Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

To Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Or Not!

August 18, 2014 2 comments
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©2014 KarenSzczukaTeich &

All this hype about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is it a good thing or not?

Well, if nothing else, it’s spreading ALS awareness across the country faster than the speed of light and, if nothing else, THAT’S A GOOD THING! But thankfully, that’s not the only thing it’s doing. Americans are a giving people. They always have been a giving people and as of today, Americans participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon have inspired unprecedented “giving” to the ALS cause. ALS: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease is an attack of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. Most people diagnosed with ALS usually die within three to five years from the onset of symptoms.

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©2014 KarenSzczukaTeich &

So, what exactly is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? The challenge is this: people make a video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads, post it on social media and then challenge three or four friends to do the same within 24-hours or donate $100 to ALS. Here’s the rub:  MOST PEOPLE DO BOTH! Or at least they donate some amount. Both of my teenagers took the challenge AND donated $25 each to the ALS Association. Think about that. Think about all these awesome teenagers who are just waiting to be “challenged” on social media by friends and, who might donate about $25 each, to boot!

Give them the opportunity to do good and they will. Add the likes of Jimmy Fallon, LeBron James, Bill Gates, Taylor Swift, NFL players from the NY Giants and over 300,000 NEW DONORS to the ice bucket mix, you end up with millions of dollars, well over $15 million dollars in fact, being donated to the ALS Association as a result of the Ice Bucket Challenge in less than two months! That’s about 14 million dollars more than was raised during the same time period last year.

That, is a good thing!

As a parent, this is the kind of social media craze I WANT my kids to take part in.

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©2014 KarenSzczukaTeich &

In effect, the concept is brilliant. Thanks to 29-year old Pete Frates and his friend Pat Quinn, both of whom have ALS and both of whom are largely responsible for turning the trend viral and into what is now, a mega fund-raiser for this disease.

That’s a good thing.

So go ahead, take the challenge! In fact, I nominate YOU! I double, triple DARE you!

Just want to donate?  You can donate on the ALS Association website:  HERE

Completely unrelated to the “Challenge” but related in a serendipitous way to this post, I mentioned Lou Gehrig’s Disease in my last post Full Circle. Goodness is perpetuated again.

Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself. And the Internet of Course.

October 21, 2012 6 comments

The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself.

The famous quote was made by Franklin D. Roosevelt during his first inaugural speech in March, 1933 just after taking the presidential oath. Most people heard Roosevelt’s speech on the radio. Television was barely getting its footing. Personal communication was conducted by a group of operators working a local switchboard and there was nothing personal about it. Most telephone systems had party-lines with two to four households on the same circuit.

Callers were urged to be brief and courteous — no eavesdropping.

There was no such thing as a cell phone. Texting was nonexistent. Clearly, Roosevelt had never surfed the net. In fact, it would be nearly 50 years before the internet would be introduced and another 40 after that before it would literally explode, offering access to everyone, to information, places and spaces one could only dream of in 1933.

Email. Skype. Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest. OoVoo. Blogging. YouTube. Flickr. Wiki. MySpace.

People need people. Social media forums on the internet are emerging as we speak, providing a wide variety of venues for us to communicate thoughts and ideas, to share with one another.

Like the Black Hole the internet expands well into the vastness of the unknown, certainly my unknown. Its realm is daunting. It can and to a certain degree should be, considered a scary place, especially to those of us who grew up painstakingly practicing our cursive writing and memorizing the proper finger placement on a typewriter’s keyboard.

Every innovation has its resistors and no matter what is said or done, some of us will never be able to wrap our heads around the possibilities but for parents and educators alike, it would be negligent to ignore it. Children are curious sponges. They learn and adapt as they grow. For the most part, they are unaware of the dangers that lurk in the minds and hearts of unkind people who also have access to these many social forums.

We have a choice. We can try to hide ourselves and them from the evils of the internet or we can, if not embrace it, at least try to understand the workings of these new forums so that we can help our youth explore them and use them safely with meaningful purpose and a sense of responsibility.

Scientia potentia est ~

Knowledge is power.

The internet is not going away. It is ever-growing and changing how and where we communicate, forever. Our children will learn from it, work and play on it. No doubt their footprints will be embedded in code for who knows how many future generations to see.

Who would push a child into the on-coming traffic of a busy highway leaving them to fend for themselves?

We don’t have to agree or like it but we would be remiss not to educate ourselves the best we can with these new technologies. With knowledge we can prepare our children; arm them, take them by the hand and guide them safely across this super-highway that will inevitably encourage them to leave their digital mark on society.

Photo Creidt #1: Switchboard Operators/GoogleImages

Photo Credits #2: Social Media/GoogleImages

That Sneaky, Slithering Snake!

April 3, 2011 12 comments

I prefer easing into technology. My cell phone doesn’t get the Internet or email. There are no Facebook or Skyping “apps”. I can talk and text. That’s it. It’s not that I’m technologically challenged, on the contrary, I love all forms of communication and am fascinated by the whole new social media arena. I recently took a blogging class and managed to set up this blog site myself. A few months ago I set up a Twitter account. (Follow me @midmomlife!) I’ve been tweeting a teaser or two of my upcoming blog each week and have, to my great astonishment and satisfaction, figured out how to connect my blog to my Twitter so that my blog automatically appears as a tweet on Twitter. Phew! As a part-time working, soccer and tennis practice shuttling mom, my free time is late at night, time. And while I’m totally on board with 45 being the new 35, this 46 year-old mama, gets tired by midnight! It’s a lot of work reading, creating, tweaking, uploading and embedding; teaching myself the ins and outs of all these new formats, trying to find my niche and knack!

Needless to say, I had a moment of pure discouragement earlier this week when I heard about the Bronx Zoo’s missing, Egyptian cobra and all of her instantaneous social media success.

Ironically, if there is one animal that really gets under my skin, it’s the snake. A snake nearly ruined a barbecue celebration I was having in my backyard once by blatantly slithering right up to the party.

When I saw it, I jumped onto the nearest chair and screamed bloody murder! My then, 60-year old aunt, God bless her, started screaming also, in German, but not because of the snake. She was screaming at the snake! She had sprung into rambo style action, grabbing a loose brick from an outdoor grill and proceeded to bash it, mercilessly, to bits, in a matter of seconds, in front of family and friends. The woman is truly, FEARLESS. For many years she owned a bakery and has often been likened to Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, only she’s a woman, blond and instead of soup, it’s chocolate torts and apple strudels that people lined up for while she made the snap determination as to whether or not they were worthy. A few weeks after the barbecue incident, my aunt’s son, was sitting in my backyard when he spotted yet another snake, this time, it was swimming in my pool! Like a repeating nightmare with a new twist, he followed the snake along the perimeter of the pool until the moment was just right, reached in bare-handed, pulled it out and smashed it on a rock! Ohh-kaay. Dare I say, something truly unique runs through the blood-veins of that side of the family.

I am scarred and I digress. Back to my moment of discouragement.

Have you heard? The missing snake from the Bronx Zoo not only setup her own Twitter account hours after her escape but gained thousands of followers, literally overnight!

According to Mediabistro’s FishBowlNY….

In its first tweet, @BronxZoosCobra wrote: “I want to thank those animals from the movie ‘Madagascar.’ They were a real inspiration.” (“Madagascar” is the 2005 film where animals escape the Central Park zoo). The cobra now has over 43,000 followers, and under location it writes: “Not at the Bronx Zoo.”

That was Tuesday. According to oObly, as of Friday, @BronxzoosCobra had over 200,000 followers. How does this happen? Here I am plugging away, hour after hour, night after night, week and month after month, tweaking and tweeting since November and I have a whopping 5, that’s right, count-em, 5, followers on Twitter! One of my faithful 5 (and you can follow me on twitter @midmomlife to verify this) doesn’t even speak English! I have no idea what language she speaks or why she follows me!

This sneaky, snake slithers onto the scene and three days later, BOOM over 200,000 followers!

I totally get being trounced on Twitter by that actor whose drug usage recently took him to new heights of insanity but a snake? Seriously? Alas, as of yesterday, that sneaky, slithering, snake is back in its cage!  And according to Jim Breheny, the Director of the Bronx Zoo,   “…the snake has been found well and alive.”

Ahem…um, yep, we knew that. She’s pretty much been saying that all week!

What we want to know is, will she keep tweeting?

Tell me, do you Twitter?

Photo Credit #1: © Technorati, Inc  Photo Credit #2: Twitter via Mediabistro

Categories: Culture, Laughter, Life, Social Media Tags:
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