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The good things social media is giving the world

As a digital anthropologist, I’ve spent a lot of time in online communities, studying social media as well as netnographic research and humans using technology in the real world. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly over the past decade. While much may seem bad, I’ve seen a fair bit of good and I’m starting to see some broader positive societal trends coming out of social media. Let’s take a look. Animals: From cats being mean to silly and cute dogs and wildlife caught in the act, we can see a shift across many countries and cultures in how we see animals. From pets to wildlife. Although there isn’t any hard scientific evidence yet, anecdotally, we can suggest that humans, who are also animals, are perhaps evolving more meaningful relationships with our fellow animals ad we learn about them and how we can interact. The good that may

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Menopause: Natural part of life but social taboo

In my house, menopause is not a taboo subject. I talk about it openly with my husband, two daughters and son, and I want them to do the same with me. After all, they are all here with me as I am transitioning into my third act of life. It really is a family experience. For the most part, the only people who talk about menopause are women near or in middle age. However, the more we discuss this change of life, the less mysterious and shameful it will become. Sure, there will be some discomfort and embarrassment around “the talk,” just like there is around the puberty talk. Yet about half of the world’s population enters this natural stage of life, so it seems a bit odd that we have reached a point after many millennia where menopause is still considered taboo.   But not for much longer. Western society

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Age: Something for women to be proud of

Getting older is not something to fear or be embarrassed about. It’s a collection of experiences, lessons, and the adventures that have made you who you are. “Age is just a number”—at least that’s what I’ve been told, but I disagree. I’ve never been a big fan of clichés, and this is one I’ve been hearing a lot lately, ever since I turned 49. I realize it’s supposed to provide some kind of comfort around the idea of aging, but I honestly feel that it misses the mark completely. Because age isn’t just a number, it’s so much more! Personally, I think we look at aging from a perspective that’s completely backwards. Instead of being proud of everything we’ve learned and who we’ve become, we waste time and energy pining for the people we used to be. Why do we do that? It’s actually not surprising considering the messages we

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