Monday, August 20, 2018

Why older generations don't like younger generation's music? The effects of technology on music and what determines good music?

Every decade can be defined by the kind of music that was popular at the time. Depending on when you were born determines which kind of music you will be most exposed to and which will have a strong influence on your musical taste. Of course people are free to listen to whatever music they want including older music, but new music is what gets the most play and is what people, especially young people, will hear the majority of the time.

I think most people are at their most influential stage around the teenage years through young adult. In the teenage years and even in some years before this time, kids are starting to take an interest in music and are starting to hear new songs and develop a taste for what they like in music. Often they will like the popular music of the time as well as new music from other genres.

What kids listen to during these years will stay with them and as adults they will look back on this time and remember the music they used to listen to. They will have the feeling of nostalgia remembering the songs they loved growing up.

As people get older and their lives start to become more busy, they tend to not listen to as much music as they used to or at least not follow it as closely as they did when they were a kid. Often times people kind of lose touch with the new music of the time because they are either too busy or have just lost interest. Years can go by where people don't pay any attention to the music that is new and popular.

Adults may make an attempt to get back into it by listening to some of the new songs that are popular only to find out they don't like them. The new songs are unfamiliar and different from what they are used to. They might seek out some of the old bands and artists they used to listen to only to find out they have stopped making music or their new stuff is not as good as their old stuff. After realizing this, they may go back and just listen to the music they grew up with.

In my experience, I was really into music growing up, but as I got older I started to lose interest. I felt like I had listened to a lifetime's worth of music and there wasn't much left to listen to. Every once in a while, I might happen to hear a new song that catches my interest, but for the most part, I don't hear too much I like in popular music these days.

Is the music worse, or is it just a change in the generations of music as described above? It could be a little of both. I think back to the music I listened to as a kid and realized that the adults at that time probably didn't like what we were listening to. We thought it was good at the time and still do, but that is because it was our generation's music.

So it may be the same situation when adults hear the music the kids are listening to these days and think it is not good. To the kids, it is good because it is their music and that is what they are growing up with. When they get older, they will look back at the music they used to listen to in the same way with fond memories.

It is possible that the change in technology has had an effect on the music that gets noticed. For example, back in the day before the internet and smart phones, people got their music from the radio or music channels on tv. A band or artist had to get enough attention to get a record deal, record an album, and get enough promotion and approval to get on the radio. These things provided a filter so only the best made it to the airwaves.

These days, anyone with a computer can record their own music and put it online instantly. Because of this change, there is a lot more music available, but at the same time, the quality has been spread thin so it makes it more difficult to find the good music in a sea of mediocrity.

With visual media such as Youtube and Instagram, it seems image has become even more important in making it in the music business even more so compared to what it used to be. With these changes, it is possible some music that is not that good is becoming popular due to factors such as image and popularity in other media.

Nevertheless, every generation will have a collection of songs they consider to be their music because it is what they grew up with. Some of it might be good, some of it might not be so good. Even the bad songs will still have a place in the memory for those who grew up with them.

New songs come and go fast these days. It takes decades of time to truly determine the good music. Why is this, you may ask? It is because it takes many years to see which songs stand the test of time. A lot of songs will be popular this year, but 20-30 years from now, most of them will be forgotten. There will however be some that continue to be listened to and will achieve classic status. These songs will join the other songs that are considered classic and timeless and generally accepted as great songs.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

If you see something, say something. When to report things that are not right?

There have been some news articles recently about people calling the police for trivial reasons. It's true sometimes people call the police for little things that don't really need a police response, but I think more often the case happens when people do not call in an issue that probably should be reported.

This issue of taking an initiative when something is not right applies in many situations, not just with issues where police are needed. Depending on the situation, it may be another person or group that should be contacted when something is not right, for example a manager or a someone in charge of a situation.

A lot of the time when people see something that is not right, they just ignore it. Maybe they think it is not their responsibility. Maybe they do not want to get involved. Maybe they think it is none of their business. These thoughts are understandable, but in order to make a positive difference, one should make the effort to speak up when they see something that is not right.

Sometimes an issue may arise where you are not sure if it is important enough to report. You might think, maybe it is not a big deal. In some cases, a judgment can be made to leave it alone if it does not seem to be a big issue. If you are unsure about it, I think it is best to play it safe and make a report about it. It's better to report something and have it turn out to be nothing rather than not report something and it turns out to be an issue that should have been reported.

Shows like ABC's “What Would You Do” present a lot of situations like this to see how people respond. They create a situation where something is wrong or someone is doing something inappropriate and they see if anyone will step up and address the issue. Some people stay out of it while others get involved to try to correct the situation. It is always the ones who step in who are praised as the heroes for doing the right thing and trying to make a difference.

Some people are good about this and are fearless when it comes to stepping up and even confronting people when they think they are doing something wrong. Not everyone is this brave, but I think we should all keep this in mind and make more of an effort to speak up when we see something that is not right.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Should Retail Stores Have Background Music?

You may notice when you are in a store whether it be a grocery store, clothing store, or just about any other kind of store, often times they will have background music. Usually it is some predetermined playlist or station that the store partners with to provide background music with the goal of creating a better experience for the customer. But does music always equal a better store experience?

In my opinion, sometimes it can help while other times it can actually make the experience worse. A lot of it depends on what kind of music is playing, how loud it is, and what kind of mood the customer is in. I will explain how these factors play into how the music is perceived by the customer.

Music is very subjective. Take any song and you can find someone who loves it while another person may hate it. Some people like loud intense music while others like quiet peaceful music. Because of this, it becomes a challenge to pick music and songs that will appeal to most of the people in the store.

The problem is, you can't please all the people all the time. Even when songs are specifically chosen to be generally likable by most, there are still going to be people who don't like the music that is picked and this may in turn cause a less than desirable experience for these customers.

Also frequency of the songs played has an effect on the experience as well, particularity for the people who work in the stores. Since many of the retail stores have a set list of songs on repeat, these songs quickly get old for those who are in the store a lot (employees and frequent customers). What started as a song you liked or didn't mind soon becomes a song you do not like or in fact despise because you have heard it so many times.

The volume of the music also can play a big part on the experience as a customer. I generally prefer the music to be very soft so it does not draw attention or become invasive. There have been times where I have been in a store and the music is loud enough to become an annoyance and even a distraction. It becomes worse when a song you don't like pops into the rotation and you can't get away from it. When this happens, it can put customers in a bad mood and make them want to leave the store sooner than they had planned.

The mood of the customer can also affect how they perceive the music in the store. For a customer who is relaxed and has plenty of time to shop at a leisurely pace, they may be more accepting of the music. They are at ease so a little extra stimulus in the way of music is welcome. On the other hand, someone who is feeling stressed out or trying to concentrate on their shopping may become irritated by the music especially if it is loud or happens to be a kind of music they do not like.

Then there are stores that do not play any background music at all. At these stores, the atmosphere might seem less lively or welcoming, but on the other hand, they avoid the risk of annoying customers with unwanted music. It's hard to say which is better since again it comes down to the old saying, you can't please all the people all the time.”

What are your thoughts on this issue? Should stores have music in the background or is is better without music? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments below.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Being Funny vs Having a Sense of Humor – Are they the same thing?

We hear the phrase “sense of humor” a lot when describing people. People might ask if someone has a sense of humor or they might say someone who is funny has a good sense of humor. But is having a sense of humor the same thing as being funny? I would say that it is not and that they are two different things.

Having a sense of humor means you are able to understand and have an appreciation for humorous things. People who have a sense of humor may appreciate comedy and jokes and tend to look for the funny things in life. While these people enjoy humor, it does not necessarily mean they themselves are funny.

On the other hand, there are people who are considered funny. They are usually the people who are always trying to tell jokes and make people laugh. Funny people usually have a good sense of humor as it is necessary to come up with things that make people laugh. The only exception would be if someone did not have a sense of humor but was unintentionally funny, but this would be a rare situation.

To sum it up, funny people usually have a sense of humor, but people with a sense of humor are not necessarily funny. You can describe yourself as having a sense of humor even if you are not the kind of person to go out of your way to make people laugh.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The topic of finding someone to date and asking people out on dates

I have never really been the kind of guy who attracts a lot of girls, but over the years, there have been a few times where girls did ask me out on a date. Since they were rare occurrences and I still remember them, I thought I would write about what happened in these cases.

One day back when I was in 6th grade, a girl in my class approached me and asked if I wanted to go out with her. I was surprised by the question as “going out” with someone was definitely something new to me and not really something I was ready for. Looking back on it as an adult, I was just a young kid at that time but I guess that is around the age when people start to develop those kinds of feelings.

When she asked, I felt kind of awkward and just said something like “I don't know.” or “I don't know if my parents will let me.” This was true and I wasn't even sure I was ready to jump into something like that at the time. Plus I did not really have any particular interest in this girl. I think she might have inquired about it once more but I just kind of brushed it off so nothing became of the situation.

Some years later when I was in high school I got an unexpected call from another girl I went to school with. She asked me if I told one of her friends to ask her out. I was really confused by what she said because I had no idea what she was talking about. I thought she thought I told one of her friends to ask her out on a date. I told her no, and she was like “Oh... Ok bye.”

Then like a minute later she calls back. This time she asks me directly if I want to go out with her. Unfortunately I was not interested in this girl either so hesitantly I said “Not really.” Again she was like “Ok. Bye.” I was still a bit confused by the whole situation. After thinking about it, I determined what had happened.

Most likely, her friend for whatever reason told her that I wanted to go out with her. I'm not sure why she would do that. I didn't even really know her friend. I think maybe she just thought she could be a matchmaker and set something like this up.

Looking back, I do feel kind of bad about it. This girl probably thought I was interested in her and she was going to get to go out with me only for me to reject her. It was not my fault though since the friend had lied to her. I hope she did not get too upset about it.

A couple years later we did end up in a class together and even had to do a small group project together. Needless to say, it was a bit awkward. Neither of us said anything about it. We managed to do the group project and everything turned out ok.

Those were the main times I was asked out in real life, but I have also been asked out via online dating websites. One in particular, a girl was kind of persistent with messaging me even after I told her I was not really interested. It's a shame that it seems whenever something like this happens, it is with someone I'm not interested in.

That is one of the things that makes finding someone to be in a relationship so difficult. You may find someone who you think is just perfect and matches with you in every way, but the problem is, they have to feel the same way in return and this rarely happens, at least in my experience.

I have not asked out many girls myself as I am pretty reserved and shy in real life. I have sent out messages on the dating sites expressing interest in girls I like but rarely do I get a response and in the few cases I do, they usually say they are not interested. It seems to be the running theme when it comes to trying to find someone to date.

Because of this, I find it hard to believe how so many people are actually in relationships and how so many people actually find people to date that are compatible. In my experience it is very rare to find someone who you like who also happens to like you in return. Maybe it is easier for some people than others. It could also be that a lot of people get into relationships with people who are actually not that compatible.

This looks to be true based on the number of people who break up, get divorced, or remain stuck in bad relationships. I think sometimes this happens and people just try to stick with it even if they are not happy for whatever reason. Maybe they have kids so they do not want to break up the family. Maybe they think their current relationship is their best chance and they will not be able to meet anyone else.

As a single person who is getting older, I am still picky about who I would consider getting into a relationship with. I'm not going to just go out with people for the sake of going out unless I feel there is a a strong level of compatibility and the potential for a good relationship. Up until this point I have not had much success, but I continue to keep the door open to potential relationships. It can be difficult but you never know when the right person might show up!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Skin Care Products Review – Washes, Cleansers, and Moisturizers

With the amount of skin care products on the market, it can really be overwhelming trying to find the best one that works for you. It can be even more difficult because everyone's skin is different and what works for someone else, may not necessarily work for you. Not to mention, it can be hard to know which reviews online you can trust.

Over the years I have tried and reviewed many skin care products to treat conditions such as oily skin and acne. Some worked better than others but I was still not satisfied with the results. So recently I decided to do some more research and try out some new skin care products that I had not tried yet. Below I will review each of these products.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser – After years of using products marketed towards oily skin, I read that sometimes the face can actually produce more oil to compensate for being too dry. The solution recommended was to try a wash that is actually for dry skin. So I tried out this one by CeraVe which is for normal to dry skin.

With this cleanser, you can definitely tell it is more moisturizing and less oil stripping compared to some of the other products geared at oily skin. It has a mild scent and with a translucent white appearance. I found it did an ok job of cleaning the face and getting the oil off without overly drying it. Still, I feel like it does not really clean the pores quite deep enough. For winter months when the air is more dry, I will probably use this one more, but for the summer months when it is humid, I have only been using it sparingly when my skin gets too dry.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser – This wash is marketed towards normal to oily skin. It is a light clear substance that is just a straight forward cleaner. It also has a mild scent like the CeraVe. This cleanser does do a pretty good job of cleaning away the oil but it can leave the skin a bit overly dry. I use this product every so often when my face is pretty clear in terms of acne, but still oily.

Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser / Mask – To help teat acne, I decided to try out this cleanser by Neutrogena. It contains benzoyl peroxide which I had not tried before but heard good things about it. It is a cream like substance that feels pretty refreshing on the face. It can be a little more harsh compared to some of the other cleansers, for example, they say to avoid the eyes when putting it on. I found it does a pretty good job at deep cleaning but it can dry out the skin so I only use this one once in a while when the acne is starting to act up. 

Up & Up Oil Free Acne Wash – I have reviewed this one in the past, but I wanted to make sure to include it on the list because it is another product I am still using and one that I tend to use frequently. It is a salicylic acid wash which is pretty much tried and true. It does a good job of cleaning the oil as well as helping to prevent acne. Like many of the other washes, it can be a little drying so I find it works well in combination moisturizers or sunscreen.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen – In the past I had been using a general sunscreen for the face, but I decided to try out this product which is a facial moisturizer as well as a sunscreen. It is a bit expensive compared to what I am used to spending on skin care products but I figured it was worth a try. Overall is seems to do a pretty good job at moisturizing as well as protecting from the sun. It can be a little hard to blend into the skin if you use too much, so I find applying as little at a time works best. I would probably get it again, but I will also keep an eye out for other products like this that are less expensive.

I hope these reviews help narrow down the search for the best skin care products. If you have any tips or other products you have had success with, feel free to leave a comment about them below!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Amazon Returns at Kohls Retail Stores – Trying out this new feature

Recently I had made a purchase on Amazon that did not meet my expectations. It had the option to return within 30 days for a refund so I decided to make a return. Upon seeing the return options, I noticed they had an option to make the return at a local Kohls retail store.

I thought this was pretty interesting, especially since it said they will do the packaging and cover the shipping, so really all you have to do is bring the item to the store and they will take care of everything. Seems easy enough, so I decided to try it out.

They send you an email with a QR code that you will need to bring with you so they can scan in the item at the store. I brought in the item and they were able to scan the code from my phone. I got a receipt with a tracking number and it was good to go! I had elected to have the refund credited to my Amazon account and within a few hours the credit was already issued!

They even gave a coupon for 25% off at Kohls for making the return which was nice because I had planned on doing a little shopping in store that same day. I think this is part of the reason they partnered with Amazon returns, to help drive more traffic to the stores and apparently it is working.

Overall I have been pleased with the services provided by Amazon recently from the locker delivery option to the Kohls retail store returns option. It looks like the Kohls returns are only available in select markets, but if it is available in your area, I highly recommended it based on this experience.