DOES SOCIAL MEDIA BRING US TOGETHER OR ISOLATE US?

All of us probably have some sort of a social media account. And, why shouldn’t we? Everyone does! There is no doubt that social media is by far one of the greatest developments brought in by the human race. It has changed the way we communicate with one another on so many levels. Also, it is ridiculously fast and easy. With social media on the loop, people are more connected to the rest of the world than ever before. We can connect to people thousands of miles away, through status updates, pictures and highlights of our lives.

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Despite being constantly connected, people feel lonely. What could possibly be the reason? The reality is that people only share the constant barrage of good news about their lives. The term, “competing with the Jones” is now on a whole new level and meaning, thanks to social media. There are many people who purposefully create a customized image about themselves; true or false, nobody knows. As a result, many people are left feeling dissatisfied and insecure about themselves.

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This can lead to FOMO (fear of missing out). Connecting via Social media is nothing more than a beautiful illusion. Because of social media, our minds are more embedded in the virtual world than the real world. We are connected to hundreds of people outside the real realm but isolated with the ones with whom we spend real time. We are more into phones and computers, technologically smart and sound, but we are missing out on the fun of the natural smiles, rain, books and of course, quality time spent with our loved ones.

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Pretty scary stuff when you look at it, isn’t it? Who would think that our virtual connections would produce such effects? Social media does make us lonely, in a lot of cases. So, what can we possibly do about it? Throw a party! Call people instead of sending them invites on Facebook. Write a letter to your friend on their birthday instead of sending a Facebook message. And remember, whatever happens and doesn’t happen on social media, isn’t the end of the world. Social media is important, but we must always know how to maintain a healthy balance between reality and the virtual world.

 

– Ashmita Roy

PC: Lamamaonline, The Daily Sheeple, Ebaumsworld, Modern Survival Blog

 

 

 

DOES SOCIAL MEDIA BRING US TOGETHER OR ISOLATE US?

Health and Fitness for the Corporates

A nine-hour work schedule makes an integral part of our everyday routine. However, these 9 hours could span over any time of the day, accounting to the work culture of the company.  We toil while at work, we think of work when at home and rest of the time, we drowse due to our work load and lack of sleep.

Compromised your morning tea or breakfast, or even a shower for a few minutes’ of extra sleep, after snoozing your alarm? Is that the usual start you give your weekdays, while your weekends fly at the blink of an eye, whining about your unhealthy lifestyle? If you are looking  for a solution, here are a few resolutions you can take right away, for a healthier life.

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  1. Keep your body hydrated

The human body comprises 70% water and so does each cell. As long as you keep this proportion right, you are sure to remain hale and hearty. Begin with buying a water bottle that suits your choice best. Something that motivates you to drink more water. Keep it filled at all times, preferably at your workcounter. Drink atleast 4 – 5 litres of water everyday.

  1. Become a “Breakfast Person”

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, at times, your busy work schedule does not allow you to prepare a proper meal. You rush to work skipping your first meal of the day. Instead, you can consume fruits or protein bars, which keep you energized throughout the day. Compare this to a muffin, which provides you with a spike of energy for not more than half an hour. What’s worse are the extra calories which get added to your system. Night owls do not usually experience hunger pangs in the morning. If that is the case with you, opt for a handful of nuts in order to avoid skipping breakfast.

  1. Take that Extra Stride

Are you the one who makes health-related new year resolutions and looks for excuses the following morning? If yes, it’s time to stop copping out and start working. Forget about your trackpants and running shoes, start with mild 30-minute workouts, then increase according to your stamina. Using the staircase instead of the elevator won’t cause you any harm either.

  1. Get sound sleep

 The importance of a sound sleep goes way beyond just boosting your mood and enhancing your beauty. While the amount of sleep required may vary between individuals, most healthy adults need approx. 7.5 to 9 hours of everyday sleep.

  1. Snack Healthy

You are not hungry enough to grab a meal, but your slight hunger pangs are making you restless. That’s exactly when you are tempted to grab a deep-fried samosa or a pastry. Though they do not seem much, the calories they add could become a pain for you to shed later.You can always satiate your tummy with healthier food options. Mind you, healthy food isn’t always tasteless and unappetising. You can choose from a variety of fresh fruit juices, smoothies, fruit salads and sweet buns. Savoury lovers can go for delectable sprout salads and steamed veggies too!

Your body is the temple of your soul. Appreciate the blessing of a healthy body and nurture it with all things nourishing. Remember that your health reflects your happiness and in this world, who does not want to be happy?

Health and Fitness for the Corporates

Those Magical Chords called ‘Music’

We often hear people saying that they love music and listening to music is their favorite pastime, that music lightens up their soul and it can brighten a dull day as well! I have had the same feeling, but never did I realize that it would become such an important part of my life! Yes, as a kid, I remember listening to all kinds of songs, humming to the tunes playing on the television, singing for competitions and so on. Music for me was fun and a source of entertainment. Never did it occur to me that it could even become someone’s passion or profession! I thought songs always came from the television or the tape recorder. Then how could people make money out of it? (I laugh at my childish ignorance!). Gradually, I realized that music is the path to one’s soul. Even when the whole world seems to have turned its back on you, music keeps you going. The compositions fit into any mood and situation.

I was working for Infosys in Mysore. After my roomies’ relocation, I was left with a lot of time all by myself, with no one to greet me when I got back home. Silence overpowered me. So, every evening, right after unlocking the door, I switched on the television and tuned into a music channel (as an assurance of not being alone). It helped me continue with my work without being crestfallen. Haven’t you at times done the same? Simply played some songs when bored or put on your earphones to listen to your favorite track or just sang something totally off-key and ended up being crowned as a bathroom singer.

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Every living thing, including the micro particles and atoms respond to sound. I came across an experimental video once. A container filled with water was placed on the table. With different sounds played in the background, the water responded accordingly. Tiny particles are said to form different patterns in response to different kinds of sounds too. With this effect of music on particles, how can we humans stay immune from it? The melody of a song enchants us, taking us to a whole new world. Besides, classical music is said to be highly effective in fabricating and boosting a person’s intelligence, concentration, visual attention, mood and creativity. Music of any kind for that matter has similar impact on our minds.

I truly enjoy listening to songs of all genres, irrelevant of the language. Country songs, Rock music, Romantic songs, Classical music, jingles, Club mixes, Dance Tracks, Trance, Electro, Instrumental, Jazz, Healing, Meditation, Heavy Metal, Disco, and so on. Every genre has a kind of magic, like it exactly knows the chords which strike the heart. Every small tune seems to understand what you’re feeling. You tend to feel that it isn’t just a song; instead, it is an invisible person who understands you impeccably. You breathe the song which brings alive a different side of you; one that was long hidden in a little corner of your heart. For me, every song and every tune is a world. The deep connect that it brings about feels like it has been picked from the story of my life. Just one song and I find myself walking down the memory lane. From a shield against loneliness to a pastime and then a hobby, now music has become my greatest passion! Never have I wanted something so desperately in life as much as what I want now. I want to be a singer, with a life dedicated to the love of music!

For once I can say that I am thankful for every event that has taken place in my life. If it wasn’t for my education in a convent school, my English and my communication skills wouldn’t have been close to what they are today (wink!). If I didn’t have a degree in engineering, I couldn’t have experienced the royal, at the same time gruesome life at Infosys. If life hadn’t kicked me out of Infy, I would never be able to discover my true passion in singing. And if life hadn’t kicked the guts out of me, I wouldn’t have found this wonderful crowd at InfoCognitio that knows exactly how to bring out a person’s true potential through writing. Throughout these events, good or bad, music has been the one constant thing. No matter what happens and no matter how many decades go by, music is the one thing that will last forever. Till eternity!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those Magical Chords called ‘Music’

Nightmare on Roads a.k.a. Traffic in Bangalore

traffic-jam-688566_960_720Patience is not a virtue, but a necessity when it comes to traffic in Bangalore.  Traffic is one of the worst afflictions affecting the city and there will not be a single resident who has not cursed the bottle-necked roads at one time or the other. Road rage has been taken to a whole new level in the city, so much so that it has even become the topic of radio programs.

An outsider to Bangalore may wonder what all the fuss is about; after all which city is free of traffic problems? Well friend, all you need to do is get behind the wheel of a car and start driving. In a matter of minutes, you will run into a standstill and be surrounded by cars, autos, trucks, bikes, buses and everything in between. Certain roads in Bangalore are famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) for its row of traffic signals. Every 50 meters, there will be a signal which stubbornly insists on remaining red, seemingly infinitely. The time limit for a green signal is so limited that they seem to disappear in the blink of an eye. By the time you dodge the hodgepodge of vehicles around you, not to mention the stray cows, dogs, and the drivers trying to insert themselves into the main road from inner roads, the light will have gone back to being red. Trust me, you will be hard-pressed not to rant and scream, or at least mutter a curse or two.

After having survived 16 lanes of traffic in Dubai on a daily basis, I thought I was prepared for anything the roads in Bangalore may throw at me (literally or figuratively). Sad to say, I got a nasty surprise one evening as I was returning home from office. We were hardly 10 minutes away from my house when we ran into traffic so severe, it deserves mention in the Guinness Records! Literally, nothing was moving. Bikes, autos and cars (thank God there were no buses, or else we might still have been stuck there!) were bumper-to-bumper all over the road, the sidewalks and even in front of the doorways of restaurants! Everything was so congested, even a feather could not have fallen on the ground. And following the ‘keep left’ rule was not even to be thought of! It was every driver for himself; it was like fighting to survive a war! Once we reached home, an hour or so later, I declared “Now I can survive anything!”

A few pointers to my fellow Bangaloreans so that we all don’t die of high blood pressure, surviving the traffic congestion of our city.

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  • When another person breaks the rules, it does not give you the right to do the same. Two wrongs never made a right and you are just worsening the issue.
  • The red light on a traffic signal box means you are supposed to stop, not rush ahead at 50 km/hr!
  • Let’s keep the honking to a minimum; everyone had a headache at the end of the day, not just you.
  • Before turning your vehicle, check all your blind spots; the road is not your backyard and others are also using it.
  • Drive your vehicle on the road, not on the sidewalks; have a little consideration for those poor pedestrians, none of whom have Tarzan-like abilities to jump between treetops.
    Like any part of the world, our city will also have its share of traffic problems. Instead of lamenting over the state of the roads or cursing the politicians, let us set aside our selfishness and follow traffic rules which will certainly help reduce our stress, if not the size of the traffic.                                                                                                                           – Meera Meriyn Joy
Nightmare on Roads a.k.a. Traffic in Bangalore

How Bangalore Changed My Life

When I first came to Bangalore, I fell in love with the winding lanes shaded by huge trees with their branches forming a green canopy overhead, which is almost a landmark of the Hebbal area. Victorian buildings, extensive libraries, colourful bazaars and opulent malls, all left an indelible imprint of a magical city in my mind. So, after a short stint in Dubai when we decided to shift back to India, it is not to be wondered that the first city that sprang to my mind was Bangalore.

By the time I returned to the Garden City in 2015, it had been renamed as Bengaluru. Much of its tree cover had also been lost due to urbanization, but the city still had its old charm which put my mind at ease. I put down temporary roots at Electronic City, the centre of software life in Bangalore. Being an IT Engineer myself, I longed to be part of the thriving work force of the city; but truth to tell, I was not really enamoured of the IT sector. With my husband’s encouragement, I started exploring other fields. I found my calling as a Content Developer with InfoCognitio. I was over the moon with happiness and felt that this city had hand-crafted me a job from my dreams. At a time when I had long said goodbye to the creative/literature field, here was an opportunity to indulge the writer (a novice one for sure) in me. There followed days of glorious fun, filled with laughter, whacky ideas (side effects of indulging your creative side), impromptu treats (thanks to our silver-tongued boss) and general melee. I still wonder how anything creative ever got written in all that chaos, but it seemed to work somehow.

Bangalore gave me a second family, people to rely on whether I get sick, sad or mad. This bunch of writers introduced me to a side of Bangalore that I knew existed but had heretofore never come in contact with. I got introduced to almost every type of cuisine available in India, and then some. Mouth-watering momos, authentic Kolkata-style biryani, English chicken stew, Bangalorean chutney, Kerala-style beef fry and Bengali sweets were all tasted in our lunch hour. They also introduced me to a bunch of novel and modern ideas and viewpoints. Coming from Kerala, I grew up hearing that cigarette smoking in women is taboo; but here, I came to accept that women have as much of a right to indulge in a smoke or a pint of beer as men. A vibrant nightlife and a lively dating scene (those love-struck colleagues!) all managed to find a way into my life, further broadening my horizons.

Now, having settled permanently (for the foreseeable future) near my favourite area of Bangalore, Hebbal, I examine with wonder all the changes that this city has brought to me and my ways of thinking. And it seems that the city is set on giving me new gifts and surprises around every corner; I am finally able to study for a degree in literature, a dream of mine since childhood. Bengaluru will always remain my favourite city and a land of opportunities where your every dream will come true; all you need is the courage to follow it.

– Meera Meriyn Joy

PC: Wikimedia Commons

How Bangalore Changed My Life

Top 5 Content Marketing Strategies

Digital marketing plays a major role in promoting business across the globe. Presence on the internet helps a business to reach a large set of customers with ease. It is essential for any businessperson to initiate various marketing strategies and create awareness among the end users. Content marketing strategies help an enterprise to meet specified goals within a desired timeline and budget. It is highly recommended to focus on the various components of marketing to expand your business. Some of the significant content marketing strategies to expand your venture are discussed below:

  • Conduct a Survey

Make use of the digital medium to conduct a survey and understand the different aspects of the business model. By following this method there is a possibility to get leads to the potential customers. Conducting a survey is an essential part of the content marketing strategy. This process will help to get an idea about buyers’ persona and their requirements. A good plan aiming at digital campaigns have the potential to boost the marketing strategies and put you at par with your competitors. A survey aids in driving traffic to your company’s website thereby making it familiar amongst the users.

 

  • Identify Potential Market

The Internet plays a crucial role in identifying the target customers and get in touch with them within a short span of time. This way you can scale your profit margins by building long-term relationships with your prospective clients. Interesting and engaging content will help you get the right customer base.

  • Content Planning

Content is the key ingredient that drives web traffic and helps to establish relationships with potential customers. Content available to various users should fulfil the different facets of business goals. Since it is tangible and has a massive reach, a proper marketing plan is of utmost importance. Invest some time to conduct extensive research and gather relevant information, before planning your content for the general masses.

 

  • Content Marketing Metrics

It is essential to create, curate and optimise content that works best to meet your marketing goals. A proper mix of formats, various channels, etc., will add value to the marketing tactics and reach the target audience. A proper marketing plan is one of the main factors for the success of any firm.

 

  • Brand Awareness

Explore the various mediums or platforms to create an awareness about your business among the users. Creative and visually appealing content will have a great impact on the minds of the users. Endorse your brand through social media marketing, email marketing, offline marketing or advertising. The quality information that you send through these marketing tools is the first step towards getting in touch with the potential buyers. That’s not all, the content generated should be user-friendly and easy to share.

 

Use these marketing plans to maintain a healthy and continuous business rapport with your present and future customers. Posting new content online is another way to remain in the frontline of business. The key takeaways of a marketing plan should focus on the content efforts made to address your customers’ needs. Advertising your content on the right platform is critical to achieve success in the venture. Every point discussed with respect to content marketing strategies will lead to the end goal of adding value to your business.

– Meena.S

PC: Flickr.com

 

Top 5 Content Marketing Strategies

On the other side of a classroom…

Throughout our student life, we come across different situations and scenarios – some explainable and some not. Numerous times, we are faced with situations when we don’t agree with our teachers; presumptuous that things can be managed in a better way or maybe by following a different approach. With every person being different from the other, every student is different too. So, how can different students be dealt in the same way? Well, be it right or wrong, this is what is done in most cases – a set of rules, a book of guidelines, and you are good to go with the act of teaching. How do you think the students develop when they are taught in this manner? Like the herd maybe, where one starts and the rest follow?

Few of us are not quite close or comfortable with our teachers, as opposed to the many who are, accounting to several reasons. However, in most situations, it becomes the responsibility of the teaching community to contribute to the openness of the tiny timid ones. Why not bring about that level of comfort and confidence, so that the students feel no hesitation in expressing their own thoughts and ideas? The question arises – how can this be done? The answer is… well, why don’t you go ahead and speculate? Maybe some possible answers flash by, in your inward eye.

Now imagine, you are on the other side of the classroom. The same you with the same opinions, blocks and outlook; however, this time with a different role. You find yourself at a subtle junction; you look back to see your teachers standing and ahead of you lies an entire classroom…

Teacher, Mentor, Guru, Trainer – the title changes with time, but, the pattern of sharing knowledge is retained. Teaching is an immense responsibility; not only to convey bookish education but also to impart knowledge, so that one develops wisdom. It is easy to scold and criticise, instead, how about making one understand about the faults and mistakes patiently? A more sensible approach? What say?

I wonder, why the educational institutions become home-like for a few and not for the others? Why is the classroom a comfort zone for some and a nightmare for the rest? Did we ever try to figure out answers to these? What if the dictionary of discipline, rules, regulations and marks changes to morality, ethics, understanding and talent innovation respectively?

Perhaps, the correct inference would be – the teachers should take some inspiration from the greatest of all mentors, ‘Life’. The extent to which things would differ from what they are today is indescribable. With such a degree of understanding and warmth, impartiality and friendship, guidance and firmness, one will definitely achieve the unachievable. Now the question lies, Who?

– Surabhi Sharma and Aditi Banerjee

PC: www.publicdomainpictures.net

On the other side of a classroom…