Sunday, 11 March 2018

How Social Media Affects Real World Social Interaction

For all the good it does us, social media is far from free of criticism. Of these criticisms perhaps the most common is the belief that social media use negatively affects our social interactions and/or social wellbeing in a significant manner, however new research suggests this may not be the case.

The new research in question was conducted by a team from the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, which aimed to explore what impact if any social media truly has on our face-to-face interactions over the course of two dedicated studies. The team ultimately concluded that despite what popular opinion may indicate, social media use has little bearing in this regard.

“The current assumption is that when people spend more time on apps like Facebook and Snapchat, the quality of their in-person social interactions decreases,” says Michael Kearney, one of three co-authors on the new studies. “However, our results suggested that social media use doesn’t have a strong impact on future social interactions.”

In order to reach this conclusion Kearney and the research team conducted two separate studies, one long-term and one short-term. The first study, which followed the social media use of individuals from 2009 to 2011, found that change in social media use was not associated with changes in direct social contact. In addition, the participants’ feelings of social well-being actually increased.

The second study, which surveyed adults and college students through text-messaging over the course of five days, found that social media use earlier in the day did not have any impact on future social interactions. However, the researchers do warn that passive social media use may lead to lower levels of well-being after spending significant time alone.

“People who use social media alone likely aren’t getting their face-to-face social needs met,” Kearney says. “So if they’re not having their social needs met in their life outside of social media, it makes sense that looking at social media might make them feel even lonelier.

“People are spending increased amounts of time using the internet and other media that may replace the time they could use for speaking face to face, but that doesn’t mean that they are worse for it. People must ultimately be responsible for maintaining their relationships, whether that’s through social media or other means.”

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Why we should take vitamins and supplements

For many people, nutritional supplementation is a must for improving and maintaining health. In an ideal world, we’d consume all the nutrients necessary to sustain and protect our health in our foods. In reality, however, most of us do not eat a nutritious diet, full of vegetables and fruits, enough healthy fats, and lean protein. Instead, we might opt for the convenience and price of processed foods, which are highly-caloric and nutrient-deficient.

Even if we do manage to eat healthy foods, our diets probably don’t contain therapeutic amounts of the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals necessary, in light of relative environmental toxicity, to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and other degenerative diseases which are associated with premature aging due to free-radical oxidative stress. Free radicals are both by-products of natural metabolism, as well as unhealthy foods, environmental toxins and immune system response. Since our bodies contain limited amounts of enzymes that neutralize free radicals, we need to obtain antioxidants from outside sources.

While nutraceuticals are, by no means, a substitute for nutrition, they provide support which can help prevent oxidative damage and boost energy production in the body. Knowing which nutrients are best for you individually, as well as in what amounts, can help you nurture yourself appropriately. Supplementing with nutrients designed to facilitate and stimulate energy production is the basis of metabolic cardiology. As for damage control, nutraceuticals with antioxidants, also found in many fruits and vegetables, neutralize free radicals.

© 2010 HeartMD Institute. All rights reserved.

Not interested in your Health? Of course you are !

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Forever Living and doTerra Essential Oils - Why I do both

 Versus? or Both?

It may seem unusual and some say as a marketer you should concentrate on one business but if you've traveled around my blog you will see that I enjoy diversification, I enjoy multiple streams of income and I believe in both of these companies, the products they have and the compensation plans each of them use.

In fact, doTerra essential oils and Forever Living aloe products, in my view, compliment each other, some products I prefer in either business where the products are similar but the most important aspect for me is they are natural products, they don't cause us harm and they help our wellbeing, avoiding the use of standard drugs which I personally seek to avoid at all costs.

Both companies have a good established base and will be around for a long time. Another important aspect when you are looking at building residual income. Forever Living is more long term established, founded in 1976 and still vibrant today. I have used their products for more than 20 years, on myself, my family and my animals.

A little known fact if you have horses who have accidents.. scarring is reduced and while normally hair regrowth will be white regardless of the natural colour, treating wounds with Aloe Vera Gelly not only increases the healing speed but hair grows back the same colour as original. I still to this day remember the first presentation I attended when we were shown how the Gelly helped cows burned in a fire! 

When I came across doTerra (founded in 2008) in 2011, I was equally impressed with the purity of the oils, the almost magic way colds and sore throats could be whisked away and I haven't taken a prescription or over the counter headache remedy since I discovered Past Tense. I'm neither vegetarian nor vegan but I have friends who are and they will happily use these essential oils and blends as there are no additives, just pure oils.

 My ultimate choice is to have both in my medicine cabinet.

So let's look at them a little more closely: 

  • Both are based on the use of natural, pure, organic materials 
  •  Both allow us to maintain our wellbeing without the use of prescription or over the counter drugs. 
  • Both are ethical - very important in my view, and support charities through the Forever Giving Foundation and the Healing Hands Foundation for doTerra 
  • Both are environmentally friendly in terms of production and materials used, committed to increasing recycling, reducing waste and reducing their global footprint. 
  • Both produce, in addition to their key essential oil and aloe vera products; full ranges of personal care products  and weight management
  • doTerra focuses more on the oils themselves, and the benefits of using them in holistic treatments such as aromatherapy and massage
  • Forever Living diversifies more into beauty  and cleaning products
In my view?  You can't have enough of either or both but be aware not to confuse yourself or your body by mixing them too much!

 So now that you know you will love the products, you can shop for them here Forever Living  and doTerra

So what about making that residual income?

In both cases, registering as a distributor means you can purchase wholesale and make money from sales from your site.

and come back tomorrow for more detail on building a business to secure residual income !

See you then !

Monday, 5 March 2018

Duty of Care 2

A few days ago I posted on the duty of care.  I invited comments but obviously, while there was interest in the post no-one thought to give me their views!  No matter, I thought I’d share mine again!

There is a general rule under Tort law which give any of us in business a duty to care for others.  This means if anyone visits our premises, whether it is a contractor, a customer, a visitor, or anyone else for that matter, we have a duty to make sure they don’t come to harm.  If they have an accident they could claim against us.

There is also a substantial amount of legislation which is specific on the duty of care, for example, the Health & Safety at Work Act, the Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) regulations to name a couple. 

So how do you protect yourself?

If you operate a business whether or not it has a fixed premise, you have the responsibility under law to make sure no-one comes to harm.  This doesn’t mean that those who use your premises don’t also have responsibilities and if they act in a way that causes themselves or others harm then the responsibility may not be yours.

Some areas where I know that often people don’t always appreciate that they have such responsibilities are in the private rented sector, both permanent and holiday letting.  Did you inherit a house and don’t want to live in it so you decided to rent it out?  Yes, you are in business and the duty of care DOES apply !

Difficult area… I’m not a lawyer but there are certain steps you should take to protect yourself.  Some of this is laid down in legislation but here are a few points to remember:

  • Make sure you have public liability insurance
  • Carry out risk assessments, for health and safety and fire
  • Carry out an access review, you don’t want people falling down steps
  • Make sure the products you supply are safe, get a PAT test done, is the furniture you supply fire retardant,
  • Where you are legally obliged, for example you rent a house with gas central heating, get it checked annually
  • Fit carbon monoxide monitors and smoke detectors where people are living in your house
  • Check the electric system every 5 years.

Above all, remember that even if the duty of care is not specifically designated you may still be liable!

This guide is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice which may be relied on in any situation.

GDPR for SME including Internet Marketing

For many of us GDPR is scary.  While we all know that while data protection has been with us a long time, the new rules mean that ALL of us, whether or not we are an SME or a Marketer, need to make sure we are compliant. 

Mostly, like the video I posted a few days ago, the information we get just tells us that we need to comply and if we don’t what the fines could be if we have a data breach.  Much of the new rules came in because there HAVE been serious data breaches, TalkTalk, Yahoo to name a couple.  Whenever it has happened, the business has lost significant money and clients/customers.

What the videos don’t tell us is HOW we comply.  Guidance is long and arduous to go through and I would recommend that you should at least look at the ICO (information Commisioners Office) guidelines.  It’s comprehensive although it can take some time to find what is relevant to you.

The two most important areas are:

Do I need to register or am I exempt? Check that out here:

Register your business.  There is a charge of £35 (no VAT) (unless your turnover is greater the £25.9m ) and you MUST do this before 25 May 2018.

Then you must
Report a breach with 72 hours, if it happens

In practical terms, most of us hold data on our clients.  This means we are data controllers.  If we use systems that process data for us, they are our data processors.  This could be your website management, your email marketing system, or similar. Remember as well that this applies to ALL records we hold, including paper copies.

Oci gives us a checklist to help us make sure we have everything in place.  I’ve reproduced it for you here :-

Being able to answer ‘yes’ to every question does not guarantee compliance, but it should mean that you are heading in the right direction.

  • Do I really need this information about an individual? Do I know what I’m going to use it for?
  • Do the people whose information I hold know that I’ve got it, and are they likely to understand what it will be used for?
  • Am I satisfied the information is being held securely, whether it’s on paper or on computer? And what about my website? Is it secure?
  • Am I sure the personal information is accurate and up to date?
  • Do I delete/destroy personal information as soon as I have no more need for it?
  • Is access to personal information limited only to those with a strict need to know?
  •  If I want to put staff details on our website have I consulted with them about this?
  •  If I use CCTV, is it covered by the Act? If so, am I displaying notices telling people why I have CCTV? Are the cameras in the right place, or do they intrude on anyone’s privacy? 
  •  If I want to monitor staff, for example by checking their use of email, have I told them about this and explained why?
  • Have I trained my staff in their duties and responsibilities under the Act, and are they putting them into practice?
  • If I’m asked to pass on personal information, am I and my staff clear when the Act allows me to do so?
  • Would I know what to do if one of my employees or individual customers asks for a copy of information I hold about them?
  • Do I have a policy for dealing with data protection issues? 
  • Do I need to notify the Information Commissioner?
  • If I have already notified, is my notification up to date, or does it need removing or amending?

The IMPORTANT thing to realise is we have a responsibility to look after the data we hold. 

Under the Data Protection Act, you must:
  • only collect information that you need for a specific purpose;
  • keep it secure;
  • ensure it is relevant and up to date;
  • only hold as much as you need, and only for as long as you need it; and
  • allow the subject of the information to see it on request.
It is interesting that Oci have picked up on affiliate marketing.

So as individuals, we personally need to be sure that the systems we use are compliant as well as ensuring what we do ourselves is compliant.  Marketing applies is SME’s as in any other type of business, we are all in the market of promoting and selling our goods, whether directly or via a larger business platform.

Marketing – some simple steps

If you do telephone, email or other electronic marketing then you need to comply.

Privacy Notice
·       add a privacy notice to your website or blog
·       add a check box that people must check to show they are aware of how they information will be used
Obtaining consent
·       Use opt-in boxes
·       Specify what information you are collecting and how you will use it e.g email, text, phone,post
·       Do you pass on information to third parties? If you do clearly state who it is and describe them
·       Record when and how you got consent.

If you use an email marketing service, for example Aweber, check they comply with privacy controls.
·       When importing lists, ask for a further opt-in with your first email
·       Opt-ins should be refreshed every 6 months
If you buy in lists,
·       check the seller is professional
·       Use the information only for marketing purposes
·       Delete any irrelevant or excessive personal information
·       Tell people where you got their information

Retention of records
General Data Protection Regulation states that information should not be kept for longer than required.  Retention periods will vary depending on the reason for retention so you need to create a retention schedule stating how long you will keep certain records for.

  • review the length of time you keep personal data;
  • consider the purpose or purposes you hold the information for in deciding whether (and for how long) to retain it;
  • securely delete information that is no longer needed for this purpose or these purposes; and
  • update, archive or securely delete information if it goes out of date.

I hope you have found this useful, please note: This guide is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice which may be relied on in any situation. 

References and information reproduced from:

Do It Yourself Deep Conditioner Treatment

doTERRA Do It Yourself Lip Scrub

Thursday, 1 March 2018

 How Safe is My Holiday Let?

Hot Topic at this time of year, both for those of us looking for holidays and those owners and agents who let all those lovely holiday apartments and cottages to us.

It is vitally important that as owners of holiday accommodation we take our responsibilities seriously as if anything happens, a guest has an accident, there is a fire, or worse, as we have all heard of, a death occurs from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty gas appliance then we may be liable to a claim or worse, prosecution may take place. 

I'm not intending to frighten or put people off letting out their properties, just remind you that you DO have responsibilities.  Its not difficult to make sure your property complies and I can help you if you don't have the time or don't know what to do.  There is lots of information online as well. 

Every holiday let owner is under a Duty of Care to make sure their property not only complies with the law, there is a specific Duty of Care for example under legislation relating to Fire Safety, but generally to consider a number of different elements and carry out risk assessments on an annual basis. 

Here is a quick checklist of things you should do before your season starts.

  1. Health and Safety Risk Assessment, includes play equipment, hot tubs as well as the property
  2. Fire Risk Assessment - including a fire procedure notice displayed in your property for guests
  3. Annual Gas Safety check - display a copy in your property
  4. PAT test your electrical goods, preferably annually but this may depend on the amount of use
  5.  Carbon Monoxide alarms if there is a solid fuel or gas appliance
  6. Make sure your upholstered furniture displays valid fire reduction labels ( sometimes a 'Kite' Mark but not always)
  7. Check all electrical systems every 5 years
  8. Have your insurance policy in place, property, contents and PUBLIC LIABILITY!

I'm working with Holiday Home Hunter (specialising in hot properties in Woolacombe Devon - best beach in Britain) and their owners so that you know if you decide to go with them, and I would personally recommend both the agency and the destination,  as a guest, your safety is taken seriously.

 (photo attributable to Hughie O'Connor)

Happy Holiday Hunting and if you're an owner, contact me if you want more information !



The legal obligation to safeguard others from harm while they are in your care, using your services, or exposed to your activities.
The school's duty of care towards its pupils
Your hospital has a duty of care to you and your baby.

Curtis Stigers - You're All That Matters To Me - one of my all time favourites

Genesis - Follow you, follow me (1978)