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Anand Kumar
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Be happy. It's one way of being wise...!

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Internet Addiction? Or Social Evolution?

I’m sure the thought has crossed your mind before, “I’m addicted to the Internet”. Stop! You are no more addicted to the Internet than a crackhead is addicted to a crack pipe! The Internet is the tool not the drug. It’s the information highway to our interests, our desires, our hopes, and our dreams. The Internet gives us pleasure; it feeds our imagination, strengthens our knowledge, and connects us to people we share commonalities with all across the world with whom we would not otherwise be able to connect with.

The evolution of socialization.

Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology for the Arts and Sciences at Washington University states that animals and humans benefit from being social and believes supporting evidence exists to back up his claim. According to Dr. Sussman there are two areas of the primate and human brain that are stimulated when we cooperate (socialize) with each other. Dr. Sussman believes we’ve evolved to gain pleasure form socialization through the release of hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin which play a large role in social recognition and trust.

We must stop and ask ourselves an important question; are we becoming less social or are we becoming more social? I think most of us can agree that we’re defiantly becoming more connected through emerging technologies resulting in new ways we humans interact with each other. Can the expansion of connections between people occur with a decrease in socialization?

Many people will agree that the growth of technology in the last couple decades has lead us to be a lot less social. We’re texting instead of talking, joining Hangouts instead meeting in person, and socializing on virtual networks instead of our local coffee shop with our real world friends and neighbors. But socializing doesn’t have to occur in face to face, person to person, and voice to voice situations for us to continue being social, it’s just become a lot more convenient since the rise of all the wonderful technology gadgets and social media sites that bring us together.

Humans are not retreating away from our nature of being social creatures we’re moving forward evolving into something much bigger and more complex, a place where we feel more socially connected right from the comfort of our own homes, offices, libraries, and smartphones that can be taken just about anywhere and still receive Internet access. The world itself evolved through the process of making things more convenient and efficient. It’s nature finding its way.

Yesterday I rode in the elevator with someone who was fixated on his cell phone just as I was. He looked up at me and said “what would we do without our cell phones?” I thought for a second, “I have no idea”. But later on it dawned on me that we could question the same for just about everything that has become a depending part in our lives. What would we do with out cars, air conditioning, refrigeration, or indoor plumbing if it they were taken away? The only difference now is that we’re from a generation where we didn’t always have cell phones or the Internet. We can look back in a time where things were done in a less convenient and efficient way, but back then it was the most efficient and convenient way of doing things. To take away our cell phones and Internet access would be just the same as taking away the light bulb two decades after Edison invented it.

Change isn’t always viewed as a good thing. Change is often scary when no one knows the direction their heading and every step taken is taken blindly. But to condemn a direction that’s happening naturally would be no different than condemning the evolution of mankind.

Are we addicted to the Internet? Or are we something else - genetically hardwired with pleasure releasing hormones pushing us to invent ways in which we can socially connect in the most convenient and efficient ways possible? It seems to me we’re in the midst of a social paradigm shift rather than an Internet addiction epidemic.

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LOVE teach me everything...
how to be kind,
how to get mad,
how to realize everything...
LOVE teach me to forgive ..
LOVE teach me to thank everything,.
LOVE teach me to ACCEPT everything;
either pain or happiness, lost or gain.
I am full of LOVE...
and LOVE sets me FREE,
because behind LOVE there is GOD.

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World's largest skateboard

Please share & +1 add your Circles :) Thank You all!

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If you're looking for a good way to track your weight or body fat, you may to check out the Withings wireless scale. It's $159, which is steep for a scale, but Withings was one of the first scales to sync your weight wirelessly to a computer and into the cloud. From there, you can import your weight data into a ton of other services (RunKeeper, Fitbit, Microsoft's HealthVault, etc.).

Two things might rub you the wrong way about the scale:
- $159 is a lot of a scale. Fitbit says they'll introduce a wireless scale in April 2012 for $129, but it's still a question mark at this point.
- Consistency. A good scale should give you the same readout if you step on it again. I've watched in amazement as I "gained" 1-2 pounds when stepping back on the scale. A friend who bought her own Withings scale also complained about this.

The consistency of the Withings bothered me for a while, but honestly I use my scale mainly as a daily reminder of how I'm doing--if my weight or body fat is higher than I expected, then I pay a little more attention to exercise or what I eat.

I like that Withings hooks into a ton of different services. I also like that Withings supports not just Windows or Mac, but also Linux (when you set up the scale for the first time, you need to hook it up with a USB cable to configure the wireless). Overall, I think Withings is #goodgear.

There's a whole movement called "Quantified Self" where people track information about themselves and their bodies. Tracking my weight (and my steps with a pedometer) has been a great way for me to stay healthy.

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This is a really good interview with Jon Wiley, Google's lead designer for search.
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