To-do List Conundrum

You know that to-do list you’ve got scribbled on the corner of your desk or maybe tucked away in your phone? It turns out, a lot of us have a little secret when it comes to our to-do lists.

Someone polled 10,000 Americans about their to-do list habits, and guess what? A whopping 43% admitted they’ve added things they’ve already done, just for the sheer joy of crossing them off.

You may be saying, “Wait, what? I’ve never done that!” Well, don’t worry; you’re not alone. About 47% of folks claim they’ve never indulged in this delightful to-do list trick, and around 10% aren’t sure or can’t remember. (And hey, not remembering if you’ve ever done it? Well, that’s a to-do list item itself!)

The survey didn’t dive deep into the “why” of it all, but maybe it’s just procrastination, trying to make us feel like we’ve accomplished more than we really have. Or maybe we’ve achieved something significant but didn’t add it to the list, and why deny ourselves the sweet satisfaction of ticking it off?

Over half of those 45 and under confessed to this list-crossing caper, while only 26% of the wise and experienced 65 and up folks said they’ve dabbled in it.

The to-do list conundrum: to add or not to add, that is the question! And if you do add, just remember, it’s all in the name of feeling that sweet, sweet accomplishment.

Social Media Did Very Little to Improve Mental Health During Lockdowns

Photo by Kev Costello from Unsplash

We all know that during the lockdowns, social media became our lifeline to the outside world. But did it really help our mental well-being? Well, it turns out, not as much as we thought.

A recent study from the University of Hong Kong took a deep dive into this issue. They looked at data from over 16,000 people in the UK during various phases of the pandemic. And guess what? The results might make you raise an eyebrow.

Despite all those Zoom calls, WhatsApp chats, and Facebook messages, anxiety and depression levels didn’t show much of a difference between heavy users and those who avoided these platforms. Yep, you heard that right. Our virtual hangouts didn’t quite fill the void left by the lack of in-person socializing.

And young adults who amped up their social media game during the pandemic actually saw their mental health take a hit. Those 20-year-olds who rarely touched social media before suddenly found themselves feeling 10 percent more anxious and depressed when they went all-in on the online social scene.

And it’s not just about the digital world. Financial strain during lockdowns also played a big role in people’s mental well-being. Those who felt the financial pinch had anxiety and depression levels a whopping 25 percent higher than those who didn’t.

Social media helped us stay connected, but it didn’t magically cure our pandemic blues. And for some young adults, it even made things worse. It’s a reminder that while technology can be a lifeline, it’s no substitute for real, in-person connections.

Tinder for the Rich

Photo credit: Tinder

We’ve got some spicy news for you in the world of online dating. Tinder has just unleashed its inner VIP with the all-new “Tinder Select” membership. Now, before you get too excited, you might want to check your bank account because this exclusive club doesn’t come cheap at a whopping $499 per month. Yep, you heard that right, it’s not for the faint of heart or the light of wallet.

So, what’s all the buzz about? Well, it’s not just about the features, it’s about the exclusivity! Tinder is playing hard to get, allowing only the chosen few, less than 1% of users, to join this high-end dating party. And if you make the cut, you get to flaunt it with an exclusive “SELECT” badge on your profile. 

So what do you actually get for that hard-earned cash? Well, you can slide into someone’s DMs without the need for a match, but only twice a week, and sorry, no Super Likes included. Plus, not everyone wants your messages, so some folks can opt out. On the bright side, your profile will be unblurred in the Like You grid for up to seven days. 

The real mystery is how Tinder determines these “most sought after profiles.” Maybe it’s the folks who got lucky in the Select club? Who knows! But if you’re in, you also get a sneak peek at new Tinder features before the masses, ad-free swiping, and a peek at your recent Likes. Stack it with Plus, Gold, or Platinum if you’re feeling extra fancy.

Before you rush off to apply, remember, there’s a checklist. You need four photos, five interests, a bio that’s at least 15 characters long, and you have to be photo-verified. Oh, and you should have a hefty dating budget because this ain’t for the penny pinchers.

There you have it, Tinder’s new high-roller club, Tinder Select. Will it find love in the hearts of Gen Z? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, swipe right on fun and swipe left on empty wallets!

If I Could Save Time in a Bottle

It’s 1940, a stormy Armistice Day in the Great Lakes. In the midst of howling winds and crashing waves, George Keller, the fearless lightkeeper of White Shoal, and his trusty partner had a wild idea. They decided to toss a message in a bottle into the tempestuous waters, just in case they didn’t make it through the night.

That very message, once adrift in the storm, was plucked from the waters by an unsuspecting fisherman near Gros Cap, Mich. It’s like something out of a Hollywood movie, right?

George Keller and his comrade did survive the blizzard. And their bottle message became a symbol of resilience and connection. It’s a testament to the incredible stories hidden within the folds of history.

To celebrate the 113th anniversary of the White Shoal Light, the White Shoal Light Historical Preservation Society has launched a “message in a bottle contest.”  And you have a chance to create your own piece of history.

Four bottles were tossed into the Mackinac Straits on Labor Day, each containing a message from descendants of George Keller. They’re offering free stays at the iconic lighthouse for the lucky finders, whether you’re a lone adventurer or a group of up to five.

Keep your eyes peeled for those bottles, because not only will you uncover a remarkable piece of history, but you might also score yourself a free stay at this historic lighthouse.

The Power of Face-to-Face Conversations: Boosting Your Mood Beyond Screens

In a digital age dominated by screens and solitude, a recent study from the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences offers a heartening revelation: Talking to another person, even a stranger, has the remarkable ability to lift our spirits more than the allure of our smartphones or the tranquility of solitude.

Unlocking the Mood-Boosting Potential of Conversations

Lead author and doctoral student, Christina Leckfor, embarked on this research endeavor to delve into the fascinating realm of human behavior. She wanted to understand how people perceive and experience different activities in their lives. As Leckfor explained, “When people are out in the real world, they have these options.” The study aimed to uncover how individuals gauge these options—what they expect to feel and what they actually feel after engaging in these activities.

Exploring Expectations vs. Reality

To unravel these perceptions, the researchers carefully organized study participants into four distinct groups. Two groups were tasked with predicting their emotional responses to various actions, while the other two groups put those predictions into action. Each group was then asked to rank these options based on their level of enjoyment and the likelihood of experiencing positive or negative emotions.

Contrary to initial assumptions, the study’s findings challenged the notion that people would underestimate the pleasure of conversing with a stranger while overestimating the allure of their smartphones. Leckfor noted, “But that’s not what we found. Across our studies, people were actually more accurate in predicting how they would feel than we thought they’d be.”

The Triumph of Real-Life Conversations

When confronted with three choices—using a smartphone, spending time alone, or engaging in a conversation with a stranger—real-life interactions emerged as the clear winner, boasting the “highest positive emotional value” in both groups. Surprisingly, using a smartphone took second place, while the seemingly peaceful solitude of sitting alone claimed the third spot.

In an era where screens seem to rule our lives, this study serves as a reminder of the unparalleled magic of face-to-face conversations. It underscores the underestimated joy and mood-enhancing potential of connecting with others, even those we don’t know. So, the next time you find yourself torn between your phone and a chance encounter with a stranger, remember that the simple act of conversation might just be the mood-boosting remedy you didn’t know you needed.

On Average, We Spend Only 6 Days Per Year Cleaning House

Take a look around your house, chances are you won’t like what you see.

According to a recent survey, the average person only considers their home “completely clean” for a whopping 11 days a year. Less than 2 weeks out of 52.

It takes around five days to finally muster up the motivation to start cleaning and on average, people spend six whole days a year scrubbing, dusting, and sanitizing. 

The room that gets the scrubbing, the kitchen, with 63% of respondents devoting an entire day to cleaning it.

With regard to the cleaning checklist,  rugs and carpets top the list at 68%, followed by vacuuming and mopping floors (63%), and laundry (57%).

When hosting guests, people go all out to stop the spread of germs. Hand sanitizer, disinfectant sprays, and wipes dot the house for the comfort and safety of all.

And while much of the house gets the white glove treatment, the things that are most likely to be overlooked include:  thoroughly cleaning appliances, wiping down countertops, and dusting shelves.