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The Genie is Out the Bottle: I don’t know about you but I suspect that we are all just alike concerning the use of digital media. Whether we are consumers or producers of digital content, I am becoming more and more alarmed and so should you. Yes, I admit it…. I am becoming increasingly paranoid about my exposure to digital media hijack. It could be Facebook, Instagram, pictograms, or whatever, I am more and more aware of my loss of privacy and my ability to remain anonymous is fading. That world has ended for me and you.

GENIE4 I am old enough to remember reading Orwell’s 1984. And sure enough, BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING! I know you’ve heard this before but it scares the crap out of me knowing that ‘THEY’ know where I’m at and what I’m doing all the time. Let anyone snap a picture of you and post it, someone can determine where you are by using GPS tracking on the digital data in the picture. This setting is turned on by the default settings on your iPhone or Android devices. The CIA and FBI are constantly before Congress attempting and sometimes succeeding in increasing their ‘lawful’ right to surreptitiously observe our use of digital content and store data on our usage.

It just drives me crazy (not clinically yet!) to know that companies such as Instagram (owned by Facebook ) tried to write into their policies that they had the right to publish and OWN digital images that were posted by their users. They had the gall (I really mean BALLS) to try to dictate that they actually owned our digital content and could make money off of our pictures. Now don’t think for a minute that it was user outrage that changed their corporate minds and forced them to ‘clarify their policy and backdown from their position to usurp our ownership rights. It was when celebrities started to leave Instagram that the policy reverted back to ‘normal’. I feel so weak and powerless.

This is my point. We are beginning to see a backlash in social media. There is a small but growing trend to stop using social media outlets such as Facebook. This is good and bad. I don’t have my head so far in the sand to not see the advantages for the appropriate use of social media, there is a lot of good there. It is the manipulative behavior of corporate America and government to use our data against us that we have ‘voluntarily’ provided; to control and shape our perceptions and our society that we must be vigilant against. It is imperative that users become more familiar with privacy settings and limiting exposure to digital hijack.

The Genie is out of the bottle concerning the control of our digital and social lives. You DON’T get 3 wishes and the Genie can’t be controlled and can’t be put back in.

kitty2Greetings Hamptons Mouthpiece Readers…I have decided to start a column called Random Rants. It is about things that tick me off. If you would like to contribute to this column you are welcomed to do so.

My issue today is about BULLIES….I HATE BULLIES..I hate bullies in school, in the work place, driving, politics, anywhere..When I am encountered with a bully I will immediately take action against the bully and be prepared to fight the fight. This for me includes my family, a cause, a wrong doing a policy, but I am also aware that I cannot fight everything so I will need to choose my battles. I know a bully when I see a bully and I think most people do to as well. (see this article “Effort to fight Bullying”..written by Claire Walla http://sagharboronline.com/sagharborexpress/tag/vanessa-leggard)

We owe it to our children to show them that they can confront life. There will be many test, what they call trials and tribulations. This is where we lead by example. If we show our children that we are afraid to confront the bullies either privately or publicly then our children will be afraid to, but we need to show them how to do it through non-violent means. To often through our inaction we give our children messages that they shouldn’t act. We have to show them that inaction in the face of bad behavior is a recipe for continued bad behavior. They have to STEP UP! Now we can choose to show them through our actions or our words, but we have to show them. Sometimes it is ok to avoid problems and that may be the better course, the better part of valor; but when cornered and you can neither go left or right or back, then they have to face their fears and go forward. You let the chips fall where they may. We have to teach our children to go forward, we have to teach our children to NEVER BE AFRAID. 

Greetings Hamptons Mouthpiece readers…I often run into people who say I thought your business was just writing your blog. I admit branding Hamptons MouthPiece is a huge part to what I do but not the only thing I do. Today I would like to focus on Social Media because I am a social media consultant and it does encompass a huge percentage of my time. Today I awoke at 430am and decided to tackle a task that I find extremely consuming and tedious…filtering through the friend request I receive in a week on Facebook. There are so many different steps to growing an online social media network, I manage other peoples social media for a living and yet I find that I need a person to manage my Social Media. The enormity of the work can be consuming and truly slow down my work-load of getting things done.

Social Media is a huge under-taking and incredibly time consuming for a business, BUT it is essential to the growth of any business who relies on customers that use Social Media. Social Media and texting have taken over how humans are communicating with each other and they way you once were able to reach your customer base has changed. There are so many different forms of Social Media that are essential to your growth:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • blogs
  • youtube
  • and lets not forget mobile apps…
How much time are you realistically able to designate to Social Media? If you are clueless to this new form of marketing, then I highly suggest you hire a consultant to help get you started and manage it for you. Social Media is all about engaging with your potential customers, but how is this done? How do you get started…there really is a formula and if followed it will be effective. I will leave you with this one piece of advice….Stop selling to your customers directly sell indirectly…build a relationship and make it about them…not about you.
I am here to consult with you if you are interested in utilizing my services to help get you started and show you how to take over and manage it yourself, please contact me @ vanessa@hamptonsmouthpiece.com

Greetings Hamptons Mouthpiece readers can anyone tell me WHY GAS IS SO EXPENSIVE IN SAG HARBOR? I bought gas today from Hess in Watermill and I paid $4.09 for regular…Yet Getty is charging $4.29 for regular… Why? It literally is a 5-7 minute drive from Hess to Getty if you take Scuttle Hole Road…

Greetings Hamptons MouthPiece Readers…Thank God I am alive and well and able to speak to all of you. This has definately been an adventurous journey we have been through with Hurricane Sandy. My heart goes out to many people who have lost their homes, and have had tremendous home damage. 

This is going to be a very long journey to get things back to normal and everyone is going to need to be patient and not critical of what they perceive others to be doing to help their situations. It will be an uncomfortable road for many New Yorkers who rely on the subways to get to school and work, it will be uncomfortable for many people who rely on the LIRR, NJ Transit, Metro North and Amtrak, people who have lost their cars, people who have lost electricity, people whose companies have been heavily impacted with water damage. This too shall pass and Yes my friends we will get through this, but it will take patience.

In thinking back to Katrina, we as Americans are so very blessed that we did not experience what Katrina victims suffered, I shudder to think if I would be here writing this article. This has been a wake-up call for all of us and especially states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut. My hope is that we will prepare ourselves and in areas where evacuation is mandatory those residents will never question again; so many lives could have been spared. 

Many people have reached out to me to ask what can they do to help, where can they drop off items and what items are needed….

I have put together a list of items needed from information that has circulated throughout Facebook and I thought I would share this information with you. 

Here is a list of items needed for Hurricane Sandy Victims…

•     Water- 

•    Warm winter coats

•    Boots* men*women*children

•    Dust masks (particulate masks, not painting)- 

•    Thermals and blankets- 

•    Batteries including C&D batteries for flashlights- 

•    Candles and flashlights- 

•    Ensure/Pediasure – To keep babies and older folks well nourished- 

•    Warm gloves/Heavy duty gloves/rubber gloves- 

•    Diapers  (adult and babies)

•    Headlamps – 

•    Nuts / Healthy snacks – 

•    Baby formula and baby items- 

•    Industrial strength heavy-duty garbage bags, – 

•    Cleaning implements and supplies- 

•    Socks, 

•    underwear in packaging- 

•    Toiletries and hygiene products- 

•    Instant Coffee- 

•    Non-perishable food- 

•    Boxes for donation sites- 

•    Generators- 

•    Hand sanitizer, 

•    toilet paper- 

•    Paper goods, 

•    disposable cameras – 

•    Plastic bins- 

•    Dog and cat food- 

•    Manual can openers- 

•    Rain gear

•    gift cards
Sanitary Napkins/tampons 
Blankets
hand and feet warmers

If you cannot donate any of the above items you can donate to the
·      American Red Cross www.

redcross.org

Gift Card Drive for Hurricane Sandy Victims

The Hampton Bays Mothers’ Association is spearheading a gift card drive to help the families that have lost everything due to Hurricane Sandy. We are here to help our neighbors and those of other communities.

Gift Card Drop Locations:

▪   Scotto’s on Main Street in Hampton Bays

▪   Southampton Stationery on Hampton Rd. in Southampton Village.

▪   Stevenson’s Toys, Southampton

▪   The Southampton Publick House, Bowden Sq., Southampton

▪    C’s Home and Office Management 3331 Noyack Rd. Sag Harbor

▪    Katherine and Co., Westhampton Beach, Main Street.

▪    Agaves, Bridgehampton

▪    Quench Wine and Spirits 90 W. Main Street, Patchogue

There are many other towns that need help, so we will continue our drive and help as many people as we can! For more information contact Kerry Wilkie at 631 741-7014

Suggested gift cards: Target, Old Navy, Lowes, Home Depot, Amex, Visa, or MasterCard.

You can updated with what’s happening on the Hamptons end through my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HamptonsMouthpiece or follow me on twiiter @hamptonsmouth

There are many wonderful people with heart of gold that want to help so badly, please let us help you. I know that it is difficult to ask for help, but put yourself in our position. If you were in a position to help you would probably be doing what we are doing now.  This is not a handout, this is an act of kindness helping people who are not in a position to help themselves at this moment. As Always Hamptons Mouthpiece keeping you in the know!!!