Tag Archives: response

Media Mondays: Apple Watch Pre-Order/Release First Impressions!

Lately, there’s quite a lot of hype surrounding the release of the first generation Apple Watch, as Apple enthusiasts await the next supposedly life-changing product the company has in store. I have been using apple products (not devotedly, but often enough), and I have neither swayed for or against this product thus far. The interest in the smart watch, despite some consumers’ understanding, had occurred several years before the Apple Watch’s release without any meaningful success. This is one of the first instances when a smart watch is being released and consumers are actually itching to get their hands on it. But then again, it is Apple.

Maybe if I were more interested in wearing watches (which I’m clearly not), this would be a more fascinating product, but often I use my phone as my timekeeper so I don’t see a use of having a smart watch (YET) in my life. I feel as if the smart watch would be redundant, as I often have my phone in my hand, which basically holds the same capabilities. I could imagine it would prove to be more useful in a business setting than as a leisure-based purchase.

First and foremost, the product is a smart watch, which means the look and feel of the design are just as important as the advanced functions in the decision of Apple-Watch-logo-main1whether the product is worth the price tag. Aesthetically it is a sleek, sophisticated piece. I especially appreciate the fact that Apple released it with wristband variations to satisfy a larger audience. A metal band on a watch can be rather uncomfortable (pinching, hair grabbing and all that fun stuff that metal bands like to do), so having an option of a more casual, smooth band is essential.

A new feature that consumers might find interesting about this watch is the fitness tracker. It’s not always convenient to be carrying around your phone to record your fitness throughout the day (and especially during a workout!), so for those who find themselves constantly on the go, it may be beneficial to try this watch. As days go by and you record your activities, it encourages you to exceed apple-watch-activity-ringsyour goals by organizing your routine systematically so that you can access it and determine how long you’ve been sitting, standing, and moving throughout the day, pushing you to stay active.  I personally tend to record my fitness in the Notes app (it’s easily accessible and quick) on my phone which simply records but does not organize or interpret the information. I could imagine it would be motivating to have my workouts organized by time, activity, etc. and have explored several apps that claim to have such features, but have later realized that I personally do not need to have an advanced functioning workout organizing app. When it comes down to it, as long as I know which days I’ve completed my workouts and what machines I used on what weights, I’m perfectly able to make fitness goals on my own. I guess it’s just a matter of preference. I’m just not in desperate need of all the bells and whistles.

This watch carries many of the features that an iPhone already has, including but not limited to your synced calendar, on the go music, siri, navigationnotifications, local weather updates (or the weather updates in Cupertino if that’s what you’re feeling like checking), etc., with the addition of an “intimate” (yes, “intimate” is the word that was used, which seemed needlessly creepy) tap on the wrist that lets you know you have new content ready for viewing. I enjoy the fact that Apple is moving forward into new technologies and leading the way to bigger and better things, but I’m going to hold off on splurging for a first generation Smart Watch until I know what is in store down the line. For those of you who decide to make the purchase, I’d love to hear what you have to say about this technological trailblazer. Is this product mainly for the consumer that tends to forget their phone on a regular basis, but still manages to always remember their watch? Is this product for the Apple-hungry (that actually made me laugh because if I weren’t referring to the company, it would still make sense.), technology fein who wants to be able to see their calendar on multiple screens for reiteration of the fact that today’s leg day and they have a meeting at 5? Or is this a product that could convince even a skeptical realist like myself that it’s well worth the payout?

Would the Apple Watch be useful to you?

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Illuminating Our Perfection, or Purposeful Deception?

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I got an email the other day that had me thinking about the significance of makeup, especially in my life. She asked how I felt about the accusations that using makeup is a deceptive way that women represent themselves. I figured I’d respond to this publicly because I feel that it is essential to my readers to understand why I write what I write and the role that makeup plays for me personally.

Let’s start with a little personal history! I’ve gotten on a beauty kick lately more so than ever. I’m really loving experimenting with makeup and different products ever since I visited Ulta and later got an Ipsy subscription, which delivers new, varying beauty products every month for only $10, making it pretty much impossible for a girl like me to refuse. My love for using makeup has been a consistent love. I remember, as a young child, I used to carry around one of those caboodle carrying cases full of makeup and sit around with my friends and create “makeovers”. Sure, they probably weren’t as aesthetically pleasing then as they’d be now (I’ve learned at least some skills since those days), but even then I understood what makeup meant to me. I loved using it because makeup is artistic as well as purposeful.

I see so many comments on the pages, videos, and posts of beauty bloggers by men (and some women) saying that makeup is deceptive and that it hides one’s natural flaws, making the individual more attractive than they actually are, attracting individuals who apparently think they naturally look flawless. Ahh. Let’s get this straight here. Makeup enhances one’s beauty and gives the individual the ability to exemplify certain physical traits while toning down traits they see as less desirable or bothersome. That’s not deceptive. It’s something that we, as humans, do similarly with many things. We always want to put our best traits forward, whether it’s for a job interview, a first date, whichever. Makeup is something that allows women to accentuate their best physical features.

Some women, like myself, also use makeup as a way to conceal acne scars in order to be more comfortable and confident in their own skin and especially in face to face social situations. For me, I focus immensely on the base of the makeup look: the foundation. I have had severe acne for the majority of my young adult to adult life and it has left me with unsightly, discolored scars that I don’t always like to leave bare. It’s a sensitive thing for me, having others ask about the permanent marks that were left on my face from these years, so I find that knowing how to apply my makeup effectively gives me a major confidence boost. Others aren’t looking for scars, but rather social queues on my face, which is a nice change of pace. I could imagine many others apply makeup for the same reasons. They would rather reduce the distraction of little flaws and feel comfortable and confident in their own skin than go out, barefaced, knowing that the uncomfortableness will ultimately hinder them. I remember feeling like I was going to cry every time I’d look in the mirror and see how badly my skin had gotten. Makeup gives the individual the freedom to look glamorous and to feel beautiful, acne scars or not. It’s more so for the individual’s sake than for any outside force, meaning that the use of makeup isn’t as much for “deception” as many like to call it, but for the expression of illuminating one’s perceived best features in vibrant, inspired new ways, neutralizing the flaws we have that chip at our confidence.

Makeup is enjoyable for me. I love to be able to have a clean canvas to create new looks every day and to experiment with different color palettes. I can change my look to fit my outfit, my mood, anything I desire. I honestly think using makeup is as “deceptive” as a woman looking beautiful in nice clothes. Is that deception too, because she’s not spotlighting the bumps and rolls that are just a natural part of her figure, but finding pieces that illuminate her best assets?
Realistically speaking, how is makeup any more deceiving?
Why should I not feel comfortable in my own skin?

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Mass Produced Comments: Are They Productive, or Just Pestering?

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I would like to take a moment to address the actual, physical act of blogging. Blogging requires a great deal of marketing, writing talent, and persistence. You have to be prepared to commit the time, money (if needed), and of course, your blood, sweat, and tears. I, as a writer and blogger, can relate to and commend other bloggers for the work that they provide, the reviews they release, and the wonderful content they exhibit each day. Heck, sometimes I don’t even know how I do it while being in college and holding a job now. It’s shocking to me to see how students, college students just like me, manage to market and publish each day effectively. I’ve had periods where I physically could not write and had to take some time away from the blog to reevaluate the content (I believe in quality over quantity) and redirect my energy toward schooling temporarily. I know it’s difficult to be a committed blogger and I struggle each day to make everything in my life cooperate successfully.

But then there’s a side of me that feels like some (not all, thank goodness) bloggers and writers want to build an audience as quick as possible, and will resort to unprofessional tactics that I don’t agree with, which brings forth an ugly side to the otherwise inspired and intriguing writing community. I often get comments from individuals, including their business emails, with an attached, mass produced spiel about how fantastic and wonderful their company blog or personal blog is. They’ll preface this with what I believe to be a half a**ed response to the post they’re commenting on. A little “awesome job” and “great post”, followed by a novel-long comment about why I should drag myself over to their completely unrelated blog. I can’t help but roll my eyes. I get that you want to be successful and you want to bring in more views. So do I and the rest of the writing community. Success does have to do with readership. However, I don’t mass produce comments. When I take the time to comment on another blog or several other blogs, no matter what category it falls under or who is producing the physical blog, I refuse to spam others with my own advertisements. If the post is relevant to something that I’ve posted as well, I feel it is perfectly appropriate to follow my legitimate comment with a reference and perhaps say “Hey, I wrote something very similar that you might want to check out! *insert url here*”, but pushing your blog on me without any rhyme or reason doesn’t possess me to want to browse. It actually deters me and would make me significantly less likely to give your blog a chance. I don’t tolerate rude blog etiquette.

Writers, bloggers, many of you are like me. Many of you take pride in your work and your brand, and choose to represent it with dignity. You don’t mass produce your comments and spam them across the blogosphere, and I respect that immensely. I ooze respect for people who do the right thing, even if it feels “less efficient” at times. I know it takes time to produce your own blog, let alone respond to the posts of others. I know it’s difficult to respond to comments all the time and to interact within the writing community, one blog at a time. Whatever you do, try to avoid the impersonal, copy/pasted spamming of your blog, the long comments trying to “sell” your writing instead of genuinely responding to the post you may or may not (probably not) have read. Effective content brings viewers to your work just as successfully and ensures that your audience is legitimately interested in the topic you present. It’s essential to build a fan base that respects your literary talent and believes in the methods you incorporate in your writing journey. Easy isn’t always better.

What are your thoughts on advertisement-ridden spam comments?

What are some tips you could give towards blogs that are looking to build a more diverse, larger readership that don’t involve spamming?

Comment below.

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#WhyIStayed, #WhyILeft, and Why Our Pain Can Turn Into Promise (Trigger Warning)

TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic photographs. 

To hear about the initial story and the Twitter campaign, click here.

Ray Rice, former quarterback, was seen dragging his current wife, Janay Rice, out of an elevator, knocked out, after a fight they had had that had resulted in a loss of his temper. Then I ask, when was the last time you punched your partner in the face? Never? We all have fights with the people we love. Is this the way to effectively end the fight? Most of us understand that the method in which he handled the situation was incredibly inappropriate and disgusting. I don’t care who starts the fight or who ends the fight. Initiating a physical confrontation with anyone is abuse. Using violence against a partner or children is domestic abuse. The terrifying part about this news story is that there are probably many in the audience who were not as shocked as others by this behavior, but rather empathized for the victim, because the type of treatment the victim was experiencing was similar to a situation of their own. There are other victims with stories that have yet to be heard.

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One in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Look at the women and the men standing next to you, in front of you, behind you. Are there four women? Seven men? Think about this, hypothetically. One of them could potentially be brought into a situation like this, with a partner that instills fear and pain rather than love and respect toward his or her partner. Domestic abuse is a long-standing issue across the world, but we experience the tip of the iceberg here in the US. 25% of women and 14% of our men will experience this fear in their lifetime, many will endure it without being heard. 25% of our women and 14% of our men are fighting a fight that feels like it can’t be won, and often times they don’t know who to turn to or how to receive the help that they need in this type of crises. With that being said, I find the emergence of the #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft hashtags on Twitter to be a monumental tribute to all those who have suffered and survived (and those whose lives ended much too soon) this tragic circumstance. I can’t imagine the strength of heart it takes to leave or to stay, and I hope that this campaign brings to the surface a better understanding about domestic abuse. Just because the issue hides behind bedroom doors doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be addressed out in the open. These women addressing their own survival could potentially inspire someone who is currently struggling to find solace.

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As for those who participated, openly and fearlessly, on Twitter with this campaign, you are loved and I thank you for being strong enough to bring the issue to light again. Domestic abuse needs to be combatted effectively, and with all the participants that are sharing their story, we are moving another step forward in the direction of change. I can only hope that one day this issue will diminish as matters are taken more and more seriously and dealt with more effectively. Nobody deserves to suffer this kind of physical or mental destruction. We deserve to feel safe in our own homes, safe with the individuals we live with and love, and safe in the hands of the support available to us.

If you know someone who may be in danger of domestic abuse or other forms of abuse, there are resources available to the public that can allow them to seek the help they need. Let them know that they have options and that the situation they find themselves in is not a means to an unwanted end.

You are not alone.

The Hotline provides a national hotline for victims of domestic abuse to call to get confidential help. Their phone number is the following phone number: 1−800−799−7233

In addition, they have a page for resources and support groups that might prove helpful in moving forward.

If you don’t know if the situation you or someone else is experiencing is considered abuse, consult the Is This Abuse? page.

 

 

Calling All (Not so) Regulars and New Explorers!

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Do you have a prompt that you’d like me to respond to?
Leave a comment below with the prompt and I’ll create a new post answering it for you!
It can seriously be anything. Be creative. 😉

Mandy

Response: To the man who harassed me at the ATM today…

If I would’ve known that you (a man far past his middle age) would be acting like such a child over the fact that I brought multiple bills to deposit, I would’ve brought the bills in cents. Pennies preferably. Enjoy your day, jerk.

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Art from the Heart

Art from the Heart

Not only do I write, but I also draw, paint, and create digital works. I take both my writing and my artwork very seriously, because they are both near to my heart. If you want to check out my other works, you are more than welcome to do so. I know some of you have been asking.

http://cramerartistry.wordpress.com/