Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bad first impressions turning people off to new foods they might actually like

Have you ever thought there was a certain food you did not like and then found out later that it is actually pretty good? Or have you ever tried a new brand of a familiar food that you like only to find out that the new brand is not very good? Since there is a wide range of quality and taste in many foods, it is very possible that the first time you try a certain food it may not be as good as it can be.

If you try something for the first time and you don't like it, it gives a bad first impression and it is easy to declare it as a food you do not like. But what happens if it was just a poor representation of that food and that actually it does taste good when it is more fresh or prepared in a better way? I have experienced this and also heard stories about the same issue of foods giving a bad first impression because they did not give a good representation of the potential that food had to offer.

For example, growing up as a kid, my mom would buy raisins in little boxes. Not to mention any brand names, but they were a well known brand so one would assume they should be pretty good. While they were ok, I never really liked them that much. I always found them to be pretty dry and just not very appealing in flavor.

Then later as an adult, I happened to try out a different brand of raisins and to my surprise, they were incredibly fresh and delicious! I didn't know raisins could taste like that. I thought they were always dry and not very good, but these were almost like eating fresh fruit. So because I had the first impressions from the dry raisins, I just assumed that is how raisins are and they are not very good, when in fact, they can be quite delicious when they are fresh and better quality.

Sometimes you may have a certain product you enjoy from a certain brand and then you try another brand of the same product and it is not nearly as good. This happened to me recently. I drink soy milk pretty often and I have a few brands that I like. Then one day they were out of my usual brand so I had to try another one I had not tried before. I looked at the ingredients and nutrition and it looked pretty similar so I figured it would be ok. Upon trying it out, it was not good at all.

I thought about what would happen if someone tried soy milk for the first time and they picked this brand. There is a good chance they would not like the taste and since it was their first time trying soy milk, they would just assume that is how it tastes and come to the conclusion that it is something they do not like. In this situation, one brand could be ruining someone's impression of a product because it is not as good as it should be.

A comedian named Todd Barry once made a joke about this same issue. He mentioned how he doesn't like sushi. He said he gave it one chance at the air port one time and it wasn't good, so now he has written it off as a food he does not like. Of course he says this in a joking way since it is likely the sushi at the airport is not as good as what you would get at a sushi restaurant, but the idea is the same in that a poor first impression can make you think you don't like something that you actually might enjoy if it is done right. Keep this idea in mind when trying new foods for the first time.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Following Trends vs Setting Trends

When it comes to fashion, I find most people can be categorized into 2 different groups, those who follow the trends and those who set the trends. You might think this is false and feel like you do not fall into one of these 2 categories, but chances are you do, even without knowing it.

Someone who follows the trends tries to be in style by wearing what is trendy at the time. They may look to see what the majority of other people are wearing and try to buy clothes that will help them fit in. They may look at advertisements, websites, or displays in stores for ideas on what they should wear. They might feel like they are one step behind, always trying to keep up with whatever look is “in” that year.

Those who set the trends can fall into 2 categories and neither may be intending to set the trends at all. For example, a celebrity may wear some kind of outfit and because they have a lot of admirers, people will try to emulate their look or try to find the same kind of clothes to wear so they can be like their idol. In this case, the celebrity is not intentionally trying to set trends, but they do so inadvertently just because there are a lot of people watching them who are influenced by what they do.

The other category of someone who sets trends without knowing it is the kind of person who just wears whatever they want even if it is out of the ordinary. They may have some odd clothing or style that is unconventional. Maybe they are just trying to be comfortable and not necessarily follow what most people are wearing at the time. Maybe they just have a desire to wear clothes that are different from most of the things you may find in a store.

These people may not be trying to set trends but when they go out in public, other people see what they are wearing and become intrigued. It is possible some people may be turned off by their look, but some people may find it interesting and different enough that it gives them inspiration to wear something similar. So in a case like this, someone who is doing their own thing, not following any trends is in fact influencing trends unintentionally.

Looking at all the examples, it is likely that those who are following the trends also play a part in setting trends as well just by being out in public wearing what they think is in style at the moment. Since they are seen by others, they play a part in the influence on what is considered popular or in trend at the time. From the examples above, it seems most people fall into one of the 2 categories of following trends or setting trends whether they realize it or not.

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.