Beware of Trolls

23-year old Rachel Byrk was bullied mercilessly online.

She was born with the name Roger and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Finally, she gave up – jumped from The George Washington Bridge.  Her body was found weeks later but she scheduled a post to run a few hours after she jumped that said, “Guess I am dead. Killed myself. Sorry.”

Please believe that bullying of all kinds is running rampant in.

Bully-shaming is made possible because of the Internet and social media.  It allows a segment of the population to not only have a louder voice but gives them a way to deliver haunting messages directly into the minds of their victims.

This is an extreme case of bullying, but other cases are common in high schools across the nation.  In fact, bullying takes place in offices and it is often done by people with too much power who abuse the rights of others.

The good news is – and there is good news – that adults should cut off access to bullies and to not react to them in any way.  This deprives them of the very thing they crave when bullying others.

React and you encourage more bullying.

For children, help them and reassure them to understand that they are fine the way they are and that others who seek to bully should be dismissed and disregarded on each and every attempt.

In our new world that brings us the many gifts of interactivity and social interaction, we must police ourselves from those who abuse easy access to their victims.

We do it by loving ourselves as many minutes a day as possible.

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The Only Number You Need To Exceed

When you run a mile, two miles seems better.

When you accomplish all your goals in a day, doing even more somehow seems right.

When you win, you want to keep playing.

You get the idea.

But metrics can also be our enemy.

It’s not how physically fit can you get by reaching certain plateaus; it’s how healthy do you feel.

It’s not how many things can you accomplish in a day, but which ones are giving the most fulfillment.

Not about constantly achieving when all it makes you do is continue to run without savoring any victories.

The best metric to live by in my view is to ask yourself how many days are you happy.

The end effect of everything we do should be to achieve some kind of happiness.

Happiness is not a number.

It’s a feeling and if we track it like we track other things life gets even more rewarding.

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Texting While Driving

AT&T commissioned a poll of consumers 16-65 who drive at least once per day.

70% of them use their phones while driving.  In other words, if you don’t use your phone to text daily, you are in the minority 30% category.

Texting and driving has been identified as being even more harmful than driving under the influence.

Living in a distracted world can be hazardous to our health and to our relationships with others and ourselves.

The 70% figure probably didn’t surprise you, but these below surprised me.

33% of those in the AT&T survey email while driving.

28% surf the net.

27% do Facebook.

17% snap a selfie or photo (yes, while driving).

14% log into Instagram.

14% Twitter.

12% shoot video while driving.

11% use Snapchat.

And 10% do video chat like FaceTime.

All these things are good on their own.

They are just not as good when they lead to deadly multitasking.

The cure is to use social and digital media as a tool.  To separate not integrate them with other things like taking a walk, dining with others, socializing and yes, driving.

To live in the present, we must try harder to be in the present.

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Reigniting a Relationship

You have to have wood or something flammable to make a fire.

Kindling to ignite the flames.

Oxygen to feed it and allow it to burn.

And you’re going to have to tend to it constantly to make sure it burns strong and doesn’t burn out.

This also applies to reigniting a relationship.

Often life gets in the way of our interpersonal relationships and we think the flames are extinguished when they really need the ingredients to make them burn.

There are a lot of complicated ways to look at keeping meaningful relationships alive and then there is this.

Feed it.

Nurture it.

Give it room to breath.

Keep a watchful eye on it to make sure it never flames out.

Relationships take work. They don’t stay bright on their own without paying watchful attention to the needs of others and our own needs.

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Friendship Is Changing

In colonial days, when a settler’s barn burned to the ground, other settlers from miles away would descend on the land to rebuild it – to make a project of it, and cap it off with a celebration.

Labor was hard to come by back then.

Over the decades being a friend has changed.  We collect friends like flowers on Facebook, Instagram and social media but these friendships are different.  More like associations.

Baby boomers will remember writing and receiving letters in the mail.

Gen Xers may remember that, too, or using email like regular mail composing the content the same way just faster.

Millennials are in constant contact with each other primarily through texting and social media.  New research reveals that they check their phones every 30 minutes – often more.

Friendships take time and time is the one thing almost all of us do not have enough of.  When was the last time you were bored?

Social media friendships are rewarding in their own way.  Instagram pictures bring a magic to real time and help us transcend the miles.

But for any friendship that we deem really special we must be willing to devote the time to nurture and enjoy it in the present.

That may include the connectivity of social media but requires face to face experience without distractions.

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