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The 4 Most Exciting Social Platforms in 2016

The 4 Most Exciting Social Platforms in 2016

Social websites and platforms have taken over society, but as the market gets more saturated we see them coming up with more and more cool innovations as they try to stand out from the crowd. Here are the four newest, upcoming social platforms and websites around at the moment:

1. Snapchat

Snapchat has been around for ages but it has only recently become the trendiest social network/app around thanks to some new features and a FOMO (fear of missing out effect) which has seen it become the fastest growing social application.

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If you did not already know, Snapchat allows you to take pictures and then send them to your friends with a set time limit on them, after which they are gone forever. Photos can be edited, modified, and added and the app is extremely easy to use.

New features include the addition of “stories” which allows selected photos or videos to be stored for 24 hours and viewed unlimited times before they expire. The addition of voice, chat, and video messaging and also a plethora of popular channels to follow from big brands and websites (Buzzfeed, ESPN, etc) has made Snapchat into the trendiest app on the market.

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2. The Talent Bank

The Talent bank is a community for creative people allowing the submission of creative work and provides a place for you to add stuff in a wide range of categories. You can submit your art, short films, poetry, drawings, and photography, and users of the site can rate your work and give feedback. The neat thing about this site is that each category has its own “chart” which arranges the entries by their rating so you can see what has the most votes for the month, year, and all time. Also, you can upload videos that give extra feedback about the entry you have uploaded so you can describe what inspired you or the creative process behind it.

The platform is completely free to use and they also push the site out to magazines, publishers, record companies, etc. so you may just get discovered on there and turn a part-time hobby into a career.

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3. Miitomo

Previously known for their high quality gaming output, Nintendo has recently dipped its proverbial toe into the app market.

Miitomo lets you communicate with others using your “Mii” as an avatar. This can be created on your Wii-U or 3DS and you can spend hours customizing it to your preference. Choosing its voice allows you to interact with your “character”. It will ask you questions and it will react based on what you say to it.This is actually currently the biggest smartphone app in Japan. Whether it will have the same success in the West remains to be seen.

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4. Blab

Blab is the hot new name in video chat. Imagine an experience similar to Periscope but instead of one person, there are a group of people. Up to four people video chat at the same time with a possible audience of thousands that can comment on what you are talking about or even become a part of the discussion in place of one of the four people with the video chat initiator deciding whether to accept or deny the person to enter the chat. Chats can also be recorded for later viewing.

As chats are taking place comments are shown next to them with viewers able to post questions and “reactions” which, in the case of a debate for example, allow viewers to lend support to one of the speakers. This obviously has had huge potential for a wide range of debates.

I hope you enjoy reading this article about social platforms. Happy Reading!

Featured photo credit: The 4 Most Exciting Social Platforms in 2016 via lifehack.org

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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