companies planning to launch a group to lobby for bipartisan legislation to protect DACA recipients, better known as Dreamers. The group, called the Coalition for the American Dream, will try to enlist other companies in urging Congress to pass legislation codifying the Obama-era program, which Donald Trump has said he will rescind. If he does, nearly 800,000 Dreamers will be at risk of deportation.

Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg, who helped found a pro-immigration reform group in 2013, has been particularly vocal in pushing back against the Trump administration’s more restrictive policies. But Facebook's idealistic self-perception seems to be at odds with its advertising goals. As Bloomberg reported this week, both Facebook and Google worked diligently to maximize the reach of Islamophobic video ads for an anti-refugee nonprofit called Secure America Now. The nonprofit reportedly spent “millions” in ad dollars to ensure that its videos—including one that portrayed “colorful scenes of Main Street America” along with “black-and-white pictures of Muslims who have carried out attacks in the U.S.,” and another that imagined France and Germany governed by Sharia law—had maximum impact on both platforms. (Facebook and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)


We can’t just easily discredit Facebook, though, even if we don’t always see things eye to eye. For many Americans, we value our safety as much as our liberty. While we do not want to alienate anyone foreign, we have no choice but to do so when it is our safety and security that is at risk. The U.S. has been on top of the list of Islamic terrorists and we have witnessed time and again how many innocent Americans fall prey and die in the hands of these murderers that we allowed to come into our country. It’s no wonder that more Americans are getting themselves involved when it comes to policies like immigration that affects the national interests because we want to limit the potential threat that can gain access to our country through stricter immigration policies.

Some 800 companies signed a letter to Congressional leaders after Trump’s decision, calling for legislation protecting Dreamers. That effort was spearheaded by a pro-immigration reform group Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg co-founded in 2013 called

Many of the companies that endorsed that letter are named as joining the new coalition. The group has planned to take out ads in news publications, though this is subject to change, according to an email last week seen by Reuters.

“Dreamers are part of our society, defend our country, and support our economy,” said one of the coalition documents, which is being shared by the group to recruit additional companies.


As globalization continues to shape the way the world works right now, boundaries are ever changing and people are more tempted to go to far away places in pursuit of their interests, opportunities, and greener pastures. These big tech companies can really relate to this problem because many of the bright and talented people working for them are at times undocumented or has a hard time securing legal papers to work in the country. They even coined the term “Dreamers” to describe them as people full of dreams and aspirations and hopefully influence the White House to be more lenient on their restrictions. However, with the obvious conflicts of interests these companies have like that of Facebook, we’ll see how things go in the months and years to come.

The blog article Facebook’s Stance On Immigration Find more on: The I Am Not An Artist Blog


Friday, 24 November 2017

What’s It Like To Be A Parent Today

Parenting is no joke. We’ve heard it time and again. Those who are not yet parents tend to shrug this off since they still can’t relate to it but becoming a parent is both a fulfilling and frustrating journey that parents all over the world can relate too even if they come from diverse backgrounds. From the news of the pregnancy to labor and delivery and the actual raising of the child from infant to adult, there are many experiences that will bring tears and sadness but are all a part of the very fabric of life. It’s not always a walk in the park, so do not delude yourself into believing it will be if you are a new parent because it won’t, so deal with it.

However, the times have changed. While the very essence of parenthood remains the same, there are obviously many changes and factors that we need to take into consideration. First, technology is a big part of our lives today. Just how much technology will you allow your child to use or expose them to are perennial questions? Next, the environment itself has changed. People’s behaviors and accepted norms are no longer the same as it was twenty years ago when most parents today were kids themselves. And since our basic role in this world was to go henceforth and procreate, let’s try to unravel how parenting has changed and evolved in the 21st century.

Other findings include that 95% of families with young kids have smartphones (up from 63% in 2013 and 41% in 2011), and 78% have tablets (up from 40% in 2013 and 8% in 2011).

"In today's tech-driven world, where things are moving so quickly, it is really important to step back and take a hard look at what technology kids are using and how they are using it," James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense, said in a statement. "Over the last six years, we have seen massive growth in media use and tablet ownership, and we haven't even begun to experience the explosion of new technologies like virtual reality and voice-activated assistants in our homes. If we want to ensure our kids develop well and are successful in life, we have to make sure they get the most out of tech while protecting them from potential risks — and that means paying close attention to the role media is playing in their lives."


Yes, the facts have spoken. Technology rules the world, our homes, and our kid’s lives. They use too much technology that they miss out on many things parents used to do in their childhood like playing outside, making meaningful and real relationships with the people around them, and actually doing things rather than watching people do it on Youtube or whatever SNS accounts they are using. It is obviously a major cultural shift that affects millions of kids throughout the globe where technology plays a dominant role in the people’s day-to-day lives. The danger here is that since parents work during the day and usually don’t have the time to supervise their children 24/7, they aren’t aware of their child’s social activities on the web and its impact on them.

"We postulate that socioeconomic conditions drive how much control or monitoring parents exercise on their children's choices."

Using the World Value Survey, the co-authors asked which values they found most important in child rearing. They found permissive or more laid back parents emphasize the values of imagination and independence when bringing up their children. The authoritarian and authoritative parents insist on the importance of hard work and obedience, respectively.

They show that parents in countries with more unequal economic conditions are more authoritarian and authoritative in style. In countries with better redistribution of wealth – more social expenditure and stronger civil rights protections, parents are significantly more permissive or relaxed in their parenting style.

The researchers believe their theory can help explain the recent rise of ‘helicopter parenting’, which is a version of the authoritative style in which parents try to influence their children's choices with intense monitoring and persuasion.


Parenting styles differ from one place to another as socioeconomic factors are taken into context. In a progressive country like ours where everyone is competitive but opportunities are kind of limited, you can expect parents to teach their kids to value education at an early age especially that there are exams they should pass and other kids are studying hard as well, so competition is tough. Ivy league schools are highly selective and you really have to invest in good study habits at a young age to make it there. Helicopter parents ensure that their kids achieve their dreams (or most likely their parent’s dreams for them), so they oversee everything they do day in and day out. Even tech use is limited (a blessing for parents and a punishment for the kids) so they can focus more on studying and less dilly-dallying.

Meanwhile, things are done differently in other nations because of cultural differences and the big economic gap. Yet one thing remains, parents only want the best for their children and whether they are pushy or lenient in their upbringing reflects what they think is best for their kids from their own point of view with all factors taken into consideration.

The following blog article What’s It Like To Be A Parent Today See more on: Blog


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Don’t Dilly Dally And Do Your Christmas Shopping Now

I’m sure many of you are aware by now that Christmas is already around the corner. Halloween is still a fresh memory for some and Thanksgiving is fast approaching but we know what follows next, right? Some people only got their eyes on Christmas especially the young because why shouldn’t they? It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And we know what’s as equally good as sumptuous meals and bonding with family and friends – Christmas presents. Some people put in a lot of effort and spend time in looking for or crafting the best presents for the people who mean the most to them. However, because of life responsibilities, many put off holiday shopping until about the last minute and panic at not completing their gifts yet and that prices have soared significantly and the choices limited. Meanwhile, the smart folks just find excellent sales online and get their shopping done quickly!

We must admit it that as easy as it may sound, gift-shopping is no easy task. First of all, you need extra money to pay for gifts and you need time to put together the list of people you are giving gifts to and what they would likely want to receive from you. It’s almost next to impossible if you’re a busy millennial today that juggles a lot of work, social, family, and personal tasks and issues on a day-to-day basis. And many times, most of you will likely put it off for as long as you can because you justify by saying that Christmas is still far away but reality check, that day will eventually come sooner rather than later. So, why not get started on it today when you still have time to choose for presents and not just grab the first thing you see on the shelves during last-minute shopping.

Plan ahead

This is crucial. Heading into town without a list of people you need to buy for and a vague idea of what their presents should be is how disasters like last year happen - when you forgot to get Aunty Sally anything and she cried and asked you why you can’t be more like your sister.

Carefully check and double check that you’ve got the right amount of names on your list – run past Mum if necessary. Then, work out a gift idea for each person. Write down the names of the shops that’ll sell it.

This is a no-fail Christmas shopping tip. Always plan ahead and do your research. You should know who to gives gifts to and what possible gifts to buy and then scout the local shopping scene in your area if where you can go to first or which shops sell the best deals among the items that you are looking for.

Don’t get hung up

You're not going to get the ‘perfect’ present through one day of shopping. You’ve got about as much chance of nailing Dad’s best ever present in the time you’ve given yourself than Donald Trump does of convincing us he’s not one of those aliens off The Simpsons in disguise.

You’re aiming for a ‘good’ level of present which means that, rather than trying to be totally unique, stick to standard dad gifts; DVDs, socks, books by comedians you don’t find funny… It’s time to accept defeat and do what you can in the time you’ve got left.


Of course, we want to give perfect presents and not just any present to our loved ones but let’s be realistic too. You may have to scout several shops first before you can find something that catches your fancy and might meet your gift criteria that most importantly fits your budget. You don’t just buy any gift. Remember that. And while it is not possible to do it in one day alone, you can do so much quicker if you try another unconventional way of shopping that is common nowadays – online shopping.

Massey University Professor of Marketing Harald van Heerde said the digital age of shopping was already encroaching on consumer habits by way of cross-shopping.

"I think the big trend is this cross-shopping where consumers use multiple channels, physical stores and online, and they search both and then finally make the purchase either online or offline."

The professor said this situation, where consumers used physical stores as fitting rooms before purchasing items for a cheaper rate online, had already presented itself as a big fear for brick and mortar stores.


Let’s face it. A big chunk of the population has chosen online shopping as their preferred way of buying things. It’s more convenient and you have just as many choices as the entire mall without having to walk a single step at all. Everything can be conveniently done with a click of a button and you’re good to go. Your items will be delivered to your doorstep. It’s no wonder many have given up on traditional shopping altogether as they hate the idea of shopping in crowded places for hours and still end up empty-handed because you did not find anything you like. Such an irony, really. It’s also to blame why many big establishments and malls are closing up as there are no more people coming there to buy. But for you, you no longer have to worry about finishing your Christmas list ahead of time by ordering online and you still have days to spare even after your orders have arrived to make time for gift-wrapping.

The blog post Don’t Dilly Dally And Do Your Christmas Shopping Now See more on: The I Am Not An Artist Blog


Friday, 3 November 2017

Advocating For Mental Health

Life is not easy but you learn to cope. However, there are people who have a hard time doing that. These people end up hurting/ cutting or starving themselves, bottling up their emotions leading to depression and even taking their own lives when nothing else works.

Being mentally healthy is important to not only function like a normal human being but to also keep your head above the problems you are facing. There are days that will really be too bad where you just want to curl up in bed and do nothing but eventually, you have to face reality and move on. That is the only way to live and thrive in this world we live in. It’s never easy but you got to keep trying.

Spending three months in a hospital bed is a tough pill to swallow for anyone. It's even more difficult when your anxiety kicks into high gear.

Joe Bietola has been anxious all his life. It came to a head when he fractured his leg, and was sent to Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare for several weeks. Confined to a room, unable to get around on his own, Bietola's anxiousness only got worse as each day passed. He described it like being a zombie in bed.

People cope differently. While we may all put up a good front on our social media accounts, deep down we are hiding our own demons we are too scared to face.

Bietola's leg injury wasn't the only thing getting treated. Mental health support was right at his fingertips.

"I wasn't sleeping. When they addressed it, I started to calm down, all the symptoms started to go [away]. They helped me really good," he said.

Simple things like talking with a trained mental health physician, being prescribed the correct anxiety medication or just getting out of the room helped ease his mind. A nurse and psychiatrist specifically focussed on his mental well-being saw him on a regular basis.

"A lot of times you don't feel like getting out of bed, but you have to force yourself," he said.


It is not unusual for a person to exhibit physical symptoms when their mental state is not in good shape. Even the royalties who live in luxury and the admiration of the public understands the importance of mental health. And what’s even more important is for everyone to overcome the stigma associated with it.

When it comes to attitudes to mental health in Britain, we are now at a "tipping point", the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have said today, as they recruit a host of high-profile public figures to help "shatter the stigma".

The senior Royals have today launched the next stage of their Heads Together campaign: a series of 10 videos designed to spark "simple conversations" about mental health.

Starring the likes of Andrew Flintoff, Ruby Wax, Stephen Manderson and Alastair Campbell, the videos are part of the Royals' ongoing battle to break down the "walls of judgement" they perceive to be standing in the way of progress.


More people now begin to understand the correlation between physical health and mental health. But despite that, many of us still struggle because the world is much different now than in the past. Overexposure to social media can do that to you. You never knew you had so many deficiencies and insecurities until you see the lives of every person you know.

"I had more people crying in my office the day after the election than honestly I've had since the day after 9/11," Dan Hartman, a Philadelphia-based psychiatrist, told about his patients’ reactions to Donald Trump becoming president. Four months in, the wounds are still fresh, and the Trump administration, with its trampling of rights, unending legislative chaos and wholesale disregard for the truth, continues to cause millions of heart palpitations, insomniac nights and untreatable migraines.

The White House occupants also remain steadfastly committed to wreaking havoc on our mental states. As Republicans pushed an insurance bill that would have done lasting damage to Americans’ mental and behavioral health well-being, clinicians reported the psychic wages of the Trump war against U.S. citizens. “Add up the additional medications prescribed, extra ER visits, delayed procedures, missed work, plus the fallout from other illnesses being relegated to the back burner, and you have the makings of a major medical toll from this election,” Danielle Ofri, a physician at Bellevue Hospital and professor of medicine at New York University, warned at Slate.


And this is what we all get for not knowing any better - a president who knows nothing about politics and proves it for the entire world to know after assuming office. None of the policies he has pushed for, so far, will do good for the nation – not even his immigration policies can save himself from messing up early in his administration.

And the majority of the population who did not support his candidacy are now suffering from poor mental health because they can’t comprehend that he really did win. We are talking about the future of an entire nation, not just a business enterprise, so we can understand pretty well why people suddenly suffer from anxiety or depression after his win. Now, he’s adding more damage to injury by depriving Americans of affordable health care. Can it possibly get any worse?

Advocating For Mental Health See more on: IANAA