The Hope in Social Apps Amidst Global Challenges

Right now, some people would say the world we live in is a dark, dark place. There is, of course, some truth to that. All around us, there are stories of conflict, of suffering, of endless global crises. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. There might be problems we cannot ever address because they need entire organizations and nations to solve, but even as ordinary humans we can do our fair share of alleviating the hardships of others.

One thing that has consistently helped us is the advent of technology. Again, some would say that our constant drive for innovations and scientific advancements are actually urging us to veer away from our humanity and from each other, but certain developments prove otherwise. Some argue that technology can even make us more human. And I agree, especially when it comes to social apps and how they have facilitated empathy between people. Despite the many problems that people around the world are facing, some glimmer of hope arises in social apps and how they bring people closer to each other and thus closer to solving their crises. Here are some ways that social apps nurture hope:

1. Speaking out and raising awareness

More and more, social apps are being used to promote awareness and share vital information. Some people are simply not as exposed to important issues, and they truly benefit from others who speak out in order to help them understand. For instance, a mother posted some facts plus her own take on depression on Facebook, an inspiring post that has gone viral and helped break stigmatizing opinions on the matter. Mental health is a serious problem because it is not yet as accepted by many people despite the scientific data, so it always helps to bring stuff like it to the limelight and get the conversation going. It is always so tear-jerking when you hear (or read?) someone speak so passionately about something so significant.

Since it spans networks and networks of people, social media could definitely be a good avenue to raise awareness. Ordinary individuals can participate in the global discussion, even if it means starting to inform and converse with the people who are closer to them.

2. Crowdfunding

One of my favorite online trends ever is GoFundMe. It helped a deaf boy provide hearing aids to fellow deaf children. It helped cops replace the stolen college tuition money of a deserving student. It helped students fund the surgery of their teacher’s wife.

Fundraising initiatives have probably been going around since time immemorial, but technology has certainly taken it to a whole new level. Crowdfunding is an interesting online trend because you are not only appealing to people you know inside your own community, you are inviting people from everywhere to share your cause. In doing so, you get to witness empathy on a global scale. It proves that we don’t have to be so similar, we can speak different languages and live in different countries, and still have the heart to help each other.

3. Doing little acts of kindness

Lastly, just because we can raise awareness virtually or donate money online, doesn’t mean help is limited nowadays to digital forms. Tweets, Facebook posts, and even blogs that talk about important issues are definitely a good way to participate in changing the world. Crowdsourcing is another surefire way to help people out and make an impact in their lives, even if they are far away. But again, help that comes from progressive technology doesn’t necessarily have to remain online or virtual.

The BeepBeep Nation app has a proposal to digitally facilitate connections but encourage face-to-face interactions between people who are willing to help each other out. By linking people who need help and people who can provide it, regardless of how seemingly simple and small the favor is, BeepBeep Nation inspires us to take a step forward and initiate a culture of helping amongst ourselves. It is also a true community app, as it seeks to build networks of peers among people who willingly share their kindness with one another.

It may not seem like a lot to give someone a ride home or a place to stay, or even offer your own recommendation to promote your favorite restaurant in the vicinity, but it’s a start. The world could be a dark place, but there are an infinite number of ways to share the light, if only little by little.

If you think there’s hope in social apps like I do, and want to share your own little spark, be sure to check out the BeepBeep Nation app. Soon to launch worldwide in selected cities, it is fuelled by the EMINENT (EMN) token, now available for sale. Get started now and participate in a world of technological progress, hope and kindness.

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BeepBeep Nation and Your Dynamic Beep Network of Helpers

Soon to launch is BeepBeep Nation — an app that will offer opportunities for people to request whatever kind of help and others to respond to them. You can get a ride home, read restaurant recommendations, even have a tour guide with just one beep. But what’s underneath this seemingly common service of BeepBeep Nation is a greater mission.

It aims to make the world a better place by fostering a culture of kindness and encouraging face-to-face interaction. By helping others, you get to broaden your circle of peers, build a stronger business network, or even just have nonchalant but interesting conversations every now and then.

As a true social app, BeepBeep Nation requires both requestors and helpers to meet in person when resolving a problem.  Social media has inadvertently made human relationships take a colder, digital turn. Even though it still very much utilizes digital technology, the BeepBeep Nation app harnesses that in order to promote more profound social interactions again. But how exactly does it do that?

Of course, as a social app, the BeepBeep Nation app also has its own way of building an individual’s network for him. However, unlike Facebook or Twitter, it does not ask you to make people your “friends” or “followers.” What it does is provide you with a bigger pool of potential requestors and helpers (i.e. potential peers and business contacts) through its very own Dynamic Beep Network of Helpers (DBN). By not offering the same “friends,” “followers,” or “connections” mechanics, it actually provides its users a more dynamic alternative.

Everyone — yes, everyone! — within a 1-5 mile radius of wherever you are is included in your network. All people need to do is install the BeepBeep Nation app on their smartphones, and they’re good to go. No need for “friend” or “follower” requests. Everyone is that easy to reach.

Another interesting thing about your Dynamic Beep Network Of Helpers (DBN) is that it can be composed of different people every time. Say you are travelling from your hometown of Vancouver to attend a conference in Toronto. Your DBN will change so that you have a different pool of potential acquaintances in Toronto from your DBN in Vancouver. Of course, so that people nearby can help you with your needs or you can help people nearby with theirs, the BeepBeep Nation app will connect you to people in the location you yourself specify at any given time. Amazing.

What’s even more amazing is this implication: a constantly changing DBN means having an endless number of opportunities to get help and give help. Having a previously established or curated network of “friends” and “followers” could set your limits — not just with the help you might acquire, but also the potential peers you may still want to get to know. For instance, you only look for people you want to meet in your own circles; you then scan their profiles if you have mutuals. But your DBN always provides you with new possibilities.

After all, BeepBeep Nation’s mission to make the world a better place starts with an individual helping another person out and getting to know him face-to-face. Its feature of giving users a Dynamic Beep Network Of Helpers (DBN) sincerely embodies that mission. If you’re interested in participating and creating a world of kindness, soon to launch is the BeepBeep Nation app. Its fuel, the EMINENT (EMN) token, is already available for sale. Check it out now!

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Business Networking: BeepBeep Nation and Intangible Profit

I’ve been in the game for a while now. In the world of business, it’s not enough to be efficient, effective, and generally adept at your tasks. What’s more important than the mechanical side of whatever industry is securing good relationships and establishing a broad network of contacts. Dealing with administrative and operational matters should not overshadow putting yourself and your company out there and meeting great people.

There are some traditional means of business networking. Setting up events to gather potential clients and affiliates is always on the table — there is always an opportune time for a semi-casual party, a formal program to an organization you want to sponsor, an official launch of a new product, or others. Attending trade shows and business conferences is also very conducive to building a network; whether as an attendee or a speaker, you’ll get the chance to meet people and stimulate their interests.

In these areas, making a good impression is of utmost priority. Hard selling one’s business may not always be the most effective approach. Sometimes, keeping the conversation light, fun, but engaging may be even more beneficial. This is your one shot at establishing a connection, so actually getting to know a few great prospects is better than having a standard robotic speech for everyone. Aggressive methods are also not recommended as you do not want to scare away your prospects.

Talking about your passions and listening to them talk about their passions is a good step to ensuring a followup sometime soon. Remembering the humanity of the people that you’re talking to while talking to them leads to more fulfilling, more secure relationships in the future. This is true for both our professional and personal lives.

Of course, in the digital age, there are updated ways of achieving the same goal. Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and other online communities are a good way to promote your business and establish a more secure network of potential clients and affiliates. Nowadays, it’s actually unusual for any business not to have its own website or blog to express its philosophy, share its take on relevant industry issues, provide information requisite to the business, and enable interactions with its current audience and eventual prospects.

Being in business also means committing to things that do not instantly scream profit! at your face. It may feel counterintuitive at times to do things for free, especially in a world where it’s easier to look only at price tags and consider nothing else. But profit isn’t always immediately tangible in business networking.

Sometimes, a long-lasting excellent reputation is worth way more than an instant sell. Offering your help and expertise to people who seem to have issues that you can address might be mutually favorable. Again, while you don’t want to be aggressive, taking the initiative is a good habit. Not only are there possibilities of people eagerly returning favors some other time, helping out may eventually lead to your reputation as a generous person.

To this end, it’s also good to look for opportunities to volunteer your time. Business networking doesn’t require your focus to solely be on your own business; venturing into other fields can actually give you an even broader network. Volunteering in the community gets you in touch with other groups of people who may not seem relevant at first, but could prove helpful in the future.

Inculcating this in yourself will make you appreciate the value of everyone you meet and inspire you to get to know even more people in a deeper way.

One such app that aims to facilitate these connections and encourage people to have fulfilling face-to-face social interactions is BeepBeep Nation. By providing a platform for requestors to get any kind of help they need and for helpers to offer their capacity to help out, what BeepBeep Nation wants is to create a helping economy that will be beneficial for all of its users.

It may seem a little strange to lend a hand without getting anything in return, but as I’ve illustrated regarding business networking, what it provides you is more long-term yield. Simply giving someone a ride or a place to stay for the night is already a huge investment. BeepBeep Nation offers a plethora of these opportunities: aside from a ride or a place to stay, you can assist in medical emergencies and vehicle breakdowns, you may merely give accurate information regarding the restaurant your requestor wants to check out, and other forms of help.

You never know, the person you gave a recommendation for a quaint local café might just be your next great business partner.

Go to the BeepBeep Nation website to find out how to get started. Fuelled by the EMINENT token, BeepBeep Nation is set to launch soon worldwide, starting in selected cities. The EMINENT token pre-sale is currently live, with great bonuses available. Check it out now, and don’t hesitate to participate in a world of change.

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Helpers, Requestors, and Spontaneous Friendships

In a world where we’d rather send links to interesting articles and random memes to our friends, pester them in our chatboxes, and click the “Like” button on their vacation photos, it’s hard to remember what the old times were like. Even though we still meet up every now and then with friends for coffee or cocktails and catching up on each other’s lives, one thing I do miss is experiencing spontaneous friendships.

I know part of adult friendships is really just exerting small efforts to maintain your high school or college peers, or perhaps revelling in your co-workers’ company for Friday nights. Meeting new friends is almost out of the question. (The only new people we let into our lives are mostly new business affiliates. At least that’s what happens with me.) But I can’t help but wax nostalgic about the times when you would randomly talk to someone, discover that they’re super interesting and that you jive so well, and then exchange contact details. Where are those circumstances now?

I mean, I’m aware that online friendships are not so bad. I see my teenage niece and nephew spend hours on Twitter and I wouldn’t berate them for it. They get the online social life that they need. But I can’t help but ask if they ever wonder about some kind of bonding other than their friends tweeting about their dog or Snapchatting their sandwiches. Do they even go to sneaky house parties nowadays? Kidding. But on a more serious note, I think technology brings people closer together, but it also maintains this distance between people somehow.

That’s why the BeepBeep Nation app is an amazing project to look forward to. Not only does it offer a platform for people to request for the specific kind of help they need — like perhaps sharing a ride or having a tour guide — and then for other people near the area to respond, it does so with an exciting motive in mind. Let’s see what the creators have to say:

[We’re returning] our users to the days when being social means actually meeting up in person and talking to each other face to face, instead of doing it mainly through the screen of a smartphone and hardly ever seeing each other.

[I]n what appears to be a paradox, we’re using cold technology itself to enhance warm human values and human interaction in ways that are far removed from the technology itself.

The people who beep when they need something are called requestors, while the people who provide help are called helpers. BeepBeep nation aims to foster dynamic and spontaneous friendships between requestors and helpers, as everytime a need arises, so does the opportunity to get to know someone new. At the end of the day, not only do you get the help you need or feel good for helping, you just might create new and exciting friendships.

So here’s to prospective requestors: don’t be afraid. Your hands might be full to do a particular thing, so look for an extra hand. It’s actually a sign of maturity to realize you can’t do everything alone. Seek help and if you want, you can give your helper a gratitude tip, you can simply say thanks, or maybe keep in touch. Not only can asking for help make you feel human, it will also show your interest in other humans who can be there for you.

And here’s to prospective helpers: it doesn’t have to be a big effort to help out. Sometimes, you may not even have to go out of your way. Shopping for a requestor’s item at a store you’re going to anyway doesn’t cost any extra time, right? Not only can doing a little kindness make you feel good, you can also inspire the person you’re helping to pay the kindness forward. And what’s a tiny favor in exchange for possibly great, spontaneous friendships?

And of course, while the guarantee of friendship still depends on the people involved, at the very least requestors and helpers could have a random, engaging conversation for the day. What’s not to love about that?

To get started on BeepBeep Nation, find out more about the EMINENT token a.k.a. fuel for the amazing app. Coming soon in selected cities worldwide!

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AI Can Distinguish Abusive Language Online

So far, we’ve used artificial intelligence much to our advantage in whatever way possible. We’ve built devices as trivial as visual emotion masks, but overall, people feel mostly optimistic. But now that we know AI can serve purposes of various degrees of impact, developers from McGill University are developing an AI that can recognize hate speech on social media.

Instead of focusing on isolated words and phrases, they taught machine learning software to spot hate speech by learning how members of hateful communities speak… They focused on three groups who are often the target of abuse: African Americans, overweight people and women.

Previous softwares detecting abusive language have proven unsuccessful due to the misleading nature of online slang. That and the fact that machines aren’t well-versed in sarcasm. The system, however, was able to identify racist slurs and avoided false positives. And I believe this first step in compiling data about sites that condone and even encourage abusive language can lead to finding solutions in the future. Perhaps hopefully, not just online. After all, our material reality reflects our online visual reality, and vice versa.

“Comparing hateful and non-hateful communities to find the language that distinguishes them is a clever solution… [But] ultimately, hate speech is a subjective phenomenon that requires human judgment to identify,”

While it won’t eliminate every online bully, it’s a commendable attempt at making the Internet a safer environment.

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Young Bug Lover Helps Write Scientific Thesis

Kids these days are ditching Playstations for programming tools, priding themselves on being the smartest generation yet. However, there are some who prefer going back to basics. Classmates bullied 8-year-old Sophia Spencer for her obsession with bugs. The young bug lover got back at her tormenters, co-writing a paper in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

“I really thought loving bugs wasn’t the best hobby,” [said Sophia] “But after I realized bugs are for girls I thought to myself, ‘Well, I think I should start loving bugs again, because just because people say they’re weird and gross doesn’t mean I shouldn’t like them.’”

This kid is more self-aware than I am. Sophia’s passion inspired mom Nicole to contact the Entomological Society of Canada for advice. The group tweeted Spencer’s plea, garnering replies from bug enthusiasts all over the world. Eventually, Ph.D. candidate Morgan Jackson invited Sophia to help compose a scientific thesis promoting women in science.

“It felt good to have so many people support me, and it was cool to see other girls and grown-ups studying bugs,” she wrote. “It made me feel like I could do it too, and I definitely, definitely, definitely want to study bugs when I grow up, probably grasshoppers.”

Sophia’s contribution to a cool scientific thesis at age 8 is living proof that one’s interests are never age nor gender-specific. So a word to parents — encourage your children’s passions, even when it seems “weird” or “gross” or “not for boys/girls.” The era we live in nurtures a plethora of possibilities, and so should you.

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Be A 5-Star Hostess At Your Local Animal Shelter

For stray pups and wandering felines, an animal shelter is a stepping stone towards a forever home. Or at least it should be. Some promising residents become therapy dogs, while others find families through dating apps (yes, you read that right). Others don’t seem to hit the jackpot. If you’re an animal lover but lack the extra space for a furry friend, volunteering at a shelter might be the perfect side hustle.

As with any non-profit, making a difference isn’t just a monthly stint. Charity groups, especially those that cater to animals, require time commitments. Before diving into the deep end, arrange your schedule. Anyway, most organizations will indicate a minimum amount of hours for students or working volunteers.

Be ready to train. Depending on what you sign up for, training programs may or may not be required. After all, you don’t want to be chasing after a Road Runner stray without the proper equipment. When it comes down to actual tasks, work with your skills and strengths. Do you have an eye for photography? Snapping headshots of handsome adoptables may be the job for you. Are you hands-on and nifty with a comb? Grooming might be your thing.

Animal shelters are all about their tenants and like any hotel, require a load of maintenance. Beyond the animals, you can participate in clerical or manual work. Accountants are totally underrated, despite a slew of paperwork and finances pulled from medical care, neuter-and-spay services, and food alone. Similarly, anyone familiar with carpentry could construct pens and crates.

Supporting your cause remotely is also highly doable (and effective), especially in this day and age. Spread the word by posting your experiences on social media, handing out fliers, and inviting experts to speak at special events. If you have a nickel to spare, gather supplies. While most needed items are often laying around your storage cupboard, others are a little more elusive. Pay a visit to your local Pet Smart. Use Facebook to your advantage to call for donations. Consult sites such as Amazon or eBay — with caution!

If you’re big on events, there’s no going wrong hosting a fundraiser. Whether it be a birthday bash, a school fair, or simple food drive, donate your earnings to your favorite shelter. Even better, allot time to highlight your cause through a speech, video, or game. Learning is always fun when it’s, you know, fun.

At the end of the day, if you’re itching for a companion but can’t yet set aside the funds to care for one permanently, foster them. Falling in love with your temporary house guest may leave you in a sticky situation. Still, the outcome (usually adoption) is often heartwarming one.

Puppies in pet stores may certainly be more attractive than grown ones behind cage doors. Nevertheless, any dog’s eagerness to love and accept you are often immeasurable, regardless of breed or age. They are, after all, everyone’s favorite friend.

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Stars Post Embarrassing Photos For Hurricane Relief

Stories of Houston bakers donating bread to hurricane victims and an air force couple postponing their wedding to rescue Floridians have undisputedly warmed our hearts. Among the wreckage, we appreciate the good news — and we’re glad it hasn’t stopped there. Hollywood stars are posting hilarious childhood snaps on social media in an effort to raise funds for Puerto Rico.

“I’m happy to announce that for every celebrity—and I get to determine who’s a celebrity—who posts their awkward teenage photos with the hashtags #PuberMe and #PuertoRicoRelief, the AmeriCone Dream Foundation will donate $1,000 to One America Appeal,” [Steven] Colbert announced [on his show].

Since the call-out, actors such as Reese Witherspoon, Steve Martin, and Kathy Griffin have publicly embarrassed themselves for the cause. These celebrities join Jennifer Lopez, who donated $1 million, and Beyonce, who is forwarding proceeds from her single to charities, in the fight to help Puerto Rico.

Trying times may call for desperate measures — but we sure do enjoy a laugh for charity. And if you aren’t of celebrity status, there are still a handful of ways to give back.

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Say Goodbye To Instagram Bullies

In a recent post, I discussed the social media monster that is cyberbullying. While we take most issues regarding online harassment into our own hands, it seems that Internet giants such as Instagram want in on the war against trolls and spammers.

Instagram is using AI to try and understand the context around offensive speech and get rid of abuse even if it doesn’t trigger specific keywords. That should help mitigate the cat-and-mouse nature of fighting hateful comments, although it currently only works in English.

Instagram’s keyword filter feature has been a hit with users who prefer not to see certain types of content–but to know that these platforms continue to battle hate speech is reassuring.

The AI system, called DeepText, is able to identify offensive language. For example, it can understand that the word “white” may not be offensive as a color or title (White Sox, white snow), but that “white power” could be offensive in many uses.

Accurately discerning what is offensive remains to be somewhat sticky for AIs, but there is no doubting that technologies like these will see constant improvement.

Are you using this new feature?

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Cyberbullying Is So Out Of Fashion

Here are a list of things that are no longer relevant today: the Katy Perry-Taylor Swift feud; apple-bottom jeans and boots with the fur; the T-Mobile Sidekick; and privacy. Yes, privacy. If you haven’t noticed, “What you say can and will be used against you,” is no longer just a Miranda Right.

The 21st century has been a dangerous era for teenagers in particular. With a lack of privacy arrives the need to keep up appearances. Uploading a photo onto your Instagram account is never as simple as sharing a moment but sharing wealth and status. A critical tweet is not just about an opinion but being inarguably right. Networks comprise of the easily offended and those who are “just putting others in their place.” After all, next to Disneyland, social media is the happiest place on earth–for people who are winning at it.

As a person who is far from soft-spoken, my handles are laden with bare-faced selfies, erotic poetry, and new philosophies. I often receive a generous amount of likes and positive comments regarding my boldness and bravery, save for the occasional hater who thinks I am “too loud.” When sharks bite, do you bite back? A younger me would’ve certainly thought so. But if social media is a perpetual game of who can be meaner, who wins? Does it even really matter?

Believe it or not, not everyone is out to offend you. When someone has realized they have hurt you by means of understanding facial expressions and the tone of your voice, they will, more often than not, apologize. This doesn’t exist on FaceBook and Twitter, where movements are carefully calculated and empathy remains a thing of the past.

Cyber bullies, who are shielded by a trusty sheet of fiber optic glass, are plagued with mob mentality, as they are usually part of one. People thrive on validation, and those who join Internet mobs don’t always do so with bad intentions. After all, if the majority thinks it, it must be true. Sometimes, they are just ill-advised.

This isn’t to say there aren’t some truly nasty players out in the virtual field. Some studies claim that cyber bullying has exponentially more negative effects than face-to-face abuse–this is because people feel less obligation to help, especially when disparaging tweets are easily swept away by a sea of song lyrics, play-by-plays, and borderline-creepy statements about Harry Styles.

Instructing kids to stay off social media is no longer an effective method of protection. After all, having an iPhone is no longer an option but a necessity. So how do we avoid getting cyber bullied? The simple answer is we can’t. But it’s up to us to respond.

Bullies thrive on attention. Anger is the fuel to their vehicle. Kill them with kindness or leave them in the dust. Whatever the case, act dignified. Compassion is a bully’s very own Kryptonite.

Report them. Harassment is by no means free speech. Reach out. Hardly ever is there a case where you are the “only one.” Educate yourself and others. Draw the line somewhere. The mute button is just a click away. Attack no one, but defend yourself. Know that bullies are people too.

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