7 Phobias Every Technology User Should Be Aware Of


Phobias are fears, but they’re generally not immediate and obvious like other fears. In other words, a phobia is not the fear you feel when you’re walking in a dark place and hear a noise in the bushes, or when your friend jumps out of a closet and shouts “Boo!” A phobia is often unconscious and not related to things that are happening to you at the moment. A phobia is more like a nagging emotional turbulence you might not even be aware of, one that causes you to unintentionally avoid things, people, situations, or places.

A phobia could also be a fear of something in particular, like a fear of trains, or spiders, or even selfies. Read on to find out about the most bizarre tech phobias the technological revolution has unfortunately brought upon us.

Technophobia

This is a fear of technology. Technophobia existed as a concept long before the era of smartphones and tablets. People have always be prone to panicking over the effects and ultimate impact new technology will have over their lives, families, and the world’s future in general. Today more than ever, our tech-driven lifestyles are still making many people uncomfortable and even anxious.

Telephonophobia

This is the fear of telephones, not in the sense of being lethal weapons but in the sense of answering a call or having to call someone.

It actually falls under the anxiety disorder spectrum of phobias, and affects a lot of people. Just think of how many times you postpone an important call because you’re afraid of how it might turn out.

Nomophobia

The proliferation of social media made everyone preoccupied and even stressed over missing out on important developments, events, and even social news due to being without instant access to a mobile phone.  “No-mobile phobia” led to the abbreviated term “nomophobia.”

Cyberphobia

You might think that there’s no reason on earth why people should fear technology and the use of computers and computerized devices. The truth is there are many people who are afraid of using computers, considering their use as an invasion of privacy. Some people are more concerned about the potential drawbacks of computer use than any benefits they provide.

Threadophobia

This is a general concept that refers to fear people feel when speaking “in public” – in other words, each time they attempt to answer or share their views on YouTube, a forum, or a website of any sort.

Polls have shown that the number-one fear for many people is public speaking, and that obviously translates into the digital world as well.

Nointernetphobia

This is the fear of not being able to be online or connected all the time. The No-Internet phobia is quite similar to nomophobia and leads to similar symptoms.

Drosmartphobia

The dreaded, soul-crushing second when you realize your smartphone has violently landed on the floor and its screen has broken (if you’re lucky, you’ll then wake up and realize it was just a dream). Drosmartphobia is the fear of Dropping your Smartphone, a fear quite familiar to all of us. (H/T to Itworld.com)

Don’t let technology related phobias get the best of you. More importantly, don’t succumb to the mother of all fears, Phobophobia, fearing fear itself. Now that’s scary.


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Does your GPA really define your future?


A grade point average (GPA) is a number that means more – and less – than you might imagine. It shows a knack for learning, an ability to abide by rules, a tendency to follow instructions and efficiently study for exams. On the other hand, it doesn’t reflect many true work-related skills — or at least not as much as colleges have wanted us to think.
Some people who dropped out of school or did really badly in classes went on to become successful, even filthy rich, entrepreneurs and leaders. Steve Jobs and Virgin Record’s founder, Richard Branson, come to mind.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to drop out of school or forgo a college education. It’s a reminder that GPA scores aren’t the only way to judge your progress and your potential. There are other ways you can estimate your skills and abilities.

It’s all relative

Your GPA is really not something that you should count on to improve your future prospects for employment, though it will often help you with your educational ones. If you want to get in a top-tier college, you will be asked to have a GPA around 4.0. It’s expected.
But if you don’t have this score, does it mean you’re not good enough?

What you might lack in terms of grades and exam efficiency you can make up for in other ways: volunteer work, artistic and cultural initiatives, community involvement, and sports and innovation excellence. Your innate charisma and talents don’t necessarily translate to a good GPA.

Your GPA is not you

Don’t think for one moment that a GPA is a complete assessment of your worth as an individual, or that it fully illustrates your potential and skills.

It’s just a number seeking to generalize your academic performance and provide a succinct picture of who you could be in the educational arena.

Your GPA is not all that matters. Skills, talents, and capacities that don’t show up in a GPA calculation should still be equally emphasized in your college admission application. A college or prospective employer should know about extra-curricular work you’ve done, a leadership summer camp in 10th grade, and that medal from an Science Innovation fair last year.

People are multifaceted and intricate human beings, and judging them by a single GPA score is meaningless. Yes, earning the best grades possible is a necessary evil you must go through if you want to go to college. Do try your best to get a high GPA, but if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world.

Weigh your options

As with every big decision in life, consider your options carefully. A high GPA will open the doors of elite colleges; however, less expensive schools that accept a lower GPA might open different doors of excellence and professional, entrepreneurial success. And sometimes bypassing higher education and moving directly into the workforce is the right thing to do.

There’s no right and wrong answer, just what’s right for you. By and large, people who move onto tertiary education tend to have better career prospects, but that’s not the rule and there’s no guarantee that a Bachelors or even a Doctorate degree will get you your dream job.

Ultimately, your GPA will matter as much as you want it to. If you are eager to pursue further education, make sure you do your best to achieve a high GPA. If your passion, creativity and innovative ideas can’t wait to be used until after a college education, perhaps you can channel them into a start-up project while securing a place at a college or attending another course that can boost your employability.

For better or worse, GPAs matter in education. A GPA alone won’t get you anywhere, though. Without true passion and purpose you cannot achieve great things. Take a step back and see what your true passion and priority in life is, and then pursue it. Before you start, see how a GPA can push you towards that direction. Good luck!


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Amazon Considers Adding “Cli-Fi’ Genre To Category List (Guest Post)


Dan Bloom


A year ago, in keeping with my interest in climate change issues and the arts, I began lobbying book industry standards groups in New York and London to create a new genre category for climate-themed novels dubbed “Cli-Fi.” It’s in the works, but there are a few more hurdles to jump over.

I found the Book Industry Study Group’s email address through an Amazon Associates discussion group and then sent out a few emails explaining the rise of this new genre to several members of BISG group, including its director.

One of the members, listed as the project manager for standards and best practices, was kind enough to write back to me last summer, noting: “Thanks for this good suggestion. Coincidentally, this ‘cli-fi’ heading was recently suggested by someone else and was discussed at the last subject codes committee meeting. I’ll send your email along to the chair of that committee, to be discussed again at the upcoming meeting. If the code gets added, it will be available with our new editions.”

I also wrote the director of the entire operation, and he was kind enough to take the time to reply.

While he did not commit to any date, he did say that it could happen in late 2015 or early 2016.

“I was not directly involved in the discussions about a ‘Cli-Fi’ subject category possibly being included in the Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC) subject headings as you lobbied for last year,” the executive director. who is himself a novelist and knows the power and marketing clout of literary categories, wrote to me in a recent email:
“Thank you for thinking of us.”

So what’s next? Well, as with any novel lobbying effort, things take time, and patience is the order of the day. The thing is to keep trying, keep up the polite, yet persistent lobbying efforts and then, time will tell. It could take five years, it could take ten years. But one day, the Book Industry Study Group will include “Cli-Fi” in the BISAC subject headings.

It’s in the cards. With a large lobbying army of cli fi novelists and movie scriptwriters, in addition to lobbying efforts by literary critics and book publishers themselves, it will happen. These things take time, yes.

The group does include ”science fiction” as a category, of course, and lists several ”sci-fi” subgenres as well: Alien Contact, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic, Cyberpunk, Hard Science Fiction, Space Opera, Steampunk and Time Travel.

Notice though, the list does not include the “sci fi” genre term per se as a category, just “science fiction” and its various subgenres.

I am sure it will just be a matter of time before “Cli-Fi” — is listed either as a subgenre of science fiction, or as an entirely separate genre of its own. A committee will decide, and it’s all in their hands.

Meanwhile, man-made global warming is not going away anytime soon.

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Dan Bloom is a freelance writer in Taiwan and blogs at korgw101.blogspot.com


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The 8 Most Important Ingredients For An Awesome First Blog For Beginners


Many bloggers out there empathize with this statement: “I wish I had known that before I started my own blog.” Don’t be one of them. Here are 8 tips for making that first blog post go viral (well, you can at least give it a shot!).

  1. Write with the reader in mind

It’s understandable that you want your first blog post to be something you’re passionate about. Sadly, your first blog post on your photography website cannot be about unicorns, no matter how much you like them.

Write with your reader in mind. Make sure you properly understand the persona of your target audience, their demographics, their desires, and needs and try to address these in every blog post – especially your first.

  1. Research and create informative, up to date content

Unless it’s a personal story you’re going to tell, make sure you thoroughly research your subject. Enrich it with hard data to make an argument more compelling and ensure the relevancy of your blog post.

  1. Choose a voice and stick to it (but first A/B test several styles)

It’s crucial that you pick a style, because your first post sets the tone for all of the ones that follow. Is it going to be a formal blog, or are you going for a more laid-back style with tongue-in-cheek writing and witty puns?

A/B test various styles to discover what makes you most comfortable and which style represents you better.

  1. Think quality, not quantity

Always go for quality short blog posts rather than long but useless ones. If you have nothing new or compelling to say, say nothing at all.

  1. Don’t go crazy over SEO

Instead of trying to get your blog post to rank well on Google, it’s best to write for your readers rather than an algorithm. Your readers will sense your SEO efforts if you stuff your blog post with awkward, flow-interrupting keywords.

Write for humans. Period.

  1. Offer a valuable, groundbreaking or new perspective

Each blog post you create —and especially your first one— will make or break your reputation as an expert in your field. Offer valuable, insightful, or creative new perspectives and ideas. This will soon gain you a faithful community and engage people in a dialogue.

  1. Fact-check

Fact-check and proofread your blog post thoroughly. Online readers are often unforgiving of grammatical and spelling errors, let alone inaccuracies. If your first post has problems, readers may not give you a second chance.

  1. Don’t write pitchy, preachy blogs, but insightful, engaging ones

Yes, your blog is part of your marketing strategy, but don’t forget its main function: to give readers a reason to trust you and your product/services.

Instead of going with aggressive, pitchy writing, go with insightful content that intrigues your readers.

Implement these practices and your first blog post will exceed all your expectations.


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What “WE” Can Do That Will Make The Situation Better For Our Future World


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Improve Your Spelling Skills and Bypass the Spell Check Step


You might think that your spell checker is your savior. After all, how many thousands of  times during your academic and professional life have you used it? Each time you needed to touch type an essay, report, or letter you knew you could rely on your spellchecker to identify misspellings and suggest the right spelling of words. Talk about relief!

But did you know that spell checkers aren’t what will save you from spelling mistakes? In fact, it’s a spelling mistake to rely on spellcheckers and autocorrect features, because they won’t always make sure your content is error-free. In fact, spell checkers have many weaknesses. They cannot identify atomic typos: misspellings where the misspelled word is a legitimate English word. Examples of atomic typos are “four” and “for” or “nuclear” and “unclear.” These errors are almost impossible to catch if you only rely on a spell checker, because these are all correctly-spelled English words, even if they don’t make sense in context.

What’s more a spell checker will flag “ur” – but it might not suggest the right spelling for the word you want. Worse, it might suggest irrelevant ones instead of what you intended to write (like “urn” and “us” rather than “your”). In the end, a spell checker can make things worse instead of better.

However, the most counterproductive thing spell checkers do is affect people who use them. If someone relies entirely on machine-assisted checks, they’ll start to assume that if nothing is flagged in the document, that means everything is fine. They get too complacent, they assume their content’s perfect, and so they don’t proofread or don’t proofread as rigorously. The result: a lot of embarrassing misspellings and misused words.

Don’t despair, though! You can improve your spelling skills easily so you don’t have to rely on anything but your own foolproof spelling knowledge.

Use a Dictionary

Invest in a print dictionary that’s small in size and easy to have around so you can quickly look up words in it. Thankfully, the best dictionaries have online versions too; try the  Oxford and Merriam- Webster ones.

Consult your dictionary each time you’re uncertain of a word’s spelling. Then write it down using pen and paper a few time to really learn its spelling, and you’re good to go. You’ve just learned how to spell that word, and you will most likely never have to question your spelling of it ever again.

Use Spelling Software

You can substantially improve your spelling skills with the help of technology. Practice using spelling activities and play fun spelling games with programs like eReflect’s Ultimate Spelling™. Before you know it, you will become a competent, confident speller!

Be a Smart Proofreader

Proofreading is 95% being intuitive and shrewd, and 5% being attentive to detail. You know which words give you trouble, so look out for them. Words with suffices and prefixes are the usual suspects of many misspellings, so know when the endings –able and –ible are used (as in “formidable” and “responsible”). You’ll immediately be able to spot the incorrect spellings once you’ve mastered this technique. Check it out for yourself with this quick quiz: Is it “impartial” or “imparcial”? What’s the right spelling, “significance” or “significence”?

And then of course there are the homophones and near-homophones, words we all mix up from time to time. Know your “eminent” from your “imminent,” your “proceed” from your “process,” and of course, let us never forget the unholy trio of “their,” “they’re” and “there” – and remember that none of these words would be flagged by a spell checker, even if you use them incorrectly.

Such tricky words often sneak up on us and ruin our writing, but if you’re smart about it you can prevent them from ever messing up another essay of yours. Improve your spelling knowledge and never rely on a spell checker again!


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How Well Do You Know Your Business Jargon?


We’ve all be tempted at some point to use buzzwords and popular phrases such as “innovate” and “think outside the box” in a meeting – or worse, in email correspondence.

We mindlessly throw words out there like “influencer,” “ballpark figure,” and “circle back” when there are simpler words that convey your meaning more clearly. Why are we wasting our time with worn-out words and phrases? Mainly because corporate culture thinks it needs to stand out. It wants its own jargon of empty, pompous phrases, but that’s one of the reasons why this jargon is so hated by people outside corporate culture – and, frankly, outside it as well.

Here’s a collection of business jargon: the words and phrases we hope you’ll never be forced to use. Others are bound to use them with you, however, so it’s good to know what they’re mumbling about.

Analytics — This is a fancy word for information obtained out of data analysis. Analytics is the process of identifying relationships between data and presenting these results.

Buy-In — Asking someone to buy-in is to ask them to agree on an already preset course of action. It’s about convincing others to get on board even if you don’t value their opinion on the matter.

Best Practices — Must-abide-by insights and approaches that you need to follow for better results.

Pivot — A word that beautifully covers up the mess one makes with a project.  If you pivot, you’re adjusting your approach.

Move the needle — This word refers to a product or project that makes an impact, more likely a financially positive one. So if your new software moves the needle, your boss will be very, very pleased.

Piggyback — Piggyback is a great concept about being creative and expanding on someone else’s ideas, but it can also be a lazy way of stealing others’ ideas and giving them zero credit.

Bleeding-edge — This adjective is the perfect example of the business jargon madness that reigns over the business world. Cutting-edge was no longer doing “hip” enough as a term, and the culture frantically searched for a more visually powerful word, hoping it would catch on. This phrase is none other than “bleeding-edge.”

Paradigm Shift — A change of a model, approach, or course of action. It’s been so blatantly abused in business contexts that’s now almost meaningless.

Make Hay — It’s about making the best out of an opportunity or short period of time, usually by being productive or creative.

Eyeballs — This rivals the “bleeding edge” phrase in creepiness, don’t you think?  The word “eyeballs” here is a metonymy (a single word that represents a larger whole). We substitute living, breathing consumers for one part of their body: their eyeballs. For example, you might see the sentence, “More eyeballs need to read and click our Facebook campaign.”

What business jargon do you find that you absolutely cannot stand?


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Will Spell Check Programs Help Improve Your Spelling Skills?


It’s a debate that keeps coming back time and again. Is technology making people dumber? Do we harm our spelling capacities relying on autocorrect and spellcheckers?

Autocorrect and spellcheckers are built-in dictionaries that flag your words each time something you type is not matched to a word contained in the dictionary in question. The system provides you with some suggestions as to what the correct spelling of a word is, even when you don’t need any help. After all, you’re the authority on how your own name is spelled!

Spellcheckers and autocorrect have probably already have saved you from many embarrassing typos, but relying on them entirely is not exactly the best way to ensure your written communication is error-free.

Spellchecker programs suggest the correct spelling of words, but that doesn’t help you learn the correct spelling for yourself. You’re not paying attention to what part of a word you often misspell if you simply choose the correct spelling and are done with it.

But what if you were to rely on your own spelling skills? What if you didn’t have to stop frequently to correct flagged words? This would save you a lot of editing time, and it’s something that will give you the confidence of a competent speller.

Improve your spelling with the help of spelling software

Even if you’re past your initial classroom years, it’s a good idea to keep your skills sharp. You can learn to spell better with the help of a spelling program. By practicing with spelling games and other activities you recall and improve your spelling knowledge, and your daily written output will substantially improve as well.

Rely on your memory and brain to recall a word’s spelling

Investing in a spelling program to help you improve your spelling skills is a conscious decision, but there’s something you can do to help your subconscious get better at spelling, too. It’s simple: stop relying on your editor’s spellchecker to autocorrect or suggest a correct word spelling.

Instead, try to recall the correct spelling yourself. Make your brain and subconscious memory a part of the process, and you’ll find that you really do know how to spell a word. Often, writing down various spellings of a word with pen and paper will help you get it right.

Start a spelling mastery journal

Create a special page on your notebook for new and troublesome words. Each time you find yourself unable to spell a word correctly, note it down.

Visit that list often to practice and learn the correct spelling of each word. With consistent use, this list will become your proof of spelling mastery!

Read a lot

Read quality publications like books, academic and scientific journals, and news from respectable news organizations.

The more you read, the more immersed you become in language. By seeing words spelled correctly, you’ll automatically learn their orthography, and you’ll find your spelling improving without any effort.


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50 People Asked 1 Private Question. The Difference Between Adults and Kids Is Sad…But Enlightening

What answer will you give with this question?

Give Her The World She Deserves… No Harassment, No Sexual Assault, No Stalking!

How about living in a world that does not involve violence against women alone in the street?