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Mike McBride

Mike McBride's Public Library

about 15 hours ago

It’s easy to put depression into a box of symptoms, and though we as a society are constantly told mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes, we are stuck with a mental health stock image in our heads that many people don’t match. When we see depression and anxiety in adolescents, we see teens struggling to get by in their day-to-day lives. We see grades dropping. We see involvement replaced by isolation. People slip through the cracks.<br /><br />We don’t see the student with the 4.0 GPA. We don’t see the student who’s active in choir and theater or a member of the National Honor Society. We don’t see the student who takes on leadership roles in a religious youth group. No matter how many times we are reminded that mental illness doesn’t discriminate, we revert back to a narrow idea of how it should manifest, and that is dangerous.

I was this kid too. As an abuse survivor, I learned very early how to hide in plain sight. I didn't want anyone to find out what was happening to me, so I knew that keeping up good grades, not doing drugs, not causing trouble meant that no one would ever question what was happening.

That also meant that my abuse and depression didn't catch up to me until much later in life, and I wasted a lot of years dealing with something I could have dealt with at a younger age. That's not good. We need to do more to get to survivors, and others with mental health issues, earlier, regardless of whether they fit our stereotypes.

about 15 hours ago

Over the last few years I have worked with an incredible sexual abuse prevention team.<br /><br />They provide training for schools, community centers, and governmental organizations, help families out of tragic situations, and provide counseling to victims. The work they do both turns your stomach to lead and lights a fire in your heart – it is unspeakable tragedy but there IS hope.<br /><br />They have opened my eyes to how every single person in the world can either add to a culture of child sexual abuse, or dismantle it. Our very words can help prevent children from abuse.<br /><br />Here are a few phrases I’ve learned from them:

What phrases would you add to the list?

May 27, 16

Social media sites like Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc. get a lot of bad publicity when it comes to mental health. That's understandable, because too many people who are vulnerable to bad ideas, use them to feel bad about themselves, or interact with people who hurt them.

Social networks are made of people at the end of the day, however. Our interactions with other people online are no different than they are offline. Some relationships are good for us, and others aren't. Hopefully, those of us who use social media platforms can use them for something like finding other survivors to share information and resources, or support when needed.

There is a healthy way to be online and take part in these networks. If you can find it, there is a lot to be said for seeing that you aren't alone.

May 24, 16

A new botnet has been discovered that takes login credentials from a less-secure site and tests them on banking and financial transactions sites, leaving users who reuse the same password across sites vulnerable to attack.

This isn't good. Let's try and not use the same password on multiple sites people, especially if it's a site where you are handling private financial information!

This is a good reason to use a password management program.

The downside to that is that it become impossible to actually remember your password, and on the rare occasion that you can't access a mobile device, and need it, you are kind of screwed. (Yeah, it happened to me, my iPhone got damaged and turned into a brick, and at the store the tech asked me for my AT&T account password. Yup, no real way to log in to my password manager and find it just then.)

So maybe a backup plan for that one password. ;-)

May 24, 16

Users are urged to update all vulnerable version of 7-Zip to the latest revision, version 16.00, as soon as possible.

I know this is a tool used by many in the eDiscovery and technology areas. Head out and get the latest version folks!

May 24, 16

"The problem is that social-web activity is notorious for an asymmetry of passion. On many issues, the most active social media voices are the conspiracist fringe. The majority of people know that vaccines don't cause autism, and that 9/11 was not an inside job. They don't dedicate hours to creating content or tweeting to reinforce the obvious. But passionate truthers and extremists produce copious amounts of content in their commitment to "wake up the sheeple." Last month, for example, a study looked at the relative percentages of pro-vaccine vs. anti-vaccine content on Pinterest and Instagram; 75% of the immunization-related pinned content was opposed to vaccines. This was a dramatic shift from studies of social networks in the early 2000s, when the percentage of negative content was estimated at around 25%.

This asymmetry of passion, and the resulting proliferation of nonsense on social channels, is particularly strong where pseudoscience is concerned. Consider the Food Babe, an anti-GMO "food safety activist" who boasts 1 million Facebook fans and a committed #foodbabearmy on Twitter dedicated to harassing companies (such as the Girl Scouts) to get them to remove ingredients that are hard to pronounce. When refutations, corrections, or takedowns of her often misinformed agenda are published in the mainstream media, her followers dig in more, convinced that the pushback is because they’ve struck a nerve in Big Agriculture or Big Food, or because the reporter is "bought.""

Conspiracy theories and pseudoscience have become almost impossible to argue about. Those who want to believe in these things surround themselves online with other "true believers". In turn, the group turns against anyone who questions their "truth" as being in the pocket of whoever it is they are targeting.

For example, if I say that there is absolutely no science behind the anti-vax movement, they will claim that I am simply uneducated and being fed by the media who is in on the conspiracy along with Big Pharma. How do you even argue with that? There's no room for debate, you either believe the way I do, or it's because someone got to you.

And let's face it, our egos are stroked every time the group tells us that we know better than the rest of the world, that we are part of those who are "in the know". It's the same mentality that cults take advantage of.

Handing over control of our news to social networks who are more interested in keeping you on their site, and happy, means seeing more things that feed that ego. Until we reach the point where there is nothing that will convince us we are wrong, no matter how wrong we are.

That's dangerous.

May 24, 16

"For one, we know learning is best accomplished by doing, where we apply knowledge to solve problems like we will use that knowledge after the learning experience. However, too much of our instruction is focused on content, and we tend to evaluate the learning experience with knowledge checks instead of application. While knowledge may be necessary, it is not sufficient. And while designing more meaningful practice may take a wee bit longer, it is the only thing that is going to reliably lead to new abilities."

As an outside trainer, it can be difficult to know what the organizational goals are. That's why I always spend the first part of training having the students talk about themselves. It gives me an opportunity to get some information about what they do, and what they are trying to accomplish. Armed with that, we can then adapt the content slightly to include actually doing what it is they will be using this tool for in the real world. Sometimes you can't recreate exactly what they will be doing, but if you can get close you provide a real-world application to the knowledge being shared in the training, and you have learning.

Short of that, you have lectures, which are not an effective way to learn new work skills.

May 24, 16

Not that any of you would ever need it, because you're always so careful with clicking the correct option when you close an Office document, right? ;-)

May 23, 16

""When you look at introverts, they tend to be a bit more empathetic," he told Business Insider. "When you look at extroverts, they tend to project. But some extroverts project too much, and they block out the audience. It becomes all about them. Introverts are able to structure content in a way that draws energy off the audience."

I've said it before about being a trainer and a speaker, it's not about you. Some, not all, people see the opportunity to be in front of an audience as being all about them, and that's why so many people who do get in front of an audience, are terrible.

It's not about you looking good, it's about the audience walking away with something you gave them. Introverts who are empathetic, get that.

May 23, 16

What I learned from my story was that an abuser is an abuser. There aren’t any hidden terms and conditions on whether or not they are related to you, or laws stating you have to love them due to your shared biology, regardless of their cruelty. The truth is it doesn’t matter who they are, all that matters is how they treat you.<br /><br />One day, in a place far away, you won’t have to live in fear of what they are going to do to you. You won’t be known for what happened to you, but rather for how you picked yourself up despite it.

This is an extra struggle, because for many of us who were abused within the family structure, not only are we trying to find our voice and tell our story, but we are seen as turning on our own family. The truth is, however, that the abuser is the one who turned on their own family, all the survivor is doing is telling the truth, and family members who don't see that, don't deserve to play a role in our healing.

May 23, 16

So many take for granted that they are able to get up each day, go to work, attend a dinner party, bowling league, or anything else that might be considered “no big deal”. For survivors, those things can be terrifying and just the thought of them is enough to make us want to stay home in our safe zone.<br /><br />As a survivor, just getting out of bed is a victory for so many of us. It’s so much easier to just pull the covers over our head in the morning, turn off the alarm, cuddle up with our cat or dog, and call off sick. When you wake up and your mind immediately goes into full gear, thinking of what all has to be done or worse yet, never shut off from the night before, it can be exhausting and overwhelming.<br /><br />So when we do something positive, no matter how minor it may seem to someone else, why not celebrate it?!

This is also how you build confidence, by focusing on the small successes, and building on them, instead of focusing on the failures and building on those.

What successes did you have today? What can you have tomorrow?

Baby steps....

May 23, 16

"If the founders of a new face recognition app get their way, anonymity in public could soon be a thing of the past. FindFace, launched two months ago and currently taking Russia by storm, allows users to photograph people in a crowd and work out their identities, with 70% reliability."

This is coming, I have zero doubts about that. What will be interesting, and possibly awful, is just how much the social fabric will change because of it. Outside of very small towns, where everyone knows who you are to start with, most of us act in certain ways because we are fairly assured that everyone around us doesn't know any more about us than what they see in front of them. Once you reach the point where anyone can also look you up online, it will absolutely change how people behave.

Yes, it will help people who want to connect with someone the see in public. It'll also make it that much easier to stalk them. It'll make it impossible for anyone to do anything without government surveillance at the least. Commercial and personal interests will also be using this technology to learn more about you as you walk down the street.

Think about how different people will act when they know that anyone they run into in the grocery store, or book store, or on the train, will be able to access their Facebook profile, and reach out to their friends and family? Smile at a pretty girl on the train, and have a message go out to your wife that you've been flirting with strangers? Be seen at a political rally for something you disagree with and inform that person's employer about it and how you're not going to buy anything from them? Yup, that already happens, expect it even more.

Bottom line, there will be no difference between your private actions and your public ones. If anyone can see you, it'll be public knowledge. How differently would you act if you knew that all of your friends, co-workers, and potential employers would know all the details?

Yeah, it's a whole different society when that happens. Not necessarily a better one either.

May 21, 16

This continues to be groundbreaking when it comes to selling a school’s brand across the country, and for now Michigan continues to be doing nothing wrong as far as the NCAA is concerned

May 20, 16

"The problem is that if you are thinking about how someone can help you, you’re not being real with that person. You can’t connect by trading favors. And if you are meeting someone to get help from them then you are not going to be able to form a real relationship with them.

Networking is about being friends with people. Not asking for favors. It’s why I never really got anything accomplished on my trips to Silicon Valley, and it’s why the rooster woman asked us to do a trade. She knew we weren’t really friends. She didn’t feel vested in helping me reach my goals.

A network is people who you are interesting with and interested in. It’s not about favors. Trading is a transaction, not a relationship. So we got a lesson in networking instead of a lab internship. And anyway, I think that might have been more valuable."

This is important. I usually try and help people when I can, even people who contact me out of the blue, but the people I form real relationships with are the ones who make the biggest impact on my personal and professional life. They're also the people I'm more likely the think of when I can do something for them.

Which would you rather have, a long list of people who might help you if you contact them, or a small group who care about you and could potentially help you without your asking? Let alone people who you simply enjoy spending time with. ;-)

May 20, 16

"“Someone will call in and know they need help, but they don’t know how to get there,” says Ben Harrington, executive director.

“They need treatment, or they need to find a doctor. Our specialists find out the most pressing issues, and when they say they understand, and that they’ve been there too, it’s huge.

“Shared struggles are so important to someone who thinks they are all alone.”"

I love this idea, having survivors taking calls so that the person calling in immediately knows that they are not alone in their struggles. If you go back with my own site for much time, you know that is exactly why I keep it up, so that child abuse survivors at least find someone out there who has been where they are.

May 16, 16

"Bloomberg's report credits "a person familiar with the matter" in claiming that Twitter posts will soon begin serving links and images that do not eat into a post's 140-character limit. The report's source indicated that the change could happen "in the next two weeks" but was unable to offer any firmer timeline. Currently, Twitter automatically shortens any URL or uploaded image into a link that takes up approximately 21 characters."

From a security stand point, it would be nice if Twitter left URLs alone. I've always been a bit uneasy about shorteners that hide the true location of a link, even as we all use them, mostly because of Twitter. ;-)

May 16, 16

"I wish I would’ve known the signs earlier. I think about some of the things my cousin said before his passing, and now I know where his head was. That’s what breaks my heart more than anything—suicide can be prevented if you watch for the signs. But that’s thing—so many people don’t know what to look for until it’s too late.

So please, I implore you, keep your eyes open and watch for signs. Don’t lose someone you love to suicide. Don’t lose yourself to suicide. Call someone. Use the resources available to you. Post anonymously on reddit. Find a forum. Just do something.

Don’t let go. Don’t give up."

Well said Cameron. Don't ever give up.

May 15, 16

One of the best things to protect yourself, Jutras says, is to take your computer offline and then contact the actual provider. Also, do not click on links or documents you don’t recognize.<br /><br />“A legitimate company won’t call you and ask for money,” says Jutras.

This is really becoming a thing, so let's talk about what normal behavior is, and isn't.

First, no company will ever call you out of the blue and tell you they can fix the problem you are having with your computer. How do they even know what the problem is, or that you had one to start with? Be suspicious.

Second, if you're using the internet in a web-browser and see a pop-up notification about security warnings, take the computer offline, close the browser, and then check to see if your AV is seeing anything, or run something like Malware Bytes on it to check for malware. Anyone can create a webpage telling you that your computer is infected and to call them to fix it, and after getting your credit card info, making that page magically go away. (Mostly by closing the browser and going to another site.) It does not mean that your computer is actually infected.

Again, be suspicious.

To recap:

Be suspicious.

Take the computer offline.

Scan it with your anti-virus tool, and also a tool like Malware Bytes.

Follow their recommendations.

Don't give out your credit card information to anyone who reaches out to you to offer tech support, make sure it is you initiating the contact, and only with the actual company for the products you own, not a number that pops up on your screen. (Go to the product webpage for your anti-virus tool and get the contact information.)

Be safe out there!

May 15, 16

"Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Army experts blew up a suspect package at Old Trafford on Sunday after tens of thousands of fans were evacuated from the stadium ahead of Manchester United's final English Premier League game of the season, police said.

The emergency was signalled just 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the game in the 75,600 capacity stadium.

United and Bournemouth players were warming up on the pitch when the club ordered fans out of two stands."

Pretty soon, you won't be able to bring anything into the stadium with you, and on cold days you'll have to take all your layers off to have them inspected, which will continue to make staying home and watching on TV a more attractive option.

What would sports look like then?

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