Hey guys! I hope you had a good week.
Today, I’m going to answer some of the Internet’s most asked questions. Every so often, I Google random things that pop into my head. Last week, I suddenly started to wonder, “What’s the most popular question asked on the Internet?” So, I did some digging and I came across a list of the 1,000 most asked questions on Google (click here to check it out).
This list was very interesting! Some questions I could relate to, some questions were funny, and some were downright…18+. As I looked through the list, I identified 15 questions to answer. So, let’s get started:
1. how do you spell…
I can definitely relate to this one. Spelling is certainly my weak point. Thank goodness for spell check! I think one of the greatest difficulties I face when it comes to spelling is British vs American spelling: color or colour, favor or favour, favorite or favourite? It drives me nuts! British spelling usually has that additional ‘u’ and I tend to stick to that, but this may vary depending on what you’re writing for.
2. how to make french toast
French toast is basically bread dipped in egg and pan-fried until golden brown. To make this, I usually crack two eggs into a bowl, add a dash of milk, a pinch of salt, 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar, and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat the eggs with a fork and soak a slice of bread in this mixture. Meanwhile, heat a pan and melt some (or a lot) of butter. Place the egg-soaked bread on the pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side. Stack em’ up, drizzle over some honey or syrup, and serve with fruits. Bon appétit!
3. how to make money online
This is something I’m exploring and trying to figure out as well. Platforms such as Upwork connect freelancers to businesses looking for talent. Freelancers can sign up to Upwork and submit proposals for jobs related to writing, web design, software development, sales and marketing, customer service, and others. If you have a skill you wish to utilise for a side hustle, give this a try.
Fiverr is another such platform to consider. You can offer certain services like web design, graphic design, or song composition at a certain price. Anyone interested can contact you and purchase your services.
Offer an online course. You can make money by providing online courses through platforms such as Skillshare. If you have a skill like video-editing, money management, photography, or note-taking, consider sharing it with others.
Start a blog or a YouTube channel. Once you find a niche that you’re passionate about whether it’s make-up, lifestyle, or cooking, you can share your thoughts and experiences through either the written word or in video format. This takes time as you need to build an audience. Over time, if you’re consistent in putting out content and engage with your audience, you should be able to create an income stream by running ads and through brand collaborations. This is in theory, of course. I’ll have to get back to you on this one.
4. how much house can I afford
Ah, yes. The age-old struggle of house-hunting. My husband and I were doing just that before the recent lockdown was announced. A number of sites online suggest keeping rental or housing loan repayments within 28 to 30 percent of your income. Of course, this is a general rule of thumb we can go by.
However, house prices in many major cities around the world are quite high and this makes matters difficult for middle-income, first-time home buyers. We haven’t found our dream home yet, but there are a few things we’ve picked up in our house-hunting escapades so far:
Decide whether you want a landed property, an apartment, or a townhouse.
Decide on your preferred location. My husband and I cast the net too wide and we just ended up getting very confused. We initially wanted to buy a house quite some distance away from the city, but ultimately we realised that the long commutes weren’t really for us. So, we decided to look out for smaller units within the city.
Figure out your budget before looking for houses. Use a home loan calculator online to figure out the house price you’re most comfortable with. Make sure that after monthly repayments, you still have enough left over for other necessities and for savings as well.
Once things settle down, my husband and I will probably continue house-hunting and I look forward to sharing our adventures with you.
5. how to save money
Check out my recent post on 10 easy-peasy ways to save more money.
6. how to make an omelette
I know the cool way of making an omelette is to flip it with a flick of the wrist. Sadly, I’m not that cool and I’m extremely clumsy; I’m pretty sure if I attempted the flip, my pan would go flying. So, I’ll stick to my not so cool method.
Here’s what I do: I crack a few eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and beat them with a fork. Then, I add some chopped onions, chilli, tomato (remove the seeds), and coriander. Heat a pan and melt some (or a lot) of butter. Pour in the egg mixture and allow it to cook for around 2 minutes.
Once the omelette looks somewhat set and isn’t too runny, I put a plate over the pan and flip the omelette onto the plate. This might get a little messy, but that’s ok. Slide the omelette back onto the pan and cook for another 1 minute or so. And you’re done!
7. how to start a blog
Alright, this is right up my alley! There are a number of different platforms you can choose from to start a blog. When I first started blogging, I used Blogger. It’s free which is great, but I found the design options to be rather limited.
Earlier this year, I got my own domain name and switched over to Wix instead. The Wix platform is very user-friendly. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can! You can really play around with the drag-and-drop design features and get your blog looking the way you envision. Plus, the customer care team is very helpful too.
So, if you want to get started, consider signing up for a Wix account. You can opt for a free site or pay to get your own domain name. Take a few days to play around with the interface and design options. You’ll have your blog up and running within a week!
8. how to be happy
This is a question that I reckon haunts us all. In our short time here, how do we lead happy lives? I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but I think an important part of being happy is to stop comparing yourself to others.
I still struggle with this, but I try to remind myself that I’m my own person, with unique qualities and talents to offer the world. For a long time, I didn’t acknowledge writing (specifically my own writing) as a skill or talent. I would look at others around me with tangible skills like baking or cooking and admire how they market these skills.
It’s only when I reached out to a content creator I really admire recently that I began to realise that writing too can be a marketable skill, if I put in the effort. I still have days when I question whether I’m good enough or compare myself to others, but mostly I feel happy to have finally embraced writing as my purpose and to do what I truly love.
9. what to watch on Netflix
Check out 5 movies to watch on Netflix for some of my movie recommendations. In terms of shows, I’m a sucker for sitcoms! Here’s a few that I recommend: Kim’s Convenience, Community, One Day at a Time, Workin’ Moms, Santa Clarita Diet, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
10. how to impress a girl
Being a girl myself, I think I can help with this one! I think it’s really important to be thoughtful. Grand gestures are nice, but don’t forget what matters most: listen, be there for her, and support her dreams and ambitions. At the end of the day, regardless of gender, I think that’s what all of us look for in our partners.
11. how to cite a website
When you’re writing academic papers, citations (giving credit to your source or references) are very important. Failing to cite your sources can lead to plagiarism. There are different styles of referencing or citation such as APA and Harvard that you may need to use depending on your university or course.
Here’s a useful tip that I learned in university: Microsoft Word has a built-in referencing tool that can help you generate citations and a reference list for your academic assignments and papers.
Right at the top, there’s a toolbar. Choose References > Click on ‘Style’ to choose your preferred referencing style > Click on ‘Insert Citation’ to add your sources > Click on ‘Bibliography’ to generate a reference list for your paper.
This function is especially handy for lengthy academic write-ups such as your thesis or research papers.
12. how to build credit
Building a good credit history can be useful for future loan applications. One way to start building a credit history in your name is to get a credit card. Use the card and pay any owed amounts in full every month. This is a good way to show banks that you are creditworthy or in other words, a responsible borrower.
13. how to cook/steam broccoli
When I’m feeling lazy and I don’t want to spend too long cooking, I usually pan-fry some marinated chicken and steam some broccoli in the microwave. It takes less than 5 minutes to cook broccoli this way. I just cut the broccoli into florets, wash them, and put them into a microwaveable container.
I add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water before popping the container into the microwave. Next, I choose the ‘steam vegetables’ option on the microwave and set the timer for 1 minute 30 seconds. Once the broccoli steams, I drain any excess water. Finally, I season with salt, pepper, and some lime juice.
14. how to deal with anxiety
This question really hit home for me. Last year, I went through some bad anxiety, and looking back now, I’m so grateful that I’m not in that place anymore. My anxiety was work-related. I had serious doubts about my ability to perform and as a result, I started to worry about everything. I had sleepless nights, I’d check my work incessantly in fear of making mistakes, and I’d almost always feel overwhelmed. Work was always on my mind and I couldn’t relax.
I was filled with doubt and feelings of inadequacy all the time. I lost track of how many breakdowns I had at home with my poor husband trying to console me and reassure me that I’m doing my best. But at the time, my best just didn’t feel good enough.
A number of things helped to ease my anxiety:
Having a strong support system. My husband, my dad, and my friends encouraged me and offered me a shoulder to cry on when I was down. Having someone in your corner who you can call when you feel overwhelmed and anxious is important.
Leaving a job that wasn’t right for me. I’m very fortunate to have supportive family and friends who understand that mental health is above all else. I left my job and started to explore writing as a possible career. Today, I’m in a much better headspace and I’m able to enjoy my writing pursuits.
Speaking to a counselor helped me realise I had set impossible standards for myself to be perfect. When I left my job, my work-related anxiety quickly morphed into oh-my-god-I-have-no-job-and-no-plan-for-my-life anxiety. It took speaking to an objective third party to make me see that everyone has their own struggles and timelines. I need to do what’s right for me; in this case, it’s exploring slightly unconventional paths.
15. how to improve English
Back in school, many of the subjects I learned were taught in English. This helped to improve my English language proficiency. However, I do understand how it feels like to struggle with a language. I’m not very fluent in Tamil and my pronunciation certainly has much room for improvement. Over the years, however, I think my Tamil vocabulary has improved from watching Tamil movies and listening to Tamil songs.
Watching movies is a great way to slowly pick up a language. You’re exposed to different words and phrases, and you also learn their pronunciation. Google Translate is also an amazing tool that I use to look up certain words that I know in one language, but not another. Speaking the language is definitely helpful. I often feel very self-conscious speaking in Tamil because I have it in my head that people will judge me, so I mostly speak the language with my parents and husband.
But I guess there’s always going to be someone who judges no matter what; if I can’t speak Tamil, it’ll be: “How can you not know how to speak your own mother tongue?” and if I can’t speak English, it’ll be: “How can you not know the lingua franca of the world?”
No one knows everything. There’s always going to be someone who’s struggling to learn the language you’re fluent in, whether it’s English, Tamil, Hindi, Korean, etc. So let’s just be kind to one another.
So, those are my answers to some of the Internet’s most asked questions. If you like this quirky and somewhat random Q&A session, let me know! I can do another one because hey, 15 down, 985 questions to go!