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Instagram doesn’t tell the sad truth about Paige VanZant

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Former UFC fighter Paige VanZant looks like she lives a glamorous life on social media but she’s revealed just how hard she can take her losses.

The 27-year-old entered the UFC in 2014 and after three straight wins, battled her way to a headliner against two-time women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas in December 2015.

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But including the defeat to Namajunas, VanZant lost four of her last six fights and said she wanted to explore free agency after her final fight against Amanda Ribas at UFC 251 in July 2020.

By then VanZant was modelling, had more than 2.9 million Instagram followers and had appeared on reality TV shows including Dancing with the Stars.

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But in her chest beats the heart of a fighter, despite some dire performances in the cage.

Having left the UFC for the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, VanZant has lost both her fights — to Britain Hart at BKFC: Knucklemania in February and to former UFC starlet Rachael Ostovich at BKFC 19 in July — by unanimous decision.

Her four-fight deal is worth a reported $1m, but money doesn’t solve everything as VanZant revealed how much the loss to Ostovich hurt.

In her video blog series she shares with husband and fellow MMA fighter Austin Vanderford, VanZant broke down in tears talking about the aftermath of the loss.

VanZant said she felt like her online presence gave people a false idea of her life and because of that “everyone expects me to lose and everyone expects me to fail”.

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“I just feel like people have this specific perception of who I am and especially online. It’s crazy how much people can hate on a single person. I just don’t get it,” she said.

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“I pride myself of being a good person. I think that’s the most important thing for me. I never talk bad about my opponents. I never say a single negative thing about their character. You never know what somebody’s going through. You never know what someone’s on the verge of.”

After admitting she felt like she had won the fight with Ostovich, VanZant’s emotions got the better of her and she found herself outside and in tears.

“When I walked out of the ring, I didn’t just walk to my locker room, I literally walked all the way outside and I just went and cried in the parking lot by myself,” VanZant said. “I said some things to my husband that are pretty terrible about like my mental state.

“I told him I didn’t want to live anymore, that this wasn’t for me anymore. Like life wasn’t for me anymore so I was disappointed, It was hard.”

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VanZant also spoke about her husband’s career trajectory in comparison to her own. The 31-year-old Vanderford is 11-0 in his professional MMA career and was announced as the next challenger for Gegard Mousasi’s Bellator middleweight title.

After years of being “Mr VanZant”, the tables have clearly turned.

“It can be hard when Austin and I are married and he keeps winning and I keep losing but honestly him and his success is the only thing that keeps me going,” VanZant said. “Because I do feel like we win together.

“His next fight will be for a title and I know he’s going to win. I just know how good it’s going to feel for him and for me and I’m so happy and I’m so proud of him. His title fight to look forward makes it all worth it and makes me feel a little better.”

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VanZant said she was going to take some time off to heal her body then get back in the gym and continue her path.

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But she had a message for those who thought they had an idea of who she is from what they’ve seen on social media.

“Anyone out there who looks at me on like Instagram and Twitter and TikTok and those kinds of things, all you do is see a smile. I can promise you that Instagram’s just the pretty side and it’s just as important for people to see the real side too,” she said.

“People like me struggle a lot, everybody does. And mental health is no joke and I think people need to start … I need to really start taking my mental health more seriously and losses suck and going through hard times is not fun but it does get better. You can get through it and life does go on. It’s a good life out there.”

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LinkedIn Makes its 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses Freely Available Throughout August

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Looking to up your skills for a job change or career advancement in the second half of the year?

This will help – today, LinkedIn has published its listing of the 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses over the first half of 2022. In addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making each of these courses free to access till the end of the month – so now may well be the best time to jump in and brush up on the latest, rising skills in your industry.

As per LinkedIn:

As the Great Reshuffle slows and the job market cools, professionals are getting more serious about skill building. The pandemic accelerated change across industries, and as a result, skills to do a job today have changed even compared to a few years ago. Professionals are responding by learning new skills to future-proof their careers and meet the moment.” 

LinkedIn says that over seven million people have undertaken these 20 courses this year, covering everything from improved communication, project management, coding, strategic thinking and more.

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Here are the top 20 LinkedIn Learning courses right now, which you can access via the relevant links:

  1. Goal Setting: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with Jessie Withers
  2. Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) with Dennis Taylor
  3. Interpersonal Communication with Dorie Clark
  4. Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  5. Project Management Foundations with Bonnie Biafore
  6. Using Questions to Foster Critical Thinking and Curiosity with Joshua Miller
  7. Essentials of Team Collaboration with Dana Brownlee
  8. Unconscious Bias with Stacey Gordon
  9. Learning Python with Joe Marini
  10. Communicating with Confidence with Jeff Ansell
  11.  Speaking Confidently and Effectively with Pete Mockaitis
  12. Learning the OWASP Top 10 with Caroline Wong
  13. Power BI Essential Training with Gini von Courter
  14. Strategic Thinking with Dorie Clark
  15. SQL Essential Training with Bill Weinman
  16. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  17. Communication Foundations with Brenda Bailey-Hughes and Tatiana Kolovou
  18. Agile Foundations with Doug Rose
  19. Digital Marketing Foundations with Brad Batesole
  20. Critical Thinking with Mike Figliuolo
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If you’ve been thinking about upskilling, now may be the time – or maybe it’s just worth taking some of the programming courses, for example, so that you have a better understanding of how to communicate between departments on projects.

Or you could take an Agile course. If, you know, you don’t trust your own management ability.

The courses are available for free till August 31st via the above links.

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …

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Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a pic.twitter.com/2chGZP9hr4

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

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Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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