Social media, use or abuse?

By a show of hands, let me know who here is a social media user? Who has any social media account?

Now, raise your hand if you consider yourself a frequent user? What I mean by this is: Do you check your social media feeds multiple times during the day.

The use of social media networks is as common as eating or sleeping these days, especially for younger generations. However, there is a lot of debate if the use of these platforms is appropriate for teenagers or not.

Some research shows that the use of social media might make disorders such as ADHD, teen depression, oppositional defiant disorder, and teen anxiety worse.

However, new research counteracts these findings. A new study found that overall teen well-being goes down with the use of digital technology, but four per cent at most.

There is, however, some common ground where experts agree that the effects of social media use among teenagers undermine their mental health.

One of these elements is social comparison. Teens spend much of their time observing the lives and images of their peers; this leads to constant comparison, and this can damage self-esteem and body image. Moreover, it can lead to depression, particularly teen girls.

In general, teens report lower self-esteem and self-evaluation when looking peers on facebook and other social media sites.

They also report feeling better about themselves when making the so-called downward comparison — looking at profiles with fewer friends and achievements.

Another element is an increased risk to find spaces (forums) where teenagers encourage unhealthy and dangerous behaviours such as eating disorders or self-harm. However, social media can also inspire teenagers to develop healthy habits.

We have to consider that all this happens during the adolescence when peer approval and friendship are critical. As a result, social media supports the drive to connect with peers with both negative and positive effects.

On the one hand, teens say that they feel more connected to what is going on in their friends’ lives. On the other hand, they also spend more time with their friends online that they do it in person or at school.

Finally, addiction can be an effect of social media on teenagers. Scientists have found that social media overuse creates stimulation brain patterns similar to the patterns created by other addictive behaviours. Hence, the brain responds to social media the same way it responds to other “rewards”: releasing dopamine.

So, the big question is: what can be done to ensure teenagers safely use social media?

Fortunately, the answer is not very complicated. However, the implementation of it requires work and commitment from parents and guardians.

The first step is to observe the law! All social media sites have a minimum age requirement to open an account. In most cases is 13 years of age. Sadly, many parents do now intervene and in a large study conducted in Europe found that in the population aged 10 to 18 years, 78% of children under 13 had social media accounts.

The experts’ recommendation is to encourage the kids under 13 to engage in activities such as active playing, socializing and reading paper books. This requires creativity and commitment from parents and teachers to create an environment that promotes these activities and manages peer pressure.

The second step is to talk to the teens about what social networks are, the benefits and the potential risks. Once they are old enough to open an account legally, the experts agree that the mental structure is mature enough to understand this.

Additionally, teenagers require close monitoring of the content that they are exposed to, especially at the beginning of their social media journey. Once they become more proficient in discerning what content is appropriate and reliable, they will need to be granted more freedom.

Concluding, social media sites can be a source of encouragement, support and information when used correctly. But the skill set to navigate them safely needs to be developed, and this can only happen with support and monitoring from the parents and guardians.


Coming home

In time, everything finds its way home. After a long journey, that time has come for me as I will be returning to my home city in Mexico.

This move closes a chapter of my personal and professional life that started over 18 years ago when I left my home searching for greener pastures.

However, the last stretch of this wild, wild ride that started when Switzerland welcomed me six years ago has been a fantastic adventure. Leaving this beautiful country is an experience loaded with mixed feelings.

It is sad to leave one of the best countries I had the opportunity to live in, but I am also happy to go back to family and friends.

As I make the balance of the things that I leave and take, it is great to see that I take with me a large number of extraordinary memories and experiences that have made me a better person, and leave exceptional friends with whom I have cultivated a relationship that will last a lifetime and that has made me a happier person.

I am sure this will not be a goodbye but a so long. Soon, we will we welcoming familiar faces here in Mexico with wide-open arms, tacos and a bottle of tequila at the ready!


New book release date set!

It has been a long journey, I have learned and enjoyed a lot. But getting, at last, a release date for my first book, “When the land bleeds – short stories” brings a lot of emotion and excitement.

I am very grateful to the writing community that has been very supportive during this process. Without the advise, training and tips I received along the way, this would not have been possible.

Stay tuned, because on December 13th the book will be available on the Amazon store.


My first book is ready!

Yes, I know. I have been absent and away for a long time. But this time I have a good excuse. I promise.

You see, a few months ago, seven to be precise I committed to write and publish a book based on a collection of short stories that have been laying around my hard drive for a few years.

Who knew that putting together a book and dealing with the publishing process was such a hard, long process. Well, not me, that is for sure!

I know that you seasoned writers that spit a 50,000 words novel every month will probably giggle at my naivety and ignorance. Well, go ahead and mock me for I have gone through the trying fires of writing, editing, edit again, edit some more and publishing and came out it if not a better, at least a wiser writer.

Yes! After many months of hard work, my first book, When the land bleeds is ready for publishing! It might not be the next New York Times bestseller, but it has been an incredibly enriching experience, and I am really proud of it.

Now, I can talk about front matter, back matter, ISBN acquisition like there is no tomorrow. I’ll spice up the conversation with chapter organization, book cover creation and of course a dash of a copyright notice. Don’t get me started on self-publishing because we will be up all night.

The book will be launched this December on Amazon in both, paperback and ebook formats.

I would like to take a moment to thank the writing community for all the help, tips and learning resources that I found in several blogs and online courses. Those tools made a significant difference and made the journey easier and much more enjoyable.

So, you see, this time I really have a good excuse for being away.

Now the problem is that I can’t stop thinking about writing another book, is this some kind of disease? If it is, I surely hope is not curable. Nothing beats the sheer pleasure of weaving a story that I would love to share with others.

Un adiós esperado


Aunque usted no lo crea, y a pesar de todas las predicciones, vamos a sobrevivir este sexenio que más bien se sintió como década.

Finalmente el señor Peña abandonará la residencia oficial de los pinos. Desde luego y como siempre hay opiniones encontradas en cuanto a su desempeño como presidente de esta nación:

Él opina que fue fantástico, el resto de los mexicanos que pasará a la historia como el peor presidente de la historia moderna de Mexico, bueno, al menos eso es lo que yo opino, pero estoy seguro de que no estoy solo.

Es más, casi estoy dispuesto a apostar que la gran mayoría de la ciudadanía de esta gran nación opina que el señor Peña nieto debería ir a chin… perdón, a perjudicar a su respetable progenitora. Si usted no me cree, bueno, como decía la abuela, para muestra un botón.

Aquí le dejo este vídeo del señor John Oliver en el que dedicó un segmento al complicado proceso electoral en Mexico y como siempre, nuestros paisanos con el calor latino que nos caracteriza le solicitan al casi ex-presidente que vaya mucho a… bueno, usted ya sabe.

John Oliver Show

De mi parte, lo único que quiero es que el señor se vaya, si, que se aleje y no perjudique ni avergüence más a Mexico. Memorias muy amargas me quedan que van desde su patético intento de hablar inglés hasta la falta de hue… perdón, firmeza para dar la cara ante los constantes insultos del señor Trump.

Memorias que pasan por su inexistente habilidad para contar (¿se acuerda usted del ya casi llegamos?) y su ridícula expectativa de que le aplaudan cada vez que abre la boca (como olvidar el “ya sé que no aplauden”).

En fin, lo bueno es que el señor ya se va. Nunca tantos habían esperado el adiós de tan pocos con tanta ansiedad y como decía la abuela (si, otra vez. Esta abuela era verdaderamente sabia) no hay tiempo que no se llegue ni plazo que no se cumpla, y este ya se cumplió.

Señor Peña, ni el adiós se merece, simplemente, por favor, ya váyanse…


La Triste Tradición que Regreso

pointing-fingerEl señor Pena Nieto, haciendo uso de una antigua, gastada e insultante tradición política del partido al que pertenece, ha designado como pre-candidato presidencial al señor Meade.

No sólo es muy triste ver que esta anacrónica práctica está de regreso sino que es una bofetada a cualquier indicio de democracia que haya logrado sobrevivir a estos ultimos años de turbulencia política y social.

Más ofensiva aún fue la reacción del los miembros del partido aplaudiendo y ovacionando como robots sin cerebro e iniciativa la decisión del partido de seleccionar al pre-candidato de esta manera. Recuerda a los ¿viejos? tiempos en los que el presidencialismo y besamanos eran práctica y uso común.

No sé y la verdad no me interesa saber si el señor Meade esta preparado para dirigir al país y sacarlo del atolladero económico y social en el que se encuentra, pero me queda claro que el conflicto de intereses que tiene incluso antes de ser candidato a la presidencia limitarán mucho lo que realmente puede hacer en contra de la corrupción y por nosotros los ciudadanos de a pie.

Sólo queda esperar que el pueblo mexicano, para variar, conserve algo de memoria histórica y rechaze en las urnas esta práctica de una clase política que sin ninguna clase de verguenza ha robado, insultado y lastimado al pueblo mexicano mientras ellos viven en la abundacia disfrutando de privilegios reservado solor para los “miembros del partido”


Am I a writer? Yes, I am a writer!

I love writing. For some reason, I find easier to articulate personal feelings, ideas or thoughts writing them down and thus have found in this blog an outlet to share those little personal treasures that I would probably not do otherwise.

But always wanted to test myself and see if I could write for money. How cool would that be? Do something that I totally enjoy and at the same time get paid for doing it!

I thought about trying it out  for a very long time but never really committed to it. Which translates into the intention of doing it was nagging me all the time but never actually tried… Until now…

Last week I got my first article accepted by a client and got paid!!! Yes, I admit it, this happened in the shady world of a content mill. Yes, I know, it was a short piece of a few hundred words and if you are familiar with the content mill dynamics you already know that the money I made will not allow me to leave my day time job anytime soon.

But that I actually tried instead of only thinking of “doing it some day” and someone considered the few words I put together worth some money is very satisfying and encouraging.

I will definitely keep trying. Who knows, maybe, just maybe, many years from now, with discipline and hard work this might turn into a more serious undertaking.


De plagios, mentiras y presidentes

plagioPues resulta que el señor Peña Nieto efectivamente plagio en un buen porcentaje la tesis que le otorgó el título universitario que hoy ostenta. Y pues resulta que la universidad donde curso esta carrera ha confirmado el hecho. Pero también ahora resulta que la casa de estudios ante esta situación no va a reaccionar de ninguna manera.

Pues… ¡a que caray! Parece que en México, si usted tiene el apellido correcto, o conoce a la persona correcta, o tiene el cargo público correcto las leyes y reglamentos, los valores y las buenas costumbres le aplican siempre y cuando no lo inoportunen demasiado. Al resto de nosotros, sólo nos queda ver como nuestro país se convierte cada vez mas en una telenovela mal escrita.

Que triste es ver que los líderes que hemos elegido (por que seamos sinceros, para bien o para mal, el pueblo voto por este señor) hace gala de los valores mas negativos que uno se puede imaginar mientras se salen con la suya sin enfrentar ninguna consecuencia.

Que impunidad mas bárbara. Mentir, insultar, robar, plagiar y burlarse del pueblo que los puso en el poder son la moneda corriente de la clase política de este País. Mientras tanto, el resto del pueblo tiene que trabajar duramente para medio ganarse la vida y mantener el indignate estilo de vida de estas personas.

Realmente espero que al menos la universidad que le otorgo el titulo al señor Peña Nieto rescate algo de la ética que le queda y al menos le pidan de favor, si no es muy problemático y tiene el tiempo que re-escriba esos párrafos que plagio o que por lo menos le de el crédito a los verdaderos autores.




winstonSir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill is one of the few characters in history that really inspires me. I know there are opposing camps when it comes to considering his contributions to this world and many, many different opinions regarding his personality.

All that aside, I believe that we all can agree that his famous speeches and writings show the ability that he had to transmit his message with clarity, force, and elegance.

Of all his work, there are two quotes that for me stand out and have been my favorite for a very long, time. I want to share them with you. Hopefully, you will find in them the same inspiration that I do every time I read them.

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

-Winston Churchill


“I am a man of simple tastes easily satisfied with the best”

-Winston Churchill


Queen… in Chess

 Long live the King! Long live the King! was the cry that could be heard around the entire chess board. For as long as you have a King, you are game! Loose the King, lose the game.

A few days ago I wrote a little bit about His Royal Highness here. But the King would not be so without royal companion by his side. The mighty Queen.

Her majesty is not the wait in the palace sewing while the King goes hunting kind of girl. Oh no! She is mighty as she is beautiful. She is agile as she is graceful.

The most powerful piece on the board, she goes wherever she wants and whenever she shows up, the enemy forces tremble and despair!

During the game you will see her in the thick of the battle, fighting along her trusted knights and rooks always encouraging the humble pawns to take a step forward for she is with them.

She will put the good of her kingdom and king before her own safety and is not uncommon for her to make the ultimate sacrifice to secure the victory.

Definitely and admirable piece, with great power and full of energy. Enjoys being in the middle of the board where the fight is taking place and can easily tip the balance of power with a single good move.

The King must count himself lucky to have such a great queen by his side!