Politics

The current query has no posts. Please make sure you have published items matching your query.

Latest Posts

Is Social Media Destroying our Attention Spans

Is Social Media Destroying our Attention Spans: An Investigative Report

Social Media comes up every so often in heated discussions of whether or not it is beneficial. Some argue that it is, that thanks to social media people have access to real information on live events around the world. Others argue it is detrimental as hate, bullying, and misinformation is spread easily and quickly. But one issue that has been brought to the public’s attention more recently is the idea that social media is destroying our attention spans, and especially that of the younger generations too. But is it really, or are Boomers just finding something else to pick at?

Consumption of media

The rate at which we consume media has increased dramatically over the years, with the introduction of new fast modes of media such as Vine and TikTok. These platforms were originally based on the idea of short, quick videos, with Vine only having 7 seconds for creators to put out the best content they can. This meant that in the span of 30 minutes, someone could have watched 100s of videos from a range of different people. And although this was the extreme of short and fast consumption, it wasn’t the start, with Twitter only having a 140 character limit on its tweets when it was first introduced, meaning if someone wanted to go viral or put information out, they had to find the least amount of words to do that in. Some think this means that our attention spans would have been affected by this, as we became used to receiving more information in smaller, more compact ways, and in much faster modes. Instagram can also be used as an example here, as it is an app primarily focussed on consuming pictures, rather than words or status like social media platforms such as Facebook. Instagram Story Videos are capped at a length of one minute, with these videos being broken down into 15-second segments. Social media companies create their platforms around the idea that we consume media fast, and will only take in short bursts of content. But is this really true?

How has this affected us?

There is little real evidence that suggests our attention spans have been affected by the rate we consume media in. In fact, if anything the way we consume media has changed to accommodate us, and that’s not by getting faster. Twitter upped its character limit from 140 to 280, as there were some complaints that the limit was too small to be able to get information out. Even now some users have to create Twitter threads to be able to tweet a full story and details, with these threads sometimes being up to 8 tweets long. TikTok, which is Vine’s successor, recently changed the maximum length of its videos from 30 seconds to 3 minutes as many users didn’t enjoy having to watch multiple parts to get the full story behind some viral videos. These changes show that our attention spans are actually better than what companies are willing to give us credit for. Many people comment that they happily binge watch Netflix programs, getting through whole seasons of a show in just a day. So our attention spans are not being affected by social media, but instead seems to be influenced by our own moods, and the content we want to watch.

A history of complaints

This is not the first time our attention spans have been attacked and blamed on new forms of media. When short stories started to become more popular, there was a pushback against that from the older generations, who claimed this form of media would affect our attention spans and make us lazy. They claimed that people would get used to having stories told in a much shorter frame and that novels would become obsolete because of this. But as we have seen from the continued popularity of full-length novels and even series, such as Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter, this claim was also proven false. It seems the older generation fears new technology and new ways of doing things, and each time something new is introduced, it will inevitably receive some backlash as people fear things are moving on too quickly, and they might get left behind with the old modes of entertainment. And as technology continues to develop and more modes are introduced, it is to be expected that this topic will come up again, and again will have little evidence to back it up.

Until there are studies done into this, it is safe to say that our attention spans are likely not being affected by social media. That isn’t to say that everyone will watch hour-long youtube videos, or spend their time reading multiple novels, as people enjoy different content and different ways of watching that content. Ultimately, the way we use social media and the forms we use is down to the individual, and although some may still enjoy watching short TikToks, or sending out very short tweets, other people prefer having the option of a longer and more in-depth way to use these apps. As long as these apps keep changing to accommodate everyone, then there won’t be any issues with user approval, of the attention spans of these users.

Exploring Some of The Hobbies Proven to Boost Creativity

Exploring Some of The Hobbies Proven to Boost Creativity

We have all had a lot of time on our hands over the last couple of years, which has left a lot of us feeling extremely bored. If you are someone that usually considers yourself to be quite creative, then you may have noticed that you have been in quite a rut recently, which is completely understandable given the circumstances. Many of us have spent the majority of the last year stuck in the same routine, which does not leave much room for our creativity to be able to flourish.

One of the best ways to get out of a creative rut is by trying out some new hobbies. Hobbies stimulate your brain, which means you will find it much easier to regain your creativity. Here is a look into some of the hobbies that have been proven to boost creativity.

Painting

A great way to indulge yourself in a bit of creativity is by painting. You can paint on essentially any scale you want, from small models, all the way to completely repainting your home. If you find that painting pictures or models isn’t for you, we recommend that you consider moving on to painting the walls within your house. This will give you the chance to find a creative outlet and it will also allow you to bring some new energy to your home. You can finally get rid of any of the drab walls in your house and if you make a mistake, you don’t need to worry as you can always contact contrastpainting in Perth, and they can ensure that your house is painted to the standard that you want.

Pottery

Pottery is a fantastic way to boost your creativity and can be done by pretty much anyone, regardless of skill set.  Pottery is an extremely rewarding hobby, as you take a pile of clay and make it into something beautiful and even usable. Being a potter is also an extremely impressive skill and if you find that you have a talent for it, you may be able to make it into a business that you can turn a bit of a profit from.

Working with clay has no limitations, so you can make classic pots or you can get really creative and focus on other projects. Something that is very popular right now is making miniature clay statues, which is very fun and surprisingly quite easy.

DIY

Something that you may have noticed is that during lockdown many people picked up DIY. If you are someone that spends a lot of time on social media, then you have seen people post their latest projects, which may have put you in the mood to try it out for yourself. You will be glad to know that there are thousands of pages dedicated to giving tips and examples of DIY projects, so if you can’t think of anything, there is bound to be something online that will inspire you.

DIY Jewellery

If you are interested in artistic hobbies, but you don’t like the idea of creating something without practical use, then you should look into DIY Jewellery. Making jewellery gives you the chance to really stretch your artistic muscles, all while having something you can use in your everyday life. This is a great hobby for those of you out there that have the habit of spending a lot of money on jewellery. By picking up this skill, you will be able to make your own, which will save you money and is much more sustainable.

Is the American Real-Estate Industry Set to Boom in 2022

If you are someone that is heavily involved in the world of real estate, then you will know that the last year or so has been a little touch and go. Due to the unfortunate world events that have unfolded over the last year,  almost every aspect of our daily lives has been affected.  

The way in which America thrives in terms of Economy has been one of the biggest sectors to take a hit. America depends on a lot of financial revenues in order to prevent recessions and economic crashes.  

 

One of the biggest sources of revenue throughout the country is real estate. In the last year, many people were unable to work as much as they would like, which means that they were being conservative with the ways in which they spend their money.  Purchasing a house is a luxury that very few can afford, even when they are working as much as they possibly can. The majority of people have instead chosen to invest their money in necessities and other bills that need to be paid.  

The mass majority of people tend not to buy their homes outright and instead depend on mortgages in order to be able to do so. However, the banks have been very strict in terms of who they allow getting a mortgage because there is the fear that due to the unseen financial circumstances of last year, people may not have had the ability to pay the required money.  

However, as the world is starting to return to normality, the real estate industry is on its way back up. Everyone is getting back to work, which means that financially we are all starting to feel a lot more secure.  Due to this security, more and more people are buying and selling houses.  Many predict that due to the brand new financial security that people are experiencing, we are set to see a 2022 boom in the American real estate industry, but is this really the case? 

 

The 5 Year Forecast  

The easiest way for us to make predictions of whether or not next year will be the ‘boom’ year for real estate is by forming a five-year forecast.  A five-year forecast allows you to be able to not only estimate what the real estate industry will be like in the next five years, but it will allow you to have a rundown of what the progression will look like. 

You can’t just say that in five years’ time, there will be ‘X” amount of houses sold and bought in America as it is simply impossible to be able to make these predictions. Instead, we look at past sales of homes in America and look at the rate of increase. If the rate of increase is steady, as it currently is, we can then use this to look at what we can expect in terms of sales in the next few years.  

After doing this forecast, we could discover that next year will not be the boom and it could instead happen in 2023/2024. However, if we look at the five-year forecast and take into consideration the decline of sales in the last year, by definition next year is likely to be the ‘boom’.

  

Will There be Another Bust  

Something that a lot of people are afraid of is the prospect of a bust rather than a boom. Yes, real estate can be unpredictable at times and nobody could have expected it to take the dive it did in the last year or so. However, the likelihood of there being another real estate bust is extremely unlikely. For the current state of the real estate economy, the only way is up really.  America is starting to build itself back up and it doesn’t seem as though another bust is likely.  

If you are someone that is concerned about a potential bust in the future, then we would recommend selling or buying now while prices are so low. However, if you are a house seller it would definitely be in your best interest to wait for a little longer, as though the economy is starting to level out, you will be able to sell your home for a much larger price next year. 

 

Current Home Values  

As the real estate industry is starting to build itself back up, you may be wondering what the current housing prices are. It is important to remember that housing prices will be different depending on where you are in the country, which is how it has always been.  Right now the highest price points in terms of home value currently reside in the mid-Atlantic area. This is because a lot of people are looking to escape their busy city lives and head to somewhere a bit more homely.  

In particular, homes in Maryland are selling for quite high prices. So, if you are someone that lives in Maryland and you are thinking of selling your home, then you can expect to make quite the pretty penny. If you are looking to sell, we recommend that you go through a complete guide to selling a house by owner in Maryland so that you can fight against the current congestion in the area. However, if you want to make a little more, we recommend that you hold off on selling until next year.  

A look at the Employee Strikes Happening In the US

A strike is when employees stop going to their jobs due to an issue, they are facing but they feel as if they are not being listened to or taken seriously. Strikes tend to have protested outside their workplace to make the big money earners of the companies aware that there are issues that are not being correctly managed or even addressed. A strike could have a very negative effect on business, if a companies employees strike a lot, it is clear that the companies are not taking the criticisms they are facing onboard. Most reasons people go on strike are about pay, whereby people believe they are not being paid fairly or enough for the job that they are doing, but sometimes its due to a leak in analytic data, for example, scope level for custom metrics may have been breached leading the employee’s personal data to be vulnerable to detection.  

Where it started 

Many McDonald’s workers have claimed that they made over $5 billion last year, yet the workers are complaining about pay? Do you know why? It is because the employees at Mcdonald’s are not getting paid enough of that $5 billion that the business has made! They are being made to work for peanuts while the people that hardly do any of the manual work are getting a tiny amount of that profit. There is clearly an issue here that needs to be addressed, and a strike has seemingly the right option to resolve the situation. It was this that had ignited workers from 15 different cities in the US including- Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Kansas, Chicago, Flint, Detroit, Raleigh-Durham, Houston, Charleston, St Louis, and Milwaukee to quit their jobs at the golden arches, with the motto of the strike being 15 for 15. 

What is 15 for 15? 

15 for 15 is the idea to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour so that it is easier to live and sustain working conditions and ensure that people are getting paid enough. Since the strikes, it has picked up in popularity and even alerted President Biden to sign an executive order to implement the change. It was announced that the minimum wages of government contractors will be pushed to $15 per hour, proving the positive impact that the strike has had on the workers who were struggling before that. To add to this, other companies were also jumping off the bandwagon to make pay better for the workers- with Amazon announcing that it was increasing wages by an extra $3 per hour.  

Small or big businesses? 

It is important to highlight that some businesses you may think are company-owned, are individually owned. Companies such as McDonald’s and Subway are actually individually owned. This means that a small business owner buys the franchise off of Mcdonald’s to advertise their foods like McDonald’s franchise. But they do not profit from the $5 billion that was made, which is an issue because many people believe that it is big corporations that are being greedy and are not paying their employees the right amount. When in reality it is because these companies are actually small business owners that may not have the sufficient fund to increase their employees’ wages. To put this into perspective, a Subway franchise owner earns about $200,000 in profit annually, where the total sales average $3 million. When looking at that, you would assume that that is a lot of money to take home- why can’t they give that pay rise? Well, after deducting for staff wages, food, supplies, bills, electricity, and other expenses, it may be that that number only represents 5% to 10% of the franchise’s total sales.  

Strike consideration 

To add to this, it is extremely difficult for to them implement a pay rise for all employees when it is not financially possible. It is important to highlight that striking can be used for good such as getting that pay rise, but if you work for a small business, it is imperative to ensure that the company can actually pay for your increase in wage. There is nothing worse than taking a company down because they are not paying you enough when in reality it’s because they physically can’t, not that they don’t want to.  

Why the 2021 Olympics Might Not Go Ahead as Planned

The Olympic Games are the biggest sporting event in the world. The first Olympic Games took place back in the 8th Century B.C, at the time the games took place every 12 years until they were banned in the 4th century AD. The games didn’t take place for 1500 years but then they were started up again in Greece in 1896. Since that date, the games have taken place every 4 years and on top of the usual Olympics, there is also the winter Olympics which involves snow sports. The games in 1896 were very different to the games today, now athletes are sponsored and there are advertisements everywhere, but back in 1896, all the athletes competed naked as they were just there to play. Initially, women were not allowed to compete in the Olympics but in 1900 women worldwide were gaining more rights and since then women have been allowed to compete and women’s sport is growing in popularity still today. The Olympics is a huge event that takes a lot of planning and logistics to ensure it runs smoothly, every detail counts all the way down to having enough towels, at the 2012 Olympics hosted in London over 165,000 towels were used. The spirit of the Olympic games is about friendship and harmony between all of the countries, fairness is important to those who run the Olympics which means they crack down hard on anyone taking illegal steroids as it makes the game unfair to take performance-enhancing drugs. What many people don’t know is that as well as illegal steroids there is also legal steroids that have a variety of health benefits, if you’re interested in getting some legal steroids but you aren’t sure which ones to purchase then steroids you can buy legally online are reviewed here as this will help you make your decision. The next games are scheduled for 2021 but the big question is will they go ahead as planned? 

2020 Olympic

The Olympic Games were planned to take place in Tokyo, Japan in 2020. This didn’t go ahead as planned as in November 2019 a virus broke out in Wuhan in China that changed the whole world. The virus initiated here, but it was very transmissible, so it rapidly started to spread. The Chinese government put Wuhan into lockdown but so many people had already travelled out of the area that the virus managed to spread worldwide. The World Health Organisation declared this new virus to be a pandemic and measures were taken worldwide to try and prevent the spread. 

As Japan is so close to China geographically, they struggled with trying to contain the virus. International travel and big events were postponed or cancelled as it was unsafe for people to travel. The message of the 2020 summer was mainly to stay home and if not stay home it was to stay local. International travel was not an option, so the Olympics were postponed to 2021. 

Will the games go ahead?

The 2021 Olympic Games are due to be held in Tokyo, Japan. Last year when the games were rescheduled authorities worldwide assumed that the pandemic would be over by the following summer. Whilst many countries such as Vietnam and New Zealand have managed to eradicate the virus, most countries have not been as successful, and the virus is still affecting everyone’s lives. The games are due to start at the end of July, but the situation now isn’t looking great for any fans of the Olympics. Japan is currently fighting through its fourth wave of the virus and earlier in 2021, the number of cases has been rapidly increasing. The games are not currently a popular idea amongst those who live in Japan, around 70% of the population are wanting the games to be postponed or cancelled again. After a year of being subject to various lockdowns, many citizens in Japan don’t see the Olympics as a risk worth taking as they are craving normality in their lives again and see this as potentially prolonging the pandemic.  

What is different this year?

One of the main differences this year is that the Japanese government and the organisers of the games have said that they will not be postponed, if the games cannot go ahead this summer because of the pandemic then they will just be cancelled instead. No decision has yet been made about whether the games will go ahead, but with only 3 months to go there is a lot of preparation that must be done in a short period of time and as well as the usual planning there needs to be additional planning to make sure the environment is as covid safe as it can be for the athletes. 

Another difference about the games this year is that many fans will be devastated that they had tickets but won’t be able to go. Only Japanese fans are allowed to go and watch the games as international travel is still banned so overseas fans won’t be allowed. One of the best things about the Olympic games is the atmosphere in the stadium, it’s said to be one of the most fun sporting events, this is making many athletes want the games to be postponed as the atmosphere impacts performance. It is still unclear if they will go ahead but a decision will be made soon.  

Debunking Common Misconceptions about THC and CBD

While marijuana is said to be a relatively mild drug with few side effects in comparison to tobacco and alcohol. An alternative with a psychoactive cannabinoid, Delta 8 THC, is available and adjudged to be significantly less potent than Delta 9 THC, but does delta 8 THC actually make you high?

 

Delta 8

Joseph Hoelscher, a founding member of the Texas Association of Cannabis Lawyers and longstanding member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee talks about the hemp derivative. He said they emphasize that it won’t get you blitzed or make you wonder if a phantom person is following you. It’s also cheaper, taxed less heavily than legal pot, and available in unlicensed outlets that range from bodegas to truck stops to your corner newsstand.

Delta-8 extraction contains a psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high. “It’s about one-third as psychoactive as regular weed,” Allison Krongard, co-founder of Her Highness and pot user commented. “For people who get paranoid from THC or are looking for an on-ramp [to getting high], Delta-8 is perfect. If you are a recreational user, wanting to get stoned out of your mind, it won’t get you there. But if you use weed to kill your anxiety or get to sleep, this is a great alternative.”

 

The Differences

The main difference between Delta-8 and Delta-9 is explained by Christian Peterson, the co-founder and COO of Wunder, a cannabis beverage company based in San Francisco. He said: “Delta-8 has the double bond on the 8th carbon in the chain, while Delta-9 has the double bond on the 9th carbon in the chai.

I think it’s been shown that there’s a difference, agreed on according to Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician at Harvard Medical School who specializes in medical marijuana. People report [Delta-8] as being less anxiety-provoking, less sedating, and a little more clear-headed than THC.

Grinspoon a board member of the advocacy group Doctors For Cannabis Regulation Delta-8 believes it can make an enormous difference for some patients. He said there is less confusion and spaciness or stonedness or whatever you want to call it. Whenever there’s another minor cannabinoid that people start puffing up, I always worry that the marketing claims and the desire to line people’s pockets are going to outpace the actual science. The research isn’t there yet to know for sure.

But before the market for Delta-8-THC products can get anywhere close to the current demand for CBD, entrepreneurs and doctors need to know: Is it even legal?

 

Legality

The perception that the Delta-8 is made from hemp makes a difference according to Ryan Cassell, co-founder and chief scientist of Crystal Creek Organics, a cannabis company based in Pensacola, Florida.

The entire industry … was assuming it was legal due to it being derived from hemp he says. The laws clearly define all hemp-derived cannabinoids and products with a Delta-9-THC level below 0.3 percent as legal. We shall see how all of that plays out in the coming months, as for now, our company has had to take a step back [from production] and wait for further clarification surrounding the laws and legal status of Delta-8.

These are early days and more research and studies into ailments being helped by Delta-8-THC will soon be available to the general public. Many scientists and doctors look at this as an exciting time.