How Often Do You Really Need To Upgrade Your Electronics?

It’s about the time of year when our cell phone provider asks if we want to upgrade our phones. Usually, we say no, because there’s nothing wrong with the iPhone 7 or the iPhone 6S that my husband and I are using. But since the kids really want new cell phones this year we decided it’s finally time to upgrade to the new iPhone X series phones for the whole family. And that got me thinking about how many other electronics we use and when was the last time we updated all of those.

I was shocked to realize that our TV is seven years old. My computer is five years old, and our tablets are still first generation iPads. We have been so focused on upgrading the kid’s technology like phones, console games, and computer for school that my husband and I haven’t updated our own electronics in a long time.

And yet, I’m not sure we’ve really suffered because we haven’t upgraded. My computer does everything I need it to do. My phone works fine. I will admit I would l like a new iPad Pro but my Kindle still works too. Most people don’t need to get a full new suite of electronics every year.

If you decide to upgrade your electronics and your old ones still work you there are a lot of things that you can do with them besides throwing them out that will really help people who don’t have access to technology at all like:

Donate Them To A Senior Center

Many seniors on fixed incomes can’t afford to have iPhones or iPads or expensive computers and they need help to use technology like that. If you donate your older electronics that are still in good shape to a local senior’s center the staff can help the seniors use your tablets, computers, and old phones to video chat with their families, watch movies, listen to music, and play games that can help them retain memory and cognitive function.

Donate Them To A School Or Daycare

You could also donate them to a school or daycare center that can use these older pieces of technology to help kids become familiar with computers and learn how to go online safely. Many cash-strapped schools and daycare centers don’t have the money to keep up their technology so donating computers and tablets can really help them prepare kids for the future.

Sell Them And Donate The Money

There are electronics resale shops where you can sell older models of technology for cash. If you want to help organizations in your community have better access to technology you can sell your older pieces of technology and then donate the money to an organization that needs help to cover the cost of new computers and tablets that are accessible to members of the community.

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Is Smart Home AI Useful Or Creepy

There are a lot of ways that smart home AI, like the Amazon Echo, can make life much easier. It’s pretty amazing what the Echo and other artificial intelligence devices can do. But they can also be next-level creepy when they malfunction. A few months ago there was a story going around that the Amazon Echo virtual assistant Alexa would randomly start laughing in a creepy, human sounding, maniacal laugh at random times. Some users who heard the laugh described it as a witch laugh. And Alexa has been known to start talking to an empty room as if there were a person in it and other creepy things. So is having a smart some AI device worth it or is it just too creepy? That depends on your definition of creepy.

Why Is It Creepy?

We experienced several creepy occurrences with our Amazon Echo and finally, I had my husband unplug it and put in the garage because even though it was useful it was just too creepy to keep using. For me, the creepy events started with the laugh that other users were having problems with. According to Amazon, it was some kind of glitch. But it sounded so real, and so menacing, that it made my spine tingle. The first time I heard it I was home with my son. We were reading a book in his bedroom at night and all of a sudden the Echo Dot in his room kicked on, and Alexa gave out that creepy laugh. My son was so scared he ended up sleeping with us in our bed that night.

The next time I heard it I was home alone watching a movie. I had just finished the laundry and I told Alexa to turn off the smart dryer and shut off the laundry room lights. The lights flickered, then went off, then went back on. And she laughed that creepy laugh at me. I grabbed my keys and fled to a coffee shop.

Imagine Alexa in a place like this

The Laugh

The last time I heard the laugh I was cooking and I was expecting my husband and son any second. My husband had stopped to pick up my son on his way home from work so I was getting dinner ready. I’d had a quiet afternoon and I was looking forward to family dinner. When I was chopping carrots all of a sudden Alexa started laughing. That creepy laugh again. The lights flickered and then the doorbell alarm went off but when I looked at the camera there was no one at the door. Alexa gave off the creepy witch laugh again. And that was it for me.

When my husband came home I told him what happened and I made him look all around the house to be sure there was no one prowling around that could have set off the doorbell. When I was satisfied that there was no one there I told him to put the Echo in the garage and leave it unplugged and boxed up. He thought I was nuts, but he did it anyway. And Alex is staying out in the garage until I’m convinced that the creepy laugh was a glitch like they say and not something more sinister.

social media proof

Social Media Proof Your Relationship

Social media can have a bad impact on relationships. Social media relationships can start to replace real-life relationships when life gets difficult and couples have to go through some difficult times. If you want to make sure that your relationship is strong enough to withstand the temptations of social media there are some things that you can do. Start practicing these healthy relationship habits to make your relationship social media proof. Before watching the Emmy Awards for 2018

Schedule Device Free Time

Making time for the two of you to spend together is very important in a relationship. Even if you’re just watching a movie or going for a walk. Leave the cell phones and tablets turned off. Focus on each other and not on your devices. Date nights are a great idea, but you don’t have to have to date night to have device-free time. The time that you spend together could be as simple as having a cup of coffee together in the morning before you go to work or having a drink at night after work. But use that time to really focus on each other. This will really make your relationship social media proof in the long run. 

social media proof
Schedule Time Together As A Couple

Never Take Your Complaints To Social Media

This is a very important step in protecting your relationship against social media damage. When you fight, or when you are annoyed with each other, don’t go on social media and complain about them. Don’t message your friends complaining. Don’t publicly call them out. Leave your complaints off of social media. Have respect for your partner and for your relationship by not inviting the entire Internet to weigh in on your relationship. There are no winners when fights and disagreements become social media posts. Also, is it really anyone’s business when you and your partner are having a fight? No, it’s not. 

Be Able To Fight Fair

Every couple fights at some point. But in order to resolve a fight constructively, you both need to fight fair. That means no bringing up the past, no talking about issues not related to whatever the fight is about, and no hacking Facebook messages. If you’re fighting about dirty dishes neither person can take jabs at the other for something they said or did on social media trying to make the fight worse or vent their feelings. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and say things you will regret. Always fight fair and remember you are on the same team. The relationship team, so think before you speak. 

social media proof
Learn To Communicate Better

Learn How To Communicate Better

Social media communication is very different from real life communication. If you can communicate fine on social media but have trouble in real life. Try talking to your partner about issues take a class in communication for couples so that both of you can learn how to deal with issues constructively. Make sure your relationship is social media proof if communication is your issue. If you enjoyed this, check out my last post about the top 3 music biopics of our time.  

biopic films

Top 3 Music Biopic Films

Biopic Films


In the last 20 years or so, it seems like music biopic films are making their way back to cinemas. Some are good, some are terrible, and some are just okay. Knowing the backstory of some of the best musicians is no doubt an interest to many of us. It is good to know that there are people out there who care about portraying the truth of someone’s life. This includes the good and the bad, while still honoring their artistry. More modern films like the Avengers Infinity War just don’t have the same feel. Here are 3 of the best music biopics to come out in recent years. 


biopic films
Johnny Cash was one of the best country singers of all time


Walk the Line


The biopic film, Walk the Line, starred Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter. This film documented the life of one of the biggest country music legends. The reason this film is amazing is because it showed the not so glamorous parts of Johnny’s life. This included his addiction to pills and multiple affairs on first wife. If phones existed back then, his first wife could have spied on his text messages to catch his affairs. However, it does show the beautiful aspects as well.

The movie portrays how difficult it can be to have your voice heard in society. You will see the golden age of music that has hasn’t existed before or since. Perhaps the best part is getting to see the redemption of Johnny’s life. This is after his addiction to pills when he actually started to get healthy. This movie does have adult themes, so it is not suggested for children. If you are looking for a heartfelt movie, Walk the Line is a must see.


Get on Up


Get on up is a biopic film about the life of singer James Brown. This 2014 movie starred Chadwick Boseman from Black Panther. The film has been described as a non-linear narrative as if it’s through James Brown’s stream of consciousness. It does a wonderful job documenting James’s life from a young child to an unstable adult. It starts with him as a young child living in the country, to first realizing he has talent to sing in his teen years.

Then it progresses into his adulthood when he started to become mentally unstable. The movie is backed up with a killer soundtrack which is always a plus. The movie is filled with exciting singing and dancing. However, be aware that this is not the easiest movie to watch. It openly shows the anger, abuse and heartache that the singer went through. Even though there are intense themes, the film is still worth watching. 


biopic films
Music notes on a page


Straight Outta Compton


Straight Outta Compton is a biopic film from 2015. The movie tells the rise and fall of Gangsta Rap group N.W.A. It mainly focuses on Eazy-E, Ice Cube and Dr.Dre. It portrays their days of fighting for their lives on the streets of Compton to their first record and success. After their groundbreaking success, the movie also showed their eventual breakup and eventual reconciliation.

This film gives a window into the hardships they faced as successful young black man. They came from rough upbringings and lived in a culture with many poor young black men. This movie is a tear jerker and an honest depiction of the highs and lows of being a rapper. In society we tend to only notice the highs of being a star, not the behind the scenes of it. There are other amazing biopic films, but I found these to be the most memorable. If you love movies, then check out these great movies with Robin Williams