Social Media Boosts Travel Among Millennials

It seems like nobody travels more than millennials these days. I’ve noticed myself through social media that this generation loves to travel. Of course, everybody loves to travel, but if you think about it, our parents and grandparents didn’t travel as much as millennials do today. But what is it that gives millennials that extra itch to travel that generations past didn’t have? Economy? Technology? Or just the adventurous spirit millennials possess? Well I think it’s all three.

Forbes did an article about how social media makes millennials want to travel more. And I believe that that is the case. They talk about how millennials don’t just use Instagram to look at pictures anymore, but to determine where they are going next! They also state that “more millennials indicated that social media was an influencing factor in travel choices than travel agents.”

Using social media for travel inspiration combines the three reasons why millennials are traveling more; economy, technology, and adventure. Because this generation is so immersed in technology its incredibly hard to avoid seeing your friends traveling and sharing their adventures. And with so many apps that make travel so much easier like Uber and Hotel Tonight on the rise, Millennials are finding it easier and easier to get out and see the world.

But also, the culture among millennials is to adventurous while you’re young, and see the world as much as we can. And ultimately its becoming more and more accessible, and social media plays a big role in that.

I’ve been blessed to be able to travel quite a bit the past four years through my job. People kept asking me for tips on travel and where to go in the cities I visit frequently, so I started documenting my travels with Instagram a year ago, and called it @KarasevTravels.

So now that this class is done, get out there and explore the world. You only live once!

#BlogTypeTwo #BlogNumberFive

Leave the Music Alone

This past March, the country of Ukraine banned a Russian Eurovision contestant (Yulia Samoylova) from entering their country to compete in the contest. For those that don’t know, Eurovision is a song contest across all of Europe, and this year it happens to be in Kiev, Ukraine.

As many of you know, there has been a lot of tension over there with the Russians invading and taking Crimea from the Ukrainians. But that’s not what this blog post is about. I’ll let CNN and Fox talk about that topic. This post is about the music.

Being part Russian and part Ukrainian myself, I think all this drama is stupid. Like I said I’m only here to talk about the music, so I’m not choosing a side, or condoning improper political behavior on this blog post. Being a musician as well, I have seen first-hand how music and the arts can connect people of all backgrounds. Music is supposed to be uniting and inspiring. Not a political ploy to get back at someone.

Per an article by the New York Times, “roughly 180 million people around the world tune in to the contest, which features contests from around 40 countries.” With so many people tuning in all over the world and 40 contestants, I don’t see why they aren’t all fighting this. Surely there are people who share my feelings on this crime against the arts. If I could suggest a call to action for the contestants it would be to boycott the Eurovision competition. And they should all band together and do a “We Are The World” type of video, to show the governments that tampering with the arts has no place in politics. And ticket holders should not attend the event until this has been fixed.

I think music is one of the few things on this planet that can bring all kinds of people together, and I don’t think we should let anyone take that away from us.



The StarTribune headline “St. Paul denies landlord’s request to lock skyway doors early” is not the catchiest title but still caught my attention. This article draws attention to concerns over Saint Paul’s skyway rules. Specifically regarding a City Council hearing involving building owner Jaune Brooks’ defiance of these rules.

The debate over Brooks’ building is a microcosm of the larger conversation going on in St. Paul. City officials, residents and building owners are trying to figure out how to improve safety in the skyway system without limiting public access.

Unlike Minneapolis, St. Paul’s approximately 5-mile network of enclosed walkways is public. The city paid for most of the skyways and, in exchange, requires private property owners to allow people to connect to them between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m.

The City Council members voted not to grant Jaunea Brooks forgiveness for violating Section 140 of the Skyway Ordinance. Brooks claims the fines she will be assigned will be less than the cost of cleaning and repairing after hours damage to her building.

I am sure which side I agree with on this subject but now I feel that I have a more whole picture of the issue. If only we could look into all news articles and world issues this easily…

Jaunae Brooks, a Lowertown building owner, stood in the skyway that she believes should be able to lock to prevent people from coming through her building and creating problems at night, Wednesday, June 7, 2017 in St. Paul, MN. The city will consider Brooks' request to close her skyway earlier at Wednesday's council meeting. ] ELIZABETH FLORES ï

Family Hangout


This is my family, my husband Stanley and our two adorable sons Elijah and Kalu .

There is nothing I value more than spending quality time with my family. The word “family” is a collective term, in other words, it is not just the number of individuals living together under the same roof, but a group of people who are connected and share good as well as tough times. Nobody understands me like my family and my family is a source of comfort that brings me joy and safety.

As a family, we are not always perfect but it is expedient to us that we build bonds that will get us through the tough times. There are quite a few benefits of family time together and there are some trends for family time that you may find surprising. Spending more time together with my husband and two little young ones while indulging in leisure activities strengthens our family bond. This holds true to all type of activities.

Hanging out with my family need not to be a very fancy activity that require a bigger sum of money. Even home-based, low-cost activities such as playing a board game, gardening or playing outdoors have a significant impact on the ‘health’ of my family. Almost all the times we go out together make everybody in the family feel closer emotionally to each other, which is always a good thing.

Our mandatory everyday activities are known as our family vital activities, whereas those that require more time, money and planning (special events, vacations) can be activities that balance the family bond. Both are deeply related to a family’s ability to better adapt to the changes that come with life endeavors.

The strengthening of family bonds is one of the important benefits of family time. A lot of who we are as parents is developed when we are kids. All we know is our parents and family initially and developing a sense of belonging as a child is a huge benefit of family that stays with you throughout your life. A sense of belonging can lead to a happier child. A benefit of family time is learning that we are cared for and needed and both elements are important to happiness. Families need all their members to be an active giving part of the circle to function at their best.

By Binalayefa Nagberi -Okoro


Procrastination…. Don’t Do It!

The Current Predicament

I am currently sitting in a McDonald’s lobby bumming their free Wifi to complete an assignment i should have done weeks ago. Instead of enjoying my vacation on the North Shore of Minnesota I have been writing on and off for the last 48 hours trying to squeak in before the deadline. I’ve had a problem with procrastinating throughout my entire educational career so I decided to look at the psychology of a procrastinator like myself.

Procrastinate and you get to do homework on vacation in a McDonalds

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The Different Types

According to Forbes there are five different reasons we procrastinate. The first reason is that the topic is too easy or difficult. If a task is too easy a person might get bored and not continue working. On the other hand if the task is too difficult they might give up all together. The second reason is that the content is too overwhelming. The task is so complicated that the person doesn’t know where to start. The third is that a person is overworked. We all experience this in some way because we work in cycles of productivity. Most of us can’t work more than an hour or two without a break. The fourth reason is that we are afraid of the first step. Some task take a leap of faith to begin. Procrastination occurs when a person gets cold feet at the last minute and decides to put off the task. Lastly, the person just doesn’t have enough interest or motivation to complete the task. This can stop many people in their tracks before they even start.


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How I Can Work On Myself

After reading this article I reflected on myself and my choices to do homework across the semester and I am going to create some strategies to prevent this from happening. The biggest issue for me is I would rather be doing anything else besides homework, especially with the bevy of summer activities. I feel like I should make a certain time of day that is set aside just for homework or reading. I do well once I have an established habit and by having that hour everyday homework will not pile up.

No more procrastinating #neveragain

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Is Writing Letters Gone Forever?



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My parents got married back home in Ecuador in 1984. They decided to move to the New York shortly after they got married. While they were living in New York, they tried to maintain communication with relatives back home mostly by sending letters and calling the only phone that accepted long distance phone calls in the small town. It was quite a hassle to communicate with family.

I remember when I was younger, my parents encouraged me to write my cousins letters so I could keep in touch with them, and not forget about my family that lived long-distance. Around the holidays, my parents always made sure my brothers and I wrote letters and sent greeting cards to our relatives. It became something we always did.

Hello Social Media

Times have definitely changed. Social media has made such an incredible impact in the way my family communicates with every one of our relatives. Most of us now rely on Facebook to communicate. I have cousins, aunts, and uncles who live all around the United States and Ecuador. We’ve been able to connect via Facebook, share pictures and comment on posts right away. I can’t remember the last time my parents wrote my relatives a letter. Almost everything is communicated through Facebook now.

I do miss sending and receiving letters. I guess to me it’s more personal and thoughtful when someone takes the time to write. It’s always nice to go the easy route and communicate on social media but sending a handwritten note is fun every now and then too. I still have some letters from friends and relatives who lived far away. Some of them live closer now and we’ve gone back to read what we used to write each other and they are pretty funny.

Texting vs. Calling

cell phone

I’ve recently realized that I hardly ever talk on my phone. A lot of the communication I do on my phone is texting. It just easier and I can reply when I want to and I don’t have to pay full attention to the other person. There have been times where I ignored phones calls and just replied with a text just to avoid being on the phone having conversations with people. That sounds kind of sad but it’s my reality.

I was curious about this and decided to look up what information there was available on this. According to­­­­ and article in the Chicago Tribune, “Americans spend about 26 minutes a day texting. That compares to spending about six minutes a day on voice calls.” That is pretty ridiculous!

Texting Is More Convenient

Texting is definitely more convenient for me at times but I do prefer it over voice calls. That may be the reason why sometimes I find myself having problems having conversations with people, especially people I meet for the first time. Texting has also caused quite a few communication mix-ups. There have been times where one thing wasn’t supposed to come off a certain way and caused unnecessary conflicts. It probably could’ve been avoided by talking. Emojis didn’t help the situation. 😦

I guess talking on the phone with someone does seem to be the best way to avoid misunderstandings. Talking on the phone is also more intimate. When speaking to someone on the phone, you can get a better sense of what mood they’re in by the tone of their voice. You can’t take back what you say on the phone. With texting you can draft a message and make sure you are writing exactly what you’re trying to say. It’s really a matter of preference. I could definitely work on being a better person and start talking on the phone more often.

8 Reasons Why We Need To Go Back To Calling Instead Of Texting

The importance of family time


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Growing up, I always had my parents and close relatives cheering me on at my soccer games. For every celebration and every event I was a part of, I always had the same group of people encouraging me and showering me with affection. We’ve always maintained a close bond and still do today. I really found it important to have that time with family, especially when I was younger. I didn’t know how much of a role this played in my life until I was older. I used to go to my cousins soccer games when he was younger and I noticed that two of the kids’ parents were almost never at any of their games. They were usually dropped off and picked up. They hardly ever had that one person cheering them on at the sideline. It made me feel bad for those kids. What if having a parent, aunt or uncle cheering them on affected their personal development?

Benefits of Family Time

I believe family time is definitely very important especially for children. According to Children’s Home Society of California, there are several benefits of spending family time together. Here are some to name a few:

  • Improves ability to learn – Reading, playing, and talking with children improves their social and academic skills.
  • Builds bonds and self-esteem – Quality time with children teaches them that they are valued, and builds a sense of security and belonging.
  • Social Education and Safety – During early childhood, children take social cues from their caregivers to learn right from wrong.

Spending time as a family can build stronger relationships, create memories, and influence children positively in the future. I definitely loved receiving the love and affection and I do encourage other families to spend more time together as well.

Outdoor adventures 👣 #memorialday #familyouting

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Oreo and Big Data

As some of you may know, Oreo is currently running a mass media contest looking for the next great cookie idea. If you haven’t heard of it, please direct your attention to this link.

Oreo has advertised this contest on every social media outlet, including on the news. So far they have gotten hundreds of thousands of comments filled with the most outrageous (and sometimes brilliant) ideas meaning their marketing strategy has worked. Now I am all about delicious cookies and getting a chance at half a million dollars but suddenly something scary happened.

I have had a Twitter since it can out but I have never posted a thing in the multiple years I’ve had it. When this contest came out, I decided to add to the lottery of Oreo ideas but posting my first ever tweet…well actually three. (Cause hey the more ideas the better the change right??) Within an hour after my first Twitter post, I went on Instagram and guess what popped up. A sponsored advertising for the Oreo Creation Contest.

Now sure could it have been a coincidence? One could argue it was but then I started seeing it constantly. What are the odds this contest would just happen to show up for the first time after I post about it? I would say the odds are pretty damn good. Why you ask? Because of big data, which you can read about here.

I know that my post was public but the fact that my never before used Twitter was then connected to my Instagram in a matter of an hour is scary to me. I showed one interest on Twitter and suddenly I am being directly marketed. In other words, the seemingly fun contest has given Oreo more insight to who they should be marketing towards.

The fun and games are over because we know Oreo is not the only company using big data to help target their audience…





Locally Sourced Conservation

Saving the Earth, Our Home

When it comes to preserving planet earth, it is easy to feel like there is nothing you can do as it is truly a huge, global issue. What we often overlook is that if each of us as individuals make minor changes to daily life that could add up to big benefits for the earth. The usual ideas that come to mind surrounding this topic are things like turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, turning off the lights when you leave a room, biking, walking, or using public transportation instead of taking a car, etc. I think that the impacts of buying and eating local are often overlooked. If more people were to support the local food movement numerous positive outcomes would follow. The aim of the local food movement is to connect producers and consumers in communities in order to create self-reliant food networks. This farm to table strategy allows for much more sustainable living and eating within communities.

My favorite local market

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Local vs. Large

Large corporations such as Target, Walmart, Costco, Cub foods etc. must buy and sell mass amounts of products which results in a lot of waste. Large stores also leave massive carbon footprints. The benefits to buying local are plentiful. Consumers are able to support local farmers who rely on local buyers for their livelihood. It also provides the opportunity to buy food that is much more fresh than if you were to go to a grocery store. There are also environmental benefits that go along with eating local. If food is being produced and bought within the same community cuts down on the green house gas emissions used for transportation and storing of food. Factory farms that supply large grocery stores create very concentrated areas of manure and pollution whereas local farms produce much smaller amounts of pollution in a more spread out area. Supporting these local farms also promotes humane treatment of animals as it encourages free-range and pasture-grazing farming techniques. As you can see there are countless benefits to going local and it is something you should try to get involved in within your own community.

Wasted produce from a big grocery store #shame

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