Social media – How has it changed your social life?

Many say social media has made us more social, while others say the opposite. Social media allows us to connect more with others on new levels. On the contrast, we are able to hide behind social media when we are too nervous to speak to someone in person. It all depends on our personality and the social activity. According to Imtiaz Ali’s “Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media on Society” article, we can see the clear positive and negative effects of social media. While there are several points to list on the impacts of social media, I am going to highlight one positive impact from the Ali’s article, and a negative impact I view for myself.

One of the positive impacts mentioned says “social networking sites is to unite people on a huge platform for the achievement of some specific objective. This is very important to bring the positive change in society.”

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Toby was our first rescue dog as a couple. Read more about Toby here.

I believe the above statement is true. There are so many groups, events, etc. where people who share the same interests can come together to achieve an ultimate goal. For example, I have a passion for saving animals – so I’m part of many local and national pet groups on Facebook where I can share fundraisers, animals needing foster homes or advice. This has helped me make a difference in many lives – I know I wouldn’t have been able to save as many lives as I did without Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. Another positive note is I have made many animal rescue friends along the way! I know this has made me more social because I’m able to speak on my beliefs more freely than I have before.

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Sammy, Scrappy, Eli & Moe wouldn’t be alive if social media didn’t exist.

A negative aspect about social media is a person’s need to share content to make his or herself feel good. To me, this is not a healthy way of thinking. People share selfies, some over-the-top information on their relationships, where they are eating or where they are traveling to – there is no privacy. I understand if you are excited about something and want to share it, I do that as well; but everyone knows those particular friends who stick out and do a lot of it solely for the attention. What happened to just calling up a friend to tell them your happy news? These days, we are expected to broadcast our news on the internet – for people to like or dislike – then decipher that person’s motive. It somewhat makes us less social because we can’t just tell people news in person; we have to wait for their reactions, if any, on social media.

There are numerous other reasons why social media has made us more and less social. Social media has definitely impacted how are society acts and thinks compared to how it did previously. I do think, overall, social media has helped bring many people together for causes and other endeavors – this helps make a difference in the world – something I’m always a fan of.

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Keep pets safe in extreme heat

The extreme heat conditions during the summer months can be detrimental to your pets. It is important to take caution when taking your pets outside, bringing them for a ride in the car, leaving them outside while you go shopping, and all of the other instances where your pets leave the house. Even if your pets do not leave the house on hot days, it is still highly suggested that you ensure your pet is hydrated at all times and has ample access to air conditioning. I’ve heard several sad stories from this week alone of pets suffering heat strokes and passing away from the hot conditions. Please be mindful of your pets and remember to keep them safe!

Right now in Fayetteville, North Carolina it is 102 degrees. It has been between 96 and 102 degrees each day this week so far, and it may cool down a bit in the upcoming days, but only to about 92 degrees. The humidity does not help us either!

While some people enjoy this weather and make it out to be a fun day at the pool or the beach, most of us get very tired and miserable from this weather (I’m definitely one of the tired and miserable ones). I have a hard time being outside when it is THAT hot. I know my three-year-old dog, Scrappy (a lab/pit mix), is not a fan of this weather either. We take one lap around the block and he is ready to go back inside and hang out on the cool tile floor all day. My 11-year-old foster dog, Eli, is also not a fan of the heat. He has LOTS of fur and is only 14 lbs. During this weather we all take shorter walks and spend less time outside. We also drink plenty of water!

Here are some great tips to keep your pets safe during these hot and humid summer months:

1) KEEP YOUR PET HYDRATED. I cannot express enough how vital this is. If your pet is not hydrated it will increase his or her risk of suffering a heat stroke.

2) PROVIDE THE PROPER AIR AND SHADE. Do NOT leave your pet outside on hot and humid days. Even if your dog has shade, or even a dog house, he or she can still suffer a heat stroke (sometimes these areas can get hotter). It is best to leave your pet inside and provide air conditioning and fans to help keep your pet(s) cool. Just leaving a fan on will not do justice; it is best to have air circulating throughout the house.

3) DON’T BRING YOUR DOGS IN THE CAR. Too many times people bring their pet(s) to daycare or to a friend’s house and  forget they are in the car. I just heard of a story yesterday where a woman was coming home from grocery shopping and her dogs jumped in the car as she was unloading her purchases. She didn’t notice they jumped in the car and unfortunately both of them suffered a heat stroke. Even when it is 70 degrees outside, it is still dangerous to leave your pet in the car. The temperatures rise VERY quickly in automobiles. During these times, do not even think about putting your pet in the car. You may think “I could never forget my dog is in the car” – but unfortunately this happens to the best of animal lovers quite often.

4) HUMIDITY MAKES THE HEAT WORSE. Always check the humidity, too. When it is very humid outside it can make it hard for your pet to breathe and get the proper ventilation in his or her body. Their body temperatures will increase rapidly.

5) LIMIT OUTDOOR/EXERCISE ACTIVITY. It is best to keep your pets inside and limit their exercise during the hot times. Making them too tired and dehydrated, again, increases their risk of suffering a heat stroke.

6) WATCH FOR SIGNS OF A HEAT STROKE. The Humane Society of the United States says “Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness. Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Some breeds of dogs—like boxers, pugs, shih tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.”

How do you treat a pet when he or she suffers a heat stroke? Take him/her directly to a veterinarian. Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes (Source: The Humane Society of the United States).

I hope you read this and take it seriously. Pets are family, too – they deserve to have the same care as us humans! For more tips on keeping your pet safe in the heat, check out this article from The Humane Society of the United States.