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We Must Be Citizens of Humanity Before Citizen Journalists

In General, Opinion, Parenting, Social Media by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

The recent violence across the world is beyond horrifying. I simply cannot fathom the pain and suffering that families and friends are undergoing. Recently, I find myself cringing to read or watch the morning news, only to become more and more disheartened by these unbelievable acts. It’s not just one, but rather the ongoing and growing onslaught of tragedy that makes my heart and soul ache. But recently, as I become an almost unwilling voyeur of this violence, I have noticed a common occurrence that truly bothers me. It’s the fact that in this day of citizen journalism, people seem more concerned with getting videos and photos of each tragedy, rather than stopping to help those in need.

This is a reflection of our modern, gadget- and social media-filled society.

And it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

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7 Tips for Facebook Messenger for Back to School, Students & Parents

In Application, Family, General, Parenting, Social Media, Social Networking by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Everyone seems to have their own tips to survive Back to School. Mine involves fleeing to the mountains to hide away from everything. All kidding aside, back-to-school is an exciting time for kids, despite their grumblings. They get to reconnect with friends, have structure imposed on their lives, and hopefully learn gobs of information to help them become successful, conscientious, and powerful adults. For parents, despite the landslide of forms for fill out, activities to sign up for, fees to pay, and the reorganization of schedules, they do get back to a better state of organized chaos compared to the state of flux that is summertime. But here’s a tip. There is a tool that over 1.2 billion people have access to, that may not be part of your back to school “supplies” and you may want to think about using it not only for back to school, but for ongoing communications between parents and kids, kids and kids, and parents and parents. It’s Facebook Messenger.

Yeah, you probably have heard about it, and most likely, you have used it. Personally, I’m a pretty light user of Messenger, but there are some compelling features you might not know about that can optimize communications in, around, and outside of school.

Before I dive into some Back-to-School Messenger tips, I figure it might make sense to provide some context on how large Messenger’s reach is. The reason this is important is because you probably already have access to it (via your Facebook account) which means there is one less thing you need to sign up for. Here are a few mind-blowing statistics:Read More


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Here’s a Secret! Get Access to the Latest Tech with Betabound

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Software, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I’m lucky. For over a decade I’ve been writing reviews and articles on my site on a variety of topics. From pieces on consumer electronics to How-To articles to content focused on software, hardware, social media, content marketing, and more, I’ve had pretty good access to some of the latest tech. It’s taken time to build my credibility but it has been well worth it.

The thing is, this took a lot of work and time, and sort of being a “first mover” in the “technology meets parenting” space. And while I get to test and keep a lot of gadgets (with full disclosure of course) for my articles, it does come with a lot of back-end work, research, testing, photography and/or video, and eventually, writing.

But I’m going to let you in on a secret.

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Review: Oreck Air Response Air Purifier Automagically Detects and Responds to Bad Air

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

We all know about outdoor pollution. Depending on where you live, the climate and weather, and other environmental factors, you could have anywhere from great air quality to absolutely horrible smog. Unfortunately, when you are outside, there isn’t too much you can do to avoid polluted air. You could wear a mask. You could move. You could buy everyone around you a Tesla or electric car to reduce the pollution. Or you could never go outside. If you choose the latter, you might actually still be breathing in poor air. Yes, pollution and other particles like pollen and dust exist within your home as well. And it can become polluted and even dangerous to regularly breathe. The Oreck Air Response Air Purifier not only monitors your indoor air quality, it will automatically kick on when it detects contaminants.

Oreck Air Response Air Purifier Review - font

I’m lucky to live in a fairly unpolluted environment. But everyone in my family suffers from some sort of pollen or dust allergy. This season, with all of the rain in California, we have had an abundance of high levels of pollen. In fact, in each of the rooms of our house, we have some sort of air purifier. And each of these range in features. Some you just turn on. Some offer HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Air) filtration. And some are tied to other air quality monitoring devices that automatically turn a separate filter or purifier on or off. The nice thing about the Oreck Air Response is that all of this functionality is self-contained. Let me explain.

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Review: Make Your Sprinklers Intelligent with the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Your Smart Home isn’t necessarily confined to the inside of your home. Sure smart locks, garage doors, pool equipment, and security cameras can extend home automation to the exterior of your home. You also have the ability to make your home’s sprinkler system, whether it be for lawns or drip-based planters or flower beds, not only connected but also much smarter. In fact, given that climate change IS a reality, homeowners should really consider how garden watering is done, be able to measure how much H20 is used, and magically and dynamically change watering times and durations, based on the climate. This is exactly how the Rachio Generation 2 works. It is a smart controller that is easy to install but provides an incredible amount of advanced features to allow you to control exactly when, where, and how long to water.

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller Review - controller

For the past couple of years, I have essentially turned off my old and outdated sprinkler system. Up until this season, there has been a devastating drought in California and suddenly having a brown and dead lawn was actually viewed as being “environmentally correct.” Now, with the drought officially over, many homeowners are starting to bring their gardens and lawns back to life. Honestly, my front lawn is looking pretty bad. Much of it is dirt. I have attempted to reseed it in the past years, only to then stop watering it because of water concerns and consequently watch it die. Again.

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How To Replace the Rear Light Bulb of a 2013 Hyundai Elantra [Video]

In Auto, Fix It, General, How To, Video by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

On my site, I typically tend to write about technology, hardware, software, consumer electronics, and other devices, and how they work within the family environment. From time to time, I also provide How-To and Fix-It articles, again related to technology. But there is a life beyond tech at home. And often, things need to be fixed as well. Case in point, the rear brake bulb of my 2013 Hyundai Elantra burnt out. Luckily, a kind man told me about it at a stoplight, so I was able to avoid a “fix it” ticket. Many people get these types of repairs done at the dealer or an auto shop. And, probably pay more than they really have to in order to do it. I’m a bit cheap (and I always like learning how to do new things), so I went to my local hardware store to pick up a replacement bulb (which happened to come in a 2-pack). I figured out how to do the replacement watching a few videos on YouTube and reading some posts, and I realized that while they were helpful, some of the videos were not of the best quality. So, after replacing the burnt out bulb, I figured I would replace the other bulb as well, AND film a How-To video about it. And while my auto repair skills are extremely limited (I don’t even change my own oil), this process was really easy so I thought I would share it. So here you go! How to replace the rear light bulb of a 2013 Hyundai Elantra.

First, I want to say that this process probably works with model years around the 2013 Elantra. In fact, it probably works for other models, not just the Elantra. Here are the tools I used:Read More


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5 Unique Father’s Day Gift Ideas – Classic Jazz, Hair Styling, Fruit BBQ, “Cool” Shirt, & Pulse Check

In Clothing, Consumer Electronics, Family, Gadgets, General, Parenting, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

For many people, getting a Father’s Day gift for dad or for the father figure in the family can be a struggle. And, while I’m often the advocate of getting a gadget or technology for a dad, believe it or not, not all dads like tech. Gasp! I know, right? But never fear, there are plenty of other options available. If kids are young, there is nothing better than a homemade gift (I think my dad still has a wooden pencil holder I made in high school wood shop). If, however, you or your kids are of the creative type, there are endless other possibilities. Here are a few other ideas to hopefully inspire those Father’s Day gift givers out there. From music, to style, to food, to clothing, to health – I’ve got some gift thoughts for you!

Father's Day Gift idea - Music, Style, Food, Clothing & Health

Note: This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of SingleEdition Media.

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