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If you've been seeing an 'X' pop up in your texts lately, this is what you need to know about it.

The way they tell us about it is kinda funny ... but the message behind it is no laughing matter.

If you've been seeing an 'X' pop up in your texts lately, this is what you need to know about it.

Texting and driving is a problem pretty much everyone is strongly against, but if we're really honest with ourselves, many of us have done it at least once.

When it comes to texting and driving, we've only had two (kinda crappy) options in the past. Now there's an awesome new third option when it comes to texting and driving.

Meet Joe. His mom has just sent him a text, but he's about to start driving.


Don't do it, Joe! Don't do it!

Option 1 is to ignore her text until he arrives at his destination.

He might come across as a jerk for cutting off their conversation. His mom might even start worrying because he suddenly stops responding (you know, because texting and driving can be dangerous). But he decides this is the best course of action. It's safer. Even if it makes his mom worry a bit.

Diagram 1: Mom worrying a bit

Option 2 is to sneak a quick text, maybe at a red light or when there's not much traffic around.

We might think we know how to text and drive safely, and we tell ourselves, "I'll just do it this one time." But the reality is we're risking lives. And not just our lives.

Diagram 2: Texting while driving and/or at a red light

Option 3 is the newest option, and one I hope more people embrace. It's called #X.

It's a movement that was originally created by the It Can Wait campaign to prevent texting and driving, and now it's taking off. Celebrities like Demi Lovato and Rascal Flatts have helped to make the #X movement mainstream.

Diagram 3: Hashtag X

When you're about to start driving, send the person you were texting a "#X" message to let them know that you're about to drive and you'll respond once you've stopped.

FACT: Cell phones are involved in about 1.6 million auto-related accidents annually.

Pause your conversation to save your life and someone else's.

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$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via Pexels.com

The Delta Baby Cafe in Sunflower County, Mississippi is providing breastfeeding assistance where it's needed most.

Mississippi has the third lowest rate of breastfeeding in America. Only 70% of infants are ever-breastfed in the state, compared to 84% nationally.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants be exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life. However, in Mississippi, less than 40% are still breastfeeding at six months.

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$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

We've heard from U.S. intelligence officials for at least four years that other countries are engaging in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the U.S. and interfere with our elections. According to a recent New York Times article, there is ample evidence of Russia attempting to push American voters away from Joe Biden and toward Donald Trump via the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which has created a network of fake user accounts and a website that billed itself as a "global news organization."

The problem isn't just that such disinformation campaigns exist. It's that they get picked up and shared by real people who don't know they're spreading propaganda from Russian state actors. And it's not just pro-Trump content that comes from these accounts. Some fake accounts push far-left propaganda and disinformation in order to skew perceptions of Biden. Sometimes they even share uplifting content to draw people in, while peppering their feeds with fake news or political propaganda.

Most of us read comments and responses on social media, and many of us engage in discussions as well. But how do we know if what we're reading or who we're engaging with is legitimate? It's become vogue to call people who seem to be pushing a certain agenda a "bot," and sometimes that's accurate. What about the accounts that have a real person behind them—a real person who is being paid to publish and push misinformation, conspiracy theories, or far-left or far-right content?

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