Tag Archives: relationships

Break Free From Social Media If You Need To!

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I was recently asked by a bartender as I was ordering a cold pint of Creemore what I thought social media meant exactly.  The question seemed odd, actually let me rephrase, the timing was odd.  I never really did get to answer him, as quickly as the question reached my auditory canals mr. bartender was being summoned from across the bar by a patron clearly on the verge of shrivel if they didn’t throw a G & T down the hatch and fast.  Mr. bartender scurried away to grab the order.  I thought about how I would’ve answered and unfortunately my answer seems to have been dipped in thick molasses rolled in cotton sprayed with veneer.  Social media is all things confusing and life sucking for some and for others it’s a relaxing walk down a pier somewhere in Cape Cod or a quick jump into a sprinkler on a hot sticky humid day.  If you’re feeling it’s too overwhelming, time consuming and just a big boring alternative to reading gossip columns, step away from it all.  No one will hold it against you.

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The bite of social connectivity

Curious, how many of us are guilty of sending an email to someone then following it up with a text letting said receiver know that a message was sent? I caught myself doing that earlier and I have to say that it is the dumbest thing I’ve done this morning. Our devices are facilitating odd behaviours, the need to connect using every single medium possible, I mean if I could’ve I would’ve probably followed up the follow up text by sending over an elder precariously balancing a scroll displaying repeated scribblings to the person’s home. Have I lost it? The need and the urgency for response is possessing us and creating salivations similar to sharks teased by molecules of blood bobbing choppy waters. Someone please pull out that hook and yank me off of that stage before I sink further into the depths of impatience and control. I’m blaming devices as I would icy sidewalks for falling over and over again. It’s not the ‘thing’, it’s me. The problem lies beneath the surface of overly priced tracking devices and the need to breadcrumb our social networks for even more attention and response. Step away from the table once you’re done eating.

Hop on hop off the social grid

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Oh holiday season, every year I let you take me hostage.  Every media stream gets hijacked and next thing you know, we’re all drunk on punch.  The social media spider jar has been knocked over and all things holiday are crawling like crazy.  I think I may become anti-social for a bit, the drunk won’t go away anytime soon and wait, is that a big ugly snow covered hangover I see in my future?  If I drop off the social grid for a bit will people think I’m dead?  Or maybe completely off my rocker?  Here’s the thing, I really don’t care.  We’re too concerned with what others think.  Treat social networking like a hop on hop off London bus and don’t worry about it.

Somewhere down that not so crazy Twitter river

2 dollars by the bed with a pair of rubber shoes, 5 dollars at the bottom. This is what I was told by an older homeless woman earlier today after I handed her 2 dollars.  She’s done her time and still doing it, there was a message in there somewhere and she stated it in 140 characters or less, to me.  As I walked away I wondered how many times in one day that woman recites it. The message made no sense to me but nor do half the tweets I read on a daily basis.  Twitter?  What’s your purpose exactly?  The people want to know.  I chuckle when I hear mass Twitter haters use the ‘ who cares that someone ate a burger on a Tuesday and tweets it ‘ as the example to why they have no use for it.   Well, I’d have to agree. But if you’re a business owner for instance and you’re selling burgers at half price as a special promotion to drive traffic into your artery clogging treehouse, Twitter is definitely one artery your heart would use to pump that message through.  Capillaries and veins know their job and we as digital dwellers unknowingly know ours.  But we pass those messages along and the circuit loop begins and continues on.

I ended up seeing that woman half hour later in a shop buying bread. Witnessing that put a lump in my throat.  I’d like to think that my 2 bucks inspired that purchase.

All that and a bag of online sharing.

Photo sharing.  Sharing period.  It’s become a big part of what we do online.  We’re digital vessels, mining carts for gems and precious metals.  We find what we like and we share.  It’s good.  Very good.  Some of what we find may be bright and shiny one minute then slowly start to fade as it gets handled by the hundreds of hands it passes thru.  But not always.  So share to your heart’s content.  Not only is it fun, it’s beneficial in so many ways.  I was part of the mixed tape generation, those years gone to dust and most wouldn’t even know what that would mean exactly but that action, that time period truly was the pyramid of sharing and allowing others to get a glimpse into different slices of our being, our personalities.  Reach out and share a friend’s work whether it’s art, music or a clever quote, it’s a handshake and a pat on the back for many.  There aren’t shelves for these miniature digital trophies but people watch, listen and remember.

Social Networking Bling

I guess the more social networking badges, buttons and widgets attached to your online pages the cooler you are.  Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time online getting caught up on the latest marketing hoopla, I really don’t need to be seen arm extended always trying to catch that San Fran streetcar and missing it.  Problem is, I’ve been stumbling upon pasty puffy marketing couch experts, their online pages decorated like plaques displaying their degrees at the University of Facebook likes and Twitter followers, button after button, row upon row.  Top right of their pages generally, their social clubhouses.  And during my travels from one article to the next desperately trying to find oil, I unfortunately start feeling like I’m doing the side step from one war veteran to the next, glancing down at their lapels to see which medals and badges they’re showing.

Don’t ever feel you need to start training for the social networking olympics.  Join whichever online social clubhouses that suit you, your lifestyle, your business.  And if your audience happens to be your long line of 100+ italian relatives or maybe it’s the people who stop into your coffee shop each day to buy your freshly brewed coffee,  choose the clubs that suit your mission best.  You’ll be a pro sniper before you know it.  Aim and shoot.  You’ll hit your target. If Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram don’t make sense to you today, oh well.  Put that book down and pick it up another time.

rushing to the social hydrant

So there’s always somewhere to go, somewhere to be.  Claim stake or be left in the dust.  We rush to those fire hydrants like a pack of NYC rat dwellers letting others know where we’ve been and possibly where we’re going.  Then we move on.   What’s it all about?  Smartphones and communication devices are adorned in ridiculously expensive accoutrements, much like luggage.  Gucci vs Walmart.  Ever stand and wonder what could possibly be in those pieces of luggage hugging those airport conveyor belts?  Beware of all things tressed in sparkles and silver foiled cupcake leaves.  I miss the days of my 2 pounder cellphone begging and pleading with the universe for a signal through it’s hand crafted paper clip gently poking my coat pocket.  

 
Warning: device dependence is on the rise.  Addiction centres and programs coming soon.  Yes, we need devices to communicate but don’t let that little hunk of junk take you hostage.   When was the last time you actually dialled that thing to talk.  To listen.  To share.  We’re all guilty of the digital pacification methods we use to buy us more time, censor our thoughts.  If  it weren’t for that backspace button, I’d be alone in life.  Verbal reactionary conversation is a rare species and will become endangered if we’re not careful.  
 
Engagement.  Make sure it’s real.  Make it meaningful.  The scheduled ‘like’ button click race is wearing people thin.  We’re forgetting how to engage in meaningful ways.  Think long term.  Quick hits of inhalations through plastic tubes never last.   We’re here to shape our fortresses so shape them.  Use that device of choice to break ground, to transport each brick and slab.  That fortress needs to be solid so make it built to last.