Social Media Distorts Breaking News

Let’s face it, today the world has never been more angry, hateful, and afraid. With social inequality, political unrest, environmental degradation, and high standard of living disrupting the world, there remains another issue at large: Active shootings.

In 2019, active shootings have become a new global norm. Orlando, Las Vegas, Paris, Oslo, Peshawar, and now Christchurch. These notorious massacres demonstrate how turbulent times are. How hatred and fear remain alive and well.

Today, no one is safe. Active shootings do not discriminate against any nation or border. A sentiment that has perpetuated people to act irrationally when a scare or real incident occurs. The catalyst behind this irrationality is social media, people can easily distort and handicap breaking news stories through their posts.

Through the likes of Twitter and Facebook, we can react and respond to just about anything in life. A powerful luxury nonetheless that has amplified our need to constantly commentate. That’s a major problem considering the sensitive nature behind situations like active shootings. Facts are crucial, but they’re sadly overshadowed by comments and retweets.

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The Fyre Festival Documentaries Roasted Millennials

There are many dark lessons in both the Hulu and Netflix documentaries about the infamous Fyre Festival fiasco. From fraud to fame, these lessons criticize and condemn the millennial generation.

After watching both documentaries, the criticism is on the money. As a millennial, I'm ashamed and sickened at what we've become. A generation full of questionable values.

From the likes of social media coupled by the need for exclusivity, these values we hold so high in life are our own worst enemy. Essentially, they were the lifeblood and vision Billy McFarland, CEO of Fyre, had when creating Fyre Festival. Ultimately, it was McFarland who unequivocally exploited what millennials wanted and loved.

Millennials were blinded by an early promise, a promotional video that tapped into all their desires. Hit with this luxurious festival filled with famous supermodels, private jets, and yachts all on this beautiful remote island in the tropics, millennials were sold.

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Don't Blame the Referees, Blame the Rules

The NFL had a major officiating fiasco following yesterday’s pair of entertaining Championship games. Games that ended in controversy.

Everyone who tuned in to watch the NFC Championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints know that the referees missed an embarrassing non-call penalty. A penalty that would have put the Saints in a position to win the game rather than lose in overtime.

As heartbreaking as the Saints loss was for the franchise and city, the referees are not the main issue. Yes, they blew a clear and obvious pass interference penalty that kept the Rams in the game. But the real issue here is the NFL, the current rules suck.

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New Year's Resolutions Are Stupid

Every year millions of people including myself make a list of goals that ultimately fall short. Resolutions are non-committal words we throw around to rationalize our hope for self-improvement.

An old stats professor once said that 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. That truth speaks to the hypocrisy we have created when making resolutions.

I myself have been susceptible to this trap. Making grandiose goals that I have yet to fulfill. I have become complacent with phrases like “should have” and “next year” only to use them again and again. Resolutions are just a cycle of misguided optimism that we ourselves create.  

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Are Electric Scooters Viable Forms of Transportation?

Birds and Limes. These are new verbs that have redefined the definition of transportation. If you haven’t already seen these electric scooter monstrosities, then you’re from another planet.

These cheap and fun scooter services have not only invaded Los Angeles, they have spread across the world. Scooters are not a tech gimmick, they’ve made a comeback due to their easy and dependable service. But how far can these things really take you?

After riding both Bird and Lime for five months, short distance travel is where these services excel giving users 18 to 37 miles per charge. Not only are these scooters popular, they can surprise those who are car-less. Especially the ones who live in cities like Los Angeles where commuting is a pain and hardship.

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Add Greatest Comeback to Aaron Rodgers Achievements

Last year the NFL missed Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs, a first since 2008 due to a broken collar bone. Last night could have been a second straight year.

There is no doubt that Aaron Rodgers is one of the NFL’s most dynamic players. His legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks the league has ever known is already written in Canton. Yet football is not the same when a star like Rodgers gets injured.

His presence is polarizing not only to Green Bay, but to the entire league. With nine minutes left in the second quarter, Aaron Rodgers went down with a knee injury. It did not look good. Instant replay showed his knee buckle when hit by a Bears defender.

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How To Travel More

For me, traveling is one of my biggest passions. If you share the same charism that I have, then it’s possible to travel multiple times in a given year. Regardless of your financial situation or occupation.

All you need is a plan, but you also need to want to travel. This may be easier said than done for most. I just turned 23, graduated college, and have transitioned into searching for my next career move. Yet come September, I will be traveling to six cities and five countries in Europe.

How am I able to pull this off? It started with the mentality I set. I knew that 2018 was going to be a special year for me, it was my last year of college. For the whole month of January and February, I kept telling myself that I would go back to Europe. I finally acted and booked a ticket in March.

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Mission Impossible Has Beaten the Bond Franchise

Say what you want to say about Tom Cruise’s personal life, the man is 56 years old and is without a doubt the best action movie star in Hollywood.

Cruise’s latest performance as IMF agent Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible Fallout epitomizes why this 22-year spy-action franchise is better than Bond.

The reason, it starts with Cruise himself as the actor living his characters lifestyle. Fallout is the seventh movie of the Mission franchise where Cruise performs one death-defying stunt after another. That is the biggest sell, the practicality of stunts being real enough for audiences to believe.

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The feeling of being a college graduate - What comes next?

June 15th, 2018 was a very special day for me. I finished another chapter in my life, my biggest to date. I graduated from the University of California, Irvine with an Undergraduate degree in Political Science.

This process or rather journey society calls college has given me five unforgettable years. The road was not perfect. I faced many uphill battles, defeats, and failures during my collegiate tenure at UCI. But I eventually made it.

The experience college has granted and blessed me is incomprehensible. It has given me so much joy, satisfaction, grief, despair, and humility. I went places, met some amazing people that I crossed paths with, and solidified friendships that will last a lifetime.

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Goodbye Wix! Our Memories Are Archived Below

It’s official. I am on Squarespace and will officially be retiring the Matt’s Two Cents Wix domain and blog. It was a fun journey, but like everything in life, I need to move onto something new.

Enter M2C. Matt’s 2Cents. A fresh rebrand to my blog, one with hopes for later expansion into the new year. Hint...Hint...Podcasting???

Maybe, but until then, I have archived my collection of Wix blog posts below. Please Subscribe to this new website for upcoming “two cents.” See you all soon!

- Matt Lauman

Can Subways Help Traffic in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is a car culture city. It will continue to be for quite some time, but are people now overcompensating for having wheels in a city that has the worst traffic congestion in the world.

In a February article by LA Weekly, LA has taken the mantel for the worst traffic congestion in the world beating Mexico City, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Paris.

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Florence, A perfect Summer Vacation

Considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a small city that enchants travelers with mesmerizing architecture and art. Unlike Rome, Florence offers a more vibrant and intimate experience of Tuscany.

The fondest memories I have of Florence are the feeling of being stranded in the deep countryside. Florence is an urban city masked with a small-town feel. An escape from metropolitan congestion.

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The Minnesota Miracle

Who would have pictured Case Keenum to lead the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. Nobody. On the game’s final play, the Minnesota Miracle was born.

You heard it in the Fox broadcasters’ voices as Keenum threw an unbelievable 61-yard last-ditch pass that sent wide receiver Stefon Diggs into the endzone. It was a wild finish to an even wilder season for the Vikings.

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Google Pixel 2 XL

Apple and Samsung have dominated the smartphone market for quite some time offering consumers premium flagship devices each year. To say Google is a dark horse competitor would be somewhat of an understatement.

With the launch of the Pixel 2 XL, Google has shaken the playing field by capitalizing on its pure software approach offering intrigue to both Apple and Samsung loyalists. The Pixel 2 XL is simply not just a great alternative, but a great rival.

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Denver - Craft Beer Mecca

Having a reputation for being a mountain-town city, Denver surprisingly offers more than just outdoor camping and skiing. The Rocky Mountain metropolis is a booming hipster nightlife magnet.

With a population of less than one million, Denver is one of the fastest-growing cities in America. Having traveled earlier this month, the downtown cityscape is filled with cranes as new high-rise buildings await.

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The Real NFL Experience

As a diehard Denver Broncos fan, I promised myself every year that I would attend a Denver home game. I finally went, not as a bucket list check mark, but as a needed experience.

For a long time, I believed that the best seat on Sunday was watching the game on a comfortable couch and big screen TV, but it’s not. The best seat is the one you pay for at the stadium. A seat that gives you the real NFL experience.

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Chicago gets a bad reputation for having the country’s highest crime rate to severe winter weather. If you take away those two caveats, Chicago is an awesome city. A Midwest melting pot full of culture and life.

The Windy City will hit you with its industrial yet modern architecture, incredible selections of food, to its esteemed sports fanbases. Chicago has everything that New York and California have, minus the ocean. That’s not to say Lake Michigan is no ocean, it is.

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