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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Be Aware of What You are Revealing About Yourself

Just a quick thought. Yesterday I viewed the movie called "The Circle" starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. Although, it had an odd and "unfinished" style of ending....watching it was still very much worth it, in how it stirs up our caution and awareness of revealing "too much" and at            "what cost" online.

Ok, so allow me to cut to the chase....how do we humans currently reveal "potentially" too much about ourselves?

1/ using rewards point cards at all of our fave shops, because they reveal where and when and what we buy, and how we pay.
2/ Twitter....yes, even though I really do enjoy Twitter, I am aghast at what folks tweet without thinking about the long-term ramifications.
3/ Facebook...oh the books that have already been written and will be written to describe how Facebook has changed the social fabric of our lives and how it leaves a very detailed trail of how we live, who we like and don't like....and how we communicate with almost everyone we deem special.
4/ Email. Although we like to kid ourselves that our email accounts are private....most of us still use non-encrypted and very public email servers which constantly monitor ALL of our sent and received emails for a host of reasons. Some of the reasons may be for public safety, but other reasons are for commercial advertising purposes and also for "yet to be determined" data mining purposes.
5/ Instagram. Nuf said.
6/ My Space.
7 the plethora of other social networking platforms
8/ voluntary blogs..... Sure folks like me may dream about making good coin from blogging, but most of us just do it because we love to write and practice honing our craft.
9/ Shopping with debit and credit cards instead of cash. Yes, I realize that cash is no longer king and its days may be numbered. But we must be aware that more our purchases are made through cards of all sorts, that the data about our every purchase is shared and diced and sliced and resold to whom ever is the highest bidder. Do we really want our shopping habits up for public/commercial display/auction?
10/ With the lure of becoming the next Youtube millionaire, millions of folks have sold themselves out by vlogging and selling their own videos to the Youtube video hosting service. I am not against Youtube, and use it regularly, but I am keenly aware of the fact that those who post there often are giving up a huge chunk of their privacy......and at what cost? 20 bucks a month in ad revenue? Consider what you are giving up when you allow perfect strangers to watch your life online.
11/ Google. Oh the books that are being written and still to be written about this Goliath. Yes, there is good and yes, there is stuff to be concerned about. I myself find the whole "google locating" issues to be very creepy. Have you ever noticed that when you "google" a local store", that Google displays how long the average person visits that location? How do they know that? Because they have locating apps through Google tracking our every move through our cell phones.
12/ Yes, there are ways to limit the number of methods that "Big Brother" can track and trace you. But the fine print is indeed fine, and the methods are intentionally made "hard and awkward" to implement for the "average" cell/computer user. If you have the patience, try to master the privacy and locating settings for the social media platforms that you frequent. Try your best to limit whatever you don't feel comfortable revealing. Make it harder for these companies to track and sell off your personal data.  And yes, it would still be helpful to go back to cash.....but oy, yes, cash is quickly becoming more "awkward" and "inconvenient"..... I guess I have been fished into that mindset already....lol.
13/ ISP's ( internet service providers) have records of ALL the webtraffic that flows through ALL your devices, both at home and when on the road. Also be aware that when you are utilizing
"free wifi" hotspots at cafes or your other haunts,  that the controllers/providers of the "free wifi"
hotspots can monitor/ see all that flows on any device that uses their Wifi services.

I am sure I will come up with even more ways in which we are "selling ourselves out" without consciously being aware of how much data we are revealing about ourselves with these seemingly
inert methods of communication and lifestyle.

If privacy doesn't matter to you, then by all means, ignore this post.....but if it does concern you and you want to protect yourself and your family....maybe it should become a matter of focus and prayer.

And yes, if this post has intrigued you, please do go ahead and read the book called
The Numerati by Stephen L. Baker. And yes, if you get the opportunity, go see the movie              "The Circle" starring Tom Hanks.

With peace and prayer,


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Slow and Steady Wins the Race....Every Time

This is my buddy....Mr. Snail. I snapped his photo myself. I like to look at his pic every once in a while to remind myself of the beauty of his wise lifestyle.

Snails, as a species have survived throughout millenia because of their slowness.....
If I were to stretch it a bit for dramatic illustration....I'd have to say that Snails have survived so many catastrophic earthly challenges because they "think" before they do anything. They think long and hard before rushing into anything. Actually, permit me to correct myself....they don't actually RUSH into ANYTHING!

There is great merit in thinking before making an important decision. Think and pray calmly before you leap. Living calmly and thoughtfully and prayerfully has many advantages. Nobody can accuse you of making a hasty foolish decision. Nobody can see a trail of chaos in your frantic wake.          You are slow and steady for a reason. Because it works for you.

Be strong. Crawl on. Survive and live long.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Does Regular TV Stress You?

Feel like plopping down in front of the Telly...but just want to be alone with your thoughts?
Don't want to allow a million  media flashes to overwhelm your psyche?

Consider the beauty of the "Aquarium Channel". It's like "White noise, for your eyes".  I am not sure if all TV service providers give you access to this simple channel, but it has a lot going for it in my humble opinion.

Why do we watch TV when we don't have a particular show on our minds? Just to fill space and allow our minds to rest and refresh. At the same time, we don't want to bring more stress into our lives by watching chaotic news reports or tumultuous sitcoms that suck us into the lives of yet many more thousands of dramatic fictional characters.

Sometimes, not always.....but Sometimes.... i just want some down time.                                    Sometimes BORING IS GOOD!
 Some filler visuals that will allow me to feel like something is happening that is bigger than me and beyond my control....and I can watch it and feel myself begin to wind down and finally, after having rested, to refocus and concentrate on my own set of goals.

What is the "Aquarium Channel"...... Well, it's a simple as the words of it's title....It's a cable           TV channel that simply provides us a consistent view of a beautiful fish tank filled with active colorful fish and swaying sea veggies.
The tank is pristinely clean....and yay, I'm not the one in charge of cleaning it! The fish are healthy and appear happy and have striking colors and natural decorations on their scales. There's even a live shrimp scooting around beyond the fish tank boulders. There's no plot....no ads, no commentary. Just peaceful beautiful fish playing in a crystal clear blue tank.

Remember, what you fill your mind with, you are naturally going to want to "process". So if you control what you allow yourself to de-stress with on the Telly, then you may just figure out a better unwinding strategy for you and/or your family members.

It's ok to have down time. Don't feel guilty about your "down time". It's essential for you have a relaxation strategy so that you can resist stress, recharge, refresh and refocus to greet and accomplish your nest goals.

If your TV service provider does not have an "Aquarium channel, or a similar type of "easy to watch" time filler type of channel, consider sending them an email.   Let them know you need more "relaxation", non-dramatic de-stressing channels and they might just add one to your line-up.

In Peaceful Productivity,