Category Archives for Social Media

7 Thoughts I Had About Marriage Before And After Tying The Knot

Tying the knot is one of the biggest milestones of your life.

I’d be lying if I told you the process of getting engaged, and then getting married, wasn’t thought-provoking, stressful, and intense at times.

Despite what those dang Disney movies say, it’s so much more than just falling in love. Any person faced with a pivotal decision in their life can tell you that it’s hard to put all of your thoughts on a leash.

I’mcompletely in love, but that’s only the beginning if you’re contemplating marriage, and once you become husband and wife.

I always seemed to come back to these same seven questions and claims about marriage before I tied the knot, and even now that I’m a wifey.

1. Every Marriage Is Different

Don’t let the solid word marriage stump you. It may describe the union millions of people have, but each scenario is incredibly different.

This isn’t a hard idea to grasp once you’re married, but it’s an extremelyuseful concept to hold onto.

2. It’s Not As ConfiningAs Some People May Say

I’m a trailblazing Aries.

Needless to say, I already knew the controlling type was not going to do me any good. My husband never has, and never will, try to clip my wings, nor does he frame our marriage as something that keeps me put.

Even before the I do’s, I knew being a married woman would be an amazing new part of me but not necessarily that I am.

3. It’s Not Just Signing A Piece Of Paper

I’ll admit, I toyed with this idea for quite some time.

Yes, you do sign a piece of paper, but it genuinely is so much more than just that.

Of course, people are happy without getting married, there’s no doubt about it. But, if you did sign along the dotted line and read your beautiful vows, you know that piece of paper opens up a new adventure and many experiences you face together.

4. Am I Wifey Material?

Just like there isn’t one type of marriage, there isn’t one type of wife, either.

I’ve always been an innovator, so I saw putting on the wife hat as another chance for me to make my own definition. Because, let’s be honest: Conformity stinks.

5. Will We Always Love Each Other The Same?

Freestocks Org/ Unsplash

This can be a scary thought before you get married, because you’re still in that almost-there, excited phase. Once you’re married, though, you realize things change and not necessarily in a bad way.

You’re falling in love with new things about each other every single day. So, will my hubby and I always love each other the same? No. Personally, I wouldn’t want that, because that means I haven’t grown, and haven’t grown.

6.Communication Is Seriously Important

As much as I hate clich sayings, this one is for real. It sucks to be an open book when certain situations make you want to shut everyone out.

But, youreally can’t go wrong with being open and honest, which is why this thought of talking things out stayed with me before and after tying the knot.

7. Your Marriage Is Your Business

With the openness social media providessociety with, people don’t hold back on posting about all things about their personal life.

People are into it,you can seriously trace all of the ups and downs of a couple’s relationship just by checking their Facebook pages.

I’ve always been a private person and knew before and after I got married that what happens between us, stays between us ring, or no ring.

I’m certainly no expert, but Ican say from the experience of being married so far, trust your own beliefs and thoughts.

Make your happy ever after, together.

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Twitter Hilariously Responds To President Obama Outing Sasha For Tweeting

Parents will never stop being parents — even if one of them is the President of the United States.

While campaigning for Hillary Clinton in North Carolina on Tuesday, President Obama spilled the beans on something many of us have been wondering for quite some time now… Here’s a hint: It has everything to do with Sasha Obama and the mystery revolving around her non-existent Twitter account.

Does she have one? Has she ever had one? Are we supposed to know? What about Malia?! So. Many. Questions.

According to Time, during his speech in Charlotte,President Obama revealed,

Everybody’s got an opinion, but nobody actually knows the job until you’re sitting behind the desk. Everybody can tweet, but nobody actually knows what it takes to do the job until you’ve sat behind the desk. I meanSasha tweets, but she doesn’t think that she thereby should be sitting down at the desk.

Wait, wait, wait… Sasha tweets?! The Twitter-verse went absolutely ballistic when President Obama accidentally revealed that Sasha might have a Twitter account. The only issue? We probably weren’t supposed to know about it.

Did he misspeak? Was he simply referring to his daughter’s text messages and confused them with tweets since he’s so active on Twitter these days? We’ll never really know. Not right now, at least.

I’m going to go with this theory.


For now, we’ll just have to hang on to this classic photo of Malia Obama wearing a hip-hop collective Pro Era’s t-shirt on Instagram. It’s the only proof we have of them partaking in this whole social media thing.


Plus, Mom’s not a big fan of this stuff.

When Barbara Walters asked about Malia and Sasha Obama’s social media habits back in 2013, Michelle Obama revealed,

I still am not a big believer in Facebook for young people… particularly for them, because they’re in the public eye.Some of it’s stuff they don’t need to see and be a part of So we try to protect them from too much of the public voice.

If you know anything about Twitter, you know the social media platform revolves around “the public voice,” maybe even more so than Facebook.

That’s precisely why it doesn’t make any sense that the President’s 15-year-old daughter Sasha would have Twitter without anyone knowing… But the presidentdid say “Sasha tweets,” causing Twitter to go crazy.

Check out the reactionarytweets below!










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GOP’s Gillespie keeps his distance from Trump in Virginia gov race

(CNN)President Donald Trump has endorsed Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia gubernatorial race. But the candidate appears to go out of his way to avoid mentioning his most prominent supporter.

Trump’s endorsement isn’t mentioned anywhere on Gillespie’s campaign website or his social media pages. Gillespie doesn’t discuss Trump unless he’s prompted to do so. He doesn’t criticize the President, but he also doesn’t make an effort to embrace him, either.
In fact, when Trump tweeted his support for Gillespie earlier this month, neither the candidate nor his campaign acknowledged the President’s support until they were asked about it by reporters. Meanwhile, his opponent, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, not only retweeted Trump’s tweet, he used it as an opportunity to fundraise for his campaign. (Trump backed Gillespie on Twitter again late Saturday afternoon, after this story was first published, and the candidate’s account retweeted him.)
    A path to statewide victory for a Republican in Virginia, which hasn’t happened since 2009, requires the GOP to run up numbers with its base and win over as many independent voters as possible. At a time when Trump’s poll numbers are lagging, it’s difficult to have it both ways — few voters are ambivalent about the President, and as a result, it’s tough to embrace him fully or reject him outright.
    Gillespie is hoping it can be done.
    The stakes are high, too: the Virginia gubernatorial race is the first statewide competitive contest since Trump was elected. The outcome could influence both Republican and Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections across the country, setting the stage for the remainder of Trump’s first term in the White House.
    Northam, meanwhile, has taken a much different tack with his support from high-profile Democrats. Former President Barack Obama will appear with him at a rally on Thursday and Northam will campaign with former Vice President Joe Biden as well. Northam has been highly critical of Trump and his administration, at one point calling the President a “narcissistic maniac.”
    It’s perhaps not surprising that Gillespie is taking a cautious approach when it comes to the commander in chief. Virginia was one of the few swing states that Trump lost in 2016, but the race was close and he still enjoys healthy support among Republicans there. Gillespie’s problem is that moderate Republicans and independent voters, both of which are growing in Virginia, appear to be increasingly wary of Trump.
    Gillespie’s recipe is to embrace Trump’s policies without embracing the man. He checks all the traditional Republican boxes on social issues and fiscal policy and he is emphasizing key tenets of the Trump campaign, including a heavy focus on immigration. He’s currently running a hard-hitting ad tying illegal immigration to the rise of the MS-13 gang in Virginia, a position that led Trump to tweet his support.
    But despite their similar stances, Gillespie still refuses to connect himself to Trump. When asked by Virginia’s WVEC-TV if he is happy with Trump’s endorsement, Gillespie replied, “I wasn’t surprised he endorsed me.” He also refuses to say if Trump will appear alongside him in the closing days of the campaign. Vice President Mike Pence campaigned for Gillespie Saturday night, but at this point, a visit by the President himself has not been ruled in or out.
    “We don’t discuss campaign strategy with the media,” Gillespie spokesman David Abrams said. Similarly, the White House declined to comment.
    While the campaign and the White House remain coy, talk show host John Fredericks, who chaired Trump’s campaign in Virginia and hosts a popular syndicated radio show, claimed the two sides are preparing for a last-minute rally. But neither the campaign or the White House were willing to back up his claim.
    Trump also might be reluctant to expend political capital if Gillespie — who was trailing Northam, 53% to 40%, in a Washington Post-Schar School poll released earlier this month — isn’t assured of victory. Sources have told CNN the President was furious after establishment-backed Alabama Sen. Luther Strange lost a primary race last month despite his endorsement. As a GOP adviser to the White House put it, “Losing is bad for (Trump’s) brand.”
    Gillespie, however, isn’t the only one trying to strike a careful balance with Trump. Despite weeks of heavy criticism against the administration, Northam, too, has been forced to adjust his approach in a bid to woo independents.
    “If Donald Trump wants to help Virginia,” Northam said in an ad released earlier this month, “I’ll work with him.”

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    Maria Grazia Chiuri on fashion, feminism and Dior: ‘You must fight for your ideas’

    Diors new creative director the first female in its 70-year history to hold the post is fascinated by modern women and how she can reflect their lives in the clothes she makes

    It is Christian Dior who gazes down gravely from the portrait in oils, whose dresses are in the silver-framed photographs that sit at an elegant slant beneath the white orchids, and whose name is stamped in distinctive sharp-serifed font on the reception desk at Dior HQ on Rue de Marignan. But the living, breathing creative force of todays Christian Dior, who darts in shaking the rain out of her tousled bob, is a woman. Whats more, Maria Grazia Chiuri is nothing like the full-skirted, doe-eyed figure whose image is conjured up by the name Dior. She wears a black sheepskin coat, flat buckled black shoes and black trousers with a Mod-sharp crease.

    Maria Grazia Chiuri is here to reinvent Christian Dior. A house that has been selling feminine charm since 1947 has a woman in charge for the very first time. We walk the curved staircase to the first floor, into a salon with three tall white-shuttered windows, where oval-backed Louis XVI chairs are grouped gracefully around a generous expanse of freshly beeswaxed parquet.

    On the staircase we passed Willy Maywalds famous photograph of 40s Dior house model Renee, her feet posed in a balletic fourth on a cobbled Parisian street in a full black skirt and a white bar jacket. But we are not here to talk about full skirts or the New Look. After 70 years of white-gloved elegance and dove-grey refinement, the house of Dior now stands for something else: feminism. For her Dior debut in the Muse Rodin in September last year, Maria Grazia Chiuri sent on to the catwalk a T-shirt with the slogan We Should All Be Feminists, the title of a Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Ted talk. So once Maria Grazia, as her team call her, has offloaded her D-fence saddlebag, a millennial-bait crossbody with the DIOR name spelt out in knuckleduster gold, on to the grey velvet upholstery, I ask her why she wanted to put feminism on the Paris catwalk.

    Dior is feminine, she says. Thats what I kept hearing when I told people I was coming here. But as a woman, feminine means something different to me than it means to a man, perhaps. Feminine is about being a woman, no? I thought to myself: if Dior is about femininity, then it is about women. And not about what it was to be a woman 50 years ago, but to be a woman today.

    Maria Grazia herself is very much a woman of today. Her naturally dark hair is bleached a platinum blond, offset by sooty black eyes; the effect, teamed with her all-black outfit (I am part of the generation that wears black, she shrugs), is equal parts Debbie Harry and Donatella. The pussy bow of her sheer black blouse is tied in a rakish slim knot which is Mick Jagger rather than Nancy Reagan. Her hands, barnacled with rings, have an aesthetic that is more Hells Angel than chauffeur-driven: an eagle spreads across three fingers, an enormous pearl balances on another, a jagged flash of green on the other hand.

    Dior
    We Should All Be Feminists … making a statement at Paris fashion week in September 2016. Photograph: SIPA/Rex/Shutterstock

    In the days running up to that first Dior show, Chiuris debut was trailed by a series of mini films on the Dior social media accounts under the title The Women Behind My Dress. Women in the modern Dior ateliers, from seamstresses to calligraphers, talked about their role models. The names ranged from Princess Diana to US Senator Elizabeth Warren. As Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence, Bianca Jagger, Carla Bruni and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie took their seats in the front row, Dior released a pre-show statement that championed Adichies work examining the question of racism and the place of women in society. In previews, Chiuri had talked to editors not about her obsession with tulle or embroidery but about the influence of Women Who Run With The Wolves, Clarissa Ests book about the Wild Woman archetype and the patriarchys attempts to suppress her force in society.

    When you are a woman making clothes for women, then fashion is not just about how you look. It is about how you feel and how you think, she says. I ask her what feminism means to her, but she bats the question away with a wave of those rings. I am not interested in the old stereotypes, of what a feminist looks like or doesnt look like. I dont think there is one way to be a feminist.

    This inclusive agenda is as radical in the arena of Parisian high fashion as the presence of a political slogan on the catwalk. The higher echelons of French fashion are a world in which an image of swan-like unrufflement is maintained at all times and the Dior empire, which dominates prime real estate along Avenue Montaigne and Rue de Marignan, has an atmosphere as rarefied as a Disney castle. It is run by an immaculate female army whose faultless manners never falter. When I choose a seat for the interview, one of the Dior team moves a glass tank of white roses to the adjacent side table, so that you have a nicer view.

    If the creative director of Dior is a kind of unofficial art director for femininity, then the appointment of a woman to the job after decades of mansplaining is a feminist moment that goes beyond T-shirts. Chiuri has already had a very successful career, alongside bringing up two children who are now both in their early 20s. At 53, she finds herself in a position to seize a new opportunity in a new country, living alone in Paris from Monday to Friday and returning home to her husband in Rome most weekends. Feminism for me is about equal opportunities. If I am going to stand for something, I would like to stand for this idea: that if you are a woman you can have these opportunities in life.

    Chiuri was born in Rome, studied fashion and spent three decades working in the city, first at Fendi, then for 17 years at Valentino. Her reputation was built on a Midas touch with accessories she was part of the team that created the Baguette at Fendi, and is credited with the Rockstud shoes and bags that played a huge role in raising both profile and profits at Valentino (the brand reached revenue of $1bn in 2015, two years ahead of forecast). For the last eight years of her Valentino tenure, she and her design partner, Pierpaolo Piccioli, were responsible for ready-to-wear, too. During that time, they blended Romes Renaissance past with a punky modern sensibility to create Valentinos modern bohemian mash-up of hippy-length hemlines, slender feminine sleeves, tightly braided hair and hardware-studded accessories. Chiuris husband, Paolo Regini, is a shirtmaker; their son Nicolo, now studying engineering in Rome, and daughter Rachele, a visual arts student at Goldsmiths in London, were born during her Fendi years. For any woman who works and has a family, its not easy. You get home from work and then you need more energy for your family. You need a lot of energy. But I was lucky to have had a husband who always supported me, and that I could afford to pay a babysitter.

    The Dior job was not a decision she took lightly. We are a traditional Italian family. We ate together every night. So this was a very unusual idea, for us. But when I got the call I thought at this moment in my life, I could do this. In the past, maybe it wouldnt have been possible and in the future, well, who knows. Right now, I have the energy to do this. She left behind in Rome not only her family but Piccioli, with whom she had built a creative partnership. She plays down the significance of working as a solo designer after a career spent in a duo (All the time, the reality is that there is a team) but in scrutiny terms, the combination of the Dior scale, the exposure of flying solo and the novelty of her being female have shone a spotlight on Chiuri more glaring than anything she knew in Rome.

    Signature
    Signature looks from the house (l-r): Christian Diors New Look (1947); a Dior look by Yves Saint Laurent (1958-59); Dior couture by Galliano S&M with models hands bound together (A/W 00); Dior couture minimalist bar jacket by Raf Simons (A/W 12); We should all be feminists (S/S 17). Composite: Getty/Rex

    Her first real challenge at Dior was more prosaic. The hardest thing was just to find my office. This place is not just a building, it is a village. (I can confirm this. Whats more, the miles of corridor and acres of stuccoed salon are done out entirely in the same pale grey and warm white, making orientation possible only by memorising the position of specific Avedon photographs.) One of the first times she left her office, she recalls with a throaty laugh, she had to call her assistant from the street for directions back. But though the dimensions were bigger than Id realised, the atmosphere was the opposite. This is a house that looks quite distant from the outside, and quite formal; instead I found a very relaxed, familiar atmosphere.

    She is tickled by the novelty of independent living in her new apartment near the Jardin du Luxembourg. Its like a second life! I feel like maybe I am a student at university in a foreign city! She smiles. She misses Rome The weather, the light, the food. I realise how Italian I am about food, since I moved here but finds herself charmed by Paris. After the feminist splash of her ready-to-wear debut, the second Dior collection by Chiuri was a pre-fall line-up that took as its starting point Chiuris newly adopted city.

    But the Chiuri take on Paris, as expressed in an eclectic line-up of slogan T-shirts, houndstooth capes, embroidered denim and tiered lace, is an instructively unconventional one. Not for her the Francophile cliches of caf crmes and bourgeois charm, or the familiar tropes of soignee French Girl dressing which have sold a thousand style books. Chiuri alighted instead on multicultural Paris and the citys alternative life, citing as influences Harmony Korines countercultural film-making and Walter Benjamins urban sociology. A city like Paris is not just French. Paris is a very specific space where many different people live. Chiuri interprets the ideas and values that this Paris represents to her in clothes. It is a very meta mindset, but she wears it lightly. There is not just one Paris. I live in Paris now, but in a way I still imagine Paris, do you know what I mean?

    The two people to whom Chiuri most frequently refers are Christian Dior and her daughter Rachele. The two seem to be in conversation in her head: the man who wrote the boilerplate copy for femininity, and the living, breathing incarnation of the modern female. When she had accepted the job, but before she moved to Paris, she read Christian Dior et Moi, the couturiers autobiography. When he spoke about his job, he would say, this dress would be perfect for this woman. He wasnt making the dresses to please himself, he was making them for the women he dressed.

    This idea, of helping women to express themselves, is how Chiuri hopes to channel the founder. Because it is not possible to have a reference that is a dress from the 50s. It is just too long ago. But the ideas are still modern. Meanwhile, Rachele regularly takes the Eurostar to Paris, and could be spotted backstage on the day of the first show, eating lunch with her mum. I listen to her because she is the new generation, and because she doesnt say anything to please me. I need her real, honest opinion. It is impossible to work in fashion now if you dont try to understand the new world.

    One of Chiuris most radical angles on Dior is the way she collages images from throughout the brands history, rather than worshipping at the New Look as if one collection could unlock all secrets, like fashions Rosetta Stone. The Dior history cant be just about something that happened 70 years ago, she says. For many women now, when they think of Dior, they think of [Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a Dior T-shirt in] Sex And The City. Mr Dior was only here for 10 years, so this company is also about all the designers after him Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, Raf Simons. And Hedi Slimane [at Dior Homme] influenced this brand a lot, so it is not possible to talk about Dior and not talk about Hedi. She sees herself as a curator of the idea of Dior.

    The evening after her haute couture show in January, Chiuri had the venue reconfigured to host a blockbuster masked ball, an immersive extravaganza which invited suspension of disbelief at every stage from the unicorns who stood guard along the candlelit path (horses with gold horns and masked riders, but still) to the suspiciously handsome tarot card readers. On the banquet table, gold-painted lobsters, and tortoises carved from marble, tangled with swags of ripe grapes and quivering meringue gateaux, all lit as sumptuously as a Caravaggio still life. (Kendall Jenner channelling Audrey Hepburn in black shades, and Bella Hadid in a see-through dress on the dancefloor with A$AP Rocky that part really happened.) It seemed to stand for a new era of informality and unpredictability at Dior.

    The day after the party I went back to the Dior showroom on Avenue Montaigne. I was there for a closer look at the Dior pre-fall collection in all its crazy glory leopard-print tailoring, blanket coats with logo-stamped hems, polka-dotted sheer knee-high boots but was struck, traversing those labyrinthine grey corridors, by something else about the Dior look. The female workforce seemed to be mostly wearing black trousersuits, with not a full skirt to be seen. Chiuri herself is, she says, obsessed with uniforms. Because a uniform is something that helps you live your life. When she was dreaming up her first Dior collection, she watched Viscontis 1976 film LInnocente and was charmed by the beautiful images of fencing. I thought to myself, this could be in some way a new bar jacket. And if I put it with pants, it could be a modern Dior uniform, she says. The first look in her first collection became a white fencing jacket modelled by the crop-haired Brit Ruth Bell. First I just loved the image, but after I saw the film, I started to read about fencing. I love the idea that you go into a duel, but you dont kill. I think in some ways this is very close to the way I think. I dont like violence at all. But I truly believe that you must fight for your ideas.

    This article appears in the spring/summer 2017 edition of The Fashion, the Guardian and the Observers biannual fashion supplement

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    Trump Finally Says Something Coherent About ‘the Cyber’

    What a difference a day makes.

    Yesterday when Donald Trump was asked during a televised interview how he would deal with ISIS’s spread online he responded with a fairly incoherent answer that amounted to “the cyber is so big.” Today, during a much publicized speech on national security in Philadelphia, he said one of his first directives as president would be to “conduct a thorough review of all United States cyber defenses and identify all vulnerabilities.”

    Sounds like someone’s been studying…or at least, whoever wrote Trump’s speech has been. (The Trump campaign did not respond to a request about who wrote today’s remarks.)

    Throughout this election cycle, the Republican nominee has rarely discussed issues related to technology and cyber security. And when he has, the things he’s said have been newsworthy if only for their comedic value. Yesterday, it was his circuitous and confusing dodge about defeating ISIS online.

    Before that, it was his debate-night assertion that Bill Gates would help him close up parts of the Internet.

    And boy did the Twitterati laugh, because Trump putting a “the” in front of “cyber” is kind of like my mom asking if we can “Netflick” the final season of The Good Wife. And how would Bill Gates shut off the internet anyway? How absurd. Ha HA!

    Except for one thing: Trump’s ignorance about cyber threats has never been funny. It’s been scary. Trump’s lousy grammar and off the cuff remarks have been distractions from the real issue: That the man who actually could be president has expressed little to no understanding of cybersecurity or the online frontier in the war on terror.

    Yesterday, when he was asked to talk policy, Trump slipped seamlessly into highlighting his own rising poll numbers. Whether he intended to or not, that pivot had the effect of comparing his supporters to ISIS recruits, suggesting that the same psychology that leads them to be energized about polls in his favor is what leads ISIS recruits to be radicalize. Wait, what?

    Never mind the fact that ISIS’s social media recruiting tactics are a separate issue altogether from the cybersecurity threats the country faces from other nations and lone hackers. Russian hackers have cracked the Democratic National Committee’s databases. Chinese hackers infiltrated the US Office of Personnel Management. North Korean hackers nearly toppled Sony over the release of a Seth Rogen movie. So yeah, “the cyber” is big, so big that the next president will need to come to the White House with at least a slight understanding of what to do about it.

    Which is why it’s mildly comforting that today, Trump devoted a significant portion of his national security speech to talking about addressing these issues. In addition to investing heavily in the military, Trump said he would ask the joint chiefs of staff and “all relevant federal departments” to submit a plan that would address vulnerabilities in the country’s power grid, communications, and infrastructure.” That’s a good start.

    “At the same time we will invest heavily in offensive cyber capabilities to disrupt our enemies including terrorists who rely heavily on Internet communications,” Trump said, adding that these investments would “help create the jobs and technologies of tomorrow.”

    After a year and a half of skirting questions about technology altogether, Trump sounded a lot like, well, Hillary Clinton. Clinton has also called for a commission on national security and privacy, and has spoken repeatedly about the need to refuse ISIS territory on land and in cyberspace.

    We need Silicon Valley not to view government as its adversary, Clinton said back in November. We need to challenge our best minds in the private sector and work with our best minds in the public sector to develop solutions that would both keep us safe and protect our privacy.

    The difference, of course, is that Clinton has been talking about these issues with frequency and facility. Trump, on the other hand, has stumbled tongue-tied toward a coherent policy. Now that he’s arrived at one—however devoid of detail it may be—it’s hard to lavish on the credit for his ability to read from a TelePrompter. Still, today’s remarks indicate he’s starting to take “the cyber” seriously.

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    How Comedian Kristina Wong Went Viral, Then Took Her Art And Activism Offline

    The metaphorical armchair is a comfy place — the temperature is controlled, snacks are readily available and the Internet speed is high. Best of all, it is the easiest place to comfortably critique society in the digital age.  

    Los Angeles-based performance artist and comedian Kristina Wong is all too familiar with that abstract cushy seat. After years of making live theater, the armchair is where she, like many before her, went viral. At the beginning of her new one-woman show, “Wong Street Journal,” she explains this pivotal moment with a simple bar graph.

    Two years ago, Wong recounts, she had finished touring two consecutive one-woman shows. “Wong Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest” was her take on the high rates of depression and suicide among Asian-American women, followed by “Cat Lady,” a play about the loneliness she experienced touring “Cuckoos Nest” and the larger, tragic subculture of of pick-up artists. One squat bar on her graph (made of felt, like most of her personally handsewn set) represents the response she received from those shows, while another bar towers in comparison. The latter represents the high number of likes, followers and shares she received as the result of an xoJane essay she wrote in 2013, titled “9 Wack Things White Guys Say to Deny their Asian Fetish.”

    Wong lovingly strokes the tall bar in a happy-ending fashion, contemplating the beginning of her tumultuous relationship with social media. After publishing the article, Wong went after any commenters she came across who were racist, misogynist or generally ignorant on the Internet. Through hashtag campaigns and troll wars, she cemented her role as a self-proclaimed “public shame master.”

    As much as the Internet feels infinite, the stream of people reinforcing and maintaining the oppressive status quo can feel just as endless. To demonstrate this in her performances today, Wong enacts a live hashtag war with her audiences, using felt versions of the symbol “formerly known as the pound sign.” In a frenzy, she throws plush, red hashtags into the audience while exclaiming her favorites.

    “Hashtag revolution! Hashtag not your stereotype!” Someone throws one back at her — “Thats a retweet!” she says. “I can do this all fucking day!” Wong exclaims.

    But in truth, she couldnt.

    “I just found myself fighting with people online all day. It was this weird rush, not having to see people face to face, but it also just felt so exhausting,” Wong told The Huffington Post. “Is this going to be my life?”

    If Twitter was her battleground, theater was her safe haven. But after touring two emotionally wrought, personal plays for the better part of a decade, Wong was sick of herself. So, three months after publishing her xoJane piece, she decided to get away from the theater, social media and her armchair by volunteering in Uganda.

    “I had an existential crisis, which felt like such a privileged thing,” Wong explained to HuffPost. “I was guilty of having an Eat, Pray, Love moment.”

    That feeling of privilege and the guilt that followed was pervasive throughout her three weeks in Uganda, working with the organization Vac-net, which empowers women through efforts like microloans. Before her trip, Wong had built a reputation for her online and offline antics focused on race — crashing the Miss Chinatown pageant, seeking reparations from white guys with yellow fever, and co-opting a televised talking-head segment on “Why everyone wants to date Asian babes.” But once she arrived in Uganda, the racial dynamics in her world shifted. One of her initial interactions in Uganda involved someone calling her “mzungu,” a Bantu term for “white.”

    “Suddenly, I was the face of oppression,” she explained to The Huffington Post. “It was really weird to go from constantly calling out white people to people having to literally walk around the power I bring to the room.” 

    During “Wong Street Journal,” she defines white privilege and gives an overview of her (and perhaps most Americans) knowledge of Africa through celebrities, “the dark continent brought to you by white people.” Similarly, she emphasizes that the lingering question that hung over her while in Uganda was, “How do I enter this situation, leave a legacy, and not be a colonial asshole?”

    She recounts how, upon learning of her travels, friends and Facebook “friends” (an important distinction) who had never been to Africa told her to “be careful” or praised her for being “so brave.” A projected screenshot on view during her performance shows how one particular Facebook “friend” pestered Wong about how she could help, potentially by sending her clothes to Africa. The “friend” ended one message with, “I have a purse, too.”

    While Wong does point out the ignorance of those individuals, she scrutinizes herself most of all. In addition to being self-conscious about her privilege, she analyzes her own urge to document, upload and share all her thoughts on social media. 

    For example, Wong acts out a relatable moment from Uganda, when she realized that her head had become “24 hours of backlogged tweets.” On stage, she demonstrates her first foray outside of her comfortable hotel, when she met and befriended a group of young male rappers and music producers. In an unexpected and hilarious turn of events, Wong ended up cutting a five-song rap album with them featuring songs about racial privilege and female empowerment, which is still played on Ugandan radio.

    Still, Wong’s quest for connection and authenticity isn’t finished. Throughout her performance, she awkwardly and humorously fumbles through her Western privilege but refuses to sit in it, grasping for answers to tough questions.

    “Ive found the best way to help [marginalized people] is to find ways to support their self-determination,” Wong concludes. “What actually supports the ability of people who want to speak for themselves?”

    At the end of her performance, she finds herself back in her armchair, literally and figuratively, scrolling through messages from her rapper friends, photos with her colleagues at the volunteer organization, and videos of moments in the community that moved her to tears. By getting out from behind her computer, Wong made herself vulnerable to the same criticisms she had lodged at others, in addition to her own shame, discomfort and guilt. But she pushed through those feelings, and with self-awareness and sincerity, she managed to find genuine connection with the people she met, no “liking” or “retweeting” necessary.  

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    11 Reasons Why Your Email List Beats Social Media

    Constant changes to what gets into the Facebook’s newsfeed decrease organic reach. It’s clear that engaging your hard-won fans will become increasingly difficult.

    In this post, I will cover the how and why email lists will work better for your marketing than social channels.

    It’s time to reallocate some of your funds to your content marketing and list building. Start integrating social media to boost your email marketing.

    On January 12, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced the coming changes, outlining that they aim to ensure that the time people spend on Facebook is ‘well spent.’

    Facebook repeated this message later in a video:

    Person-to-person will be more valuable than person-to-Page. Connections with people in your network will get the biggest boost because interacting with people you’re close to is more meaningful

    Facebook organic reach started to plummet around the end ob 2013. An analysis published by Marshall Manson from Social@Ogilvy found that organic reach brands get for their posts on Facebook has crashed. Without putting money behind the posts’ engagement has dropped almost 50% in the last 6 months. They conclude that:

    Organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero. It’s only a matter of time. –- Marshall Manson, Social@Ogilvy

    This does not mean that all social channels are tanking. But it should make you cautious about where to invest your marketing dollars. The first step would be to start moving social media followers to your newsletter. Rethinking your email marketing strategy will give you better control over your marketing assets.

    Most recent data from SocialFlow shows that the Facebook organic reach is continuing to go down. The reason behind this is an ever-increasing number of Facebook users create more and more content that competes for your newsfeed. Facebook reached 2.2 billion users in March 2018. And there’s the need for Facebook to sell ads.

    Email is a more effective sales and communications channel than social networking sites. Even if you are very active in managing your Facebook page or Twitter the potential return is much lower than using opt-in email lists. Social media channels are great for outreach. Next step would be to bring the people you reach there to your email list.

    Email is the first step towards building a customer relationship database. It will help you nurture the leads, get the sale and create repeat business. Here are 20 tips to help you grow your newsletter.

    Email is at least 4 times more effective in reaching your audience than Facebook

    • Email 20% open rate
    • Facebook 5% talking about this
    • 20,000 fans 1,000 > talking about this
    • 5,000 emails 1,000 opened and 300 to 400 clicks to your site

    Move from social media to email list to get more leads and conversions

    Email is like a phone book of your friends, but social media is more like a casual acquaintance. Mailing lists give you more control over your communications. However this does not mean you should stop using social channels. Use social media as a constant source of new subscribers to your opt-in mailing list.

    In 2016 every dollar spent on email is projected to bring in $35.02 –US Direct Marketing Association

    1. You get more attention

    Email gets more attention than a post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter. With recent changes by Facebook the people who actually see your posts in their newsfeed has dropped dramatically. Now you have to use promoted posts to have any meaningful reach.

    In the case of email, it’s a bit different. Even if it doesn’t seem so, people have less mail than there are tweets and status updates in their newsfeed. So if you have managed to get them to sign up for your mailing list, you have less competing messages.

    The other aspect of email is that people have to do something with the email, even if that is just clicking delete.

    2. Control who sees what

    You have full control over the content and design of your email. Email tends to be technically more versatile. You can put more information in the email without making the user experience too painful. In the case of social media sites, you are stuck with the limited capabilities of the platform you are using.

    3. Personalize for better results

    Email is more personal than a message from the brand page on Facebook or tweet on Twitter. You can personalize messages in an email a lot more easily than on social media channels. In social media, personal customization may lead to one on one communication that will not scale. (Unless you hire an army of monkeys).

    When I see a post from a brand in my Facebook newsfeed, I feel that I am watching a broadcast. If you put in some effort, you can make the emails feel personal. But in the case of Facebook’s wall posts, you simply can’t. You either talk to one person, or you address everybody in more general terms. More personal touch is why people feel that when they get an email, it is meant just for them.

    4. Segment messages to increase conversion

    Right after personalization comes segmenting. Email is better at that! You can slice and dice your mailing list any way you want. You have more information about subscriber’s earlier actions. Information about what emails they open and what links they click enables you to use that behavior to segment subscribers automatically.

    Using Facebook will give you some control in the form of demographic targeting, but it’s hard to track that to the individual level. In the case of Twitter, you are flying blind.

    Here is a useful integration option. Match the people from the social networks to the entries in your mailing list. Then you may able to add demographic information from Facebook to email database and take a step closer to the social CRM. I will show you how to do this in the following chapters.

    Find out how to use social media channels to build your newsletter.

    5. Test what works

    A/B and multivariate testing are one of the most important tools in any marketer’s arsenal. Mailing lists are an exceptional channel to use for testing. Email excels at the possibilities of testing content variations, segmentation, personalization, etc. From subjects to CTAs (call to action) and copy length versus image use, email is really flexible.

    Email gives you another segmenting option not available in social media channels. Targeting recipients based on their earlier interactions:

    • Did they open the email?
    • Did they click any links?
    • What specific link did they click?

    There’s a lot of possibilities that show the engagement level of the subscriber but are not available in social media channels.

    Facebook allows for demographic targeting. Demographic targeting is not possible if your list only consists of email addresses without extra data. With the possibility of publishing an invisible post (hidden from newsfeed), Facebook is taking steps towards allowing to test different messages on different audiences. But the flexibility of Facebook options is far from that of email.

    As segmenting becomes more important social networking sites might start to give marketers the tools that allow them to access that data. They already have that information, but it’s not available to the mere mortals like us.

    6. Legal questions are simpler

    There are a lot of restrictions on the content that you can use on social networking sites. Guns, porn, gambling, prescription drugs, etc. In most cases, you are banned from social networking sites if you deal in any of those areas.

    In the case of social networks you have three masters to consider:

    • First, there are rules set by the social media site that may get you banned even if you think you are acting within the rules.
    • Second, as the content on the social sites is usually publicly accessible to many more people than the intended audience then the law might prevent you to post certain information. A good example of this is prescription drugs.
    • And finally, what would others think argument? If you run a site with questionable content and operate within the rules of the social site and the law of the country, you still have to deal with the opinions of the wider audience, and your client base might not want to be associated with your business in any public way.

    In the case of the email, the rules are a lot less strict. The law dictates what you can do. When a person initiates a conversation with the business, then business can answer in great detail without getting in trouble with the law. There’s no third party to set up additional rules. Email is also considered private enough that people are willing to subscribe to lists that they necessarily wouldn’t admit to in public.

    These topics that people want to hide from others don’t have to be porn or gambling. There are things like bad breath, skin conditions, baldness, plastic surgery, legal advice, etc.

    7. Familiar channel will work in your favor

    The best part?

    People are familiar with commercial email. Getting an email that contains business information and special offers is something that happens all the time, and people are accustomed to this. In the email, you can include one part of commercial offers and add some useful content to that. This will make your communication less about hard selling and more about delivering value.

    In the case of social media sites it’s not totally clear how much sales is acceptable. One piece of social media content (a wall post, tweet, image, etc.) is usually about one thing. It’s a sales message or something else. If a person gets too many sales messages in a row they might want to opt out.

    8. Email is still most used channel

    Look:

    Email is still the most used electronic media. Most people check it first thing in the morning and take a glance before they go to bed.

    71% consumers favor email as their first online “check” of the day. –ExactTarget

    9. You own your email list

    Having a email list is like having a gold bullion under your mattress. It’s yours. You have direct route to the people and you can use that whenever you feel like it. It is important that you know what you are doing but it is under your control.

    In the case of third party sites like Facebook and Twitter, you are at the mercy of their decisions. You have a Facebook app? Facebook changes its width. You have thousands of likes? To reach them pay up! Facebook has to find ways to justify its sky-high valuation. Twitter has made changes to how you can use its API to access the data that you have created. You can’t be sure that you have free access your followers in the future.

    10. Email gets you more engagement

    Value of the Facebook fan and Twitter follower is much lower than that of an email subscriber in your opt-in list. If you are doing it right then, you should get at least 20% of open rate. Click through rates maybe 2-4% of or even higher. For some, these number may seem too low. That’s because they are Average Email Campaign Stats of MailChimp Customers by Industry. You should aim higher.

    In the case of Facebook, we can measure the engagement rate in the form of people “talking about this.” If you are not running a campaign or posting something really viral, your engagement rate tends to be in 2-6 percent range.

    This means that email will engage several times more people than your social media channel. You should interact with your followers in social channels and encourage them to sign up for the email list.

    For example: Let’s take an email opt-in list of 10,000 subscribers and pit it against the Facebook page with 10,000 likes. I would put my money on the email list to get the most customer engagement (and eventually sales). Twitter account with 10k followers would probably be the least effective of the three. Here’s how to get the most out of your newsletter subscribers.

    11. People prefer email for promotional messages

    Besides getting more engagement, people consider email as the main commercial channel. An ExactTarget study from 2012 found that more than three-quarters (77%) of people surveyed responded that email is the preferred channel for permission-based promotional messages. Only 4% of respondents said that about Facebook and for Twitter it was measly 1%

    Bottom line?

    Integrating social media with newsletter and email marketing

    I started with the idea that email lists are more effective than social media to deliver business results. Opponents have said it’s like comparing apples to oranges. This is true in a way. Different marketing tools vary in effectiveness, but the most important metric for any marketing effort is ROI. You do marketing because you want to sell your products and services. The goal is to move the potential customer in the direction of making a transaction. That vehicle is email more often than not.

    12 quick tips how to integrate newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter.

    To give your newsletter sign-up rate a huge boost use:
    Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box WordPress plugin.

    _________________________
    Cat image Flickr
    Header cat image Flickr

    The post 11 Reasons Why Your Email List Beats Social Media appeared first on DreamGrow.

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    LeBron James won’t let the world forget the Warriors blew a 3-1 NBA Finals lead

    Blowing a 3-1 NBA Finals lead? Now that’s scary.
    Image: Phil Long/AP

    Folks, don’t let Halloween distract you from the fact that the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

    Not that you could LeBron James is here to make sure no one forgets.

    King James’ Halloween party for Cleveland Cavaliers teammates on Sunday included some amazing costumes, which we’ll get to in a second. But the unquestioned highlight was a fantastic shot taken at the Golden State Warriors team LeBron and company vanquished in last season’s NBA Finals.

    James, of course, powered the Cavs to a comeback win in the series after being down 3-1, something that had never before happened in NBA Finals history. The flip side of that equation is that the Warriors became the first team in history to blow a 3-1 NBA Finals lead which has since become a running joke on the basketball internet.

    They real petty at @kingjames Halloween Costume Party!

    A photo posted by DJ Steph Floss (@djstephfloss) on Oct 30, 2016 at 8:08pm PDT

    And so we present to you this bit of decor from the Halloween party James hosted for Cavs teammates Sunday night. The photo above was shared on Instagram by DJ Steph Floss, and has since been making the rounds among hoop fans on social media.

    Damn. Damn! DAMN! That’s an MVP-level burn.

    Now, like we promised, here are some costume highlights from Sunday night.

    Kevin Love and girlfriend Kate Bock went as Harry and Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber.

    Mike Dunleavy Jr. and his wife, Sarah, went as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears circa early the early aughts.

    Iman Shumpert went as The Joker.

    Kyrie Irving went as a footloose Red Ranger.

    And finally, here’s LeBron himself as Jerome from Martin.

    In conclusion, it’s good to be kings of the basketball world.

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    Has Tokyo fashion lost its edge? Shoichi Aoki on Harajuku’s decline

    (CNN)For over two decades, Japanese photographer Shoichi Aoki has been documenting the most outlandish, provocative and definitive Tokyo street fashion.

    Beginning in 1996, Shoichi captured the complete transformation of Harajuku — the city’s fashion hot spot — from pedestrian shopping precinct, to cutting-edge Asian style center, documenting it all in his publication, FRUiTS magazine.

      Episode 13: Tokyo’s cutting-edge creativity

    But in December 2016, Aoki shut down the cult fanzine after 233 issues, declaring a lack of fashionable people to photograph and, in an interview with CNN, attributes the influx of fast-fashion brands and influence of social media to the increasingly generic state of the capital’s street fashion.
      An excerpt from this month’s Style show, Aoki reminisces on the early days of his career and his most memorable, eccentric shots below to host Derek Blasberg.
      CNN: You started taking photos documenting Tokyo’s street fashion scene many years ago, what drew you to it?

      @makeinuchan_ #FRUiTS # #harajuku HUNTER: aoki

      A post shared by FRUiTS (@fruitsmag) on Feb 14, 2017 at 5:05am PST

      Shoichi Aoki: FRUiTS Magazine started in 1996 and this was when the fashion that you see in FRUiTS really first emerged. It has been 20 years and there have been good times and bad times.
      CNN: Have there been any trends or movements in fashion that were particularly exciting to capture?
      SA: The first two years were very exciting, during the years of Decora. (“Decora,” short for decoration, began in the 1990s and is characterized by its childlike and colorful expressions of clothing). That was a very cool fashion movement and I don’t think we’ll see such a movement emerge in the world again.
      CNN: What is it about Tokyo that makes it so stylish?
      SA: In Tokyo there are many people that come from different regions, with different histories and different regional tastes. It’s really cool that it’s not just about age.
      CNN: I find that in Japan, people get dressed up just to go out of the house and walk on the street. What do you think it is about Tokyo that makes people want to express themselves through style?
      SA: I don’t think it’s just in Japan where people express themselves using fashion because we cannot walk naked on the street. But I guess that in Japan there’s a bit of a stronger feeling of being part of a group, and to share their sense of style with friends and followers. This is especially true for young people.
      CNN: Speaking of these different groups, do you really have to pick one group to belong to, or can you one day be “goth” and another day be something else?
      SA: Harajuku is a special place where new fashion comes out so I think it’s very different to other places in Tokyo. You’ll see several different groups of people.
      CNN: Do you think that street style has become more important on the internet than it is on the streets?
      SA: I think that one of the reasons you don’t see fashionable people around Harajuku anymore is that they are now expressing their fashion online, so they don’t need to express themselves on the street. Online is more like a stage for them to express their fashion.
      CNN: What would you say is your all-time favorite photo from Japan?
      SA: Decora fashion is something that was born in Harajuku, many people think it is too much but it is real fashion so I really like that.
      CNN: What are your plans for the future?
      SA: I am still shooting. So I am thinking that maybe I am going to publish a book or a magazine sometime in the near future.
      During this month’s Style show, Derek Blasberg explores Tokyo’s art, design and fashion scenes. Featuring Takashi Murakami, Hidetoshi Nakata, Rila Fukushima, Shoichi Aoki and more.

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      Washington man charged with murder at mall after killing five in Macy’s store

      The 20-year-old gunman confessed to opening fire in the Burlington department store on Friday night, killing a man, a teenage girl and three women

      The man accused of killing five people at a Macys store in a Washington state shopping mall before leading authorities on a nearly 24-hour manhunt was charged Monday with five counts of first-degree murder.

      Arcan Cetin, 20, made a brief appearance in Skagit County district court and his bail was set at $2m.

      Court documents released before the hearing said Cetin confessed to the slayings after his arrest, telling detectives who interviewed him that he did bring the rifle into Macys and shot all five victims.

      Cetin was arrested Saturday, a day after the gunman opened fire in the department stores cosmetics department Friday night, killing a man, a teenage girl and three women.

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