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5 Ways to Control Your Smartphone Addiction

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Rampant use of smartphones is dangerous.

It can lose our focus and deteriorate our mental health. Regrettably speaking, many smartphone users today take the matter too lightly. 

Studies have shown that average smartphone users check their phones every ten to fifteen minutes even in the absence of notification or alert. These users believe that if they fail to check their phones from time to time, they will miss out on important things. They fail to realize that too much time is wasted on doing trivial things on their smartphones.

I believe that there is a need to reprogram our behavior. Let’s tone down our smartphone usage before it’s too late. If you share the same page with me, get yourself ready to take on the challenge of curbing smartphone dependency. Here are five steps to do it. 

What are Easy Ways to Control Smartphone Addiction? 

Time is so precious to be wasted on FaceBook and Snapchats alone. Change your ways before it changes you. Here is how. 

Cut out the distractions. 

person using phone

Checking Instagram notifications after doing an all-day’s work won’t cause you any harm. It is a way lot better to turn off all notifications for social media apps. Doing so is easy. But it requires lots of courage and self-control. Simply click on “Settings” then “Notifications” and set your preferences. Turn off all notification for apps that you don’t use in performing your job. If you wish to be notified every time a message reaches your inbox, go ahead and turn that email notification on. 

Clear your home screen from distracting apps.

black Android smartphone lying on gray surface

As phone users, we aren’t conscious of our usage behavior. In most cases, we found ourselves doing so many things with our phone the moment we open a single app on it. We check FaceBook comments, chat friends, check the weather, and many more. 

Don’t let this poor phone usage behavior hinder you from being productive. Begin by taking off all social media apps from your home screen. Keep those apps that you need in completing your day-to-day tasks.  

Don’t sleep with your phone on top of the bedside table. 

silver iPhone X beside succulent plant

Place your phone away from your bed as you sleep. This way, you won’t be tempted to use it upon waking up. Use a regular alarm clock to wake you up in the morning instead. This is a perfect start to regulate your phone addiction. You don’t want to mess up your schedules, don’t you? 

Turn on your smartphone’s gray-scale to make it less attractive to look at.

black Android smartphone

You won’t surely love seeing the gray-scale home screen and uncolored posts in your favorite social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. As you switch your phone settings to gray-scale, icons on your phone seem to appear less attractive. To do it, click on “Settings” and look for “Accessibility”. For Samsung smartphones, look for “Vision” and select “Gray-scale”. For iPhone, search for “Display Accommodations”. Next, hit “Color Filters” then choose “Gray-scale”.   

Stay focused on your goal to change.

woman right fist

It is important to be mindful of your actions by keeping track of your smartphone habit. It would be helpful if you utilize apps like Moment or QualityTime as you follow all the four tips I enumerated above. These apps help you gauge any improvement in real-time. 

In today’s fast-paced world, living without smartphones is almost impossible. This technological advancement has made communication more convenient. Indeed, smartphones have been so useful to people regardless of age and the type of job they do. Unfortunately, the use of this supposed-to-be-helpful tool has become detrimental to health. Smartphone addiction has stolen important hours that should be spent on fostering good relationships with the people around them. Not to mention the damages it may cause to people’s health. Some of which are depression, sleep disorders, shortness of temper, loss of focus, etc. 

Don’t wait to experience any of these health risks before deciding to tone down your smartphone addiction. It should be controlled before it’s too late.

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Entertainment

Is the Gaming World Helpful or Harming Us?

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Do you know that video games teach us some skills that are not taught at school? 

Video games are designed for varied purposes. Some provide mere entertainment. But some provide opportunities for us to learn and acquire important life-skills. However, the debate is still on as different people hold varied perspective on video games. 

Allow me to present some things that you should know about the world of gaming.

The Pros of Video Gaming

person holding game controller in-front of television

Is gaming helpful or harmful? Let’s see. 

As we play video games, we learn to…

Work as a Team

Most online games are played along with several players all over the world. This ignites our sense of collaboration and socialization. Through this, we were provided with the opportunity to make better group decisions. Not only that, but we also learn how to make use of our fullest individual potential to win the game.

Solve problems independently

Do you know that doctors and soldiers are advised to play video games?

Fast-paced games demand an impulsive but wise decision. Exposure to this kind of challenge hones our decision-making skills as we make smart choices under pressure. Accuracy is another thing. We learn how to calculate parameters correctly as we play. Games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope can develop creative thinking among us as we try to triumph over the obstacles.

Think fast

Action games simulate real-world situations. Games like this are a great venue to make good decisions without sacrificing accuracy. The more frequent we play these games, the sharper our cognitive functioning can be. Our brain progresses incredibly fast and solves problems quickly when we are intensely focused on winning the game.

Plan and manage resources

We should create a plan on how to utilize our limited resources as we keep our eyes on winning the game. Knowing how to use the resources intelligently is key to a successful life. Video games allow us to improve our mapping ability as we steer around the virtual world.

Multitask and be situationally-aware

Lots of video games today require players to adapt to the situation and be heedful of possible changes in the game. Strategy games allow us to be flexible and quick in changing tactics. More than that, we learn multitasking without noticing it.

Follow directions and calculate

Video games sharpen our reading and math skills. These games are designed to let us follow instructions accurately and analyze logically. Recognizing patterns is made easy as well.

Take risks

As players, we completely understand that the total opposite of winning is losing. But then, these video games taught us that we can’t win if we don’t take the risk. Risk-taking is a skill to survive in real-life.

Indeed, video games hold a handful of benefits to us. However, it also entails several disadvantages, especially on children. Some video games have violent content that can cause aggressive behavior among young ones. Children may try to emulate the behavior portrayed on these games because they are overly exposed to wrong values. These videos can steal their attention from school as children prefer video games rather than going to school. Health issue is another thing too. Overexposure to video games can result in obesity, poor eyesight, weakening of joints, and muscles among little ones.  

Let me reiterate this. 

Video games have good sides and bad sides. Therefore, proper regulation is deemed necessary. 

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Tech

How Twitter Activity Distinguishes if You Are a Bot or a Human

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Classifying Twitter users is never easy.

One of the best breakthroughs in social networking in 2006 is Twitter. Its extraordinary simplicity has captivated the hearts of 200 million users in five short years. What makes it more interesting is the fact that these avid users have been generating more than 8 million tweets in two hours.

Why Do People Use Twitter?

gold iPhone 6s
  • Twitter is a venue to publish relevant content like news and other information.

Before, Twitter was merely used for personal micro-blogging as a form of self-expression and entertainment. But it grew to be a place where important social information is shared to raise awareness to people.

  • Twitter is utilized as a media channel for political campaigns, business promotions, and emergency communication.
  • Twitter is a community where great friendships and strong connections are built.

Unfortunately, the popularity of Twitter and its open nature make it a perfect target of exploitative automated programs- bots specifically. 15% of Twitter users are bots. The platform isn’t strict enough in inspecting automation. Its only requirement is CAPTCHA recognition upon sign up. This increases Twitter’s vulnerability to such an attack.

Bots can create relevant tweets too. But malicious ones spread unwanted commercial ads and other harmful content.

How to Distinguish Twitter Bots?

blue and white lego blocks

With all these bots on Twitter, user-experience is in big trouble. Can you imagine how annoying it is for users to be bombarded with spam tweets? As twittering experience wanes, the entire Twitter community suffers.

Here are some ways to end the problem.

Automated Classification System

The best way to distinguish bots from human users is through spam detection, entropy, account properties, and Random Forest-based decision maker.

In spam detection, Twitter uses tweet contents to distinguish text patterns. A Twitter bot does not normally tweet original content. It retweets contents instead.

Entropy makes use of tweeting interval as a basis for behavior complexity. It spots regular timing that indicates automation. Bots tweet more frequently than real users.

Account properties make use of relevant account properties like URL ration and tweeting device makeup to detect any trace of nonconformity of tweeting activity. Bots’ replies are way shorter as compared to real users. They even have no photo or biography in their account.

Lastly, the Random Forest-based decision maker is a combination of all the components mentioned above.

Twitter’s Advanced Search

Another intelligent way of distinguishing Twitter bot from real Twitter accounts is checking the account’s creation date. Use Twitter’s advanced search and check the first tweet. From this point, it is also helpful to cross-reference social media accounts.    

More Stringent Twitter Application Programming Interface  

Upon registration, Twitter is now requiring its users to set a phone number associated with their Twitter account. It has started to implement tougher policies to lessen, if not eradicate, bots on the platform.

Applications for Bots Detection

Bothcheck.me is a Chrome extension that detects bots used for political propaganda. It is developed by the two students of the University of California. Tweetbotornot is an open-source package that is specifically designed for developers. Michael Kearney is the brain behind this application.

Despite this challenge on Twitter bots, millions of Twitter users all around the globe are assured that Twitter never gets tired of taking necessary steps to sweep out all bot accounts from its platform. Twitter is serious about it even though this could mean a drastic drop in tweets per month. Twitter has sought help from third parties to conduct open-access researches and design open-source tools just to enhance the platform’s conversational health.

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Business

How to Make Money Online with Affiliate Marketing

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Making money online is easy. You’ve certainly heard about affiliate marketing. Today is the perfect time to reveal what affiliate marketing has in store for you. 

As many successful individuals say, “Future is created by what you do today not tomorrow”. So, gear up and get your laptop ready as you hoard the benefits of affiliate marketing. 

First, you need to understand what this means and how it works. 

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Earn as you advertise other people’s products and services- that is affiliate marketing. You don’t need to make your goods nor sell anything. All you have to do is redirect prospect customers to the advertiser’s page. It sounds interesting, isn’t it? 

What are Different Affiliate Programs to Choose From?

· Pay Per Sale

When a buyer made an order after being redirected to the advertiser’s page, commission is coming your way. Think of it as your share of company’s profit.  

· Pay Per Click

By simply letting the visitors check an advertiser’s page, you make money. 

· Pay Per Lead

Successful affiliate marketers recommend this program. You make good money as page visitors provide their contact information on the advertiser’s page you promoted. Reports, newsletters, emails and other relevant contents were sent to these people to ensure that they become hooked with the company and its products. 

How to Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer?

man reading magazine

1. Be patient.

Affiliate marketing requires a lot of hard work. But then, just keep an eye on the prize and you’ll surely enjoy the process. Ensure relevance of your website content at all times. Getting involved to affiliate marketing webinars and discussion forums are helpful too. Build new connections and learn from them. 

2. Promote products that you are passionate about. 

Do not overwhelm yourself with too many products to advertise. Focus on one or two products. Try out the product first before promoting them. Why? Simple! It is unrealistic to advertise a product that you haven’t tried. Lastly, make sure to research the customer demands. 

3. Attract targeted traffic.

As a digital marketer, your main goal is to persuade people to click on your affiliate link. The more clicks you get, the more you earn. That’s the rule of the game. Email marketing, paid advertising, article marketing, and free ads are ways to get this done. 

Most people only read credible articles. So, build a good online reputation through a high rank in the search engine. 

4. Explore what works and what’s not.

Regularly, test your banner ads if they catch customer’s interest the way you want them to. If not, try putting them somewhere else. Then, track and compare results consistently. 

5. Be brave to try out new techniques and methods.

The trend in affiliate marketing is very dynamic. Don’t let yourself be left behind. Take the lead instead. 

6. Choose the right advertiser.

Promote only businesses that provide outstanding customer service and good products. No matter how trendy your affiliate marketing techniques are, you will still fail when your customers think that you are just fooling them around. Integrity and authenticity are behind every successful affiliate marketer. 

7. Craft an efficient digital campaign using tools.

The internet is the home of many helpful tools that you can utilize to perform competitor research, market research, tracking and converting of ad campaigns. These include BuzzSumo, Feedly, Buffer, Bitly, CLickMeter, Unsplash, GIFMaker, Google Adsense, and GO Trace by App Samurai. 

Success in affiliate marketing does not only entail hard work, patience, and tactics. It demands careful analysis of the product demand, utilization of new digital marketing trends, and consistent tracking and monitoring of results. 

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