Category: Stuff to Buy or Do

Rising teen star Kolten Kirschke releases “Let Me Know” – Exclusive Interview!

Kolten Kirschke is a talented 13-year old singer/songwriter and actor who has been performing and filming professionally for the majority of his life in New York and Los Angeles. Known for his covers on Youtube, his new single “Let Me Know” drops TODAY!

Its available NOW on all major music outlets. You can check it out on Spotify here=> KOLTEN KIRSCHKE “Let Me Know”

Kolten took some time from his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions about releasing his very first single, what the creation process was like, and a few “getting to know you” facts. Scroll down to read our Q&A!

Hi Kolten, nice to e-meet you! You are releasing a brand new track today
and we are excited to find out about it…but first, tell us a little about yourself.

Really I’m just your ordinary teenager that loves playing soccer and gaming- especially
streaming live on Twitch! I’ve trained as a singer, actor, and dancer most of my life; and it’s
become a huge part of who I am and something I work on everyday.

Great! Now, let’s get into the big news. Your new track is called “Let Me
Know.” What’s it about?

“Let Me Know” is about having communication in a relationship. It’s always so hard to know
what the other person is thinking or feeling, so communicating is key.

How did the track come about, as far as songwriting, producing, etc.?

I’m blessed with the best team and support system. It started with pen and paper
and evolved into more than I could have expected. It was so great to work with Mary Simmons
(Marygold) and Zak Lloyd in Los Angeles. Mary co-wrote lyrics and topline, and Zak produced
an amazing track. I recorded the song with them in LA, and it was such a fun process.

I am sure there was a lot of work put into it. How does it feel to finally
release it to the world?

It’s really exciting to finally be at a point where I can start releasing original music. Cover songs
are great, but this time it’s my own feelings and story that people will hear.

Walk us through what planning and shooting the music video was like.

Again, it takes a great team to pull a vision together. Director Keith Green worked with me on
developing the storyboard. Once we had a storyboard, we auditioned actors and dancers we
needed for the video. Stylist, K. Makini, covered all wardrobe for us. Then a couple rehearsals
later, it was time to shoot. First Eye Media Group came in and worked their magic. I’m serious — to
watch them film with their cameras, drones, and lighting equipment and then see the video — it
feels like magic! Last comes all the editing. A lot of time and hard work go into these videos.

You’ve got a few Justin Bieber covers on your YouTube channel. How has
he influenced you as an artist?

When I first started music, Justin Bieber was the teen artist we all aspired to be. Most people
don’t see or understand the countless hours in the studio, choreography, rehearsals, and time
away from home that goes into all this. It takes serious work ethic to do all he’s done; I admire
and compare myself to it all at this stage in my life.

Being involved in the arts for some time now, including an appearance in “Future Man” with
Josh Hutcherson and directed by Seth Rogen, what’s been the most memorable moment so far
in your showbiz career?

Some of my most memorable moments haven’t released yet! Two projects will be out in
October. As an actor, the experience is amazing, but waiting to share is hard!

You advocate for a drug-free lifestyle, which we agree with 100 percent. With so many
popular artists displaying drug use in their videos and social media, what do you think is the
best way teens today can keep themselves on track and not fall into drug use?

Social media for so many teens is a way to learn about life. There needs to be more positive
influencers out there showing teens how to chase their dreams without drugs!

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

I’m afraid of heights.

Biggest pet peeve?

I don’t think I have one.

Favorite book?

The Eighth Day.

Favorite food?

Steak.

Favorite movie?

Wreck-It Ralph.

Most embarrassing moment IRL you wish you could do over?

Wearing pants that were to large during a dance competition. Luckily they started falling down
towards the end of the performance. Haha!

What do you have coming up next?

Wish there was more I was allowed to share; I’m still shooting some scenes for a new feature
film coming soon and working on releasing my next song.

Could we get a selfie of whatever you are doing at the moment? Its
something we do for the fans!

Leaving LA and headed back to Texas for the new song release! My in the car selfie!

FOLLOW Kolten’s on his socials and check out his website!

https://www.instagram.com/koltenkirschke/
https://twitter.com/koltenkirschke
https://www.facebook.com/koltenkirschke/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMiEGhtt1McBt14cvo3rhsw
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7630700/
https://www.koltenkirschke.com/

Lenay releases debut song and video “La La Land” – Interview!

Fans of MTV’s 10 on Top no doubt remember its bubbly host Lenay, who shared the screen with co-hosts ranging from Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Victoria Justice, and Macklemore. That gig led her to a pretty massive social media following, with 8 million followers and counting. Now she is giving these fans something else to love about her: original music!

Lenay just released her debut track “La La Land.” Its an ode to her new city, having moved here recently after an international upbringing  which started with being born in the Congo, Africa, growing up in Minnesota, and living in Santiago, Chile.

In addition to releasing the song, she debuted the music video yesterday on PerezHilton.com, featuring her boyfriend, uber-popular Youtuber Germán Garmendia and a cameo by Perez Hilton himself.

We got the chance to ask Lenay a few questions, read her answers below–she is awesome! ❤

But first, check out the song, video, and her socials below

Song Link: http://bit.ly/Lenaylalaland
Video debut on Perez Hilton.com: https://bit.ly/2nTWXvM

https://www.instagram.com/lenaychantelle/
https://www.youtube.com/user/Lenayiskindofcool
https://www.lenaychantelle.com/

Hi Lenay, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Before we get into your new music, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! Well let’s see … my name is Lenay, I grew up in Minnesota, I just moved to LA this year, I like playing laser tag, and painting plates at those ‘paint your own plate’ shops, which I haven’t done in a while so I should probably do that soon. Then you get to bring it home and eat off your plate with your drawing on it – it’s pretty exciting.

Great. Many people are familiar with you as the host of MTV’s 10 on Top – what led you to start releasing your own music?

I grew up playing classical piano, but started writing songs on guitar before I was on MTV, and always worked on my songs on the side. I’ve had a lot of my songs produced but never really uploaded a lot of them until now!! I think everyone is their own worst critic and I always felt they weren’t ready, now I realize that’s a super common feeling and it’s more important to just upload them before I overthink it lol.

Tell us about your new song “La La Land” and the story behind it.

I just moved to LA this year! I’d been to LA before but somehow this time I saw it differently and wasn’t so blinded by the smoke and mirrors. I think there is beauty in the imperfections and started singing about it, and out popped “La La Land”!

After this track, are your working on a full-length album or EP? 

I thought when I got to LA that I would be releasing and album, but finding out that’s it’s more of a ‘singles’ market, where artists now can release one song at a time and hype people up around one song instead of 10 and it’s so much fun!!

I’m having a blast planning all of my social media headers/photoshoots/videos to all things themed “La La Land”. I’m really getting into what the song is about and giving it the individual attention it deserves. I can’t wait to do that for every song!! I would be very excited to release an album too, but I think a few songs would more likely get lost on it if that happens.

What would you like people to know about your upcoming music?

While I’m in the studio in Nashville or LA working on ‘finding my sound’ and what I like, I’m finding more and more of my new songs (coming soon!!) are mixing reggaeton beats, dark pop, and Post Malone inspired sounds, and it’s sounding SO cool!! Lol, I have no idea how to explain it other than that. Can’t wait for you guys to hear them!

What was the most memorable moment of your 10 on Top stint?

I think living in NYC while I hosted 10 on Top and walking to MTV right in the heart of Times Square was an experience in itself, and then having my own office and being able to pitch my own show ideas to executives (and getting one picked up woohoo!) was also fun.

Everyone I co-hosted with was so nice and it’s fun running into a few of them here and there in LA and they’re like, “weren’t you blonde”? I change my hair color a lot haha. It looks like I share my Instagram with 10 of my twins but it’s just me and my hair color changing habits. Although I wish I had 10 twins. I went on a site to try to find strangers who look like me in the world the other day and no luck so far.

You’ve got quite an international background. What’s been the most rewarding part about having lived in so many different places?

I think hearing different stories and different views on life itself. As well as learning that there are infinite realities that you yourself can live in or tap into even just in your own life. Just knowing that is freeing sometimes. Ok, that went deep and very horribly explained lol.

On an easier note, I love meeting people and then running into them in random places! Like I was in Nashville last week and my friend Sara, who I’ve known since I was 10 in Minnesota and I did my first photoshoot with, was like, “I live here now, let’s hang”. And we did hang, as well as did another photoshoot 🙂

Do you take Spanish classes presently to try to improve your Spanish? Or is it all from the time you lived in Chile?

After I went to Cancun on vacation with my parents when I was little, and got my hair all braided on the beach (lol). I fell in love with the culture and the language. My parents saw that and found an after-school Spanish club for me to join and start learning Spanish. I won a prize the first day and was hooked for life. Haha. But yes, when I was little I wanted to be a Spanish teacher when I grew up, so that’s how I started learning. 🙂

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

I got rabies shots once. I’ve never told that anywhere before haha. I was in Costa Rica and was feeding these wild little cute animals that look like raccoons but cuter. I think they are called Codis or something.

One was trying to bite a chip but accidentally bit my finger, so I had to get rabies shots just in case. There’s a picture of the moment it happened of me feeding them if you scroll down on my Instagram a long ways. (I upload a lot haha). You’ll see the one I mean. Was totally worth the insta-pic.

Biggest pet peeve?

Wet socks

Favorite book?

The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm.” Only book I’ve ever read twice when I was little. Now I like articles in magazines like Psychology Today or Harvard Business Review.

Favorite food?

Coffee

Favorite movie?

Every new movie I see that I love is my ‘new favorite movie’. I think “Ready Player One” was the last one.

Most embarrassing moment you wish you could do over?

One time I met Rebecca Minkoff and I was nervous and I was like, “oh hi! Where are you from do you know where?” and then everybody laughed and she was very polite and nice but like yes I know where I’m from lol. [haha! – Editor]

Craziest fan experience?

One time a fan gifted me at a concert photos of my boyfriend and I printed out, with herself photoshopped in every photo with us. It was adorable and hilarious – I still have them somewhere.

What else do you have coming up next?

New songs!!! And just released my own app!!! Just look up my name, ‘Lenay’, on the App Store and hang out with me on it!

Could we get a selfie of whatever you are doing at the moment to keep it real for the fans?

Lol ok but you asked for it !! (also note from future self: I just took it and almost accidentally airdropped it to the random guy next to me instead of my laptop. which is kind of hilarious and I should anyways)

5 Back-To-School Fashion Tips for Guys

Going back to school can seem like a huge hassle after enjoying a carefree summer where you have likely lived in swim shorts. However, getting back in the school year groove doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. In fact, it can be quite exciting to redefine your “clout” after a long spell away from school. Here’s how:

Define Your Style

Courtesy of fashionetter.com

This first, but important step doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, you can use simple idea board searches like “street style,” “hipster guy,” or “fall men’s fashion.” The combinations are endless! Save ideas that catch your eye and shop your closet for the pieces you already own or visit your local thrift store for more trendy looks.

The Perfect Backpack

If your clothes are mostly bold prints and full of color, you will want to find a more neutral backpack that goes with all of your outfits. On the flip side, if you mainly dress in neutral colors, then you might want to find a more interesting pattern or color to add some extra swag.

Shoes Matter

Courtesy of shopcanoeclub.com

You don’t have to own a million shoes to show your style. Try to find shoes that you can dress up or dress down, like Wallys shoes. Often made from comfortable, stretchy material, these shoes are a great neutral basic to go with athletic or casual outfits. The average pair of Wallys shoes sells for as little as $45 on most shopping sites.

Amp Up the Face

If facial hair is allowed in your dress code, don’t be afraid to try something new this year! Don’t invest in a more complicated trim if you don’t have the money or time to keep up the look. Poorly maintained facial hair could turn an outfit from making you look like a snack to “meh.”

Fresh Haircut

Courtesy of menshairstylestoday.com

One of the easiest ways to make a drastic change in your look is getting a new haircut. Nothing speaks louder than a fresh fade with a hard part and some pomade. If your hair is longer, try out a man bun or even braids. Experimenting with hairstyles can be inexpensive and help you stand out.

Regardless of the style choices you make, try to remember what is going to be the easiest to maintain during the school year. With homework, school events, and after-school activities, the last thing you want to do is hassle with your wardrobe.

If you want some extra fashion and wardrobe tips, then you should check out these other articles:

Sebastian Moy talks his new Flighthouse series “The Sebastian Moy Show”

Flighthouse, the popular musical.ly brand, has launched a Youtube channel with original series, one of which is The Sebastian Moy Show. The show features Seb interviewing celebrity friends when they sneak into his “bedroom.” 

We got the chance to ask Sebastian a few questions about the show, his pet peeves, what he finds attractive in another person, and more! Check it out below.

What’s up Sebastian, nice to e-meet you. Before we get into your show on the Flighthouse YouTube channel, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

My name is Sebastian I am currently 15 years old. I enjoy making videos online for my fans the Moy Army.

Awesome! Now, tell us about The Sebastian Moy show and why teens should tune in?

The Sebastian Moy Show is a fun, exciting show where I interview celebrities in my bedroom, they come through my window and my Mom has no idea. Teens should tune in because it’s full of energy, different guests each episode and overall an entertaining show.

Who have you interviewed so far (a.k.a upcoming episodes)?

Baby Ariel, Kristen Hancher, Piper Rockelle, Indiana Massara, Jesse Underhill, Daniel Skye, Oliver Moy

What’s been the weirdest answer a guest has given you, or oddest thing they have done?

Kristen Hancher told me she has had 14 boyfriends in the past.

Best part about filming it so far?

We threw a Pizza Party in my bedroom.

What can we expect in future episodes…are there skits and music and stuff or is it mostly interviews?

Funnier skits, funnier segments and more craziness.

How did you get hooked up with Flighthouse…like how did the show come about and stuff?

They contacted me because I was a fan on Musical.ly and from there we grew a strong relationship. I love their team! Shout out Flighthouse!

Where is the last name Moy from, out of curiosity?

It’s Chinese, my grandparents are from Hong Kong and Moy means Plum.

Biggest pet peeve?

Going to sleep too late.

Your most embarrassing moment IRL?

When I peed my pants on the set of Dolphin Tale the Movie.

Favorite book?

The False Prince Series.

Favorite movie?

The Amazing Spiderman with Andrew Garfield.

Favorite musical act?

Drake.

What do you find most attractive in another person?

How funny they are.

Your best and worst school subjects?

Best for me is math and the worst is history.

Any awkward celebrity or fan moments ever (including Moy Army peeps?)

None because it’s always a blast meeting fans.

Apart from yourself (haha), favorite YouTuber?

Ricegum.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

People would be surprised to know that I used to play in Chess tournaments.

Could we get a quick selfie of whatever you are doing at the moment, to keep it real for the fans?  

https://www.instagram.com/sebastianmoy/

https://twitter.com/itssebastianmoy?lang=en

Natalie K releases new track “Nothin on Us.”

Youtuber and songstress Natalie Kalamdaryan has released a follow up to her 2017 single “Man Up” called “Nothin’ on Us.”

Listen here! https://www.nataliekalamdaryan.com/music

Per her press release:

“I’ve always written pop music, and have written songs that were fun, and easy to listen to, but over the past year, I think just with life experience, my writing became so different. As I began to grow and evolve as an adult, I started writing songs that were still pop but more open and vulnerable.”

“Nothin’ on Us” tells the story of a relationship that Natalie thinks could stand the test of time and pressures from others.

“I had the lyrics ‘eyes looking in mine, like I’m all that you want tonight’ in my phone for a really long time. One day I was just messing around on the piano and I came up with the hook which is very simple and just repeats ‘They ain’t got nothin’ on us.’ I honestly just kept those in as filler lyrics but later realized that I had said everything I needed to say with those words. From there, the song essentially wrote itself.”

A Youtube star in her own right, Natalie hosted the web show “Natalie Interviews” from 2009-13, where she interviewed many celebrities including Ariana Grande, Zac Efron, and Caitlyn Jenner. After starting college at California Lutheran University, she decided to take some time off and focus on developing herself as a musician and artist. After graduating in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in both Music Production and Communication, Natalie began focusing on music full-time.

Over the past two years, Natalie has worked on a variety of projects including a sketch called “The President’s Sun” with Funny or Die, Dia & Co ad campaigns, and has worked with a variety of artists and songwriters. In 2016, she flew to Nashville to work with former VP of Creative at Warner/Chappell Judy Stakee and started 2017 by attending the Grammy Awards. After releasing her single “Man Up” she performed at venues around Southern California including the W in Hollywood.

“Nothin’ on Us” is the first single from Natalie’s two-part album, 12, which is due out for digital release later this year!

“12 has always been a really special and important number in my life and this record is a very special and important record to me. It’s a collection of music that represents who I am entirely and what my story has been over the past few years. I genuinely hope that these songs can add some fun and happiness to people’s day when they need it most.”

For more on Natalie K, go to www.nataliekalamdaryan.com

Gamer World News founder Gayle Dickie talks eSports in interview with TWK!

The eSports gaming industry is growing at a massive pace. What many don’t know is that about half of eSports players are female. We’ve covered this before, with our interview with Hearthstone player Rumay Hafu Wang, and we continue our coverage with an interview with TV exec and entrepreneur Gayle Dickie.

Gayle just launched last month an online channel called Gamer World News that’s completely devoted to video game news and in-depth stories and features two female hosts who co-host a segment called “Girls of the Game.”

Lets find out more about this growing industry!

Hi Gayle, before we get into the topic at hand, tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.

I’m a California girl, started as a paralegal in the music business.  I set a world record for bent knee sit ups in 1980 (13,104 in 12 hours on ABC-TV) and my life changed dramatically.  I became what’s known today as an ambassador for Nautilus Sports Medical Industries and trained the Olympic Australian swim team in mind control in 1981.

I came back to the US and worked for heads of studios (Orion Pictures and 20th Century Fox Film Studios) and then became a TV syndicator selling domestic television series and movies and first-run shows in the top 100 markets in the US.  I’ve sold millions of dollars’ worth of television shows and produced films from $1 million to $10 million.  One of the more memorable was finding “DragonBall Z” and syndicating (‘selling’) that in the US.  I had an eye for good story and quality of story driven entertainment.

Five years ago I saw the push on the digital content side for all the various platforms that we are most familiar with today.  And I loved the idea of gamers having their own news, information and entertainment.  I see it as the future for sure.

How has eSports grown over the past five years?

Great question.  It’s important to keep in mind that eSports is the professional competitive side of video game competitions.   It’s really 1% of the total games market but it’s the fastest growing business in recent history.

Five years ago, the top games were Counter Strike, Halo 3, Starcraft2 and WarCraft3. Now we have moved to more team-oriented games like League of Legends, Dota2, and Overwatch, although people like to debate the Overwatch FPS (first person shooter vs. multiplayer online battle arena) and now especially, we’ve all undoubtedly witnessed the  phenomenon of Fortnite.  The most recent announcement was $1 Billion dollars in in-game purchases which is astounding.

eSports is now in over 1100 colleges and universities in North America with multiple teams and leagues.  High schools are catching up which is very exciting for all the gamers who have grown up with a console or pc game as early as 3 or 4.   That means some high school seniors have already been gaming for 14-15 years!

Five years ago the eSports revenues were some $194 million at the end of 2014.  That’s when they really just started measuring eSports. Now It’s a bona fide business with estimated $906 million this year and an overall $180.1 billion for the global market with major sponsors, advertisers, game publishers, media rights going to ESPN and tickets and merchandise both online and in stadium competitions.

We are working on a new project to allow high school gamers the ability to get ranked and to turn pro but more about that in the coming months on www.gamerworldnews.com.

What impact have females gamers had on eSports thus far?

Female gamers are almost half of the global game population.  They’re being recognized more and more in the global market. They are taking a stand that they can play all the genres of games in play today. They are getting recruited professionally.  I found one of the first girl gamers to get an eSports scholarship to play Overwatch!

I believe girl gamers have gone through significant changes with so much banter about bias and bullying around the world, so this year in particular, we are seeing more recognition given to girls who play professionally and competitively than in any prior year.  There are great girl gamers on Twitch playing a variety of games from League of Legends to Witcher3 and StreetfighterV.   We strive to find girl gamers and do profiles on them and push their brands to continue to fight any stigma that might arise with our “Girls of the Game” channel.

Encouraging more girls to get involved in pro eSports needs to start young where we can further guarantee and inspire the spirit of competition and community.

What do you predict their impact will be in the near future?

I think in the next few years, we will see more eSports scholarships for girls and see more and more girls go pro and be involved behind the scenes as game developers, marketers, social media managers, analysts, promoters and hosts.  There will be a further development of the entire economics for eSports and it will definitely bring more female players and global competition.

What would you say the major differences are between male and female gamers?

Probably the major difference is the platforms on which they play games.   Both like mobile almost equally with a slight edge for females and yet more males play on PC and console.  However, I think it is rapidly changing and equaling out.  FPS are slightly more popular for males and I think the RTS and story driven are really of interest to female gamers.

How is sports gambling changing eSports?

It’s going to change it immensely.  Esports will undoubtedly have real time betting at exhibitions and online (it has already begun) and I think it will bring millions more into the sport.   The biggest challenge betting on eSports has is the regulations and security that needs to be put in place just as with traditional sports.

One important difference from traditional sports leagues vs. eSports leagues is the owners are in the power position when it comes to eSports and the traditional sports leagues/teams are controlled by the owner of the franchises. So eSports owners have all the control.  And eSports betting on TV and various platforms available will bring even more money to the sport.

Tell me about Gamer World News.

Gamer World News is the future ESPN  and CNN global news, information and entertainment platform for eSports, competitive and casual gamers offering the latest technology in video storytelling and news.  We do news in quick ‘potato-chip’ style segments and offer 13 channels of content.  We launched late April 2018 to a flurry of media attention.

We are available at www.gamerworldnews.com, (www.gwne.com), Roku, AppleTV, AndroidTV and AmazonFire, YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitch.  We’re coming soon to mobile and android.  We are in discussions to partner with many recognizable entertainment savvy companies.  We have had over 25 news stories and radio interviews in less than 90 days and will soon be featured in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Fortune Magazine, and have a strategic relationship with ‘Eyez.gg’ where we can syndicate our content to potentially 1 billion eyeballs over the course of the next few years.

And we are getting ready to reach out to middle school and high school players in the US and Canada for an exciting new project so stay tuned.

What do you feel is the most exciting recent development in eSports?

Probably the significant audience growth and monies related to Fortnite.  It’s a global phenomenon and I personally know kids from the age of 7 to 70 who have enjoyed playing the game –or let’s say ‘attempting to stay alive’ in the game!  And I have to say the attention that the video game world in general is getting from around the world is a welcome indicator of things to come.

What’s the biggest misconception about eSports or gamers in general?

I still think people have a hard time believing the 42% of the global games market are spectators who love to watch eSports.  It’s no different than 40 years ago when ESPN started showing traditional sports.  It’s fun and even exciting to watch. And we are slowly moving away from the idea it’s that nerdy kid in a basement shut off from the world.

Anything else we should know?

We’re always looking for contributors and storytellers at Gamer World News so send your 1-minute story to contributors@gamerworldnews.com or feedback@gamerworldnews.com

Subscribe to Gamer World News on YouTube, FaceBook and Twitch as we’ve only just begun…and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @GWNeNOW! …Thank you!!

Hailee Steinfeld inspires students at Make Your Dreams Stick event

Hailee Steinfeld kicked off the back-to-school season this past Monday (are we really talking about back to school already?) with Post-it® Brand at the “Make Your Dreams Stick with Post-it® Brand and Hailee Steinfeld” event in New York City, to inspire students to dream big this school year and #makeitstick.

The event included a performance by Hailee and an interactive Q&A with Hailee and Post-it® Brand Global Business Director, Remi Kent. Check out some quotes from Hailee about her goals, facing setbacks, upcoming projects and what inspires her.

Hailee Steinfeld on achieving her goals

“I feel like if you can put [your goals] out into the universe and work tirelessly to achieve [them], then you can do anything ….. you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down and I find that to be true” 

Hailee Steinfeld on inspiration

“I’ve been very, very lucky – I’ve had some incredible people around me my whole life that have inspired me and motivated me – if I can be that person for anyone else, then I consider that a huge honor” 

Hailee Steinfeld on her current goals

“It has been a goal of mine to get out on the road this year so that is coming to life, which is exciting. I also love doing both acting and singing – as long as I can remain doing both, happy and healthy, then that’s my goal”

Hailee Steinfeld on facing setbacks

“Whatever it is that you’re doing, if it makes you happy, then nothing should come in the way of that – of course you will face setbacks, but it is important to stay positive and keep going” 

Hailee Steinfeld on upcoming projects

“I am in the middle of a tour right now with Charlie Puth on the Voice Notes Tour, so that’s been very fun. We are just kinda getting started, so I will be doing that for the majority of my summer and then I have a film called Bumblee coming out around Christmas, which is a spinoff to Transformers”

Are you addicted to porn and/or social media? New book teaches how to break free.

One of the problems with our always-connected lives is that many of us are becoming addicted to stuff on the  internet. Porn is easier to access than ever before, and even small kids can come across content which was once unavailable to anyone under 18 years of age. Even for those who stay away from porn, social media presents a different, but just as addictive trap which people cannot stay away from (hello Snapchat streaks).

Author A.N. Turner shares his story of digital dependence and how he broke free in his new book, Breaking the Feedback Loop: How I Liberated Myself from Internet Addiction and How You Can Too. The “digital diet” Turner talks about can be put into practice by anyone who is suffering from their social media or porn habits. The goal is to create healthier habits and help people reconnect with family, friends, school and other parts of “real life.”

We got the chance to interview the author about his experiences with porn and internet addiction. Read on for some fascinating insights into how companies get us addicted on purpose, plus a real person’s struggle and recovery.

Before we get into your book, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I went to the University of Pennsylvania and played varsity squash. I interned at a partner of Facebook working on advertising technology, then did similar work at Overstock, and soon will be starting again at an advertising technology company in New York. I researched and wrote the book during my junior and senior year at University, and I also worked on it while working in tech. I took a semester off my senior year to focus full time on it. I wrote it while I was correcting my own behavior and relationships with my devices.

Thanks. You worked on software used by some of the largest companies in the world in order to convince people to buy stuff. Could you explain in layman’s terms how this technology works, and what are the potential pitfalls for the end user?

Facebook offers software called Power Editor that any individual or business can use to run ads on Facebook (look it up!). However, some of the largest companies have needs that warrant their own software. For example, because they run many ads across Facebook and it’s other platforms, they look for tools that streamline the creation of ads. That said, Facebook’s out of the box software has been catching up with features offered by its partners and is increasingly better and better able to be used by large companies.

The software allows companies to quickly create, manage, and measure advertising campaigns on Facebook and it’s platforms. In no other advertising system is there the reach, the precise reach, that Facebook has. It lets you precisely target a large number of people who have characteristics relevant to your product or service. Those characteristics are determined through the data that you share as you use the service as well as the data that, at least in the past, has been acquired from third party data brokers. These data brokers are people that sell data on you, to Facebook, that you didn’t give to Facebook when using it, but that helps advertisers target people more effectively. The idea is to optimize the exchange of information between businesses and individuals.

This has tremendous economic value. But it has a cost in that, rather than with a monthly subscription model, with an advertising business model there is every incentive to hook users. This lets more ads be sold, and lets more data to be collected to make the ads more valuable.

What is your book Breaking The Feedback Loop about and why did you write it?

My book helps people understand the costs of things like social media, how those costs are connected to the business model, and how they can change their relationships with technology to improve their lives. There are a lot of economic resources dedicated to hooking people, and so it’s difficult to free yourself and warrants understanding in order to break free. This is told through the first person: through my journey realizing I was hooked, realizing that social media and digital entertainment has every reason to hook you, and realizing that my life would be better if I withdrew from that.

I made changes to my life that I share. The results were amazing, and I highly suggest people wake up and do the same. However, it’s not just about withdrawing from digital abuse. It’s important to improve the quality of your real life. For me that involved spending more time with other people, spending more time on work I enjoyed, and spending more time in nature, among else.

While in the short term you get a burst of pleasure from this digital entertainment, there are underlying costs like subconscious peer comparison and paranoia of surveillance and meaningless and fleeting external validation that NEED to be considered and factored into the time spent. Most people don’t factor in the costs, because they are not aware. I have tried to make people more aware of the costs. There are 100 citations in the book alongside the personal story.

What is the biggest takeaway you would like teenagers to have from the book?

What’s scarce is attention span and confidence. This is the currency of the future. Digital entertainment wears these down. It’s worth spending energy resisting these temptations in order to have the greater benefit of being free from them. It’s important to be able to focus on singular things for sustained periods of time.

And instead of turning to social media and porn and video games when lonely, relationships need to be nurtured. This is what’s going to be best in the long run.

Unfortunately sexual disability is not uncommon among young adults due to the “environmental” influence of porn. The research suggests it wears down dopamine receptor sensitivity, which screws up your ability to have meaningful sexual relationships. This is why drugs like Cialis have become very popular among young adults. The stats make it even more clear. The emergence of free porn tubing sites were easily abused by young adults and have changed the numbers of erectile dysfunction cases drastically.

The greatest competitive advantage you can have is to understand and control these things. Be confident that the energy spent is worth it, because it is. It is really hard as a teenager to do that. Almost impossible. Which is why I think schools and parents need to be involved in regulation. You will be the stars. Find other more productive outlets like real relationships, self reflection, and interests.

Teens are literally addicted to their devices. They go everywhere and check them constantly. What are some of the effects of this addiction?

The effect is reduced life satisfaction, reduced mental health, and reduced physical health. This was suggested recently in a paper related to social media use. However this likely extends to other use cases as well. That said, social media is particularly bad. It gets people hooked on the fleeting high from an artificial external validation of likes and hearts. And there’s the subconscious peer comparison underlying the dopamine hit from seeing information from your friends on the news feed. It’s so concentrated, it gives you a rush. But the concentrated peer comparison is harmful. You now want more external validation, or you want to buy some clothes from ads you see on the side.

Attention spans have reduced, and many young adults turn to drugs to combat that. Many academics believe this is a product of environmental change. Meaning, now our environment — what we interact with — is digital. It’s constantly updating, constantly distracting us, in a powerful, and completely unpredictable way, like the slot machines.

Again, your attention span is everything. It’s what’s going to let you do great things, and have great conversations. This is what’s important for the rest of your life. Don’t sacrifice it with this stuff. The medication is a temporary fix, and will leave you irritable and anxious and also addicted. What are the consequences going to be for these young adults using it so often? Time will tell.

How do companies manipulate us to get us addicted to social media?

Social media companies want you to be hooked. They make more money that way, and the shareholders want them to make more money, so they literally have somewhat of a fiduciary responsibility to do so. They do this through the cycle I reveal in the book, which has never been identified before.

The cycle is streamlined peer comparison on the news feed, which leads to insecurity, which leads to the desire to upload content for validation, or the desire to purchase products in the ads. The validation from the likes and hearts is meaningless and fleeting, and often leaves you more empty than before. So now you’re seeking that next hit, or trying to escape reality through the dopamine from the news feed, which only leads to more peer comparison.

You are not connected. You are alone. What you need to do is see people in the real world and as minimalist a life as possible on social media. Sorry, I said it.

What do you think the danger is from watching porn online?

The danger is really large. You can get a massive dopamine spike from the novelty you can browse through. You can watch multiple videos in one sitting. You can fast forward and rewind. You can toggle between videos in different tabs at once. This is not natural. But this is easy to do, and hard to avoid. So then your receptivity to sexual stimulation reduces and you become more apathetic.

Your consumption of novelty may escalate to support the constant dopamine highs you are expecting. All of a sudden now you are watching content you may have previously found disgusting and this is really tough for people. The difficulty is it’s easy to escalate, difficult to resist, and thus needs to be completely resisted.

I think it also messes up your relationship with your computer, a source of productivity. Don’t excessively deplete your energy. Save it for what’s important and keep the ability to have real relationships. You may not be able to have an erection or ejaculate as a young adult if you continue to use it.

If you had the power to regulate the Internet to prevent some of the bad effects you talk about, what would you suggest?

I think education is important. To be prepared for life as a young person you need to understand these issues. Integration in curriculum would be helpful. At a certain point, people will always have opiates and similar versions of opiates, and the important thing is to be able to moderate them if you think it’s worth it for your life to do so. My belief having reviewed the research is that it is for the vast majority of people.

How did you break free personally?

I broke free by gradually reducing the digital stimulation in my life while making my real life more meaningful. So, gradually reducing use of social media and porn, among else, while also having more relationships, going out more, and spending more time on interests. It has been invaluable.

Now I use social media moderately, in complete control. And I haven’t watched porn in over two years. One of the things that helped most with social media, and sorry I haven’t mentioned this yet, is stopping checking notifications. No more notifications. They are random, unpredictable reward, which leads to obsession. You reduce anxiety over who interacted with your profile. The benefit isn’t worth getting hooked.

Make your profile more private by changing your settings so you have less obsession about this. Have less photos and friends. Only real friends.

Where can people find out more or get help for their own social media or porn habits?

Your Brain on Porn by Gary Wilson is a great resource. He reviewed my book after publishing and he is quoted multiple times.

There is not much else on social media. Reading Hooked by Nir Eyal can help you understand why you feel addicted, which can help you escape. Mary Anne Layden at UPenn has done great research on this topic. The forum NoFap on Reddit has 300K+ subscribers posting about the topic of porn specifically. Your parents may not understand these issues, and your friends may not talk about them, but you are not alone.

What do you have coming up next?

I’m promoting this work so that people who need it will see it. I soon start working again and will no doubt get new perspectives. I pursue my interests and focus on being social to offset these addictions.

Could we please get a selfie so our readers can get a better feel for the real you? : )

Modern Decoration Ideas For The Trendy Teen

Make your friends envious of your great trendy room by considering a few changes. Feel your freedom of expression come alive and get those creative ideas flowing. Whether you see your room as a room for relaxing or entertaining, these decorating ideas will give you the latest in the mood-setting atmosphere. Wall sketches, furniture or memorabilia, are great ways to spice up a room. Check out these trendy ways to bring out your best and feel right at home in your own room.

Wall Doodles

Got an idea that is driving you crazy? Jot it down on a huge chalkboard that takes up an entire wall. Don’t let this opportunity for a future idea to slip away but put all your thoughts, dreams and interests where they will always draw your attention. Stock it with plenty of chalk and erasers, so instant scribbling is convenient. Don’t let those thoughts go to waste, but get that idea out there before it gets lost in the creases of your mind. Also, consider cork boards for pinning up exciting papers and pictures.

Bed Footboards

A footboard can consist of any piece of furniture you like. A portable bar, chest or dresser will become the centerpiece for friends to gather and talk. Mimicking a kitchen island, you will have a place to sprawl out, set down drinks and phones and have eye-to-eye contact with others. It will also keep clean up to a minimum by designating one area to hang out.

Platform Beds

Modern platform beds are a must in the world of teenagers. Simple, sleek and inviting, they come in different styles and sizes. An oversized base can serve as a nightstand for those little items like remote controls, small lamps or change. If you prefer to keep a bed positioned on the entire base, select a small, low table for items. Some modern platform beds are available with storage drawers to limit large dressers. Teens of today are not into frills, but prefer clean straight lines.

Vertical Writing Areas

Having an area for study is functional. However, no teen wants to be reminded of work unless it is necessary. Pick a corner that is as far away from sleep and entertaining as possible. This space only needs to be 3 to 4 feet wide for setting up a counter or chair. Use the wall above for storage with square cubicles or shelves. The study will be there when needed, but away from the relaxation of a bedroom.

Fur and Shag Rugs

Okay, don’t admit it, but fur and shag is a favorite to teens. The warm and luxurious feel underfoot brings comforting thoughts. Select a rug that is plain in black or white or a stand out neon color. You will never be sorry as you step out of bed and onto this luscious fuzzy rug. A favorite color or design can also be used if your room needs some dressing up. If you’re really feeling the need for snuggling, pick up a couple of soft, furry pillows as well.

Ceiling Art

Whether you choose a fab hanging light or decals that travel up the wall and across the ceiling, this is one area that always gets a lot of attention. While lying in bed, you may find yourself pondering the anticipation of adulthood or anticipating an upcoming event. Having an uplifting, non-demanding focal point will help to stay focused for thinking. Pick out a creative hanging ceiling light or fun decals, like feet or arrows, that walk across the length of the ceiling.

Simple Window Treatments

Roman shades are definitely in with the teens. They are strict, modern, and space-saving. They also provide that needed privacy with remote control or cord and cleat operation. They can also add a needed burst of color or texture where needed. If draperies are desired, keep them neat and straightforward. Stay away from outlandish designs and make sure that they are easy to open and close. Today’s teens aren’t looking for perfect design as much as function when it comes to window treatments.

Organizational Options

Closet doors are not as important as they once were. Remove a closet door to make more room, plus get motivated to hang up clothes instead of piling them on the closet floor. Adjustable shelves are also great for adding needed space for books, electronics, and gizmos that are always getting lost. By making shelves different sizes, they can easily fit any need. Containers, baskets and portable carts also come in useful for clearing away items while organizing.

A simple and straightforward room will give you the space for many different purposes. By making just a few updates, you can entertain, study, dream and get a peaceful night’s sleep all in one area.

Be sure to check out more articles here for more ideas and current trends!

References:

Modern Digs

Architectural Digest

Homedit

Fresh Home

FREE 3 month Trial to Leading K-Pop and K-Drama Shows! KOCOWA, Celebrates Surging Popularity for Korean TV Content in the US

Like all things K? Check out a free 3 months trial to KOCOWA!

Korea Content Platform (KCP) LLC, a joint venture between the three leading Korean broadcasters (KBS, MBC and SBS), is celebrating the one-year anniversary launch of its Internet subscription service, KOCOWA, which streams the most popular Korean television programs on-demand in the United States. KOCOWA meets the strong demand for K-Pop (Korean pop music and idol groups) and K-drama (Korean films and TV series) in the US – all delivered 5-hours after airing in Korea. KOCOWA has also partnered with the global OTT service, Rakuten Viki, as its first distribution partner in the US to reach a highly engaged Gen-Z and Millennial audience.

“We are extremely pleased to see how well KOCOWA has been received by various US market segments over the past year,” said KCP CEO, KunHee Park. “We will reach over half a million registered viewers this year. The majority of our viewers are young, female and non-Asian. Our TASTE 24 premium service, which provides the previous evening’s prime-time shows with high-quality subtitles, is very popular with our subscribers.”

To celebrate its first anniversary and through July 31, 2018, KOCOWA is offering a 3 Month Free Trial coupon at www.kocowa.com. Simply click on the coupon below or paste the following link into your browser to take advantage of this anniversary offer: http://help.kocowa.com/19986

The promotion code for the coupon is KOCOWATCHNOW. It is valid from July 17th – July 31st

A sampling of KOCOWA’s new, hot, Korean Variety shows include:

• ‘Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth’
• ‘Wok of Love’
• ‘Star Show 360’
• ‘Running Man’

About KCP and KOCOWA
Korean Content Platform (KCP) is a joint venture of three most successful major television entertainment broadcasters in Korea (SBS, MBC and KBS). KCP launched KOCOWA, a leading IP Video streaming provider offering quality, fresh entertainment for all audiences in the United States and the Americas. KOCOWA provides the most robust lineup of Korean TV shows available in the US. KOCOWA is multi-device friendly (iOS and Android). KOCOWA recently surpassed 1,000,000 subscribers on YouTube. KOCOWA is currently available for subscription at www.kocowa.com and through Rakuten Viki and other Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (vMVPDs) and Multi-Channel Video Provider partners in in North and South America.