Well this is reassuring: People want more face-to-face interaction and less screen-to-screen interaction, finds a new survey. [Huffington Post]
Schools won’t be able to sell snacks like cookies and chips during the school day anymore, according to new government nutrition standards. [USA Today]
A new study adds to the body of research that suggests obesity increases your cancer risk. [LA Times]
If you’re using extra-virgin olive oil to cook with, you’re wasting your money: The healthy compounds in it break down when heated, so you might as well use the cheaper stuff. [Medical Daily]
In a recent interview, Lance Armstrong said that it’s impossible to win the Tour de France without doping. Thanks for that inspiring message, Lance. [Newser]
A New Haven, Connecticut, couple decided to name their son Logan after customers at their local Starbucks voted in favor of the name. We suppose that’s better than some of the other names they could have chosen… [The New Haven Register]
In a new animal study, German researchers have concluded that feeling “hangry” is a real thing. Of course, they could have just talked to any human being at 3:30 in the afternoon to find out the same thing. [Medical Daily]
Dairy Queen offers employees at its corporate headquarters treadmill workstations. Ironic, huh? [Jezebel]
Relationships are complicated enough without adding an STD to the equation. It’s not exactly the type of thing you can just include in your online dating profile—that is, unless you’re part of a growing number of people joining niche dating sites specifically geared toward people with STDs.
Case in point: Last year, more than 100,000 people signed up for the worldwide STD dating site Positive Singles, according to company data. And it’s no wonder the site is so popular: There are 20 million new incidences of STDs in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—and that’s on top of the 110 million Americans who are already infected.
“STDs are so common that it’s hard to find a partner who hasn’t dealt with it before,” says Shari Brasner, MD, a gynecologist and assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
Here’s the thing, though: Just because you and your partner have the same STD doesn’t mean it’s safe to have unprotected sex.
While direct re-exposure to an STD won’t always worsen your case, it could trigger flare-ups from a dormant infection like herpes, says Brasner. Plus, if your partner has been exposed to one STD, he’s more likely to have been exposed to others. And since many super-common STDs such as herpes, HPV, and Chlamydia can be asymptomatic, but still contagious, he may not even know if he’s a carrier, says Brasner.
The bottom line: You two love bugs may share the same love bugs—but you still have to use a condom. To further reduce your chance of transmitting STDs, avoid all sexual contact—kissing included—if either of you are experiencing symptoms or feel an outbreak coming on.
One final note: Condoms help minimize your risk, but they aren’t foolproof. “Because it doesn’t cover all skin surfaces, it’s an imperfect barrier,” says Brasner, “but it’s the best protection we have.”
Everyone has their own style when it comes to technology: Some people kick off emails with a “Dear so-and-so,” while others don’t even type “hi.” Some people send novel-length text messages, while others send incomplete sentences. In a recent New York Times article, writer Nick Bilton makes the case that many short emails and texts are rude.
His argument? Sending emails or text messages that just say “Thank you”—or leaving voicemails when someone doesn’t answer the phone—can be a waste of time for the person on the receiving end, particularly since their digital mailboxes are likely already overflowing.
Regardless of whether you agree with Bilton’s point of view, the fact remains that people today are inundated with emails, texts, calls, and voicemails—and it can sometimes be hard to decide how (or if) you should respond.
A lot of it comes down to the preference of the person on the receiving end—especially in an office setting or if that person is your boss. “You have to know who the audience is, how they operate, and how they want to be communicated to,” says Dan Schawbel, Gen Y career expert and author of the forthcoming Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success. Follow the person’s lead, or if you’re feeling up to it, ask what they prefer. If your boss is heading out for a meeting and expecting a message, for example, say, “What’s the best way for me to get this information to you?”
Keep reading for other tech etiquette tips:
Your email strategy
“All emails really should contain a specific purpose,” says etiquette expert Lisa Mirza Grotts. Even a message that just says “thank you,” for example, can let the recipient know that you received their email. If your boss sends you an assignment and you don’t respond—even with a quick “Sounds good!”—she has no way of knowing that you’re on top of the task. The same goes for responding to an appointment cancellation, a completed assignment, or even a congratulatory message.
“You’re welcome” emails, on the other hand, aren’t necessary. A good rule of thumb? Before you fire off a short email, ask yourself if it has a point. Is it to show receipt? Go for it. Is it for the heck of it? Hold off.
Your texting strategy
You know the unspoken rules for texting friends, but texting in a business setting can get a little trickier. Definitely check with your managers or colleagues before you start texting them. And even if they give you the green light, Schawbel says text swapping should only be done for small messages. “The package you were waiting for just came in” works well here, but save any conversation that requires emotion or tone for a different medium.
Your voicemail strategy
Voicemail is dying, says Schawbel. “Why call when I can just send a quick text and I know it will get through?” he says. “People don’t even have time to listen to voicemails anymore.” Point being, it’s probably safer not to leave voicemails for other people.
That said, if you receive a voicemail, you cannot just ignore it. You could miss a call from your credit card company or a recruiter—yikes. Plus, it’s just more considerate to the person on the other end of the line. “With any type of communication, the faster you respond, the better,” says Schawbel. “That’s also part of what’s happening with our culture.”
Business-related voicemails are their own story. If you’re calling someone for work-related purposes, managers and colleagues expect you to know how to leave a message that’s professional and on-topic. Never just say, “Call me,” says Jacqueline Whitmore, etiquette expert and author of Poised for Success. State your name, number, and the purpose of your call. It might sound silly, but it gets the right message across.
TELL US: When do you think it is and isn’t OK to send a short email or leave a voicemail? What are your biggest tech-related pet peeves? Sound off in the comments!
There’s a reason why Beyonce and Kate Middleton always look so zen: Powerful people are happier because they feel more authentic, according to a new study published in the journal Psychological Science.
Researchers conducted online surveys in both the U.S. and Israel. They found that dispositional power (feeling that you’re in control and have a level of power) predicted happiness, and that was the case across several different platforms, including their career, relationship, and friendships.
So how do these pros balance power and happiness? The study showed that feeling powerful also made you feel more authentic. Basically, being a big deal (or at least thinking you are) makes you more likely to be true to yourself. When you feel powerful, you’re less worried about the opinions and evaluations of others, says lead study author Yona Kifer, doctoral study at Tel Aviv University. Essentially, you stop trying so hard to impress everyone.
Not planning to become a CEO or celebrity anytime soon? You don’t necessarily need to be in a position of power to reap the benefits. “In fact, perceived power may be more important than actual power,” says Kifer. Here, sneaky ways to score more authority in all areas of your life:
De-Clutter Your Space
If your desk is looking like a scene from Hoarders, tidy it up for a boost of control. “When your desk is cluttered, that causes stress and makes us feel helpless, which is the opposite of perceived power,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You. For a quick fix, pick up a desk caddy and cord organizer. Then add a few storage bins to your space so you can keep the less essential work out of view.
Focus On What You Can Control
If you’re drowning in paperwork and feeling totally helpless during the week, take five minutes to think about how you’ll spend your next day off. Downton Abbey marathon? Brunch with your guy? “Focusing in on that sense of control, you’ll start to feel like you do have power that you were taking for granted,” says Lombardo.
Be the social planner
Even if you’re generally the go-with-the-flow one of your friend group, stepping up now and then can make you more satisfied with your friendships. Pick out the next happy hour spot or sign you and your friends up for a new bootcamp class. “It allows you to have the power in terms of coming up with new ideas, and you get the chance to do things that you’re really interested in,” says Lombardo. That increases power and authenticity for a double happiness boost.
Practice speaking up
Exuding authority at work requires some effort. To feel (and look!) more powerful, follow the lead of your outspoken peers. The key: Bring up a relevant point that you’re actually passionate about—like the results of a new project you’re working on—instead of just speaking to be heard. “That way, you’re exhibiting your power as well as being authentic,” says Lombardo.
Boss your guy around a little
Feeling power in your bond was associated with happiness, but that doesn’t mean you have to call all the shots. Just having the control to suggest new things—like choosing a cool date spot or trying something extra-hot in bed—can boost your perception of power in the relationship, says Lombardo.
Own up to your relationship mistakes
Just as crucial: Taking responsibility for rough spots, no matter who is at fault. “When you’re unhappy in a relationship, we often disempower ourselves by saying it’s all their fault or wishing he would do this or that,” says Lombardo. Instead, focus on the one thing you can change—yourself. “Realize your role in the discontent and think of what you can do to change it.”
Burn Fat Fast! All it takes is 60 seconds a day to balance your body’s chemistry and turn on your fat-burning furnace! Buy 60 Seconds to Slim today!
If you’ve ever watched a good SNL skit, you know that impersonations can be hilarious. Want to spread the giggles yourself? The best way to master an impression is to practice in front of a mirror, according to a study published in Psychological Science.
British researchers videotaped 20 adults as they recited jokes, then asked participants to recreate and photograph four facial expressions featured in their videos. While practicing, some people looked at photos of their attempts, and some rehearsed without any visual feedback. The results: the people who practiced with visual feedback were more spot-on with their impressions, while participants who practiced blindly got worse.
“When you can see what each attempt looks like shortly after you’ve made it, you can better detect errors,” says study author Richard Cook, Ph.D., a professor at the Department of Psychology at City University London. By watching your progress in the mirror, you can associate the physical feelings of certain expressions with what they look like.
But here’s the thing: You’re likely not an SNL star, and if you imitate the people around you all the time, you’re going to find yourself without friends. “If you want to be liked, it’s more important to develop humor skills than imitation skills,” says Peter McGraw, Ph.D, assistant professor of marketing and psychology and director of the Humor Research Lab (HuRL) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Fair enough.
To make others laugh and like you more, begin with these pointers:
Tell at least one joke a day
According to McGraw, most people don’t attempt jokes often enough for fear of failure or worse: offending the audience. That’s because the root of humor is “benign violation”: a situation that simultaneously seems wrong, but harmless. (Take tickling, for example: It’s an uncomfortable invasion of your personal space, but it’s OK when you know that the tickler is well intentioned.) Moreover, it’s not easy to nail a joke. To up your odds of eliciting giggles, test new jokes among friends—because they already like you, they’ll be more forgiving if a punch line flops. If you must joke with a stranger, imitate his or her body language (it will put them at ease) and show some teeth. “A smile tells your audience that this is a joke, and that this thing that is wrong [the violation] is OK,” says McGraw. And if your joke still isn’t perceived as funny, or it makes someone uncomfortable? Use this simple save: “I’m just kidding!”
Start with a complaint, and end in an analogy
“Most people don’t like complainers, but they do like humorous complainers,” says McGraw. After all, when you transform something negative into something you can laugh about, it feels less irksome. To craft a joke, identify something that’s negative (awful weather, tasteless food, and deafening noise all work), and compare it to something unrelated that has similar qualities. McGraw’s example: My Internet connection is as slow as a four-year old getting ready for bed. It’s funny because it’s not nice to make fun of four-year olds (violation!), but in this context—an article about jokes that’s written for adults—it won’t hurt a child’s feelings (i.e, it’s benign).
Make yourself the punch line
Most standup comedians open with a self-deprecating joke. Why? “It makes him or her seem more human and likeable,” says McGraw. Moreover, it’s easier to laugh at a joke if you like the comedian, because you trust that they have good intentions. That said, never scrutinize your deep-rooted insecurities when you make fun of yourself. Instead, begin with a light topic like the mismatched outfit you threw on in a hurry, or your unrelenting hat hair.
Turn flab into muscle with The New Rules of Lifting for Women. Order now!