Top social media marketing blogs

The world of Social Media is probably responsible for more innovation in digital marketing over the past 5 to 10 years than nearly any other discipline. From ephemeral story based content to live video to all the things being done with data for more personalized marketing, staying in top of what’s real vs. the hype in marketing is increasingly difficult.

Top help marketers find great sources of marketing advice, we’ve curated the BIGLIST of marketing blogs and more recently a marketing blogs from martech companies. Adding to that curation effort and our own solid social media marketing advice is today’s list of social media marketing blogs.

This list focuses in on blogs covering all aspects of social media marketing including the usual suspects of platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn as well as newer platforms like TikTok. From trends to strategies to tactics to analytics, this group of blogs about social media and marketing is a great mix of big names, publications, platforms and a few names that are hopefully new to you.

1. Adweek Social Pro Daily @adweek
Platform news, industry trends and plenty of brand examples.
Our favorite post: Social Networks Finally Bypassed Print Newspapers as a Primary Source of News

2. Andrea Vahl Blog @AndreaVahl
Everything you wanted to know about Facebook advertising plus a glimpse of “Grandma Mary”.
Our favorite post: Facebook Video Ads – What’s Working Now

3. Awario Blog @AwarioApp
Social media monitoring, selling, research and influencer marketing advice.
Our favorite post: 10 of the best social media marketing tools for 2019

4. Brian Solis @briansolis
One of the true pioneering thought leaders on social media that continues to offer strategic insights – including how to temper social media use for a more creative, productive and happy life ala Lifescale.
Our favorite post: The Past, Present And Future Of Social Media – How We Fell To The Dark Side And Why The Force Is With Us

5. Brand24 Blog @brand24
Social listening, marketing and industry news plus best practices on everything from hashtags to social influencers.
Our favorite post: A Complete Guide to Social Media Analysis

6. CinchShare Blog @CinchShare
Social Media Marketing tips for small business including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and blogging advice.
Our favorite post: Grow your team on Facebook by doing these 3 things

7. Digimind Blog @digimindci
Social insight driven marketing advice, competitive social intelligence tips and soup to nuts social media campaign direction for agencies.
Our favorite post: Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy in 13 Steps with Social Media Intelligence

8. DreamGrow Blog @dreamgrow
Social Media Marketing advice plus curated lists of resources.
Our favorite post: How To Integrate Social Media With eCommerce in 2019

9. Facebook Business Blog @facebook
Official blog from Facebook on advertising news, best practices and thought leadership.
Our favorite post: Turn Interested Shoppers Into Buyers with a Guided Shopping Experience in Messenger

10. Falcon Insights Hub @falconio
Social Media Marketing strategy, tactics and ROI measurement plus platform specific best practices.
Our favorite post: 5 Social Media Trends to Watch in 2019

11. Gary Vaynerchuk Blog @garyvee
The content machine that is Garyvee covers social media marketing thought leadership, trends, news and practical advice for specific social networks.
Our favorite post: 5 LinkedIn Marketing Strategies for 2019

12. Gleam Blog @gleamapp
A lot of how to social media marketing content, tips on using Gleam apps and advice on social contests, giveaways, coupons and product hunts.
Our favorite post: Stop Buying Likes: 25+ Tips to Drive Real Engagement on Facebook

13. Grow @markwschaefer
Mark Schaefer’s blog on the intersection of marketing, technology and humanity featuring provocative insights on industry trends, featured examples of social media and marketing in action and practical advice.
Our favorite post: What Is Your Social Media Marketing Purpose? (If You Don’t Know, This Will Help)

14. Hopper HQ Blog @hopper_hq
All things Instagram marketing ranging from trends to tips and a bit of advice on working with social influencers too.
Our favorite post: How to Measure B2B Social Media Marketing Success

15. Hot in Social Media @hotinsm
Social platform news and tips covering the gamut of social media marketing topics plus curated advice from industry experts.
Our favorite post: How to Use TikTok Like a PRO: Actionable Tips for Marketers

16. Iconosquare Blog @iconosquare
Focused information on marketing with Facebook and Instagram.
Our favorite post: Instagram Marketing Strategy: Your A-Z Guide

17. Instagram Business Blog @instagram
Official blog from Instagram sharing platform updates, features advertising advice.
Our favorite post: Creative Secrets of Instagram Stories

18. Jeff Bullas Blog @jeffbullas
Social Media Marketing best practices from Jeff and guest contributors.
Our favorite post: 9 Insider Tips For Increasing Your LinkedIn Leads

19. Jon Loomer Blog @jonloomer
This blog is Facebook marketing central – everything you ever wanted to know.
Our favorite post: How to Edit a Facebook Ad and Retain Social Proof

20. Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog @kfreberg
Dr. Karen Freberg’s take on social media marketing, PR and crisis communications.
Our favorite post: Super Bowl 2019: Trends & Takeaways from a Social Media Professor

21. Katie Lance Blog @katielance
Great example of a personal brand showcasing social media marketing advice with a slant towards the real estate audience.
Our favorite post: How to Attract Your Dream Client Through Social Media and Storytelling

22. Keyhole Blog @keyholeco
Recent attention to a variety of social media marketing tools as well as practical advice for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and hashtag marketing.
Our favorite post: Hashtags: A Beginner’s Guide and How to Use them Effectively – Keyhole

23. Later Blog @latermedia
Instagram Marketing strategy, tips, tools, resources and guides.
Our favorite post: Real or Fake: 5 Instagram Algorithm Rumors Explained

24. LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog @linkedinmktg
Official blog from Linkedin offering marketing thought leadership, industry trends, news and practical advice on how to make the most of marketing and advertising on LinkedIn. (client)
Our favorite post: 10 Content Ideas for your LinkedIn Page

25. Louise Myers Visual Social Media Blog @Louise_Myers
Practice visual social media marketing tips for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest plus advice on blogging.
Our favorite post: How to Boost Your Social Media Strategy for 2019

26. Madalyn Sklar Blog @MadalynSklar
Literally everything you would ever want to know about building and engaging a community on Twitter with plenty of attention towards tools.
Our favorite post: How to Grow Your Twitter Community: 7 Essential Tips

27. Meltwater Blog: Social Media @MeltwaterSocial
Social Media thought leadership, practical advice and featured brand social media examples.
Our favorite post: Social Sidekick: Your Monthly Guide to Social Holidays, Themes, and Noteworthy Events

28. NetBase Blog @NetBase
Advice on social media listening, analytics and practical advice plus applications for social intelligence.
Our favorite post: Social Media Monitoring vs Social Listening – Yes, There’s a Difference!

29. Planoly Blog @planoly
Stay on top of Instagram and IG Marketing with practical tips and examples.
Our favorite post: How to Stay Motivated with Your Blog and Instagram

30. Problogger @problogger
Dedicated to the art and science of blogging and no one tells that story better than Darren Rowse.
Our favorite post: How to Start a Blog When You’re Not an Expert: 11 Ways to Make it Work

31. Quintly @quintly
Social Media Marketing research and analysis, best practices, trends and news about the platform.
Our favorite post: Instagram Study: We analyzed 9 million posts and here’s what we’ve learned

32. Snapchat for Business @snapchat
Official blog from Snapchat featuring the latest launches, announcements, and insights.
Our favorite post: CPG on Snapchat: Why Gen Z and millennials make all the difference

33. Socialnomics @equalman
Erik Qualman’s long running thought leadership blog on social media and marketing.
Our favorite post: 22 Social Media Tips From The Pros To Skyrocket Your 2019 ROI

34. Social Insider Blog @socialinsiderio
A cornucopia of how to articles on social media marketing plus a fun series of interviews with industry experts called Socialinsider Insta’rviews.
Our favorite post: The Most Impactful Social Media Trend That Businesses Should Integrate It In 2019

35. Social Media Examiner @SMExaminer
Probably the most popular blog about social media marketing from Mike Stelzner and team that also run the Social Media Marketing World conference.
Our favorite post: 10 Metrics to Track When Analyzing Your Social Media Marketing

36. Social Media Explorer @smxplorer
An original social media marketing blog covering the gamut of social media topics including tips, tools, news, and case studies.
Our favorite post: Up And Coming Social Media Trends Driven By Millennials And Generation Z

37. Social Media Lab @agorapulse
A special project from the folks at Agorapulse highlighting their investment of over $15k per month to help “Crack the Code” of social media and then report those results to readers.
Our favorite post: LinkedIn Post Length: Does Data Support the Idea that Longer is Better?

38. Social Media Today @socialmedia2day
A community blog offering a comprehensive view of social media marketing including updates to social platforms, trends, strategy and tactics.
Our favorite post: Social Media Calls to Action: 19 Words & Phrases to Generate More Engagement

39. Social Media Week News & Insights @socialmediaweek
Regular updates on the famous Social Media Week events in New York and Los Angeles plus coverage of social media technologies and marketing tactics.
Our favorite post: Boost Your Instagram Stories Game for 2019 With These 10 Practices

40. Social Report Blog @thesocialreport
A collection of practical posts about marketing on all of the major social networks plus trends and examples.
Our favorite post: 10 Top Social Media Scheduling Tools to Save Time in 2019

41. Social Sorted @SociallySorted
Donna Mortiz offers awesome monthly list posts of social media marketing ideas and in between shares visual and video marketing advice for social media channels.
Our favorite post: 60+ April Social Media Ideas – Videos, GIFs and more!

42. Spiderworking @Spiderworking
Amanda Webb covers social platform updates, examples and practical advice about small business social and content marketing.
Our favorite post: Relationship Marketing With Jessika Phillips, Pots Of Gold And LinkedIn Networking

43. Sue B Zimmerman @SueBZimmerman
The guru of Instagram marketing.
Our favorite post: How To Grow Instagram Followers in 2019

44. The Social Media Hat @SocialMediaHats
Mike Allton’s blog with practical advice about blogging, social media, SEO and email marketing.
Our favorite post: How to Create 26 Pieces Of Content From A Facebook Live

45. Talkwalker Blog @Talkwalker
Social Media Marketing and analytics blog with an emphasis on social monitoring and data applications.
Our favorite post: Social media trends that will impact 2019

46. Twitter Marketing Blog @Twitter
Official blog from Twitter about product news, marketing and advertising best practices and research.
Our favorite post: 10 ways marketing changed with Twitter

47. Unmetric Blog @unmetric
Social Media Marketing strategy, industry trends, and how to articles focused on brands.
Our favorite post: Brands vie for the throne in the game of social media marketing

One trend I’ve noticed is that many individuals that have really made a name for themselves as trusted voices in the social media space during the formative years of the industry simply are not blogging as much or have diversified into other areas of marketing. At the same time, a steady drumbeat of social media marketing advice can be found amongst a smaller number of highly focused industry blogs and companies serving the social media marketing industry.

Speaking of the social media marketing industry, you may have noticed some well known social media marketing technology brands are not on the above list. That’s because we’ve already included them in the martech list, but they certainly belong in this collection, so here they are:

Introvert people

Putting together a large number of contemporary tests of personality, Grimes, Cheek, Julie Norem, and Courtney Brown created the STAR test to measure four kinds of introversion. To figure out your primary introverted type, take this online test:

To find out where you stand on each of the four meanings of introversion, answer the following questions by deciding to what extent each item is characteristic of your feelings and behavior. Fill in the blank next to each item by choosing a number from the following scale:

1 = very uncharacteristic or untrue, strongly disagree

2 = uncharacteristic

3 = neutral

4 = characteristic

5 = very characteristic or true, strongly agree

Social Introversion

____ 1. I like to share special occasions with just one person or a few close friends, rather than have big celebrations.

____ 2. I think it would be satisfying if I could have very close friendships with many people.

____ 3. I try to structure my day so that I always have some time to myself.

____ 4. I like to vacation in places where there are a lot of people around and a lot of activities going on.

____ 5. After spending a few hours surrounded by a lot of people, I am usually eager to get away by myself.

____ 6. I do not have a strong need to be around other people.

____ 7. Just being around others and finding out about them is one of the most interesting things I can think of doing.

____ 8. I usually prefer to do things alone.

____ 9. Other people tend to misunderstand me—forming a mistaken impression of what kind of person I am because I don’t say much about myself.

____ 10. I feel drained after social situations, even when I enjoyed myself.

Thinking Introversion

____ 1. I enjoy analyzing my own thoughts and ideas about myself.

____ 2. I have a rich, complex inner life.

____ 3. I frequently think about what kind of person I am.

____ 4. When I am reading an interesting story or novel or when I am watching a good movie, I imagine how I would feel if the events in the story were happening to me.

____ 5. I seldom think about myself.

____ 6. I generally pay attention to my inner feelings.

____ 7. I value my personal self-evaluation, that is, the private opinion I have of myself.

____ 8. I sometimes step back (in my mind) in order to examine myself from a distance.

____ 9. I daydream and fantasize, with some regularity, about things that might happen to me.

____ 10. I am inclined to be introspective, that is, to analyze myself.

Anxious Introversion

____ 1. When I enter a room I often become self-conscious and feel that the eyes of others are upon me.

____ 2. My thoughts are often focused on episodes of my life that I wish I’d stop thinking about.

____ 3. My nervous system sometimes feels so frazzled that I just have to get off by myself.

____ 4. I am confident about my social skills.

____ 5. Defeat or disappointment usually shame or anger me, but I try not to show it.

____ 6. It does not take me long to overcome my shyness in new situations.

____ 7. I feel relaxed even in unfamiliar social situations.

____ 8. Even when I am in a group of friends, I often feel very alone and uneasy.

____ 9. My secret thoughts, feelings, and actions would horrify some of my friends.

____ 10. I feel painfully self-conscious when I am around strangers.

Restrained Introversion

____ 1. I like to be off and running as soon as I wake up in the morning.

____ 2. I’ll try anything once.

____ 3. For relaxation I like to slow down and take things easy.

____ 4. I like to wear myself out with exertion.

____ 5. I often say the first thing that comes into my head.

____ 6. I generally seek new and exciting experiences and sensations.

____ 7. I like to keep busy all the time.

____ 8. I often act on the spur of the moment.

____ 9. I sometimes do “crazy” things just to be different.

____ 10. I often feel sluggish.

How’d you do?

To find out your score for each of the four kinds of introversion,RECODE the following Reverse-Worded items: (1=5) (2=4) (4=2) (5=1):

Social Introversion items: 2, 4, & 7

Thinking Introversion item: 5

Anxious Introversion items: 4, 6, & 7

Restrained Introversion items: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9

Next, add together all the numbers to come up with a total score.

Here’s a guide of how you scored compared to others in the general population:

  • Social Introversion — below 24 low, around 30 average, above 36 high​
  • Thinking Introversion — below 28 low, around 34 average, above 40 high
  • Anxious Introversion — below 23 low, around 30 average, above 37 high
  • Restrained Introversion — below 25 low, around 31 average, above 37 high

This alternative way of assessing introversion is not likely to be embraced by Big Five personality researchers [6]. But if it offers you a more satisfying, personally meaningful way to glean insight into your unique personality, feel free to throw the Big Five framework out the window.

© 2014 Scott Barry Kaufman, All Rights Reserved.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Connor Child at Qzzr for his help with the online quiz, and Jennifer Odessa Grimes and Jonathan Cheek for their help with this post.

[1] This list is adapted from Jonathan Cheek’s book review, which can be found here.

[2] As another example, take people who conceptualize themselves as highly introverted because they are very introspective and value their rich inner mental lives, but who score high in enthusiasm and assertiveness on the Big Five test. These folks are being told by modern personality psychologists: “You are really an extrovert who is also high in intellect/imagination.” For those who have spent their entire lives equating their love of thinking and fantasy with their “introversion”, they respond: “huh?” In the Big Five, imagination, fantasy, and introspection are positively associated with Extraversion. But if we do away with the label of introversion in the Big Five, then that allows a person to be introverted in the thinking/introspective sense but also be an extravert in the Big Five sense (high in enthusiasm and assertiveness).

[3] Popular writers on introversion are also not pleased with this psychological imperialism. For instance, in Sophia Sembling’s book The Introvert’s Way, she has a chapter titled “Introverts are Not Failed Extroverts”.

[4] Keep in mind, the Big Five is a descriptive model; it merely describes patterns of covariation between people. The labels used to describe the five personality dimensions are subjective. A lot of the arguments over what counts as introversion come down to a naming game. In my view, it’s really unfortunate that Big Five researchers started to use the label “introversion” to mark the lower end of extraversion. It wasn’t always this way. In fact, the original name for “extraversion” in the Big Five was “Surgency“. If it were up to me, it would have stayed that way, leaving the label “introversion” free to continue roaming the personality landscape. As Jonathan Cheek told me, “if the Big Five folks would just go back to that phrase [“Surgency”], they would not be crossing swords with folk psychology/ordinary language introverts. Perhaps introversion should *not* be used as a label in the Big Five system.” I agree.

[5] Here is the link to the research report about the new STAR scale. You might be wondering: “What about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test? Isn’t that good enough to measure introversion?” Well, no it isn’t. As it turns out, the MBTI extraversion-introversion scale only includes items relating to being talkative, gregarious, and sociable (vs. quiet and reserved). Since there’s not a single item on the MBTI extraversion-introversion dimension that mentions being introspective or reflective, even the MBTI doesn’t measure Jung’s original conceptualization of the term!

[6] Big Five researchers could make the case that each of these four meanings of introversion can easily be mapped onto the Big Five framework. For instance, they could argue that:

-Social introversion is really just “low enthusiasm” (part of the extraversion domain)

-Thinking introversion is not part of the extraversion-introversion domain at all, but really is “high intellect/imagination”

-Anxious introversion is really just a blend of “high neuroticism” and “low assertiveness” (part of the extraversion domain)

-Restrained introversion” is a blend of a number of lower-order extraversion-related traits, including “low sensation seeking”, “low excitement seeking”, and “low activity”.

The Case for a New Avenger

S.H.I.E.L.D. might have missed assembling team members from India, but it is never too late to correct an oversight. Imagine our larger-than-life superhero, Rajinikanth, partnering with other Avengers in a combined mission to save the planet from dangerous predators with bad intentions. Some aliens, some familiar ones! Yes, India is far from America, and the distance seems to have increased during the pandemic, but Rajinikanth could give some worthy company to Iron Man and perhaps teach him a trick or two, too, through holographic interfaces and augmented reality. Who knows, he could also kill all the mutants of Coronaviruses in this quest!

I wish to present some facts now to give you a background of my strategic human resource and leadership plan for S.H.I.E.L.D. India has one of the largest numbers of gig workers in the world. As per a March 2021 report by consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the gig economy in India is expected to soar to 90 million in approximately a decade from now. Choose any vocation here and you will be spoilt for choices. Almost everyone is an expert on politics, economics, socio-cultural issues, fashion, sports, career, marriage, children, nature, animals, traffic, the dos, and don’ts … the list is endless. People can even advice others on how they should lead their lives. It’s affection, silly!

War for talent? Clearly, recruiters have not been able to explore the depth of this vast pool. To reiterate, India is a land bubbling with high potentials. Now let us go back to the topic of superpowers. There is plan B too. Rajinikanth could have a serious competition in a plain-looking community here. S.H.I.E.L.D. could consider appointing some members from this fraternity too.

You are rolling your eyes? Why? Hear me out. Presenting to you the case of beholders of the mighty pen (over a sword or a gun), and the upholders of fine speech. Their words hit no less than the missiles unleashed by Israel over the Gaza strip. Let me walk you through the innate gifts of a less publicized community with an immensely amoeba-like (plasma membrane) flexibility.

The teachers.

The extremely sturdy ones can stand the whole day, operate (teach) without a table and a chair, or, the basic infrastructure, and sometimes work even at low or no salaries for months. The strengths, struggles and coping mechanism of the privileged ones out of this lot are embedded in different realms. More on that, later! You will be astonished to learn how many hats teachers can don at the same time. They juggle between being a mentor, coach, counsellor, Devil’s advocate, friend, philosopher, or guide. Interestingly, even their DNA personifies versatility. Over the years, the mutations in their genetic material have helped them learn how to make milestones of the stones thrown at them by students unhappy with their marks, and parents unhappy with the teachers for giving those marks! Talk about heightened senses, their eyes can easily observe and sense the intention behind each greeting, smile and calls to the office. They are like Sharma ji ka beta/beti’, always expected to excel at everything and set an ideal example for the others to emulate.

Here, I would take a detour and ask you to recall the violinists who continued to play music for as long as they were alive, just to calm the passengers on the sinking Titanic ship. On similar lines, teachers continued to teach while the pandemic unleashed havoc around the world. The unlearning of years of classroom teaching was replaced by the immediate need to adopt new technological tools and re-learn the art of virtual teaching. The new and changed landscape was no less than the one post Thanos snapping his finger.

Aren’t convinced yet? Go to the polling booths and follow the polio immunization drives, you will know what I mean.

Now the final hook. Except for some teachers working with elite institutions, the rest won’t even charge much for their services. You can simply smile, appreciate their work, show some respect, and boy, see how they melt! Just watch how it lights up their faces. They are so motivated, especially on September 5 every year in India, that even Abraham Maslow bows to them from time to time from his grave. Had told you about their genetic sequencing earlier, remember? I do hope I have presented their (our) case well, S.H.I.E.L.D. Hopefully, you will have a relook at your current team now.

On a sidenote, can I be a contender too? Just saying. I can take it up as a gig assignment during the semester breaks. Imagine the newest Avenger on the block and that too a female from India! It will further boost the diversity and inclusion factors for you. If you can give equitable salary and perks, you could even find yourself on the pages of Harvard cases.

You might want to provide supplements of Vitamin T(eacher) to your team if Rajinikanth’s diary of appointments is full. Professor Hulk would not mind some more erudite company. In return, I vow to start quoting your example in my classes as a great employer brand with an excellent employee value proposition. Who knows, I might even write a research article. Told you, pen and words are the weapons here. Think about it. What say? Are you game?

P.S. I have recently bought a telescope to keep an eye on the stars and planets too. Taking my possible future role tad too seriously, eh?

Why do people have so much aggression?

  • We all act aggressively from time to time—say while sitting in traffic or in the midst of an argument—but some are more aggressive than others.
  • There are several reasons we engage in aggressive behavior, which also help to explain why some people display aggression more often.
  • These causes include instinct, hormonal imbalance, genetics, temperament, nurture, and stress.
  • If there are excessively aggressive people in your life, like a loved one or coworker, you can learn to cope or deal with their behavior effectively.
  • First, try keeping your cool, empathizing, and expressing your concern—these actions should help you to navigate the interaction and make it more pleasant.
  • If these strategies don’t prove effective, consider distancing yourself from the overly aggressive person; your wellbeing should be your priority.

Aggression is hostile or violent behavior. It’s a woman yelling at her son for spilling his milk on the carpet. It’s a child pushing his friend down on the playground because she was playing with his favorite toy. It’s a girl snapping at her boyfriend because he didn’t invite her out with the guys.

As you can see (and probably know from personal experience), aggression can take many forms. We all act aggressively at some point or another in our lives, whether it’s yelling at the black Sudan that cut us off or getting into it with family or friends. But some are more aggressive than others—quick to react or engage in hostile behavior. Which begs an important question: why

What Causes Aggression? 6 Origins

Sure, traffic can spur aggression, as can a disagreement with a coworker. But what’s the psychology behind this behavior? There are actually a few reasons we become aggressive, which also help to explain why some people are more aggressive than others:

1. Instinct: Aggression is one of our many survival instincts. According to Sigmund Freud, aggression continuously builds up until it releases as aggressive behavior, at some point or another. Some individuals can suppress this aggression and use other survival instincts instead, but others simply react and release.

2. Hormonal imbalance: A hormonal imbalance in an individual can certainly contribute to aggressive behavior. For example, high levels of testosterone contribute to high levels of aggression. This explains why males are characteristically more aggressive than females.

3. Genetics: Aggression can also be passed down genetically. Children are at a greater risk of adapting aggressive tendencies if they have a biological background for it. Time and time again, father and son both display aggressive behavior.

4. Physiological illness and temperament: Serious illness can have a major effect on an individual’s mood and behavior, as the stress and other mental effects may bring about greater aggression. Additionally, one’s temperament can play a role in aggression. People with bad tempers typically become aggressive more quickly than calmer individuals.

5. Social learning: Aggression can be learned. Some become more aggressive due to personal experiences or observational learning. For example, children are always looking for cues on how to act, as illustrated by the Bobo doll experiment. They learn to act aggressively when they watch someone else commit violent acts like in movies or video games.

6. Psychological frustrations: It’s human nature to become frustrated when life just doesn’t seem to be going so well. This frustration may involve work or love, for example, and can lead to an all-around feeling of negativity. This negativity then represents a threat, which can lead to aggression

How to Cope with an Aggressive Individual

Dealing with someone who constantly lashes out in hostile or violent behavior is tough—especially when it’s someone you’re close to like your boyfriend or mother, or someone you can’t get away from, like a coworker. In any case, the following can help you deal with the aggressive people in your life more effectively:

  • Keep your cool. The last thing that will alleviate this situation is another aggressive individual. Maintain your composure and use your better judgment to handle the situation. Aggressive people often seek to intimidate and upset others. You have to ensure this doesn’t happen and instead of reacting with rage like they want you to, take a moment to count to ten and think of a better way to deal with the situation at hand.
  • Put yourself in their shoes. Even if the aggression seems unwarranted, take a moment to imagine yourself in their position. Maybe they grew up in an overly aggressive household. Or, maybe they have a lot on their plate and they’re reacting to the stress with aggression. This will help calm your own negative feelings down and empathize with the individual. Then, maybe you can turn the aggressive attack into a productive conversation.
  • Express your concern. Maybe there isn’t an obvious, underlying cause of the individual’s aggression. Once you’ve taken a step away and you’re both calm, express your concern for them. They may not realize the severity of their aggression or its effect on those around them. It could take someone like you bringing it to light for them to make that realization and make a change.
  • Distance yourself. Sometimes, these aggressive individuals are just not worth it and don’t deserve a place in your life. You have to prioritize your wellbeing and if that means cutting them out of your lives, then so be it. And if cutting them completely out of your life isn’t very realistic (think, an aggressive aunt or uncle that’s at every family reunion or your coworker who doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon), then just distance yourself as best you can. Avoid them.

Ultimately, you have to decide if it’s worth dealing with the aggressive individual. If you decide that it’s not, kick them to the curb and distance yourself from them. But if you decide that this individual is worth it and could maybe use your help, do your best to sympathize with them and determine the underlying cause of the aggression. This will help you both moving forward

Tips for safe internet banking

All through the year, banks and financial institution are taking up innovative measures to protect its customers from such banking frauds. But sometimes it’s our very own negligence that makes us fall prey to such thefts. Whilst, both the banks and financial institutions are doing their part, we should too adopt a cautious attitude to protect ourselves. So, to help you out in this process, we have a gathered a list of some tips for safe internet banking that you can consider doing.

Digital advancements have made our lives much easier, we can now order food or purchase things in the comfort of our homes. These rapidly evolving advancements are also transforming the banking and financial sector in India. Whether someone is transferring funds, paying a bill or applying for such loans such technologies are enabling customers to do it in a more efficient and effective way. The number of users opting for internet banking is expected to double by 2020, making India an important hub for financial innovation. However, internet banking, just like like any other medium if not done with utmost precaution can prove to be risky. There are scams like phishing( fraudulent means for attaining confidential information) associated with internet banking which enables a third-party to access and misuse your personal information.

Banking online has made managing money a lot more convenient than it used to be. We don’t have to visit the bank to transfer our funds, or wait for the next paper statement to know what the balance is. All that information is at our fingertips. But while online banking has made things easier for us, it’s also made things easier for thieves.

Criminals don’t need to plan a heist to rob someone’s bank account anymore. All they need to do is wait for you to let your guard down and expose your personal information, or send out a virus that will collect the information. The only way to avoid becoming a thief’s next victim is to carefully guard your personal information and always practice these online banking safety tips. 

1. Don’t access your bank accounts on public Wi-Fi

When you’re on public Wi-Fi, hackers can more easily access your computer and steal personal information from it. You should never access your bank’s website through a computer, tablet, or mobile phone unless you’re on a secure Wi-Fi network with a password, or using your own cell phone data connection. This is much more difficult for thieves to hack, so it keeps your information safer.

2. Avoid saving your login information

Some websites give you the option to save your login information for future use, but if someone uses your computer or mobile device after you, they could gain access to your bank accounts. To at least help prevent this from happening, many banking sites now time out after a certain number of minutes of inactivity, and do not save your information.

3. Use strong passwords and change them often

Strong passwords have a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Many banks now require your online accounts to carry a password meeting these requirements. You should also change your password every couple of months, and use different passwords for all of your online accounts so that hackers will have a more difficult time gaining access to your information.

4. Use two-factor authentication whenever possible

Two-factor authentication is the next level of security that many banks are now offering. Usually, you give your bank your phone number, and it texts a code when you log in online. Some banks also enable you to request a code via email or a phone call. You must enter this code in addition to your password to log in. This way, even if someone has stolen your password, they cannot access your accounts. It’s another hoop to jump through, but it could help keep your money safe, so set it up if your bank offers it.

True friends

“Good friends care for each other…close friends understand each other, but TRUE FRIENDS stay forever…beyond words, beyond distance, beyond time…!”

Many of us have friends in our lives over the years. Some friends we make as children and then lose contact as we grow older. Other friends we make as adults and stay in touch with as long as we are in close proximity to and it is convenient to keep in touch but then over time one moves away or busy schedules slowly pull us apart and we start to lose touch.  Those friendships fall into the “good friends” or “close friends” as the opening quote cites. But then there is that last group of friends – those we call true friends – they are those we have a mutual caring about, and we understand each other’s hearts, and where bonds are formed between us that span any distance in proximity and where the bonds run so deep that no amount of time apart or lack of words will change the way we feel about that friend. These are our true friends, and when one comes into your life cherish it!

As a child our family moved often and so I was constantly making new friends each place we moved. Often the contact was lost with friends in past locations, although my memories of them were treasured. As an adult it is often harder to find the time to form those deep friendships outside your immediate family members because we are all trying to juggle a million balls in the air with work and church and service and community all while trying to give our greatest attention to our own children and spouses  where it rightfully belongs. And as a single mother for many years of my life it was even more difficult to make time for friends because playing the role of two parents by yourself while also being the sole support of your family was overwhelming to say the least.

But even during those challenging years there were individuals during that time who came into my life that I consider my truest of friends. They are individuals who saw me through tough times and who always saw the best in me despite any of my shortcomings. They picked me up at times I was down. They stood by me when I felt alone. They taught me things about life and about myself with patience and understanding. They lifted my children’s spirits and made them laugh when they were going through tough times of their own. They forgave at times when I was grumpy or obstinate. They loved me without judgment and without expectations. They gave me hugs, even at times that I may not have deserved one.  These true friends were individuals who were there for me…maybe not always in person or in word every time, but always in heart…and knowing that helped me through incredible challenges throughout the years.

True friends just do that – they help us grow and change for the better.  They support us in good times and bad. They can make us laugh when all we want to do is cry. And no matter how far apart time and distance may cause us to grow from one another, and even if death takes one of them from this world to the next, we always have the comfort of knowing that these true friends are still there for us, even if only in spirit, cheering us on and wishing us the best, because that is what true friends do for each other.

“A strong friendship doesn’t need daily conversation, doesn’t always need togetherness as long as the relationship lives in the heart, true friends will never part…”

When someone is genuinely your true friend they leave an impression on your heart that will never go away…not with time and not with distance. True friends secure a place in your heart forever.  I am forever grateful for the true friends in my life, both those who are alive and those who have passed away, thank you so much for being my true friends!

The Right Way of Enjoying Your Freedom

Freedom is a powerful word. It is the basic right of every individual and no one can deny it. But are you using your freedom in a proper way? Have you thought that your sense of freedom might deprive that of others? A G Gardiner’s ‘On the Rule of the Road’ is an essay teaching the readers on the right way of enjoying freedom.

The essayist narrates a situation where an old lady walks down the middle of a street ignoring the traffic rules and other vehicles. This causes a great confusion and she doesn’t seem to care about it. It is a dangerous situation where accidents can happen and people can get hurt. But when it was pointed that she should walk in the pavement not on the road, she replies that it is her liberty to walk wherever she wants. Just like this woman, there are many who seem to take advantage of their ‘liberty’. What we need to realize is if everyone does whatever they want in whatever way they like because it is their liberty, “then the end of such liberty would be universal chaos”. 

“Everybody would be getting in everybody else’s way and nobody would get anywhere. Individual liberty would have become social anarchy. There is a sanger of the world getting liberty-drunk…”

So, the traffic rules are made to ensure that everyone can enjoy their liberty. When the policeman at the intersection directs the traffic, he “is the symbol not of tyranny, but of liberty”. If you can’t understand the statement, think of this situation as the essayist provides. You may be in an urgency to reach your destination, but when the policeman stops you, you may think he is curbing your liberty. But, if you reflect on it, you will understand that if he doesn’t stop you, he won’t stop anyone and everyone will clash into each other. 

“You have submitted to a curtailment of private liberty in order that you may enjoy a social order which makes your liberty a reality”. 

“Liberty is not a personal affair only, but a social contract”. Does the statement mean your freedom is limited by society? No, you are free to do whatever you like unless it doesn’t affect that of others. You have both personal liberty and social liberty. You may dress however you want, dye your hair, eat whatever you wish, like and dislike at your will because it is your liberty. No one can question your personal liberty. Likewise, the other person has the liberty to differ from you. You have your own kingdom where you can do whatever you wish. But, once you step out of the kingdom, your “personal liberty of action becomes qualified by other people’s liberty”. 

You may want to practice music in the middle of the night, you may do so if you are on the top of Mt. Everest. If you do so in your house, you are disturbing the sleep of your family members. If you do so in the streets, you are disturbing your neighbours and they will object to this. Their objection will remind you that your liberty of practicing music is interfering with their liberty to sleep peacefully and so it shouldn’t be done. 

“There are a lot of people in the world, and I have to accommodate my liberty to their liberties”.

We often forget this and find fault with others. We should be considerate to the rights and feelings of others because it is the “foundation of social conduct”. We should stop focusing only on our liberties and start considering that of others and the responsibilities that come along with them. We need law to limit some of our liberty in order to ensure greater liberty.

“Liberty is not a personal affair only, but a social contract”

‘A Fellow Traveller’ by A.G.Gardiner.

Have you ever thought of everything except human life as insignificant? Have you realised how we treat every creature in a different way? How different are human beings from other creatures?

A G Gardiner’s essay ‘A Fellow Traveller’ explores the themes of freedom, compassion and equality. 

“I do not know which of us got into the carriage first. Indeed I did not know he was in the carriage at all for some time.”

The essayist boards the last train from London to Midland town which stops at each station and takes forever to reach the essayist’s destination. By the time the train leaves the outer ring of London, the train becomes empty except for the essayist or it appears so.

The essayist explains the ‘sense of freedom’ a vacant carriage affords. We can do anything we wish to do. We can talk loudly, do a headstand, sing, dance or play for there is no one to question. We can open and close windows at our leisure and there is no one to protest. We can lie down on the seats as we wish.

“It is liberty and unrestraint in a very agreeable form.”

This freedom is agreeable because it doesn’t affect or harm others. But the essayist does nothing like he had told above. He does the most normal thing. He puts down the paper he had been reading, stretches and looks out of the window. It was a calm summer night. When he sits down to continue his paper, he recognises the presence of his fellow traveller

“He was one of those wingy, nippy, intrepid insects that we call, vaguely, mosquitoes.”

When the mosquito came and sat on the essayist’s nose, he was flicked by the essayist. He tours the compartment and visits each lamp by the wind. The way the mosquito enjoys liberty in the empty carriage and does whatever the essayist had previously mentioned brings out a strong contrast between him and the essayist. Finally, he decides that nothing is as interesting as ‘the large animal’ (the essayist) and inspects his neck. 

The essayist flicks him off again. The mosquito goes around the compartment and perches on the essayist’s hand insolently in the end. This ticks off the essayist and he pronounces the death sentence of the mosquito. The essayist states various reasons as to why the mosquito deserves to die. The mosquito is a homeless tramp, a public nuisance and he travels without ticket and constantly misbehaves. The essayist strikes a lethal blow but the mosquito escapes with an imprudent ease. This humiliates the essayist who lunges ferociously at the mosquito. But the mosquito escapes with his ruse.

No matter how hard the essayist tries, it was all in vain. He was played by the mosquito. The mosquito totally enjoys this little game he was playing with the essayist. Suddenly, a change came over the author. He enters into the spirit of his fellow traveller. The mosquito was no longer a mere insect but a personality with a wit “that challenged the possession of tis compartment with me (the essayist) on equal terms.” This makes us realise that every creature shares the earth just like us. It is a collective ‘us’ who lives in this world. So, we need to show compassion to each other.

“I felt my heart warming towards him and the sense of superiority fading.”

The essayist now brims with magnanimity and mercy. He was treated as a laughter stock by the mosquito but by being merciful towards him, he asserts his dignity and honor. The essayist retires to his seat. But the mosquito delivers himself into the hands of the essayist as if ready to be sandwiched. The essayist no longer desires to kill him for he has grown affectionate to him. 

The essayist draws near to conclusion with some of the best lines.

“Fortune has made us fellow travellers on this summer night. I have interested you and you have entertained me. The obligation is mutual and it is founded on the fundamental fact that we are fellow mortals. The miracle of life is ours in common and it’s mystery too. I suppose you don’t know anything about your journey. I am not sure that I know about mine. We are really … a good deal alike …”

These lines show that human life is not the glory that it is deemed to be. We are as uncertain as other organisms on the earth about our life and journey. We don’t know what we will see in our journey, how our journey will be, where our journey will lead to and where our destination really is. We all are vagrants on this vast planet just like any other creature.

When a porter snaps him into reality, he realizes that he has reached his station. He gets off the train and closes the door.

“As I closed the door of the compartment saw my fellow traveller fluttering around the lamp…”