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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do support groups help in addiction recovery?

While there is no direct evidence that support groups raise cure rates or

help patients physically overcome their disease, there is little question

that support groups provide the kind of hope, information, charity, love and

basic human contact that improve one's quality of life. Those suffering from

addiction and their loved ones are often encouraged to attend and/or participate

in a support group, in part because of the priceless information they find. This is

especially true in addiction support groups. Additionally, when one being their

journey of recovery, they often run straight to the internet, where it can quickly

become overwhelming. A support group is a place that provides a continuity of

information and individuals—whether it's in person hosted by a 12 step

program, or hosted by another organization, or whether it's online at such sites

as supportgroups.com, where the motto nicely sums up what an online support

group is all about: "A helping hand on demand." While in your recovery, the

reality is that the most valuable people in your life will probably include the

new friends you meet in a addiction support group—empathetic people who

know what you're going through and can give you reassurance or information or

just make you laugh at the right time.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Top 10 iOS Apps for Social Media Addicts

I came across an article that discussed the most addicting apps related to the social media phenomena. Here is a list of the apps that will enhance your experience on those platforms and keep you connecting with all your friends and followers. Here are the current top ten apps that will do that for you.

1.Dragon Dictation – The premier in speech recognition software has created social media integration in Nuance’s 11.5 version of Dragon Naturally Speaking. Now, you can simply speak your tweet or Facebook status update into your iphone and say ‘Post to Twitter’ or ‘Post to Facebook’ and it’s done without ever touching your keypad. You can search Twitter just as easily. Simply say…’Search Twitter for vacation’.

2.Friendly for Facebook – This iPad app by Oecoway, Inc provides a full-screen view of Facebook photos and updates, with swipe scrolling. The best way to view Facebook.

3.Flowd – The entertainment social media app for music lovers. Follow your favorite music artists and share your favorite music venues with others using this location based app from Digas.

4.Justin.tv – Social media addicts will love the ability to interact with other viewers when watching one of the many channels available on Justin.tv, or your own live streaming video.

5.Twitter – There isn’t a true social media addict who doesn’t have the Twitter app on the iphone, it is an absolute necessity. It’s searchability is one of Twitter’s greatest features, allowing users to join in conversations of interest to them.

6.Hootsuite – Keep all your social networks in one place by using the Hootsuite dashboard. Preschedule postings to each of your different networks and setup columns for specific searches or feeds.

7.Trillian – Cerulean Studios has created the ultimate app for instant messaging. It combines all your different IM’s into one platform. Friends on Yahoo, Windows Live, Google Talk and several other IM’s will all show up in your Trillian. No need to log into different services. Plus you can begin a chat in Trillian on your desktop and then continue it on your iphone.

8.Tweetdeck – A fully customizable app that allows you to add columns and feeds from your social networks, post to your networks and keep up to date, on the go.

9.Tumblr – Tumblr has combined blogging and social networking into one world. Interactive Q&A sessions with your followers is about as social as you get on a blogging platform, and Tumblr provides that. It also allows privacy settings per post, or for your entire blog.

10.Tapatalk – Quoord Systems Unlimited realized that social network addicts also participate in forums. Tapatalk creates the mobile app for accessing and contributing to those forums from your iphone.

New apps are being developed on a regular basis. Some are great additions, and others need a bit more work from their developers. Your choices will continue to grow with time, of that you can be certain.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

10 Disadvantages to Allowing Kids to Have Cell Phones in School

Everyone, it seems, has a cell phone, including kids. Young people rely on their cells for communication with parents and friends, entertainment with games and music downloads, the list goes on and on. And like most adults, children take their cell phones with them everywhere they go, even into their classrooms at school. This situation has brought about considerable debate between school administrations and parents and students as to how cell phone use in schools should be handled. Here are 10 disadvantages to allowing kids to have cell phones in schools.
  1. Distraction for the group: A ringing phone, or beeping text, or buzzing “reminder” are all distracting sounds that disrupt the classroom. School is a child’s “work” and if cell phones are going off, how much work is anyone getting done? It’s bound to happen- people forget to silence their phones, and then everyone is distracted.
  2. Distraction for the individual: So, let’s say, for instance, that the cell phone is silenced or set to “vibrate only.” The rest of the class may not be bothered by the phone, but the person holding the phone certainly will be. Every time a message comes in or a phone vibrates, the first reaction is to stop what one is doing, including listening to a teacher present a lesson, and answer the call, or check the text. Learning can only be hampered by allowing this type of distraction.
  3. Reduction in Learning: Even if cell phone use could be limited in a school, say during lunch and study hall time, there is still an environment of expectation that someone will call or text. Students are focusing on their phones and messages during times when prior to cell phones, students would talk about their lessons or homework for the day.
  4. Disrespectful: Even if it is lunchtime or between classes, it’s rude to spend time texting or talking on a cell phone. Students need to develop face to face relationships, and if they spend a majority of their time at school communicating on their cell phones, they are not learning how to build a relationship in person.
  5. Cheating: Cell phones offer a completely new way for students to cheat on tests and assignments. Students can text answers to each other while sitting in the same classroom. A student in a morning class can take a picture of the test questions with their phone/camera and text it to a friend who has the class in the afternoon allowing for more opportunities to cheat. A better policy is to just not allow cell phones in schools.
  6. Theft: Cell phones are attractive, full of cool technology and expensive. Everyone wants the latest model. Schools that allow students to have cell phones in school have seen a tremendous increase in theft complaints. Best to leave them at home or in a locked car to prevent these thefts.
  7. Loss: The multitasking student has a lot to keep track of and having a cell phone in school is just one more thing. It can get expensive to replace that lost, misplaced, or forgotten cell phone.
  8. Breakage: Schools are not the safest places for cell phones. Students bump into each other, they slam books and bags into lockers. Things fall on the floor. This is an environment where a cell phone can be damaged. With the expense involved in purchasing a cell phone, it is best to leave it out of the school.
  9. Invasion of privacy: Many models of cell phones come with cameras. Sometimes unscrupulous students will take pictures of other students, in the locker room, for instance, and use those pictures to instigate harassment or bullying.
  10. Fueling the rumor mill: in the old game “telephone”, a message was whispered into the ear of a child who then passes that message on by whispering into the ear of the next child, and so on, until all students have heard the message. When the last person hears the message, he or she stands up and repeats the message to the rest of the class, finding much to his dismay that his final story bears little resemblance to the message as it began. Today’s “telephone” game is similar and texting messages can spread through students much faster, oftentimes setting off unnecessary and unfounded rumors and fears.
With easily accessible technology that cell phones offer, comes a whole new world of issues and problems for schools. If students leave their cell phones home and school boards create policies disallowing their use in schools, Pandora’s box of cell phone problems will not be opened.