Tag Archives: technology

Zooming By: Taking Care of Your Health in a Virtual World

By Kaitlin Foo

[4 minute read]

Editor’s note:

If you are looking for things to keep you occupied during quarantine, look no further than this article! If you have your own perspective on how you cope with quarantine or any other topic you feel strongly about, you too can share these thoughts on our blog. We are opening the ALI Life and Times to any USC student who is interested in contributing. If you would like to submit a blog article for potential publication, please email hacco@usc.edu -Natalie Grace Sipula, Editor

Right now, many of us are working and attending school virtually. During this time, the fatigue of being stationary all day can have a negative effect on both our bodies and our mental health. I’m here to show you how to switch up your routine, try something new, or even get back into a hobby you may have quit a long time ago!

Take a break from your screen
Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

When we are on our laptops or phones for long hours at a time, our eyes make micro-movements, which put more strain on our eyes than necessary. To combat this, I do an eye exercise to “stretch” my eyeball. Make sure that your face is still; it is just your eyes that are moving! First, look up, look down, then left and right for 2 seconds each. Then I like to draw a circle with my eyes in a clockwise direction, then again counterclockwise. 

When I do this exercise, I find that my eyes feel less strained, and I can quickly jump back into my work. This is a simple, fast, and effective way to tend to your eye health.

Pick up a new hobby (or revisit an old one)
Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

I know, I know. A hobby? That’s soooo first-two-months-of-quarantine! But hear me out: I, like many others, fell into the trap of wanting to do everything I’d never had the chance to do when we were just starting to quarantine. However, this ended up backfiring and I ended up half-learning a bunch of hobbies (sewing, sign language, baking). 

This time, I want you to commit to just one doable hobby that you will see to fruition. This could be an entirely new hobby, like learning how to make lattes at home, or an old hobby (I recently picked up piano again because I realized I had never gotten to the level of proficiency I’d wanted as a child).

The important part of fully completing a hobby is to choose something that is feasible and then set a goal. You want to learn how to make lattes at home? That’s doable. Now set a goal: you might want to learn specifically how to make a matcha latte and a caramel latte. This ensures that you have a tangible objective to fulfill and having that end goal will propel you to complete this task. 

Start Journaling
Photo by Mathilde LMD on Unsplash

It’s easy to push your mental health on the backburner while trying to keep yourself from burning out. During this pandemic, I found myself dragging up old memories, inspecting them closely and over-analyzing them. With no outlet, these new revelations and analyses constantly bounced around in my brain. 

Continue reading Zooming By: Taking Care of Your Health in a Virtual World

Quarantine Watch: The Social Network

[4 minute read]

Run-time: 2h1m

By Natalie Grace Sipula

While on my phone the other day, I accidentally scrolled to the menu that records my daily screen time. To put it lightly, I was shocked by the amount of time I have been spending on my phone lately. I think most of us can relate to an increase in screen time occurring in our daily lives since quarantine began. Technology and social media have connected us in ways that were never thought to be possible, and they allow us to stay contributing members of society even from home. It makes me wonder how we would have reacted to quarantine 15 or 20 years ago, but then, one doesn’t miss something which is unknown to them. That transition to global interconnectedness through technology is truly unique to this generation, and social media has played a large role in that transition. If you are looking for a film to watch at home that explores this very topic, look no further than The Social Network.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Academy award nominated film The Social Network, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and many others, directed by David Fincher, traces the development of Facebook from its humble beginnings: Mark Zuckerberg’s college dorm room at Harvard. The film employs a variety of timelines to chronicle the story of Facebook’s creation, the personal lives of its founders, and the ensuing intellectual property lawsuits that plagued Zuckerberg’s young career. It is fast-paced, exciting, and rife with witty banter.

The first time I watched this movie I was struck by the impressive dialogue and pacing. The director shot this film in a way that moves almost as fast as the connections millions of people make on Facebook every day. The dialogue is rapid, the interpersonal relationships between the characters are complex, and the story weaves between the business and personal narratives of its subjects, which are as intense and messy as anyone would expect from college students finding themselves at the forefront of a multi-million dollar idea. Prior to watching, I expected the movie to be more similar to a biopic of Mark Zuckerberg’s life, but it focused on the narrative of his life objectively from multiple perspectives, leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the series of events. This, along with the variety of short scenes taking place in different locations in a non time-sequential order, truly makes you feel like you are piecing together Zuckerberg’s story from pieces of information found in various places on the Internet. It surely leaves a strong impression on the viewer along with questions about the influence media has on our lives.

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash
Continue reading Quarantine Watch: The Social Network

USC Life Hacks – Part 2

By Cara Hafter

USC can be a daunting place. Dealing with classes, homework, and exams at one of the most academically challenging schools in the region is stressful enough, but what about the difficulties of normal everyday living on a campus the size of a small town? First, there’s the people – around 43,000 undergraduate and graduate students you have to weave among while bolting to class. Then you have the campus, an area compact with so many buildings a person can get lost between WPH and Doheny. Where the heck is ACB? What is all of this stuff happening on Trousdale? Why are there SO MANY people at Seeds? Not to mention USC’s location in  one of the most prominent cities in the world; Los Angeles is scary!

It’s a lot to get used to. For anyone! Whether you’re an international student, an out-of-state student, or even a Southern California native, it’s hard to handle everything that happens in and around our amazing campus. Luckily, I’m here to help.

Though I am no USC expert, I have been here for over a year and, during my time, I have tried my best to get involved with everything I can. Let’s start with the campus. I get lost all the time. ALL THE TIME.  This has a lot to do with my tendency to get distracted by the events I always seem to walk by on my way to class, but that’s beside the point. Like almost everything these days, there’s an app (or four) for that! For iPhone users that don’t like to use USC’s Web App, there are many other options; just go to Apple’s App Store. There are apps that act as a USC map and help you navigate the campus. There are apps for USC transportation, Campus Cruiser, USC Libraries, and even food at USC. There’s even an app called “USC iTommyCam” that shows you what’s going down at Tommy Trojan in the center of campus at all times. And that’s not even the half of them. Taking advantage of these apps can help you immensely when trying to handle a day on campus. There are even helpful Facebook groups like Free Food @ USC, which is great if you want free food (who doesn’t?!). It can also help you get involved on campus by participating in events and clubs looking for hungry members. It’s a win-win – meet friends, get involved, and eat for free!

Continue reading USC Life Hacks – Part 2