BE CURIOUS | COVID-19 EDITION

We are living in unprecedented times. Times of uncertainty and times of concern. However, times like now requires everyone to open their eyes and STAY WOKE. COVID-19 has been the topic on everyone’s tongue now for the past few months… but who knows what to believe?

Some people think it was created through the consumption of a bat soup, some people think the radio waves through 5G cell towers is to cause… and then there are some people who believe that it was a government-imposed plan to release on the human population.

I am not saying that one is right, but I am also not saying that one is wrong. However, I am asking you, whoever you may be, to open your eyes, open your ears, and open your mind. Be curious and question everything. Curiosity and questioning are what finds truths in this world.

Read, watch, listen, and talk. If you are in one of the many countries at the moment that is in lockdown then you should now have the time to be able to do these things… if you want to. Think back to one of the many Hollywood blockbuster movies that had one of the many Hollywood blockbuster movies plots, suggesting that an entity or higher power wanted to ‘control’ the world. Now think of our current situation. If you’re like me, you listened to what your government told you to do… which is to stay indoors because you’re a responsible person that wants to limit the spread of this virus. But what you also did was prove to the government that you listen… the perfect dress rehearsal for the possible event that one day the government did decide that they wanted to control us on a mass scale. Well, guess what? They’ve just proved that they can do it. We now all stay indoors and do as we are told. Of course, we are aware that there is a very dangerous virus spreading that could cause serious damage if we didn’t follow the rules but what if those people who think the government was responsible for the creation of this virus were right?

There are two things going through your head right now. The first is that you’ll immediately stop reading if you haven’t done so already and think that the person who wrote this is a complete nutcase. The second is that you’re thinking nothing other than ‘hmmmmmm?’ And if the latter is your thought, then you, my friend are being curious and questioning. Be curious about the probable and question the absurd. Everything nowadays can be figured out as long as you give it the thought it deserves.

This current situation that we all find ourselves in will certainly change the way we think as a whole moving forward in life. This virus has caused many deaths, illnesses, and general burdens for people. But take a step back and look past the self-obsession of human consciousness. Look past yourself, your friends, your family, and humans in general. Look at the animals, look at the earth between your feet. Now look at the Earth as a planet. Look at the blue skies that can now be seen in Beijing, look at the Himalayan mountains that can now be seen from India, look at the fish, and the swans that are now swimming through the canals in Venice.

Now look back at yourself. Look at how you can learn from this time-out that mother nature has given you for destroying the planet or look at how you can learn from this lockdown that the government has given you because they want to control you. It doesn’t matter if you look at this as a punishment from mother nature or a means of government authority. What matters is that you ‘look!’

Look far, look wide, and always stay curious, always question, and always stay woke.

LOATHING LOCKDOWN | Mental Health and Mobiles

The introverts of the world may find bliss in the fact that for now, we must stay at home. Extroverts may hate it. The one thing that is for sure, is that we all must endure it. But none more than that group of people that suffer from mental health issues.

We should all know by now that mental health stability is a serious issue that can affect anyone at any time in your life. If you have mental health instability, then being alone with your thoughts is nightmarish, especially during a lockdown and especially during a lockdown when you have been forced to separate from your loved ones.

If you’ve followed #WhySoSocial, you’ll know that this is a subject that gets a lot of attention from me. Especially as it pertains to social media.

Read my article on data during the lockdown and you’ll know that one thing we all do a lot more of during this time is USE OUR PHONES… and when we use our phone; what do we like to do? Scroll through social media. Although it is has evolved into a human habit, there are a lot of things wrong with it. It has been ingrained into our nature since the introduction of smartphones. But it’s also opened up a dark side-effect of mental health degeneration. Especially within young people.

With the addition of more time on our hands, we search for instant gratitude or the next quick injection of entertainment to satisfy our needs. However, mixing this with a current or history of mental health issues is not a good idea. Now before we go further, let me say that I am no mental heal professional and I have no qualifications in the field but what I do have is a vast amount of knowledge through research.

Dr. Sandro Galea from Boston University said: ‘There will undoubtedly be consequences for mental health and wellbeing in both the short and long term” as a result of the lockdown, and this was further expanded upon by Roger McIntyre, Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto and Head of the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit who outlines the life-threatening implications: “The anguish in staying home intensifies” that could result in rising self-harm and suicide rates. He then goes on to mention that “A lockdown can exacerbate these feelings of loneliness and depression, especially for the unemployed or the young who are also susceptible.”

Mental health issues are a serious condition at any level, but it is safe to say that life-threatening issues are undoubtedly the most serious. Now, I am totally aware that there are worse problems than scrolling through your phone and going on social media as a result of being unemployed and staying at home. The burdens of financial, interpersonal, self-worth, etc, struggles also come into play. But one thing is for sure, the correlation between young people, social media, and loneliness is one that we cannot ignore.

The question now needs to be asked of what we can do past the time in an effective manner to compress the mental feelings of isolation?

As a social media professional, myself for over six years, I know the importance of stepping away from this so-called ‘social’ entity which can often be very ‘unsociable.’ Video calling friends, participating in in-home activities, and exploring new and forgotten hobbies have been a refreshing way for me to past the time. But then again, I do not have a history of mental health issues and not everyone is me. I am not going to sit here and write what I think people can do to counter this growing problem but what I can write is that there are always people in your corner and sometimes all it takes is a chat. If there was ever a time to call a mate, that time is now. Stimulate your brain, your body, and stay active.

DATA DUMP | Our phones are getting smarter, faster during lockdown!

Data is an interesting subject. Some people find it fascinating; some people find it boring and then there are some people that find it darn-right terrifying.

If you own a smartphone which I’m almost certain that 100% of the people reading this do, then you’ll know these little hand-sized devices operate completely on nothing other than data. Why is a smartphone given the word ‘smart’ anyway? I mean, it’s just a device you use to message your mates or look at images of sunsets in Thailand or even listen to your favorite beats while keeping a second eye on a video titled ‘top 100 cat compilations’… nothing smart about that? Right?

Well, like me, you’re probably one of many people on house arrest… sorry I mean lockdown right now and maybe you’ve decided to binge-watch a series on Netflix or re-live the best sports moments from the last decade on YouTube. If you’re part of the former group or even do both then maybe you’ve watched the critically acclaimed series Black Mirror and if you have, then you’d probably understand where I’m going with this.

Your phone knows a lot about you… a lot. The more you use it, the more it learns. We all know this, this is nothing revolutionary but right now, this minute, this second, your phone is learning a lot more about you on an increased rate. Its brain is working in overdrive and it’s being stuffed with knowledge while still yearning for more.

What you may not have noticed is that, you (the average Joe – like me) are using your phone a lot more now than before COVID-19 attacked and when the world was a ‘regular’ (I use that word sparingly) place. By doing this, you’re subconsciously feeding your phones more knowledge about you than you ever did. Now, the everyday distractions of life have significantly decreased – I apologise if you have kids… I don’t! You no longer have to travel to work, you no longer get to visit your mates, you no longer get to well… do what you used to. So, what are we doing instead? We’re searching for the perfect holiday to travel after this is all over, we’re video calling almost every day and we’re looking at baking recipes.

All of this is making your smartphone salivate and it will soon, if it hasn’t already start telling you that you’re interested in things you never thought that you were interested in.

Scrolling through Facebook one day, my phone advertised and easy-bake oven for eight-year-olds to me. I thought, ‘why would I be interested in that?’ However, thinking about it properly, when this lockdown started, I was one of those eager people who ran to the supermarket to buy flour and guess what? I started baking. But most importantly, I scoured through the interned to find not too difficult baking recipes. I was successful and now I’ve baked three cakes so far and I can’t wait to use my easy-bake oven for eight-year-olds (that arrived yesterday) to bake some fairy cakes, topped with strawberry jam and powdered sugar.

Back to the point… although that was part of the point (if you’re paying attention). We’re living in a time of wanting to pass the time. My baking anecdote is only a small level example of the data I’m providing my phone during these times. Of course, I didn’t have to be in lockdown to start baking but I did start baking because of this lockdown and I did provide my phone with new knowledge and the longer this continues, the more knowledge I and also you will give our phones.

Is it fascinating? Is it boring? Is it terrifying? Maybe it’s all three. But one thing is for sure, our smart phones are getting smart… faster. And by the time we’re allowed to go outside and smell that July air. Yes, I said July! Your phone will probably know things about you that you didn’t even know about yourself.

That being said, I have to go… my blueberry muffins are almost ready!

#WHYSOSOCIAL | CYBER-BULLYING AND CRIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA (PT.2)

#WhySoSocial is a documentary series that looks at the forever growing trend of social media use amongst young people. In this three-part series, Nat Black-Heaven speaks to people that actively use social media, embrace it and live it to further understand its addictive nature.

Part 2 focuses on the prominence and rise of cyber-bullying and crime using social media and the dangers it can cause… sometimes leading to death! It also gives suggestions on prevention techniques, where and how to find help.

MORE TO WATCH

#WHYSOSOCIAL | ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION (PT.1)

INSIGHTS & CHILL | Is there racism in western privilege?

INSIGHTS AND CHILL | Should White People Be Allowed To Say The ‘N’ Word When Singing Along To Music

At What Age Should We Start Engaging With Social Media?

Social Media and Anxiety

What would happen if the internet shut down for a day?

Are you in control of your phone or is your phone in control of you?

Be Yourself and Let Your Creativity Shine

Social Media and Generational Values

#WhySoSocial | Anxiety and Depression (Pt.1)

#WhySoSocial is a documentary series that looks at the forever growing trend of social media use amongst young people. In this three-part series, Nat Black-Heaven speaks to people that actively use social media, embrace it and live it to further understand its addictive nature.

Part 1 focuses on anxiety and depression amongst young people and their need to not feel ‘left out’ while using social media.

MORE TO WATCH

INSIGHTS & CHILL | DEATH AND DEPRESSION!

AT WHAT AGE SHOULD WE START ENGAGING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA?

SOCIAL MEDIA AND ANXIETY

LOVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

TRENDS AND SOCIAL STIGMAS

LIVING IN A DIGITAL CIRCLE

NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION HAS TAKEN OVER

DO YOU GIVE YOURSELF A SOCIAL MEDIA RANKING?

FAKE PEOPLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

ARE YOU IN CONTROL OF YOUR PHONE OR IS YOUR PHONE IN CONTROL OF YOU?

SOCIAL MEDIA AND GENERATIONAL VALUES

INSIGHTS & CHILL | The education system is flawed!

The education system is flawed… Yes, I said it.

Where has the creativity gone? Did it even exist? Why do we not teach our young people to free think? Why isn’t this even a subject?

We live in a world of systematic judging. Judging that exposes the deep vulnerabilities of children. We have a high rate of depression and anxiety amongst young people in the western world and it’s not helped by the fact that our schools exploit the ‘less abled.’

When I was a child, I publicly got put into the lowest maths set in my year. I was devastated. Not only the fact that I felt like I was stupid and unable to learn but also because my teacher stood up in the front of the class to a bunch of 11 and 12-year-olds and read out my grade and the proceeded to say “Set C.”

I felt humiliated and I wanted to cry.

But who says just because you can memorise what a teacher has told you previously or what study books have told you that this means that you’re not clever enough? Even if this wasn’t explicitly said, this is how many young people are made out to feel… As if they’re not clever enough or good enough.

However, in the real world, it’s not like this. Yes, I wasn’t the best or most clever student but I have become fairly successful in life. Even though I wasn’t given the early tools to succeed.

We have always been told by our teachers and parents that “you need the best grades to go to a good school, then you need the best grades to go to a good college, then you need the best grades to go to a good university and then finally you need the best grades to get a good job.” You don’t! You just need to apply yourself creatively and freely. Of course, education is important, but showing people your worth is just as important. Create something that’s yours. Volunteer. Be active. Start a movement. These are the best ways to succeed.

In this session of Insights & Chill, I speak with people who say education is a systematic way of categorising to find the cream of the crop. But it shouldn’t be that way.

INSIGHTS & CHILL | Death and Depression!

Mental Health is a BIG issue and it is not spoken about enough. Just like most diseases, the end result of depression can often be death!

But it doesn’t have to be like this and we can most certainly combat depression and it could be a lot easier than people think… Stand up and speak up!

In this edition of Insights and Chill, we discuss the ever-growing issue of depression and mental health. You don’t have to fight it by yourself, but we as a people need to do a better job of speaking up about it and become more educated about the issue.

We need to be better at treating it and reacting to it.

Later in the session, we discuss racism and depression. Particularly as it pertains to black males.

INSIGHTS & CHILL | We should all be Polyamorous!

Humans are designed to be polyamorous. Evidence suggests that we are designed to have multiple sexual partners over our lifetime and that we should not be monogamous beings. We live by rules determined by natural selection and survival of the fittest. We are creatures of a competitive nature and as a whole species on an individual level, we want to spread our imprint on life. In polyamorous terms, this simply means, we compete to spread our seed.

But why has society said we shouldn’t be polyamorous? Once married we are in lawful agreement that we should not have sexual intercourse with another person… This is against our nature. Marriage was brought on through love, not science. For every marriage in life, 50% end in divorce. Marriage for love is obviously not working. As with my preference to rather be with one partner, I do recognise that some people prefer this to having multiple sexual partners but this doesn’t mean there should be a law binding us to one person.

With help from Vic and Som, I discuss polyamory and why it should be naturally adopted and recognised into everyday life.

INSIGHTS & CHILL | Is there racism in western privilege?

#prayformanchester, #prayforparis, #prayfortexas but why no #prayforkenya or #prayforafghanistan, etc. In this episode of Insights & Chill we explore certain western norms that don’t carry over when there is an issue facing the Eastern world. This is an oversight that needs to be addressed.

Is this a form of racism in not wanting to properly report Eastern travesties or does this content simply not have a place in Western media? If we flip the switch and look vica versa, does it still apply?

Europe and America are predominantly white, Chrisitan societies. This plays a major role in the way the media reacts to such news of terrorism in our territories although we commit the same scenes in the Eastern world. In some cases, to a larger extent. Insights & Chill discusses.

INSIGHTS AND CHILL | Should White People Be Allowed To Say The ‘N’ Word When Singing Along To Music

Insights and Chill is a discussion with the public about hard-hitting subjects. Nat Black-Heaven tunes into Instagram Live every Monday, 7pm British time to debate with people on the chosen subject which is voted for by the public every Thursday, also on Instagram (@black_heezy)

This episode focusses on if ‘white people should use the ‘N’ word when singing along to music.’ I speak to Vic, Ollie and Daryll who all have conflicting views on the subject.

With a word that has had such negative meaning in history, this heated debate brings emotions to support a fun and engaging discussion.

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Rap in the Digital Music Industry