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How to Teach Your Tween Internet Safety Without Scaring Them to Death

My youngest son is in middle school. Last week he came home from school wide-eyed and animated about an Internet Safety assembly he had that day at school. Some days when he comes home from school he doesn’t have a whole lot to say about what went on. So when he started chattering away about a video, and abduction, and some 13 yr old girl, I knew it was time to sit down and pay attention.

As part of a program created to make kids aware of child predators, my son’s school showed an interview with a young woman, now 20 years old, who had, when she was 13, met on-line someone who she thought was another 13 yr old girl and eventually snuck out of her family’s home to meet her. Sadly, the “girl” from the internet turned out to be a child predator who abducted her, raped her, abused her, and kept her in a cage in his basement for 4 days until her parents and the police rescued her.

Needless to say, this poor girl’s horrific tale made a lasting impact on my son. We talked about what he had learned from the presentation and what he learned from the presenters and came up with the following.

Never put your real birthdate on a social networking site. Don’t tell people how old you are.

Never post your street address or your hometown.

Never post your school’s name or your school district.

Make sure that you know all of your online friends. Don’t accept invites from friends you’ve never met and use https://en.instaprivateviewer.com to improve your privacy.

Never agree to meet anyone alone in a chatroom or in person.

His Facebook page was clear of all these safety missteps, and I think we were both relieved to see that he had remembered to keep himself safe. He knows too, that I have a Facebook account specifically so that I can keep an eye on him and his older brothers and ask them about anything that I think is questionable or inappropriate on their pages or alert them to anything I think they should steer clear of.

Everything seemed fine until bedtime that night when the story from the school assembly came back to haunt us. I say us because it took my son, my husband, and me in a team effort to get him through the night. He was completely freaked out that some strange man was going to steal him from his bed, abuse him, and leave him shattered and haunted like the 20-year-old in the story. He finally ended up sleeping on our bedroom floor, something he had not done for years.

The following night was better, but I still needed to double-check his windows to make sure they were locked, assure him that: (luckily) we live in a very safe town, that if he so much as squeaked during the night his older brother (who has a black belt in karate) would race in to beat up anyone who was trying to hurt him, and that only over my dead body was anyone stealing one of my kids. This helped, even producing a small smile, and he was able to sleep in his own room with only a minimum of tossing and turning that night.

In the end, we talked a lot about the internet and staying safe, and about child predators and what makes people do awful things to kids. Fortunately, the odds are on his side that nothing this awful will ever happen to him. I assured him that there are friendly, nice people on the internet. I even know people who have met online and married. You just need to be certain of who you are talking to before you tell them anything private about yourself. If he ever makes a good friend over the internet, the video girl’s experience doesn’t mean he can never meet them. It just means he can never meet them alone. His father and I would be happy to take him to meet someone in a local restaurant or mall. No one should meet a stranger alone in an isolated place like a park, not even an adult.

I’m glad that my son told me about the assembly. It gave us an opportunity for a discussion about how his life is changing as he is growing up and how the world, in general, is becoming more and more tricky to navigate. Life is so much more immediate than when I was growing up.

I’m not one hundred percent sure that the school made it clear how scary this video could be for middle school-aged kids when they gave us the option to pull our kids out of it. And I’m also not sure that they realize how much of an impact it could have on the more impressionable souls in the school. The danger is certainly real and their concern is admirable, but was the scare tactics necessary? I wish they had tried another approach first. You can keep kids safe without scaring them half to death. Talk to them, listen to them and show them you care and they’ll trust you instead of some mysterious stranger. That’s my plan for my kids, and I’m sticking with it. How about you?

7 Considerations for Insuring a Commercial Truck

For people who are acquainted with purchasing insurance for their personal vehicles, the process for buying insurance for a commercial truck will not seem too unfamiliar. The big difference is in the size of the policy and its cost. Like anything in the business world, insuring trucks can come with a scary price tag.

You need to know the type and size of truck that you will be insuring.

While the make of the truck does not always have the same effect on insurance rates that the type of car does, it can be a factor in premium costs. The size of the truck does make a difference. Larger trucks cost more to repair, are harder to stop, carry more freight, and can do more damage quickly than small light weight vehicles. All of these items spell additional cost to the insurance company when picking up the cost of an accident. Some consideration is necessary for the owner to take comprehensive car insurance covers you for damages. The amount should be less with the insurance policies to get the benefit. Additional charges are not charged to meet with the requirements of the owner. The terms and conditions should be read through the person to take the policy. 

Plan to be asked how the truck will be used.

Commercial trucks range from pickups supplied to field supervisors up to those mega-trucks pulling three trailers down the highway. If the truck is to be a personal vehicle for an employee, it will not be a lot different to insure than your car. Delivery trucks, work vehicles, and those that haul freight across country are a lot different.

How many miles will the truck travel in a year?

Lightly used vehicles will cost less to insure. Also, if the truck will not be used regularly in dangerous neighborhoods, it will make a difference. If the truck will be covering hundreds of thousands of miles every year, it will increase the chances of something happening that will result in a claim.

The type of freight that is hauled will influence premium rates.

For those trucks that will only be hauling toys, tools, or non-explosive cargo, the insurance company can offer better rates because the liability is so much less. Tankers that haul fuel or other explosive cargo are a huge risk in the event of an accident. The cost of the vehicle can be very minor compared to the size of ensuing lawsuits from a collision with one of these monsters.

Maintenance and the skill of the driver can be a factor.

If you can prove that the truck is well-maintained and driven by expert safe drivers, you will save many dollars. However, if you cannot verify this to the insurance company’s satisfaction, you will be penalized. Keep your vehicles in better condition than the state requires to get lower insurance rates.

Always get multiple quotes for the coverage desired.

Insurance rates can vary significantly from insurer to insurer. Just this one item can save up to thousands per year depending on the type and use of truck you are insuring. Try to get at least three quotes. Five is better.

You need insurance to cover your company’s assets and the cargo being carried.

When lawsuits happen, they eye the financial assets of the company to decide on how much to seek in damages. Your policy needs to protect your company’s total assets. Customers have a right to expect you to repay them for damaged cargo entrusted to your care for shipping. If you are not experienced in purchasing these types of policies, interview some of your competitors and numerous insurance agents to become educated before making your final decision on an insurance policy and company. You need to be sure that your insurer has a good history of paying claims on a timely basis.

What Are The Methods For Availing Moving Services?

While considering moving services, it is important for you to go through the right and legalized service. The main priority should be taking care of your essentials and belongings safe. There are different categories available in finding the right moving service which will suits according to your requirements. There are not only one or two moving companies you will find that there is a varying range of moving companies available in the market. You can also go through the trusted movers in Edmonton which will help you to avail new moving services. in the lower section you will be going to read about the different methods for availing moving services such as:

  • Considering a full-service moving company:

generally, the mover which is expensive is popular such that you can consider a full-service moving company which will provide you with lots of options. They will manage all your belongings and also package them. From unloading the belongings from the truck and transporting on the right destination. These full-service moving company take cares of all the things.

  • Considering a self-service moving company:

considering a self-service moving company is also beneficial for you because here they will deliver all your belongings on the front gate of your house. Not only this but these types of companies will also handle all the belongings which are kept for transportation services. It is your responsibility whether you need too go for a self-service moving company or not.

  • Considering a specialized moving company:

there are several people who go for specialized moving company and fortunately it is better and convenient because here they will provide ultimate security for keeping all your belongings safe.

All the crucial methods for availing moving service is listed in the upper section through which it will become beneficial for you to find the right moving service.

Top Benefits Of Suspended Fireplaces For Your Home

Having a fireplace in your home is necessary, especially if you stay in a region that has long winters or cold temperatures throughout the year.

Heating systems are expensive and can dry up your pockets on long usage easily. This is when installing a fireplace seems like a good idea.

There are many different types of fireplaces available these days, and depending upon your home décor and available space, you might want to consider installing a suspended fireplace in your home.

Here are it’s few benefits 

  • The suspended fireplaces run on gas, which makes it more energy efficient. Rest assured that with suspended fireplaces, it would help you reduce your energy bills drastically.
  • The suspended fireplaces are stylish to look at while being highly functional. They can be installed at the corner of your home or right in the center, depending upon your preference. They do not run on wood or other foul gas-emitting fuels, and thus, you can be sure they are safe and less expensive.
  • There would be no worries of running out of wood for your suspended fireplaces as it runs on gas.

  • The suspended fireplaces are environment friendly, and you can be sure of having a good experience using it.

These are the few benefits you might want to consider when looking to install a fireplace at your home. Thanks to modern innovations and creativity, the consumers have lot more options than ever before. Choose wisely, and save on energy bills with a fireplace.

Seo And Seo Techniques

SEO- Search Engine Optimization, in simple words, is a technique of putting your Web site on the first one or two pages of a search engine’s search results. Before we jump into the specific SEO techniques, we need to know how the search engines seek out our Web sites. In a very straightforward manner, search engines send crawlers to search through your site.

Your goal, (once your site is found) is to get your site to the first page of the search result. To ensure that your site comes within first and second pages of the search results (when a keyword match is found), few techniques need to be followed and this is where Clovis SEO means come in. There are various trends and techniques that revolve SEO practices and some of the most common ones that most SEO is driven Web sites to use or should use are explained below (in no particular order).

This article breaks down the SEO techniques into two parts; technical details and non-technical details.

Technical Details

The way a Web site is built and coded determines an important factor with regard to the SEO aspect. A Web site should be well indexed which makes it easier for the crawler programs to crawl through. Here, we discuss the issues which help in better indexing of a Web site.

a.Title Tag

We begin with the topmost attribute of a Web page; the TITLE of the page.

“SEO Technique”

The title of your Web page can in itself act as a keyword for your visitors and also for the crawlers. At a go, your visitors will get to know the theme of the site and as for the crawlers, the title tag helps in the indexing of your Web site. So, it is essential to decide on a good title for the page that serves both as a title and a keyword.

b.Meta Tags

Two meta elements that are essentials for search engine optimization would be description meta tag and the keyword meta tag.

The keyword tag is the tag where you can store keywords related to your site’s content which acts as an indexer for your site and easier crawling by the search engine crawlers.

Though due to “keyword stuffing”, many of the search engines now almost disregard the ‘keyword’ tag, you can always keep it as an indexer in your source code.

The description tag as the name says contains a description of the Website when the Web site comes in the search result, this description is the first thing users see. Therefore, this description should be short and to the point and as descriptive as possible with the use of the major keywords appropriate for the site. But don’t make it too long and boring. It’s best to keep it short and simple yet providing enough details about the site which makes the user want to click on the link and search crawlers to understand what the site is about to bring the Web site within the first one or two pages of the search result.

c.Heading Tags and Alt Attribute

The heading tags, etc are commonly used tags for providing the main page heading, the title of a paragraph on the Web page, etc. It is always a good practice to make use of heading tags on your Web page. From a user’s perspective, the headings provide a visual break and as for the search engine crawlers, these tags help to better index your site, helping the crawlers to understand the content of your site in a clearer manner.

The alt attribute, a property of the image tag ” is provided so that when an image cannot be displayed, in place of the image the text in the alt attribute shows. If the image is displayed the text (given at the alt) shows when you mouseover on the image. If we use the alt attribute in the image, there will be more related words appropriate with the content of the site which helps in better indexing of the site; which in turn helps the Web site to show up within the first pages of the search results.

d.XML Site Map

A site map provides the number of pages a site contains in other words a top-down view of the site content on the whole. An XML site map acts as an excellent indexer for your Web site. In the current times, an XML site map is a must if you want your Web site to be crawled through and through or better still if you want your site to appear into the top two pages of the search results.

There are many advantages of keeping an XML site map for your site, one being that it helps find dynamic pages, which can only be accessed through forms and other entities. The site map indicates or indexes for the crawler to find these pages.

Search engines are still not at proper terms with anything that is not HTML, Flash being one of them, so there’s a chance that crawlers might outlook Web sites created with flash or menus created with flash. An XML site map helps to solve this issue; it helps find all your Web site pages including those built with flash or JavaScript.

The above were some of the technical aspects of search engine optimization. Apart from these, there are other non-technical factors that affect search engine optimization.

Link and Socialize

Link to other people’s sites, submit your Web site to directories, make good use of the existing Webmaster tools, and with social media giants like Facebook, Twitter around its easier to spread the word and let people know that you exist. Build a network, tell people about your site.

As goes with any relationship, maintain the practice of giving and take; link other friend’s site to yours, retweet, share, link back and help people and you’re sure to get the favor back.

Content

The above techniques, if gone well then we have your site appeared on the first two pages of the search result, managed to get enough attention of the users, and have them clicked on the link. So what next, are we just looking for users to click on our Web site link? No, we are not, our initial goal is to bring users to our site, let the world know we exist but our ultimate goal is to grow our site and we can only do that if our visitors stay or in other words comes back to visit our site again.

For your visitors to come back to your site again, the content of the site and how it is presented plays a vital issue. It is very IMPORTANT that you keep your Web site content related to what you say it is. This means that if you have mentioned one thing (say, how to grow apple trees) in your titles and meta tags and you give something completely different (say, how to fix a doorknob) it’s a major negative marking for your site. When visitors will finally reach your actual content, not getting quite what they expected that is content relevant to your main page or title of your site will ultimately drift your readers and visitors away. So, take an extra effort on the content of your site. Do a bit of research on the topic you have in mind, plan ahead what you want to give your visitors and how you want to present it.

On a personal note, your Web site is an extension of your thoughts and imagination, put some heart into it, be it the design the layout or the content, if you can touch your reader’s senses through your site they’re sure to keep coming back and you’re sure to make them stay. Enjoy SEOing!

A Tax Break For Those With Student Loans

It is well known how those with college degrees, on average, earn much more over their lifetimes than those without. Even those who just attend college for a few years will generally earn more than those with just a high school diploma or a few years of high school.

Even so, nobody really enjoys repaying the student loans that made the college education possible. Nobody really loves dropping those checks in the mail or watching automatic deductions go out of the bank account. There is all that interest being repaid, for one thing.

But the time of year is approaching when those repaying federal student loans can be happy about it. Tax time, dreaded for so many reasons, has a hidden benefit for those whose hard-earned dollars go towards interest owed on student loans.

It’s well known that homeowners can deduct the amount of interest paid on their mortgage payments. It’s not so well know that the same can be done with student loan payments. (Note that this only applies to federal student loans, not private loans.) And sometimes the amount of interest paid can be substantial, especially if the borrower owes a great deal of money, has a high interest rate, or owes a lot of accrued interest. A borrower is even eligible for this deduction if the loans have defaulted, as long as he or she made payments during the year.

To take advantage of this tax deduction, the student loan borrower must provide the amount of interest paid on a federal tax form that lists these deductions. For most of us, that means filling out a 1040 or 1040A (or the online equivalents) rather than the 1040EZ. Not all free online tax software, by the way, allows for this deduction.

But how does a taxpayer know the amount to list on the tax form? Each January, the student loan lender should send the borrower Form 1098, which provides the amount of interest paid during the proceeding year. If a borrower does not receive Form 1098, he or she should contact the lender or servicer to request another copy or a written statement that provides this figure.

Although a student loan borrower cannot deduct more than $2,500 on his or her 2006 tax return, every bit helps.

To learn more about the student loan interest deduction, access the Internal Revenue Service’s Web site at www.irs.gov/formspubs

You may also want to visit the websites of some of the reliable and reputable loan agencies out there. One example of such agencies is the Majestic Lake Financial, Inc in Upper Lake. You can choose this agency to support any endeavors that you want to pursue.

You’ll want to request the booklet called “Tax Benefits for Higher Education,” or IRS Publication 970.

The publication also discusses several other tax breaks — like deductions for certain education expenses — that might also interest you.

Repairing Your Credit After a Foreclosure Or Shortsale

In a typical foreclosure situation, the house is the last thing the borrower typically stops paying on. Meaning credit cards, cable TV, and family loans all take a backseat to the usual hoops a homeowner goes through in an effort to save their home. It can be compared to catching a knife falling from your kitchen countertop; not a very good idea.

When the foreclosure process is complete; be-it from a short sale or a judicial foreclosure, the former homeowner/s typically have a FICO score of approx. 200 points less than what their credit was prior to their first missed payment. If you or someone you know is in this situation, here are some tips that will exponentially improve a less than remarkable credit score. Along with that, you can also recommend the Blue Water Credit restoration which is a reliable way through which you can improve your credit score.

  1. Do not close Current Accounts

Keep any tradelines (even those in bad standing) below 45% of their maximum allowance. Remember, only 35% of your FICO score is based upon past performance.

2) Do not Apply for New Tradelines

If you already have 3-4 credit tradelines (even those in bad standing) do not apply for new ones. While that might not be worth mentioning it is important to note that unless you have “opted-out”, your credit report can be re-sold and run several times by “credit repair agencies” that will attempt to solicit your business.

3) Be a Joint User

Consider bringing added as a “joint user” (not an authorized user). If you have someone whom you explicitly trust (and who trusts you no less) they can add you to their best tradeline as a joint user (if the creditor permits) which will allow you to ‘absorb’ the entire history of that particular tradeline.

Beware: You will be equally responsible for all payments including purchases made prior to your inclusion, additionally the creditor will be sending a bill to your residence and in your name.

4) Opt-Out

Not so long ago credit reporting agencies began peddling your credit reporting activities to interested parties, and what you thought was one simple credit report can show up a months later as multiple reports being run by multiple companies. Opting-out only takes a few moments and can save you from credit dings caused by too many inquiries.

5) Beware of Credit Card “bail-out” plans

Every day you can hear advertisements on radio and television implying that the government is sponsoring a credit card “bail-out” plan for struggling debtors. There is no credit card bail-out plan – period. Beware especially of any companies asking for advance fees, and ask for referrals.

Hopefully, these tips will help make the credit repair treadmill as easy to bear as possible. Two years is not an unreasonable period of time for most former short sale homeowners to be able to qualify for an FHA loan, while judicial foreclosure can take a while longer.

Inexpensive Gift Ideas For The Holiday Grab Bag

Holiday grab bag gift events are a staple during the Christmas season. With all of the other financial obligations this time of year, feeling that you are required to participate in one of these grab bag gift activities may cause a little bit of stress. It may seem impossible to partake in the event with a budget of only $5, but that simply isn’t so. A simple sawbuck can purchase a very useful and appropriate gift.

Journal and Pen Set

Pouring your innermost thoughts into a pretty journal is a great form of therapy. Despite popular opinion, this practice is not limited to teenage girls. Head to your local discount store and purchase a cloth bound journal book and a packet of ball point or gel pens. Not only will you be offering a great grab bag gift, you may also be exposing the recipient to a form of self expression they may not have been previously familiar with.

Cooking Utensil Bundle

A recent trip to my local dollar discount store showed me the many bargains to be found there for the holiday season. A $5 bill can buy you a nice assortment of spatulas, measuring cups and kitchen towels. Wrap up a nice bundle of quality cooking essentials with a pretty ribbon and include your favorite dessert recipe printed on a colored piece of card stock. The recipient will have no idea that you spent such a small amount on this lovely present.

ELF Makeup Tray

The ELF line of makeup products are not only affordable, they are of quality material as well. Five dollars can get you a nice tray of eye shadows, blushers and bronzers or nail polishes. Think about what would be most appropriate and appreciated among your gift recipients and make your selection accordingly. Wrapping the cosmetic tray in festive wrapping paper will add to the appeal and give the impression that the gift is far more luxurious than the price dictates.

Clearance Movie Disc

With the advent of the newest technology, the DVD is going the way of the VHS. Now is the time to capitalize on the trend and score some great classics for a song. Scour the bins of your local discount store for a great film on DVD and you will surely pay only $5 or less. Wrap it up in colorful holiday paper and rest assured that your grab bag offering will be received positively.

Candy Gift Bag

The holiday season is a great time to purchase sweet treats such as chocolates and hard candies. keuze helper Stores generally mark down their candy gift boxes or bagged candies in anticipation of holiday gift giving. Assemble a pretty gift bag with an assortment of chocolates and peppermints and tie it all off with a pretty ribbon. Be sure your food offerings are wrapped securely or are in their original packaging so that recipients will feel comfortable while indulging. If you are so inclined to baking or candy making, feel free to include some of your homemade treats in the package. This also be a Cadeau meisje 5 jaar. We all know that kids love candies. So why not pack some of the best sweets that you can buy in the market and add some creativity on it so both kids and adults will like it.

Make Money Online

In case you have never heard of a PTC site; PTC stands for “Paid To Complete”. That means you can be paid to complete offers, surveys, you name it. These sites can get you money in the shortest amount of time that us just like the FKC concept. The FKC Concept Evergreen Wealth Formula review will also improve your understanding of this concept. There are tips on how to maximize earnings on those sites at the bottom of this book. Don’t let things fool you on the Internet. Yes, there are scams out there, however, this is a list of the ones that aren’t.

The first site (my personal favorite) is the one I have made the most at. Its called CashCrate. You are paid to complete offers, take surveys, and they even have a Go Shopping! Option. There are many stores that offer a certain percentage back of what you buy that will credit to your account. Even if you are not a big fan of completing the offers, you can still make money on these sites by shopping online. Email me for pictures of checks (this applies for all of them) They also have one of the best referral systems in the industry. They have a 20/10 referral system. That means you make 20% of your referral’s earnings and 10% of THEIR referral’s earnings! Min. payout is 10 dollars. I usually achieve this by the 2nd or 3rd of each month.

www.cashcratesurveys.info

I am most active at CashCrate, however, I do have two other sites I play around with in my free time.

The next PTC site I’d like to tell you about is Treasure Trooper. Treasure Trooper (I’m going to abbreviate it TT) is almost like CashCrate. They have the shopping section, offers, and surveys. Unlike CashCrate, they have a Treasure Hunt. It does take a long time to get, but once you get it you get $100. There’s no limit to how many people can win. Payout is $25 harder than CashCrate but still possible. They only have a 20/5 referral system (explained above)

Sign up Link

My third and final PTC site I’m going to tell you about is called Deal Barbie Pays Fast (Once again I’m going to abbreviate it with DBPF). This site does not have many offers ($200 worth) but they have a low $5 payout limit and they pay PayPal. They have a 15/3/2 referral system. Click the blue links to sign up.

Get Paid to Run Your Computer and Get Phone Calls From Friends!

Recently I heard of a service called Brring! Don’t worry I was skeptical at first too. First, you sign up and Brring! I will create a new phone number for you. Anyone you give the phone number to that calls it (I use it for telemarketers with those PTC sites) will hear an ad about 10 seconds long. After that, they are connected to you and your conversation is never interfered with again. And if you don’t want your friends calling your Brring! (like me) then you can still give them your normal number and they will never even know. Brring! It has many ways to make money without even getting calls. Get .75 every time you profile a friend. My favorite one is the $1.00 new call system. Each time you get a new caller for the first time at that Brring! The number you get paid a dollar. With the $10 payout you can get 10 friends (or telemarketers) to call you and you already reached payout. You can also get $1.00 for each referral. You make that as long as people sign up so you can tell your friends to sign up and never even use it. Sign up Here

Now when you say “Run Your Computer” I’m sure you were liking that idea. Gomez is a company that tests out website loading times for websites all over the world. Many people think its spyware and do not download it, however, I can say I’m 100% sure it’s not spyware but I won’t hold it against you if you choose not to sign up. You get paid depending on the time that the program is used. It runs in the background (A JAVA program so it takes up literally no RAM) and you never even notice its there. I make around 5 bucks a month with it. Nothing special but its free money. They pay 1.00 per referral. TIP: To get activated during that 3 days or so waiting period leave your computer on non-stop and let it run. The longer it’s on the better the chance of you being accepted. Then after that, you can resume normal computer shut-downs and such. The company has been around a long time. Sign up Link

Get Paid to Read Emails

I am not stupid I know there are a LOT of these programs out there, but these ones will make you the most money in the shortest amount of time. They are listed in the order of the highest paying.

InboxDollars is one of the highest paying PTR (Paid to Read) sites out there. Min payout is $30 which turns many people away but is actually really easy to achieve. You get a $5 sign up bonus and $5 for every friend you refer after you have 50 referrals! Before that, you get 10% of their earnings.

DonkeyMails is another site that offers PTR emails. Emails range from .025 (Quarter of a penny) to 2 cents. You will get many from them per day so you will earn a lot. No min payout limit. 5/4/3/2/1 referral system.

SendMoreInfo pays you to click on links or pictures in emails. Instead of making money every time you click on an ad you get a “share” and at the end of the month they take those shares and divide it up between the members with a portion of the earnings they made that month. Its a little extra money but doesn’t pay too much.

The Internet Country of instagram, Population 750 Million

So what’s the big deal about instagram? Why socialize on instagram? What is instagram etiquette? instagram originally began as a universal social-networking tool among college students back in 2004. In 2005, it was open to high-school users, and then in 2006 it was open to everyone. There are close to 750 million users and this is due to countries that were behind in adopting instagram in the last year. So far this year, there have been 6 million U.S. users that have dropped their instagram accounts. However, 50% of a country’s population is a Instagram user. So yes, instagram is a big deal when you crunch the numbers.

Why be social on instagram? It’s a means for people to stay connected to their family and friends, find lost friendships and for businesses and advertisers to create a network and increase revenue. The social network is a way to spread stories, generate interest in causes and share news. instagram has more of a “real world” feel when compared to MySpace. According to Blair Mathis, “instagram has matched MySpace and raised it with a dose of not-so-fugly page layout.”

According to a Danish behavioral study by Red Associates, some “instagramers” are skeptical and unsure about how the network should be used. They hoped it would enhance and strengthen their friendships and relationships. Few believe that instagram falls short of what people expect. Most respondents view the site as a “relationship-management tool” and less than 1% see it as “only good for strengthening friendships.” Most of the people that you have “friended” on instagram, really are not your friends and “what defines social networks is a lack of depth in relationships.” Use Private Instagram Viewer Apps to know about the private options at the site. The use of the application should be done effectively through the person. The lack of relations will be converted into opportunities to deliver the desired results. The expectations of the person will be fulfilled with the availability of the private options. 

The level of comfort of what is shared online varies according to each user. I did my own survey that consisted of 1612 responses in 7 days. What is appropriate to post were engagement or marriage announcements, death of pet/celebrity, controversial topics or links/opinions, kids pictures and pregnancy. Not appropriate were breaking up with significant other (about as lame as sending a text to break up with someone), announce a divorce, one-night stands or related behavior, announcing abortions and legal problems. Ana Castillo, a model and breast-cancer survivor, posted a picture on instagram to promote awareness on breast cancer. instagram requested that she take her profile picture down as they thought it was offensive. Ana is in a pair of jeans, topless, but with the topless portion covered with a pink banner which read, “hope.” I would say after what she has gone through and is still going through, she looks beautiful. She argued that there are more racy pictures that have been posted on instagram and she reposted her picture again. I agree.

Articles written about instagram by James Rivington and Blair Mathis have their points outlined in the top 15 and top 10 things of what not to do or what’s annoying. Some examples are adding old friends and forgetting about them, writing on a wall instead of communicating privately (publicly posting an invite to a private party where obviously not everyone is invited), posting “vanity-filled drivel — self-indulgent awfulness in status updates”, song lyrics, starting a group, friend co-workers (this is a variable) and employers (no matter how familiar you are ‘” do not friend your boss) and the list goes on. I am guilty of a few things, TYPING IN ALL CAPS (yes I feel angst once in a while, so what) and updating instagram status when ill. Hey, if while in bed, I can’t sleep, I read a book or surf the net and check out instagram. Bed rest can be rather boring.

instagram is thought of as “a backyard barbecue” for businesses according to brooksgroup.com. Parties have been used to “develop business relationships for generations”. Think of the social networking site as an online version of the business party or mixer. However, the priority for instagram should not be to build a business, but for building relationships and to share your interests. Available for business use is the instagram Marketing Bible and the instagram Marketing Service Provider Directory. These tools cover topics ranging from “how to promote your page in six steps”, advertising fundamentals to spamming.

Overall, I believe instagram has been useful in keeping contact with friends and family. I was skeptical in signing up, however in a “high-tech, full-time working-mommy” world, how else are you to keep up with your friends and family if you only have a quick minute or two? I guess I could write letters and use stamps and drop it in that thing you call a mailbox to keep in touch — but that would be too slow.