Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Facebook - Woman Facing Jail Time For Ceviche

Hate speech and trolls on Facebook


Facebook is for many, including myself, a synonym for negativity. Mark Zuckerberg and other top managers have just been sued by Germany for their refusal to delete illegal content. Even if users or victims report hate speech several times, Facebook refuses to remove the content from its site.

Therefore, it is even more surprising that recently a Swedish cancer awareness video has been pulled off the site for portraying an offensive image that you see below. Click on the link to read the full article in the New York Times.

Really? Calling for the murder of a politician = ok. Comic-style boob picture = not ok.

Another factor more and more people are worried about is Facebook´s data policies. My article about the kind of data Facebook receives from Whatsapp can be found here.

You might feel relieved that authorities are active on Facebook to protect us from criminals.

Who isn't tired of hate speech, scammers, and spammers?

But are these the groups that the authorities hunt?

I don´t know, but I also cannot remember the last time I have read a news story about a producer of hate speech being punished. So I guess you can imagine how surprised I was to read this story today in the news:

California woman facing jail time for Ceviche


When a man contacted Mariza Ruelas on Facebook, she did not consider the possibility of talking to an undercover agent. But she was.

The single parent from Stockton California has been sued for selling illegal substances. She is facing up to two years of jail time. The trial is going to start this week.

Your first reaction might be to feel relief that yet another evil person has been caught and punished.

But I am not talking about drugs or something like that.  I am talking about homemade ceviche.

Jail time for selling food?


Ceviche is a Peruvian dish made from raw fish and lime. Ruelas sold the food via a local facebook group. The Facebook group shared recipes and occasionally someone offered a homemade dish for sale.

In December of last year a man contacted her on Facebook and asked if he could have a portion. But the man turned out to be an undercover agent. Ruelas and other people of the Facebook group have been charged.

In California, it is illegal to sell homemade food without a license. The purpose is to protect consumers. That makes sense.

But that a mother of six is now facing jail time is a tad over the top in my opinion.

Ruela refused a deal that would have included three years of probation.

Conclusion


Frankly, I am more afraid of Nazis and scammers than I am of ceviche.

As an American who used to live in Germany for the first 42 years of his life, I will admit, that I find the US legal system scary.

There is no question that right must be distinguished from wrong and wrongdoers must face a fine for their actions.

But maybe we should get better at evaluating the severity of a crime.

  • No mother should be taken from her kids for up to two years for selling a few portions of raw fish (first-time offense). A simple warning and penalty would suffice. 
  • No weed smoker should end up in jail. 
  • No teenager should suffer consequences for the rest of his life for committing a stupidity. 
This is my personal opinion and does not represent anything other than my point of view. 


Read more about this case on Time.com  http://time.com/4561555/209-food-spot-facebook-ceviche/

If you are looking for a spam-free alternative to Facebook that can serve both, your personal and your professional needs, check out this site: BeBee

Monday, August 29, 2016

Respect, Beyoncé, Respect!

Beyoncé takes a stand V.MA. 2016


I find stardom boring so that I never watch the Emmies, Grammies, and Bammies. I did not even install my TV-box. I wanted to send it back, but Comcast told me I´ll have to pay $ 20 more per month if I return it. Yeah, I guess that makes sense.

In any way, I´m not up to date with Hollywood and star news.

Beyoncé has been around for a long time. My impression of her was always that she is stunningly beautiful, talented and probably a hard worker. Oh, and a great dancer. The music is not bad - just not my style. In 2008, she married her star colleague Jay-Z. So far - so unsurprising.

If you had asked me in the 90ties who I think Beyoncé is, I would have looked at you with that certain "It´s ok to be stupid, but you´re not going to bore me for much longer, right?" expression in my eyes and said: "She´s successful, beautiful, talented and appropriate."

Talent and beauty are not merits. Money is something I like, but I don´t respect people for having it (often I have respect for the way they came to money, though).


Beyonce Black Lives Matter VMA


Beyonce appears with mothers of killed black people


I read in the New York Times today that Beyoncé appeared with the mothers of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin who have all been victims of deadly police violence. 

Taking a stand for the Black Lifes Matter movement is not "appropriate". I seem to remember I read two other similar great stories about her in the last two years or so. But the google search "the things beyonce did that i liked" did not return any results. 

Turning your performance into a political statement not knowing how the media and people will react has a touch of greatness. 

While I googled to find out her age, I saw that she is under attack because her daughter was wearing a $ 11K dress. Really? That´s the topic to talk about right now? Do rich people have an obligation to buy at Walmart to be considered decent human beings?

Beyoncé, I respect you for what you are doing, and I am ready to put your poster on my wall.

Talent and beauty are not merits. Taking a risk and standing up for what you believe in is.

Kindness, social competence, moral courage - these are three of the things I admire people for.

You have a new fan.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Apple iPhones To Solve Their Own Theft?

A nightmare for thieves and data protectionists alike?


Apple has applied for another patent on August 26 (see it HERE) that would allow them to capture information about a user as soon as they suspect unauthorized use.
Apple iPhone Patent Theft

The patent "Biometric Capture for unauthorized User Identification" might allow your phone to solve its own theft.

Information that could be collected, uploaded to a server and used to identify the unauthorized user:

  • Fingerprints
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Heart rate and data from the motion sensor
Apparently, the current user would not be alarmed. I suspect that you would notice that your battery life seems shorter and that the temperature of the phone goes up - as a thieve you don´t have an opportunity to compare. 


Qualification of "unauthorized use"


To form an educated opinion on that subject, it would be important to have more information. I don´t know about you; I can act very suspicious at times. Just recently I had an incident with super glue. It got stuck to my finger, and when I pulled it off and lost one or a few outer skin layers, my phone did not recognize the fingerprint for a few days.

I have assigned prints of three of my fingers to the phone (optimized for lazy, busy, and normal situations) so that accessing it without typing in the code has not been an issue.

Naturally, I kept forgetting that the main operator of my phone, my right index finger, was out of service for a few days.

Wow, so Apple would start recording audio, make films of me, etc.?  Hey, I´m not dressed!

Would they start collecting data after the first failed attempt? After the 5th? Or if my heart races faster than usual? How about, as a preventative measure, they take pictures of me every 20 minutes and look if I´m still me?

What if the first thing a thieve does without every attempting to access the phone is jail-hacking it and installing a new version of iOS? I´m not a hacker (HELL, NO!) or a phone expert, but I trust you get my point.

Would that mean that only the honest but forgetful owner of my phone, lovely me, will be spied on?

Can government agencies gain access to this information if I don´t pay child support? How about the FBI if I post one youtube "terrorist prank" video too much? Do they need Apple´s approval to access data or do they have their own ways?

When will the data be deleted? When will it be hacked for the first time and what will it sell for on the dark web?

Will they corporate with Pokemon hunters? (Oh, wait, Google + Apple = not best friends).

My opinion


It´s easy for me to say because I have never lost a phone or had one stolen. I understand that this is costly and annoying. Many people have a very emotional connection to their phones.

Security always comes with a price. Security measures always come with a downside. Every piece of data that is stored anywhere will be hacked at some point.

The currency to pay for this feature is freedom.

Sorry, I can´t afford it.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Women In Trees - A Mystery?

Tickling your phantasy


I came across a photo series today, published in the German magazine "Stern". Of women in trees (in Germany). Yes, women in trees.

Women in trees
Picture: Jochen Raiß

The pictures below are part of a photo book by Jochen Raiß with over 100 pictures (Publisher: Hatje Cantz Verlag).

Women in trees

Women in trees

Women in trees

Women in trees

Women in trees



As the Stern article explains: When Jochen Raiß found the first woman in a tree he thought it was merely a coincidence. A random shot. He loved going to flea markets and to his surprise he found more pictures of women in trees.

After 25 years he had collected over 100. They date from 1920 - 1950. Now, can you imagine how many pictures must have existed if a single person finds over 100 on flea markets?

Back then, people had no cell phones or the internet to communicate such an idea. Nothing has been mentioned in newspapers that would help to understand how this trend could last for 30 years.

Also, World War 2 took place from 1939 - 1945.

Why are only women in trees? No pictures of men on trees have been found.

How did the women get up the trees with their high heels and their skirts? And why?

The women on the photos radiate freedom. Happiness. The joy of life.

Long gone are the moments of happiness, many of the women in the pictures are probably not alive anymore. Only a few of the backsides contained a hint about the names of the protagonists.

Was it just the silliness of a generation?

Why were the women in trees? I do not have an answer for you. Just a question.



Thursday, August 11, 2016

8 Steps To Reduce Your Plastic Waste

Plastic waste pollutes our seas, ends up in the bellies of fishes (who often die a terrible death) and therefore later on our plates. That is only one example of the impact of plastic waste on our environment.

We as consumers have the power. Our behavior as consumers makes a difference. It´s not even hard.

Sustainability - Reducing Plastic Waste in 8 Steps


Step 1 - Unboxing

Unboxing means that you remove unnecessary plastic wraps and packing right in the store. The store will take them back. If enough people show that they do not appreciate unnecessary plastic packaging, stores will at one point re-think which kind of products they buy. Which will then force the producers to reconsider more sustainable ways of packaging their products.

Step 2 - Transportation

Everyone has seen pictures of plastic bags swimming around in our seas. Lying on the beach. Ending up in the tummies of animals. In Morrocco, plastic bags are now forbidden. In my home country, Germany, only reusable plastic bags can be SOLD (they are not free, and I feel that is the way to go).

It´s easy to throw a few bags made from cloth or paper into your car. I will admit that paper bags can be difficult if it´s raining or you are transporting wet produce.

As an added benefit those bags are more durable and will last longer. I am sure I am not the only one who had an accident with super thin plastic bags just ripping apart.

Step 3 - Choice of products

Bananas in plastic wrap? Two kiwis in a paper/plastic bed? Cucumbers sealed in plastic? Single packaged candy sealed in packs of 3, packaged in a plastic bag of 12? Choose products that do not have unnecessary packaging. I will admit that it is not commonly available in the US yet: If you can buy yogurt and dairy products in glass containers.

BPA yes or no and whatever toxin is next to be found in plastic - you will not need to worry about that anymore, and you help the environment at the same time.

Step 4 - Coffee on the go

Coffee is one of our favorite drinks. No wonder that we love grabbing a coffee while we´re on the road. If you take your thermos cup with you, you can avoid a lot of waste.

Currently mostly available in cities and "green" stores: Some coffee shops even reward you with a small discount when you bring your cup

If you do not want to carry your own cup with you: You could tell them that you do not need a lid (they never seal tight anyway).

Step 5 - Personal hygiene articles

Does your bathroom look like a plastic museum too? So many tubs, bottles, and dispensers. No worries! Just start with the soap. Instead of a plastic dispenser buy a bar of soap. If you want to use liquid soap (which most of the time also contains artificial components), buy refill packs.

If you start to buy organic shampoo and shower gel, you do not just help the environment, but your health will also love you for it. Just check in your local organic store or start HERE.

Step 6 - Thirsty?

Did you know that many big water brands sell what they call "re-constituted" water? What a fine name for filtered tap water. Please note: This water has not been filtered to remove toxins, heavy metal and such. It has been filtered to remove bad taste, for instance from chlorine. Nestlé, Pepsico, Coca Cola and many other corporations sell tap water.

8 Easy Steps To Reduce Your Plastic WasteRegular water and tap water gets moldy after a while. Did you ever wonder why "re-constituted" water lasts for years? You guessed, it ...

I am using THESE water bottles. I usually bring a bottle of tea and a bottle of homemade kombucha with me. It also saves money.

Click on the link to read an article by Dr. Mercola on the worst and best bottled waters. It´s one of my favorite sites with endless loads of useful information (my blog is jealous of his blog) - just be warned. If you sign up for the newsletter: Be prepared for some seriously pushy marketing. ARTICLE


Step 7 - The Kitchen

Plastic spoons, containers - in kitchens we find a lot of plastic. Why not exchange it piece by piece with sustainable goods? Glass containers and wooden spoons for instance have the added benefit that no tiny particles land in your food - like it´s the case with plastic.

Step 8 - Toys

Children explore the world with all of their senses. Naturally, they put many things into their mouth. Cheap plastic toys can be loaded with dangerous toxins. Make sure that the toys you buy carry the "BPA-free" and "PVC-free" labels.

The best choice is toys made from wood and fabrics. Robust toys made from high-quality can also be gifted to someone when your kid does not need them anymore. Or you can buy them second hand.


Do not worry if you feel you cannot make all of the changes at once. Every little bit helps and is better than nothing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Movie Tip: Food Chains

Food Chains - Movie Review

Or: Story of Greed and Abuse


More and more for less and less. Farm workers pay the price for the food industry wars. The film "Food Chains" reveals methods of modern slavery - and the small successes of activists in their war against slavery and abuse.

The movie features Eva Longoria and producer of "Food Inc" and "Fast Food Nation" Eric Schlosser. 

This true and thrilling story shows how a small group of workers achieves a small success in fighting corporate greed.

Immokalee, Florida: The farm worker tells it like it is:  "You are poor because you make somebody else rich." Lucas Benitez is fighting for the human rights of tomato pickers.

For years he's bringing the conditions under which workers there have to suffer to our attention. Seasonal workers make about $35 per day. They are mostly immigrants from Latin America. Who else would do this back breaking job?

At 5 am they take the bus and drive to the tomato fields. Then they pick tomatoes. Bucket after bucket - exposed to the blazing sun. Only at 8 PM, they return to the containers where they live under terrible conditions. Women get sexually harassed - men who complain risk their jobs.

Corporations have responsibility


The workers do not blame the farmers so much. They are not responsible anymore for what is happening in the tomato fields.

Responsible are American corporations like Walmart Kroger Safeway or Publix. And fast food chains like Burger King or McDonald's. 

Since the 80ties, they dictate the prices, the rules - and the market is merciless. Who offers the cheapest tomatoes will get the deal. What if an even cheaper vendor pops up? It can happen that gigantic mountains of tomatoes rot because the supermarket chain decided to buy from another farmer who offers even cheaper produce. Overnight the workers lose their jobs. 

Millions and millions of profit are being made each season, but the workers see nothing of it.

Not even hunger strike helps


What the workers are demanding sounds pretty humble to me. One cent more per pound is what they are asking. That would double their daily wage. 

The film shows what activist have achieved over the years. It is not good enough but they are to be thanked for their continued work against corporate greed on the cost of the health of the workers. 

Fast food chains like Taco Bell Burger King McDonald's agreed to the "fair food" program. In January of 2014, even Walmart gave in. The influential and powerful supermarket chain Publix until this day refuses even to talk to the activists. Not even a six-day hunger strike office could convince Publix to start the discussion.

This thrilling documentary demonstrates the problem with modern slavery in the food industry and uses Florida as an example.

After watching this movie, you will be inspired to demand fair food. 

Prime members can watch it for free HERE

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

5 Ingredients Make Your Deodorant Dangerous

We are right in the middle of a heat wave here in Chicago. Having lived in Germany 90 % of my life, that takes a toll on me. Especially in summer we love to rely on our deodorant to protect us from evil odor. Some deodorants also reduce the amount of sweat.
Is your deodorant bad for you?

I find this topic a bit gross to talk about and do not enjoy discussing stinky sweat and such. But the problem needs more attention - and you are dear to me.

Did you know that some of the components of your deodorant are health scares? Some might even be responsible for cancer and Alzheimer. You probably have heard about it. But did it sink in? Did you make changes?

Did you ever wonder why some deodorants carry the warning: "Do not use on cracked or broken skin." Like why not? Is it that toxic? How could anyone who shaves or removes hair another way be sure that he does not have small wounds?

Is your deodorant bad for you?


Here are the five health scares that can be found in nearly every product in your supermarket/pharmacy.

1. Aluminium Chlorohydrate

Check your label for aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly.

Aluminum compounds reduce the amount of sweat. They make sure that our sweat glands tighten. Less sweat, but the backlog of sweat can cause itching and inflammation. Animal tests (that I, by the way, do NOT condone) show that high doses of aluminum impact our nervous system as well as embryos in the wombs of pregnant women.

Patients with breast cancer have a higher concentration of aluminum in the affected areas than in the rest of the body.

It is not 100 % proven that aluminum causes cancer. The higher concentration in the cancer areas could also be a result of the disease. That said, I think both options indicate that it might be clever not to smear aluminum under your arms.

Aluminum compounds, just like parabens, can mimic ostrogene which is said to promote the growth of cancer cells.

Preservatives

Parabens and formaldehyde make sure your deodorant does not perish. But they are believed to cause diseases like cancer and allergies. Check your label for methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl.

Emulsifiers

They are called PEG derivates or polyethyleneglycol and help to bind materials that usually would not mix. In deodorant, they make the pores more permeable. Harmful substances can penetrate the skin easier.

Especially in combination with the other toxins and carcinogens -  not a good thing.

Scents / fragrances

Their job is to cover up the odor. About 3,000 different substances are being used by the industry. Many people are allergic. Fragrance allergy is the most common contact allergy among men. Among women, it´s the second most common allergy (right after nickel allergy).

In that case, it would not make a difference is the fragrance is artificial or natural.

Any form of citric acid, for instance, makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Alcohol

The smallest problem on this list. Alcohol disinfects and dries (out). It robs moisture from your skin that then is more prone to germs. If you have dry skin, you should use products without alcohol or cream up well.

Some products add jojoba oil or other moisturizing ingredients.


Wow, right? Why is that stuff legal when both, authorities and corporations know about the health scare?

Good question. I ask myself that all the time. And I wonder: Does a Monsanto manager have his wife spray round-up in their garden? Does the DOVE boss smear aluminum on his skin?

Probably not.

Let´s look at alternatives.

Healthy Deodorants


First of all, here is a thought: The body produces sweat for two reasons:

1. To detoxify
2. When it´s overheating to cool you off

I am not sure if I would want to hinder either of those processes. That said, it´s easy for me to talk - I mainly sweat in the face. There is no deodorant on the market that could spare me the embarrassment of that.

A simple thing you can do to produce less sweat is drinking sage tea. It reduces the amount of sweat surprisingly well.

Nearly all of the deodorants in your supermarket are bad. Whether they´re called "Tom Natural"  or similar. The only healthy I found in a regular supermarket I would recommend is the Crystal deo stone.

Yes, it´s a bit more hassle to use it, and it does not have any nice smell. But it´s a natural, aluminum, PEG and paraben-free way of deodorizing. On top of that, it is also extremely inexpensive. One stone can last you a year. Most people dispose of it when it´s starting to get smelly (which only happens when used on unclean skin).

Make the change now.

Other easy to use alternatives can be found HERE


The Terrifying Trip of a Chinese Tourist

Odyssey of an accidental refugee


Odyssey of an accidental refugee It´s one of these stories, you know, that are funny to read but not so funny to live. The German news magazine "Der Spiegel" reported this story today. It reminded me a little bit on Franz Kafka's "The Trial", hence the picture.

It is about a Chinese tourist in Germany that gets trapped in the mills of bureaucracy. 

He just wanted to report a stolen wallet


A Chinese tourist spent two weeks in a refugee home because he accidently filled out an asylum application. He just wanted to report his wallet stolen. 


Travelling can be a real adventure. Danger and misunderstandings are waiting everywhere. Not entering a bar in the wrong part of town, not getting lost in the mountains, keeping oversight in the jungle. 

A Chinese tourist came to know an especially treacherous jungle - in the city of Dülmen. Germany. 

Nobody spoke Chinese when the tourist entered the office of an authority to report his wallet stolen. Someone accidently handed him an asylum application instead of the form to report a theft. He filled it out and started a machinery that was hard to escape. 

The 31-year-old Chinese man was put into a bus full of unregistered refugees and transported to a refugee home in Dülmen. "He was different from the others. He seemed so helpless and lost", said Schlüterman, an employee of the refugee home and the assigned caregiver.

"I want to walk in foreign country"

The man tried to communicate with the caregivers of the facility. And because he was so different from the other refugees, the caregivers sought the help of a translation program. It translated sentences like "I want to walk in foreign country.". 

It took a long time until they finally understood: This tourist from North China was not looking for asylum. He wanted to travel to France and Italy. Instead, he got trapped in the German jungle of bureaucracy. 

Help came in from of a cook from a nearby Chinese restaurant. He was able to translate what the tourist who only spoke Mandarin had to tell about his odyssey. 

Obviously, his wallet has been stolen. Instead of the police station, he landed at the office of an authority (not yet known) that presented him with an asylum application. 

They took his passport and visa away from him and took his fingerprints. Once he was in the system he has been treated like every other refugee. After the initial medical examination, he received his "Welcome to Germany" documents and was transported to Dülmen. 

"He did not show any resistance. He just did what he was told", said Schlütermann, the assigned caregiver of the refugee facility. 

It took 12 days to halfway investigate what has happened. Employees of the refugee home called embassies for days. Nobody knew anything about the Chinese tourist. It did not help that his visa had obviously been filed wrong and was nowhere to be found. 

By that time he already had to spend two weeks in the refugee home. Not exactly the Ritz Hilton and probably scary when you have no idea why and how long you will be kept there. 

Finally, he received the replacement for his lost documents and could continue his .... vacation. 


Monday, August 8, 2016

10 Hacks for Women After 30

30 is a wonderful age! We have some life experience, but we are still young and dynamic. We are not as broke as ten years back. Or you ... as I am already over 40.
10 Hacks for Women After 30

To have the best time of your life right now you must not forget one thing: Yourself. You have earned to treat yourself right and with care. With a scoop or two of self-love.

10 Things To Do Past Thirty


1. Upgrade your skill set

A new language, computer program or a knitting class - stagnation is the death of happiness. Learning something new motivates us and provides needed self-affirmation. Just ask yourself: Which area do I want to develop further? What hobby did I always want to explore?

2. Eat healthy

In our twenties, we tend to eat a lot of junk. The priority was: It´s convenient and tastes great. Now is the time to start taking care of your body. It´s a lifelong investment that pays off. The challenge: Eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. Can't you pronounce it? Then it´s not good for you. 

3. Reserve time for workout

As important as nutrition is a physical exercise. No matter what it is - make it something you enjoy. It does not have to be an hour of hardcore jogging. How about swimming? Yoga? Skating? Dancing? It´s bitter: With 30 we are not 18 anymore. 8 hours in the office are exhausting and tense us up. The workout is necessary for body and soul. Two or three times per week will do the trick. It´s worth it!

4. Indulge in small sins

One thing you should not be: Too strict with yourself. The chocolate cookie, the week without workout - little sins make life so much more enjoyable. After all, you are disciplined the rest of the time.

5. Vacation quickies

Be spontaneous! The main reason that we have the feeling that time is running faster and faster as we age is that we are trapped in a life full of unvarying duties. Defeat the stress monster by taking a spontaneous trip. To the country maybe where you can enjoy the fresh air, take a walk and get pampered in a wellness hotel. You have earned it!

6. Stay away from energy thieves and negative people

Complaining, whining, never happy. There are individuals who extract our positive energy like parasites. With 30 you should only spend your time with people you genuinely care about. At 30 we should also be brave enough to tell Debbie Downers: "Sorry, you are not right for me."

7. Be proud of yourself

The cake came out well? You did a fantastic presentation at the office? Did you lose two pounds? We should celebrate our achievements more often. No matter how small they might be. It´s too rare that we pat ourselves on the shoulder and say: "Good job. I totally killed it."

8. Fulfill a dream

Did we not have a goal, a dream that we wanted to achieve someday? Well, I have news for you: One day is NOW. Enough of putting back our dreams and desires! You should start to realize your dreams now. Else they will always stay dreams.

9. Be crazy

With 30 you are a grown up? Maybe. But that does not mean that you cannot be silly from time to time and do something crazy. This is one of best (and easiest) options to break free from everyday life. You neither need money or time to jump around like a crazy person for a minute.

10. Delegate!!!

Taking care of the kids, doing the housework and on the side working a full-time job? In all honesty: You can´t do that for too long, or it will take a toll. On your health, happiness and relationships. With 30 you should be confident enough to say: "I need help.". That is not a sign of weakness. Not knowing your limits is.

About the Author:

Aurorasa Sima is an Emotional Intelligence Trainer, Success Coach and Pizza Lover. She has developed Project Phoenix, the first and only complete digital emotional intelligence training.

Over 140 empowering articles: HERE
Free Emotional Intelligence training: HERE

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Why we stopped posting relationship pictures

Why we stopped posting relationship picturesOne could think that only two kinds of users exist on the internet: The ones that take us to their bedroom, offer intimate insights into their relationships and love life (and don´t forget the family vacation) - and those who are tired of just that.

Who can hold it against them? Nobody knows who might gossip about our posts. The former BFF? The ex-fiancee? Mother in law? At times it can seem as if the whole world is watching your stream, especially the ones you would not want to keep a close eye on you.

How about just deleting the profile, closing the account and going back to being a private person? For most this is not a realistic option.

Social Media Culture 2016


In many companies, cliques, and industries, being present on social media is required by unwritten, unofficial law. Potential employers want to know who they are dealing with - just like ex-boyfriends. And where can you learn more about a person than on social media?

If you show a face - show your own. 


Narcissism and self-representation


The challenge is a favorable balance between narcissism and likable self-representation. Often the actors of the social media circus are being accused of being self-centered or conceited. Selfies are perceived as the product of teenagers (and the Kardashians...) longing for attention.

But is that all there is to it?


Starting a media offensive allows us to be in control of what we want to share. After all, we are not presenting anything people who are close to us would not know anyway. Make-up, hair, our shoes, what we had for breakfast. 

Friends and Co-workers are interchangeable


Friends, relationships, and workplaces are interchangeable for most twentysomethings, and they will change. But you can trust that you will be stuck in your skin until the end of your life. Setbacks, breakups, new friends are not part of this new social media strategy. 

Self-focused accounts enable us to be present but protect meaningful events and personal relationships

Private and meaningful events are hidden behind selfies in 2016, what someone was wearing or what he had for dinner. We know we are more than we present on social media. Just we do not share it with our followers. Followers are invited to learn what we are wearing - not what makes us tick. 

A closer look reveals that more and more social media affine people rethink their strategy. Less intimate pictures - more pictures of flowers, the favorite book, your breakfast. Nothing of this is captious. 

That leaves another question: How "social" is social media in 2016?  Does the world care what I had for breakfast? And: Is the new trend for fake authenticity more annoying than overly intimate content?

Check back - I will be releasing a podcast "Fake authenticity and why I love BeBee" later today. 

You Are Not A Leader

Thoughts on Leadership on Social Media


Let me vent for a minute. The following is my personal opinion. Subjective and judgemental.

I am getting so tired of all of the leadership posts and leadership quotes on social media. One could think that our society consists of just leaders.  And that the only decent way of being is to be a leader.

Who does not have the ambition to be a leader must feel really left out. Like something is wrong with them.

Nothing is wrong with you. Not everyone is made to be a leader. And that is ok.

The world does need great followers as much as it needs great leaders. Maybe even more. Every leader will tell you that.

Followers are crucial to every leader. Followers are the ones that spread a great innovation, make it go viral and carry the vision of the leader. Actually, a leader is just a crazy person until the first follower jumps on board. The first follower is the one who really makes or breaks it and attracts others to follow.

There is no shame in being a follower as there is no shame in not having the ambition of being a leader. Do not let any social media posts tell you otherwise! Even if you see the same ole leadership quote 12 times in your stream (yawn...).

Are you a leader? Really?


And for ALL of the people who perceive themselves as leaders: I hate to be the one breaking it to you. Signing up for an "SEO optimization" affiliate program does not make you a leader. Copying a system someone else has created does not make you an entrepreneur. It just makes you a self-employed person.


  • Who is following you (don´t tell me the number of your twitter bot followers)
  • Who´s lives did you change?
  • What did you innovate?
  • Which group, organization or country do you command?
Inspiring and motivating people is a great thing and everyone should do it. In an empowering way - not in a way that makes others feel incapable. 

Everyone should be wearing the hat that fits them. And not tell people to be how they aspire to be. I find this especially true for "online marketers". Please don´t bug people with your "make 200k in 3 seconds" when you cannot even make a living from your online activities yet. Which is totally fine - as long as you do not BS others about it. 

Every person has the same value to me. No matter if board director or struggling online marketer. 

I am coaching people, I have created and published my own digital product. But I would never call myself a leader. Because I am not. I am glad and proud to serve as coach and help others to achieve their goals. 

Leading is about empowering people. Not telling them (or implying) "I am better than you". 

I noticed one thing about leaders: They do not post quotes about leadership or content that makes others feel inferior. They post content that makes others want to follow them. 

xoxo

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

How Memes Change Our Communication

donald trump meme

In September of 2007, a young blogger uploaded a video defending Britney Spears. Spears had just been slaughtered for her appearance at the MTV Music Awards. The US blogger screamed and asked that critics leave Spears alone.

The video has been watched over 2 million times within the first 24 hours. Several remixes manifested as well as ... yes, memes.


A new form of communication was born

Memes are a central part of Web 2.0, But a few questions are left to be answered: 

How do memes change our communication


On the first look, they just seem to be trivial and simplistic artifacts. But they reflect Zeitgeist and cultural discussions. What is annoying us today? Which statement is the quote of the day? Memes help as part of the internet culture to create shared values. 

How Memes Change Our Communication

That happens when a meme gets shared on our own timeline. Subtle and in the form of a small picture current politic news and debates crawl into our feeds. Even the people who cannot be bothered to follow the news, read a newspaper or spend an hour per day learning what´s new in the world can participate in political discussions. Via memes. 

As soon as a meme appears in many timelines, users can be sure: "I am allowed to share this." For that, they do not even have to use words. A simple click does it. Memes help people to form and share their opinion. 

Why do people love memes?


For one users who upload a photoshopped picture or homemade video show that they own digital competence and are unique and creative. Who shares or re-shares a meme also shows to which community he feels he belongs. Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. 

We live in times where nearly every public event is followed by a swarm of memes. Nearly unnoticed, they shape some of the most important events of our time. They have become indispensable for the digital culture. Pages like knowyourmeme and memecentral have their own Trump or Putin sections. 

If we share memes like the ones above on Facebook, we spread cultural unity and share how we feel. If we want to express what made us very happy or angry, we can use memes to do so without becoming open to attack like when we write our own statement. 

Sharing, imitating, remixing have become important pillars of the culture of participation. Part of what is expected from a digital competent internet citizen. 

Who else benefits from memes?


Some videos are structured in a way that they can easily be imitated from the start. That enhances the chance of a YouTube, Facebook or Twitter success. 

Activists take advantage of this principle as well as political parties. 

If many users share a message, for instance, "We are the 99 %" (Occupy Wall Street), mass media will likely report it and pay attention to the movement. 

How are memes created?


Some one uploads a video on YouTube, for instance, one where a baby bites the brother´s finger. Someone takes a screenshot, cuts out the brother and replaces it with the picture of a movie star, politician etc. 

There are two mechanisms of repackaging: Imitation and remix. Imitation means that someone reconstructs and re-records the scene. Remix is when someone edits a picture with Photoshop or adds a new soundtrack and such.

I am sure you have seen the same meme with totally different text.


Who wants to learn more about the fascination meme and its influence on our communication can get Limor Shifman´s book "Memes in digital culture" HERE


Monday, August 1, 2016

7 Most Dangerous Holiday Flirts


Everything is different when you are on vacation. Women go for guys they would stay clear off at home. After three mojitos and two sunshine reggae, we become easy targets for them. Here are some of the most dangerous holiday flirts:

7 men women only dig on vacations


The Singer


7 Men Women only dig on VacationWhere you meet him: The Bahamas, Gili Islands

Defining features: Dreadlocks are covering half of his back. Big Grin. Red eyes.

That fascinates us: He´s the front man of a Bob-Marley-cover band and ... there is just something about him. What catches the eye: There are only women in the front row. Everyone wants him. Because he stands for hunger for life, easiness, and sex. The opposite of the guys in suit and pale nerds that are hitting on us at home. You just want to be a supporting act with your air guitar. Every night.

How he gets us: Was he just singing ONLY for you and look you straight in the eyes?

That´s the rub: You are one of many. Draw a number.

The Holiday Entertainer


Where you meet him: Mallorca and any other beach or pool

Defining features: Trunks, megaphone

That fascinates us: His trained body. You see his muscles when he screams "Let´s start the parrrteeey" in his stupid megaphone

How he gets us:  A private tour of the all-inclusive hotel with stops at every bar where he treats us to a "Sex on the beach" with a wink.

That´s the rub: He talks too loud even without his stupid megaphone. His first name is Kevin, and he lives with his mom. He´s an entertainer in bed also: "Let´s go!" "Alright!" and you cannot decide if you are afraid or excited that you will get deaf if Kevin keeps on screaming.

The Enlightened One


Where you meet him: India, Ibiza, Cambodia (meditating)

Defining features: Insightful tattoos ("You only live once"), colorful hippie clothes, feather in his hair

That fascinates us: He left the materialistic, capitalistic world behind to study in an ashram and become a yoga teacher.

How he gets us: He shares enlightening insights nonstop, treats you to a green smoothie, eats grilled grasshoppers and presents himself as the all-knowing cool sock. And his name is Rajneesh.

That´s the rub: His free way of living and his braveness are like an aphrodisiac to you. Until you realize that he is also just on the run from his old "me" (including an ex-wife, kids, and debt). His name is not Rajneesh. It´s Kevin.

The Barkeeper


Where you meet him: Spain, Turkey, Miami, Italy

Defining features: Cocktail shaker

That fascinates us: "Do you have a happy hour?" you ask the young man behind the bar. "No, but always a happy ending," he replies while he looks at you as if the sun just started rising. After a moment of consideration, you order a Caipi.
7 Most Dangerous Holiday Flirts

How he gets us:  After the third Caipi he´ll invite you for a walk. His shift is over, and he offers to show you that fantastic, protected bay.
Even though you know that he probably has a lot of routine with tourist ladies you get dizzy when he takes your hand.

That´s the rub: He´s a romantic. He is so romantic that he loves unprotected sex to feel you even more intense. That jerk.

The Latin Lover


Where you meet him: Argentina, Mexico, Brasil ...

Defining features: Guitar, gold chain

That fascinates us: He plays the guitar like a god, and he plays for you. Love songs. He calls you "Hermosa."

How he gets us:  He opened up about his awful childhood in the slums and how his first love got shot by a rivaling gang. Now he makes a living with odd jobs

That´s the rub: Dates with him are reminiscent of therapy sessions. He talks about his childhood for hours and hours and bursts to tears from time to time.

The Surf Instructor


Where you meet him: Where do you not meet him? Wherever there´s water and waves.

Defining features: Blond hair, surfboard, flip flops

That fascinates us: He knows the ocean like his garden, he is a real nature boy. In the knee-deep water, he takes our hand and whispers that we can trust him and that he takes care of us - whatever happens. Sigh.

How he gets us:  Intensive body contact during the dry run does the rest.

That´s the rub: Big promises, small penis. Sigh.


The Tour Guide


Where you meet him: Kenia, Tanzania

Defining features: He knows his way around

That fascinates us: At his side, you climb the Kilimanjaro. He takes you to the Serengeti Park, shows you lions and a world you have never seen before.

How he gets you: The magic of the first time is omni present.
That´s the rub: He became a tour guide to get easier to the Mzungus/Gringos. He has several other girlfriends in the US that send money for his "sick grandma."