Twenty of My Favorite People/Sites on the Web

In other words, people and sites that distract me from blogging when I pick up the laptop to write. In no particular order, I present:

1. BellaNaija.com
uche pedro
Except I make a mental note to discipline myself, I refresh Bellanaija.com several times a day to see what new entry they have posted. The site is Nigeria’s leading blog on entertainment, weddings, career, politics, entrepreneurship etc. Because the site is run by the very decent Uche Perdo, it doesn’t malign celebrities. The comments on the site are always well-thought out. The site won an award in Los Angeles this year as Africa’s best blog. Uche has been featured in both CNN and Oprah Winfrey show because of the blog. Here’s an inspirational post Uche Pedro posted on the blog at the beginning of the year. It will give you an insight into the brain behind the site.

2.Goodreads.com


Goodreads.com is the world’s largest community of book lovers. With so many books around, I visit the site often for recommendations, and ratings for books I am interested in reading.

3. Sisiyemmie.com
Sisiyemie
I have watched all of Sisiyemmie’s more than fifty weekly vlogs. Last month, Sisiyemmie joined Tiwa Savage, AY, Juliet Ibrahim etc., for a sponsored trip to South Africa, and boy did she document the experience for her fans. Vintage Sisiyemmie! Her vlogs and blogs which document her life primarily in Lagos reminds me of why there is just no place like home. By watching her blogs, I know we now have Uber and GPS in Nigeria. She keeps me posted!

4. AbAjournal.com


ABA stands for the American Bar Association. The magazine keeps me up to date on what’s going on in the legal field. From it, I also get tips for law practice. I recommend it to all lawyers , practicing in the U.S. or elsewhere.

5.Smallstarter.com


Smallstarter.com is a website dedicated to small entrepreneurs in Africa. If you consider that the founder is an African entrepreneur himself, you will see why he is in a position to give valuable insight and advice on starting a business in Nigeria. I also follow the site on Facebook. You will be amazed at how many business opportunities await entrepreneurs who are interested in investing in Africa.

6. Writersincharge.com


Writersincharge is run by a young Nigeria who has made millions from freelance writing. I get valuable insight from Bamidele’s tips and nuggets of information.

7. Yagazie Emezi
Yagazie
I am not on Instagram but a day hardly passes that I don’t join Yagazie’s over 86,000 Instagram followers to see what she captured on the street for the day. While others put up beauty and luxury on Insatgram, Yagazie captures every day people through her lenses transforming the mundane into an amazing work of art. You can see this photo of her father’s old kitchen in Aba which she captioned “Stove on stove on stove – Remnants of Home, Aba 2016.”

8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigeria
The most prominent online encyclopedia, I use Wikipedia to find reliable information on subjects I’m researching. Anything not on Wikipedia is not notbale. On Wikipedia, you can learn about the 1917 apparition of the Virgin Mary in Fatima, or pokemon go. You choose.

9. AdannaDavid
adannatwin
Adanna Ohakim is a medical doctor, has an identical twin, is married to a German, is a naturalista, lives in Ireland, is daughter of a former Imo State governor, and her mum and all her sisters are lawyers. I can’t help but be enthralled when I’m watching a life as interesting as hers through her weekly vlogs, with her more than 150,000 Youtube subscribers. Click the link above to watch her and her twin, Adanma.

10. Bryan Garner


Bryan Garner is the editor of Black’s Law Dictionary. If you want to know the difference between every day and everyday, tweet him and he will tell you. Seriously, he answers questions on twitter and also gives writing tips on his handle. It was from him I took note of the difference between every day and every day, the former being each day and the later, common or normal.

11. AllNigerianrecipes.
abacha
The site has both video and written how-tos on most Nigerian recipes. It has been very useful for me.

12. wau.org.
The Word Among Us is a Catholic magazine. It features daily mass readings and contemporary stories for spiritual growth. I will love to visit it more than I do.

13. The Due Process Advocates.


DPA is a Nigerian Facebook group with over 100,000 members. Although one may question some of the founder’s choices, I’m happy the group is helping secure justice for people who otherwise would have no one to speak for them.

Although I’m not on Instagram, I often visit the following Actors to see what they are up to

14. Genevieve Nnaji
genevieve

15. Eva Longoria
eva longoria

16. Kate Henshaw
kate

I follow Authors 17. Chimamanda Adichie, 18. Chika Unaigwe, 19. Obioma Chigozie, and 20. Akaweke Emezie, on Facebook.

A post like this, written in less than two hours, may not have accurately captured all my interests. I do hope, however, that a site or person listed may become helpful to you in some of your pursuits.

Interests change over time and I imagine that if I do this list in next six months, some people/sites on the list would have been replaced by another. So tell me, what are your favorite people/things on the web?

A Natural Way to Reverse Diabetes

Pricking fingers to check blood glucose, downing pills every morning and evening, and injecting insulin–these are daily routines for over 350 million people who suffer from diabetes worldwide. Many more are prediabetic.

Before now, it was generally believed that diabetes cannot be cured; that once diagnosed with diabetes, one can only manage it to prevent the complications that arise from poorly managed diabetes including blindness, kidney failure, leg ulcer leading to amputation and increased risk for stroke, etc. I too subscribed to the belief that diabetes could not be cured until a few months ago when my sister, A, added me to a closed Facebook group that promotes a diet high in fat and low in carb as, among other things, a remedy for diabetes.

At first, I was skeptical of the group which markets itself primarily as a weight loss group. For months, I watched from the sidelines, questioning, analyzing, and trying to poke hole in their theory that consumption of food low in carbohydrate and high in fat (hence LCHF) will help one lose weight. At the same time I was a skeptic, I watched the testimonies pour in: people losing 10kg in the first month, infertile women conceiving, and even better, people with diabetes reporting that LCHF lifestyle was helping them control their blood sugar. One testimony stood out: an Igbo man whose blood sugar reading was in the 400s and who was taking three different diabetic medications reported that his blood sugar had normalized since he resisted the temptation to eat rice, pasta and beans, essentially, all food high in carbohydrate. Of all the good news reported as LCHF successes, the part about LCHF reversing diabetes got me interested the most because of my family’s medical history.

So I started digging and researching on other websites and forums. I read countless testimonies from people in U.S., U.K., Sweden, etc testifying that they got off their diabetic medications simply by eating a diet rich in fat and low in carbohydrates. Did I mention that my sister lost weight on the lifestyle that even my rather reticent father commented on her weight loss and how well she looked? I also listened to and read testimonies from at least five doctors who testified to how LCHF had either helped them stabilize their blood sugar or helped their patients stabilize theirs. I became a believer. After some research, I realized that it makes sense that LCHF helps normalize blood sugar.

The Science Behind It


A blog entry cannot do justice to this topic. This is just an attempt to get everybody who might benefit from it to pick interest and read up further to see how it works. But here is a simple explanation for it as written in Dietdoctor.com the leading online resource for those who want to reverse diabetes naturally without relying on medications to manage it. The website is founded by a Swedish medical doctor, Andreas Enfeldt who is an LCHF advocate.


“The problem for diabetics is that the body has difficulty keeping blood sugar levels down. The blood turns too sweet. So where does sugar in the blood come from?

Sugar in the blood comes from the food that we eat. The foods that turn into different types of sugar as soon as they reach the stomach are called carbohydrates. This means sugar (as in soda, fruit juice, candy) and starch (as in bread, pasta, rice and potatoes).The starch, in for example bread, is broken down to glucose in the stomach. When glucose enters the blood stream it’s called blood sugar.

The more carbohydrates we eat in a meal, the more sugar is absorbed into the blood stream. The more sugar that’s absorbed into the blood stream, the higher the blood sugar will be.”

The explanation makes common sense; if you don’t take sugar or food that gets converted to sugar in the body, you won’t have too much sugar in your blood.

But if one dispenses with carbohydrate which we learned from primary school is the class of food responsible for giving energy, how can the body function without fuel? That is where high fat comes in. The body can use fat as a source of energy in the absence of carbohydrate, a state I understand is called ketosis. So when we eat a lot of fat to compensate for the absence of carbohydrate, the body adjusts by using up fat to produce energy. Just as a car can function using petrol or electricity as a source of energy, so can the body function using either carbohydrate or fat as a source of energy.

What to Avoid Under an LCHF Diet

This website and other resources sum it up as follows:

Sugar including those in soda, ice cream, etc.
Sugar substitutes including those in diet and zero soda
Flour, pasta, rice, juice, crisp bread, cereals, beans, potato, spaghetti, macroni, wheat, oatmeal,popcorn, noodles or grain foods
Fruits
Cookies, cakes or crackers
Carrots
and other veggies that grow beneath the ground
As a rule of the thumb, always read the contents of ingredients on all products. If the carbs are more than 5g then don’t eat them!

What to Eat Under an LCHF Diet

Eat eggs. (Eggs are great in all ways! It fills you up and you can vary how you eat your eggs in many ways. You can always have a boiled egg with you in you bag if a feeling of hunger should come about.)
Water
Vegetables including Cabbage, eggplant, cucumber, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, etc
Fish and other sea foods
Remember to eat fat!!! This is very important. Add at least 30-50g fat to each meal!
It’s all about natural fats. Organic Coconut oil is the absolute best
Cream, butter, fish, meat, avocado, nuts.
Vegetables that grow above the ground.

This website has the most detailed list I have seen on what to eat. You may want to check it out.

A Word on Fat


Choose your fats and oils carefully. One of my initial concerns about LCHF was the effect over-consumption of fats may have on one’s cholesterol levels. However, from the testimonies I have read, people who have been on LCHF diet say that it doesn’t affect cholesterol negatively, if anything, it improves it. But this may be because they choose their fats carefully. When embarking on this journey, follow these guidelines as written in this website

Good Fat
Fish (preferrably wild-caught)
Coconut oil (unrefined, extra-virgin)
Olive oil (unrefined, extra-virgin)
Butter
Ghee
Beef tallow
Duck fat
Lard
Animal fats (preferrably from pasture-raised/grass-fed animals)
Avocado oil
Macadamia nut oil

Bad Fat
Canola oil
Soybean oil
Corn oil
Sesame oil
Grapeseed oil
Peanut oil
Cottonseed oil
Sunflower oils
Hydrogenated oils
Trans-fats (not naturally occuring)

Caveat
If you choose to start an LCHF diet, please consult your doctor first if you are already taking diabetes medication because starting the diet while taking the same dose of medication may lead to your blood sugar taking an unsafe dip.

Don’t take excess protein as this, I understand, may lead to a rise in blood sugar anyway because excess protein converts to glucose. Over consumption of protein may also lead to kidney damage. Compensate for the absence of carbohydrate with more fat, not protein. Dr. Sarah’s talk in the link below has a visual graph that drives home this point more than a thousand words can.

Once your blood sugar normalizes by following this lifestyle, you may need to continue with it as going back to the old ways may lead to a relapse and an onset of diabetes. And that is why I’ve used reverse, not cure, in this post.

You may be diabetic without knowing. If you have a family history of diabetes, are overweight, or notice symptoms of diabetes including frequent thirst or urination, please visit a doctor to check your blood sugar levels; a stitch in time saves nine.

My Take
I am not a physician and this post is based on my research from reading countless articles and watching videos on the subject. Why isn’t the scientific community adopting LCHF as a panacea for diabetes if it is truly effective, you may wonder? The answer is that researches are still ongoing on the subject and some countries have given LCHF a nod as a viable tool for fighting diabetes. Swedish government has certified that LCHF is indeed an effective way of losing weight, and weight loss is a universally accepted strategy for managing diabetes. American Diabetes Association allows this thread that discusses LCHF on its website. Indeed ADA itself recommends to do away with refined sugar and certain carbohydrates, and advises that only 1/4 of the food of one’s plate should come from the types of carbohydrate it approves.

In a way, LCHF merely reinforces what we have always known about eating healthy– vegetables are good, sugar is bad. The only concern will be LCHF recommending high fat when we have always been advised to avoid fat to reduce risk of heart disease. However, if one chooses good fat, which the body will readily use up as fuel anyway, the likelihood of suffering from the effects of over-consumption of fats become minimal.

Here’s another way I see it, even if the fat consumed in a LCHF eventually proves to be bad, should one ignore a proven remedy for what ails them over fear of what isn’t ailing them yet? In other words, if you are driving on the highway and you have a flat tire, do you continue to manage it and not use your spare tire over fear of the spare tire getting bad too. In my opinion, if the body is unable to process carbohydrates leading to high blood sugar, then it seems wise to tap into another source of energy. So while the scientific community continues to conduct a long-term research on the subject, you may want to consider LCHF to treat your diabetes. I read of a man whose leg was going to be amputated because of astronomical blood sugar level but who within months of adopting LCHF normalized his blood sugar levels and got off medications entirely. LCHF doesn’t get any better than that.

For further resources including those from doctors who have testified to the effectiveness of using LCHF to fight diabetes, please see

Dietdoctor.com which in my opinion is the most useful resource online
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da1vvigy5tQ a Tedtalk by Dr. Sarah Halberg who has incredible results using LCHF on her diabetic patients
Tedtalk by Peter Attia, a medical doctor who successfully used LCHF to normalize his own blood sugar and is now an advocate and one of the leading researchers on the subject
Ditchthecarb a website which has testimonials and recipes.
LCHF Nigeria a Nigerian resource which offers guidance and recipes

Obviously, this blog entry is only a summary on the subject. I encourage you to read the above resources yourself and read the comments made on them and you will be encouraged when you see how thousands of people have taken simple steps towards combating a deadly disease.

Disclaimer: The above blog post is not written by a healthcare professional and is written for information purposes only. Please consult a doctor and do your own research before deciding to embark on an LCHF diet or any diet for that matter.

Update: 11/20/2016

Since writing this post four months ago, I noticed several of the people who read it got here by googling “LCHF Nigeria recipe” or something similar. So I though to give readers the contacts of a Nigerian who is an expert in LCHF; She is a living proof of the benefits of LCHF (both for weight loss and health). Here’s her message:

“CUSTOMIZED/SPECIALIZED MEAL PLAN AVAILABLE.

Are you too busy to plan your meals and be faithful to it?
Are you new to keto lifestyle?
Do you want to begin but clueless on how to begin?
Are you tired of being called fat and ready for a lifestyle change?
Are you over weight or obese ?
Do you have high cholesterol, high BP ,diabetes or high blood sugar and need special attention to succeed on keto?
Do you want to a sexier you come this Christmas?
Do you think you have stubborn fats and wish to get to your promised land soon ?

We have got your back and can help you achieve your set target soonest. Get our customized/specialized meal plan and coaching for a token.

We also sell LCHF complaint food stuffs.

Contact us on :
Whatsapp only: 08034714137
Email:ketolchfnigeria@gmail.com
or chat us up on Facebook.

Eat healthy….live that dream.

You can also join the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1619732974992907/”

 

My Post on Bellanaija

I wrote this post for Bellanaija. I was touched by the reaction of many women trying to conceive whose stories and comments lent credence to the message of the post: That silence is golden when it comes to discussing infertility with childless couples. I hope you find time to read it.

Thank you all for your support, as always.

Pls Dn’t Ryte Lk DS

It probably took you a while to understand the title of this post–“Please Don’t Write Like This.” That is what you subject your friends to when you sacrifice proper English on the altar of lols, imhos, and smiley faces (some of us can’t tell the difference between a smiling and a crying one). That is what internet slang has done to communication.

Internet slang and abbreviations became popular in Nigeria in the early 2000’s when MTN, desperate to recoup its investment in Nigeria telecommunication industry, billed an extra 15 naira for every 161st character a subscriber sent in a text message. It became a good business decision for phone users to substitute “r” for “you”, “dt”for “that,” etc. With its launch in 2006, Twitter’s 140 character per tweet limit further embedded the culture of word economy in the millennials. With time, normalizing misspellings in the name of efficiency led to erosion in the quality of written English. Using XOXO, lol, W8, cul, etc became an indication that one is moving with the times. Sticking to proper English is deemed old-school.

While Internet slang saves time for the writer, they take two times as long for the reader to understand. Internet slang also gives room for misunderstanding. A young man once told a story of how shocked he was when he got a text from his mother that read, “Your Aunty, Jane, died this morning. lol”. What was funny about their beloved Aunty Jane dying? It was only afterwards that his mother explained that she used lol to mean “Lots of Love.”

While Generally I don’t “ryte lk dat”, I remember once sending my then fiance (now husband) a text that had him looking over the internet for the meaning of PCM etc,. Also, on a recent day, I sent a text to a friend and used “anr” in one of the sentences. My friend’s reply came: “what is “anr?”” Anr happens to be an abbreviation lawyers and law students are familiar with. It is often used in citing cases to indicate there is another party to a case besides the named party, e.g., Buhari v. Jonathan & Anr. Because of my background, I took it for granted that everybody knows what my three letter replacement for the seven letter word meant. But to my medical doctor friend, it was all Greek to her. On the converse, I too have been in situations where I have had to tell my much cooler younger brothers to explain abbreviations contained in texts they sent to me. Whatever time a writer meant to save by abbreviating is lost when he has to go back and forth with the recipient explaining what he actually meant.

Besides the risk of being misunderstood, one is taken less seriously when they use internet slang and emoticons in professional settings. Many businesses ban the use of internet slang at work places, and rightly so.

Inappropriate use of slang can also cost one opportunities. Chimamanda Adichie, Nigeria’s foremost author, once said she doesn’t take emails with slang and abbreviations seriously. It would also appear that using abbreviations unnecessarily on dating sites results in one losing out on the best prospects. In this post Glory Edozie writing about her experience on Tinder said she swipes a left whenever she sees “pointless abbreviations i.e, odawise, cuz, ryte or anything similar” on a guy’s profile. People set these rules to ensure an uneducated person doesn’t hide under the guise of internet slang to cover his lack of knowledge.

Here’s the rule of the thumb for using internet slang: only use it on social interactions. Stick to the ones that are commonly known, e.g, lol but not PCM (Please call me). Never use it at the work place especially when interacting with supervisors and clients. Don’t use it when you are asking for favors. Use it in text messages to family and friends only when you need to economize data. This is a simple guideline. These things do matter. Inserting an emoticon in a job application can delete your chance of getting a job.

CUL8R. ( Does it mean “See you later” or “Call you later.” You pick.)

Do You Know Your Car Plate Number?

Years ago, a lawyer told me a story of how once he was at a lawyers’ event when someone announced through the public address system that the person with car plate number so-and-so should step outside and repark his car which was blocking another car. After the announcement, nobody moved in their seats. It was only after further details like make and color were disclosed that somebody in the room realized it was his car. Apparently the owner of the offending car did not know his plate number. At the time I was incredulous that a lawyer wouldn’t know his plate number. (How the heck would he remember case names?)

So yesterday, I was on the phone with someone booking an appointment for me when she requested for my car plate number (and also the make, model, year and color). Here are two possible scenarios of how it went down.

First scenario, I gave the information without having to go through my records (after all I pride myself in my ability to recollect easily).

Second scenario, I could only give one of the information confidently so I promised to send an email. Then after the call, I hastily ran outside the house to get the rest of the information from the car port (after all, I struggle with knowing the names of cars so much so that recently when Father told me a relative bought a certain car, I told him I would have to google it to know the car he was talking about, much to his ‘disappointment. It could also be that I gave a fist pump two days ago when the letters on a red car I saw on the road confirmed my guess that it was an an escalade).

You choose which scenario to believe.

Growing up, I knew all my dad’s plate numbers by heart. There was the black and white plate number in the Peugeot 505, was it IM 4851 ZA? (Siblings confirm, please.) This was long before the Federal government commissioned the new white plate numbers that tagged Imo State as the The Land of Hope, Abia as God’s Own State and Anambra as the Home for All. But as I grew up and it became customary to have more than one car in a household, I figured there were more important things I could store in my brain than car numbers.

Knowing your plate number will come in handy when you find yourself in a similar situation like I found myself yesterday. Also, if your car gets stolen and your glove compartment is the only place having your vehicle’s information, you will make the police’s job much harder, that is, if they even find your story–that your car is stolen but that you don’t know its particulars– credible. So if you don’t know your vehicle information, make a mental note as you read this to memorize it on your way to work tomorrow (or Monday). You don’t want to be found slacking.

Don’t feel bad if you make effort to but still can’t memorize it though. It may well be that you are smarter than the rest of us. If it’s any consolation, legend has it that one of the most popular scientist didn’t know his phone number by heart, and that when asked, he would say that his brain was filled with more important stuff.

So do you know your plate number or your spouse’s? Tell us in the comments section (without disclosing the actual numbers, for your privacy). Indicate your gender too. I will like to know which of the sexes remember more.

CHINAZA ANUSIONWU: TEN DANGERS OF SOCIAL MEDIA EVERY TEEN SHOULD KNOW

Editor’s Note: This post is a contribution by a teenage guest writer Chinaza Anusionwu. I figured that as a teen she would do justice to the topic more than I could. She didn’t disappoint. I hope you show it to all the young people in your life so that they will be more careful with what information they put online.

Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people or companies to create, share, or exchange information, career interests, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks. However, there are subtle, everyday dangers of social media that are either unknown, being ignored, or minimized. Teens need to be educated and appropriate boundaries should be set for them to feel safe. The dangers of social media for teens include:

1. Emotional Implications: Psychological experts warn that social media sites can have emotional implications for kids who are already suffering from low self-esteem or confidence. Such children may judge their success by the number of friends they have on Facebook or if they are included in a specific group of people. This may lead to further diminishing of their confidence

2.Lack of Interpersonal Skills: Children spending too much time online may consider a virtual relation a substitute for a real one. By spending more time online they often ignore the importance and the appropriate behavior related to face-to-face contact. Hence, the set of interpersonal skills that are necessary for the success in the real life may not develop properly

3.Social Media Makes Self-Harm Worse for Teens: Despite efforts of social media sites to curb the amount of disturbing material their users post online, images of self-harm, like “cutting,” continue to surface on sites like Instagram and Tumblr. Teen posting images of disturbing behavior online is not new. Pictures of dangerously thin people, usually girls, appear as “thinspiration,” motivating people with bulimia or anorexia to avoid treatment. Other images involve dangerous trends: In April, teens posted pictures of themselves trying the “Kylie Jenner Challenge,” sucking their lips inside a glass to give them an inflated look like the reality star. The glass can break under the pressure, requiring stitches; the suction can create severe bruising and tissue damage. Teens have posted videos of the “Cinnamon Challenge,” where they swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon in under 60 seconds without drinking anything – which can be dangerous to their lungs.

4.Sexting: Sexting is sending and receiving sexually explicit messages, primarily between mobile phones. The Pew Research Center commissioned a study on sexting, which divides the practice into three types: exchange of images solely between two romantic partners, exchanges between partners that are shared with others outside the relationship and exchanges between people who are not yet in a relationship, but where at least one person hopes to be from behind their bedroom doors. More than 1 out of every 10 teenagers has sent a nude or semi-nude picture of themselves to others online – a “digital tattoo” that could haunt them for the rest of their lives. Hope Witsell A 13-year-old who grew up in Sundance, Florida, forwarded a nude photo of herself to a boy she liked. That image found its way to other students, resulting in name calling, cyberbullying and Hope’s suicide.

5.Cyberbulling: “Cyberbullying” is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. Victimization of young people online has received an increasing level of scrutiny, particularly after a series of high-profile suicides of teenagers who were reportedly bullied on various social networks. In 2013, for example, a spate of suicides was linked to the social network Ask.fm, where users can ask each other questions anonymously. The deaths of teens who had been subject to abuse on the site prompted Ask.fm (which was acquired by Ask.com in 2014) to launch new safety efforts. Twitter, likewise, announced plans in April to filter out abusive tweets and suspend bullying users.
Here are some real life incidents: Jessica Logan a petite, blond-haired, blue-eyed Ohio high school senior committed suicide after a nude photo of herself she sent to her boyfriend was distributed around the school. Sarah Lynn Butler. A seventh grader from Hardy, Arkansas, voted Queen for her Fall Festival committed suicide after she was teased at school, and later on received bullying messages on her MySpace page. Hannah Smith a 14-year-old from Leicestershire, England hanged herself in her bedroom following taunts on the Ask.fm social networking site. Phoebe Prince. A 15-year-old Irish immigrant from Massachusetts hanged herself two days before the winter cotillion dance at her school, because she was cyberbullied.

6.Social Media Use in Teens is Linked to Poor Sleep and Anxiety: The pressure to be available 24/7 on social media may lead to poorer sleep quality as well as an increased risk of depression and anxiety in teens, according to a new study. In the study, researchers asked 467 teenagers ages 11 to 17 about their use of social media during the day and at night. In other tests, they examined the teens’ sleep quality, self-esteem, anxiety and depression. They also looked at whether and to what extent the kids felt the pressure to be available on social media all the time. The researchers found that using social media at any point was significantly related to decreased sleep quality, lower self-esteem, increased anxiety and depression levels in the study participants.

7.Online predators: Internet-facilitated sex crimes against minors involve deceit and begin with adults communicating with children over the Internet with the goal of coercing them into illegal sexual activity. Sometimes the sexual abuse happens face to face. Chat rooms, instant messaging, Internet forums, social networking sites, cell phones, and even video game consoles have all attracted online predators.
In 2002, 13-year old Kacie Renee Woody met David Fuller in a Christian chat room. Fuller, age 47, told Kacie that he was 18. They courted for a bit, but Kacie fell in love with another boy and broke up with Dave. One night when Kacie was home alone in her Greenbrier, Arkansas home, Fuller had come into her house, covered her face with a choloroform-soaked rag, and dragged her into a minivan. Fuller drove from California to Arkansas and stalked Kacie before the abduction. He knew when she got home from school, when her father left for work, and when she would be at home alone. Kacie’s friends were worried about Kacie giving out information freely to people that she had met on the Internet and even spoke to a counselor at school about their concern. It was too late in Kacie’s situation. Fuller took Kacie to a storage unit, raped and killed her, before turning a gun on himself.

8.Cyber-stalking: Stalking is defined as the obsessive monitoring or attention towards the victim that may harass him or her. Cyber-stalking can be done in many different ways using social media. Sometimes, an ex-boyfriend or spouse may get angry at the breakup of a relationship and use social media to pursue the victim. In another case, a relationship that was developed online gets sour and the personal information shared can be used by the stalker. Or, someone may also fall victim to a random cyber stalking attack.
Kristen’s story is just one of the many cyber stalking stories that have recently made the news. It seemed like an innocent Facebook message from a former college classmate, but one that left Kristen Pratt fearing for her life for several months. She is in her early 20s, and like other women her age, she is active on social networks. Patrick Macchione made contact with her for the first time in 2009, several years after they were classmates at the University of Central Florida. She thought he was just someone who was trying to catch up; only to find out later that he would be stalking her online through emails, texts, and online videos. Macchione was able to contact her even after she changed her phone number. He bombarded her with messages on her Facebook and Twitter account. He also uploaded 27 YouTube videos all directed to her, telling her he loved her, which later on turned into threats after she ignored him. Pratt filed an injunction against Macchione but he continued to harass her online. Although Macchione was arrested and jailed for four years, Kristen continues to live in fear and believes that she may no longer get rid of this fear for the rest of her life.

9.Identity theft: Identity theft is the deliberate use of someone else’s identity, usually as a method to gain a financial advantage or obtain credit and other benefits in the other person’s name and perhaps to the other person’s disadvantage or loss. The person whose identity has been assumed may suffer adverse consequences if they are held responsible for the perpetrator’s actions. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another’s personally identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
One of the big problems with social media sites is that children often do not fully read or understand the privacy settings of their accounts. They are unaware of the risks of disclosing unnecessary personal information. According to a recent survey, 20% of the youth think it to be perfectly safe to post their personal information and photos online. Such kids may easily become victim of identity theft.

10. Explicit Or Violent Imagery: Spending a lot of time on social media sites like Facebook can be dangerous, as often as a result of political events around the world, explicit and violent imagery get shown on the discussion threads. Often it is very difficult to moderate such content due to its viral nature. This may have a negative effect on the minds of children, leading them to have a sadistic and defeatist view of the world.

Merry Christmas

It’s that time of the year! Can you smell the harmattan already? Ladies, have you got the onions, curry, thyme, cabbage, and tomatoes packed into Ghana must go bags? (You can leave out the palm oil, cocoyam and oha as you will readily get those in the village). Guys, have you checked the car to see that the oil, tires, and brakes are in order for the long dusty drive to the East (or North or West as the case may be)?. I hope you also got enough change to spray at events (hopefully the ones in mint condition if your account officer or the ATM was kind to you). Do you still get long queues at the petrol stations?

On another note, how was year? Looking back, are there things you would have done differently? Thank you for your support this year! May all your wishes for next year come true. May God be with us as we celebrate the holidays. Here’s to a more vibrant, healthy, and accomplished us in the coming months! Here’s to an amazing 2016!

Emmanuel-God With Us.

Legal Reasons Why You Should Consider Deleting Your Facebook Account

Some months ago, I got a phone call from a married Facebook friend (She is more than a friend in real life). She was worried about a video–the content of which was akin to porn–that had been posted on her Facebook wall without her consent or knowledge. Though she didn’t know the actors in the video, she was embarrassed by it. She needed information on know to delete the offending video from her timeline. (Interestingly, Facebook buttons that keep Mark Zuckerberg’s invention in business, such as ‘like’ and ‘add friends’, are readily visible and accessible to users while the features that help keep users safe and out of trouble aren’t. Except one is tech savvy, they would need help locating the ‘unfriend’, ‘delete’, ‘block’ or ‘untag’ buttons on Facebook). With the help of Google, I found the relevant information and instructed my friend on how to take down the post, much to her relief. Later, I wondered how it would cause scandal if, given their pervasive presence on social media and how equally vulnerable they are as a result, renowned Christian pastors become victims of such hack.

Around the same time my friend got her account hacked, a newly married man in his thirties, decided, against what should be his better judgment, to put up pictures of a beautiful 19-year-old girl I knew and claimed the 19-year-old was his ‘ex’. The young girl was related to me and since I considered the post defamatory against her, though I barely know the young man, I called him out on his actions through comments to the post thereby clearing the girl’s name. I was furious as I had previously warned him, through a courteous private Facebook message, against misappropriating the girl’s name and image. I also wondered if the gentleman realized the implication of his post, including conclusions that could send him in jail for abuse of a minor.

Besides one’s online presence making one susceptible to an attack on one’s reputation by others, posts people send out themselves could make them liable in damages and could be used as evidence against them in courts. Given that the Internet is relatively new, some users are not yet well aware of what consequences some of their posts today may have on them in future. If you consider that Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands is only now coming under great scrutiny more than twenty years after the book was published, then before you hit every post or send button on your Facebook page, you will ponder first in what way it might impact you in twenty years’ time when you could say, be running for a political office.

Social media content is increasingly being admitted in courts as proof to establish facts. As of 2012, there were about 700 cases in the U.S. pending on appeal over the admission of social media evidence. Mind you, this was only at the appellate, not trial, courts. Similarly, I read that Facebook plays a role in one-third of divorce cases. A 2012 survey of divorce attorneys found that 80% of them say they look for evidence on social media. For example, a picture of a man behind the wheels of a brand new Mercedes may determine how much more the wife’s attorney insists he pays for alimony and child support. Evidence on Facebook of illegal activities such as drug use may result in denial of child custody. In one case, a wife claimed car accident injuries (and resultant surgery) had left her unable to work, thereby justifying monthly alimony payments. Her spouse countered with evidence from her Facebook and MySpace accounts detailing her active belly dancing exploits four years after the surgery, which the judge accepted and ultimately used to deny the wife the lifetime monthly support checks she sought from her ex-husband.

Social Media posts are also used as evidence in workers compensation and personal injury cases to counter any claim of physical harm and the extent of damage Plaintiff suffered. “Photographs and comments suggesting Plaintiff may have recently ridden a mule,” posted on Facebook was used by the defense, in one case, to argue against the plaintiff’s claims that a car accident had left him physically and psychologically injured. In one worker’s compensation case, a forklift driver at a warehouse in the US said that he hurt his leg at work and claimed damages for lost wages. His employers told the Court they believed his Facebook and MySpace pages indicated that his leg was not as damaged as he claimed, and asked the court to give it his passwords for those pages so they could check.

Incriminating evidence from social media is also used by prosecutors to nail accused persons. Rap music posted on Facebook by a suspect was used in one criminal case as evidence of rape, harassment and threat of deadly harm. Recently, a Twitter user who killed someone while driving posted the body of his victim on twitter just moments after the accident. Undoubtedly, a jury will be more likely to mete out a harsher sentence if defense counsel does not succeed in excluding the admission of the video in evidence through a motion in limine.

Deleting Facebook posts after-the-fact to prevent the negative effects of incriminating posts is not an option. By intentionally deleting relevant information especially in the face of an impending litigation, one would have potentially engaged in the destruction of important evidence and could subject themselves to even more trouble if the Court discovers the actions. In at least one instance, a Court fined both a party and his attorney for “cleaning up” a Facebook page to remove harmful posts and pictures

Coincidentally, while I was writing this, I read this post on BellaNaija about a woman seeking to use pictures posted on BN of her husband’s pre-wedding photos with another woman as evidence in court. Those pre-wedding photos no doubt are solid evidence for a divorce case and possible bigamy charge against the man if the facts alleged are true.

To be sure, social media has its advantages. However, only a responsible use will guarantee one doesn’t get sent to jail over a seeming innocuous post. Once you put something on the World Wide Web, it’s there forever. Even if you delete it seconds after posting it, someone might have taken a snapshot of it, and it may still haunt you in the future. And then, there is the power of subpoena that can be issued against Facebook.

In conclusion, you need to be careful about what you put on the Internet because you never know how it is going to be used against you in future.