The Blog

Emotional Interruptions: Have You Ever Fallen Off the Grid?

get-attachment_optSocial Media is not just trendy, it’s an integral part of our culture and it is here to stay.  We all play in the same playground but perhaps in different sand boxes. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, and more, we are all broadcasting in real time, all the time. We are sharing the NOW.

Some of us use Social Media solely as an internet marketing tool for promoting business, while others consider it a viable platform in which to network, or a space to voice opinions, a place to connect with friends (both new and old), or  just an arena to share and post personal photographs of exotic vacations, celebrations & weddings, beautiful babies & grandchildren, precious pets, delectable foods, quotable quotes, breathtaking sunsets, etc.  Each of us are creating a traceable unique and personal timeline and sharing it with the universe. Everybody’s doing it, why not? It’s easy and it’s fun. Until it’s not.

One may also question, is it all real? Is everyone really that happy?  Recent studies reveal that Facebook, in fact, can cause depression.  Scrolling through people’s fabulous vacations, expensive purchases and adorable children, feelings of jealousy and resentment often emerge.   News feeds are bursting with mostly positive things in other people’s lives, and there are notably far less people publicly whining about their sad or unhappy life.

So when life got in my way, I shifted my perspective and my priorities.  Family and work were my focus.  Mid-summer, (for reasons undisclosed) I fell off the grid and flew under the radar.

In life, things happen both good and bad that can derail you, steer you off track and veer you off course. These life events were personal and private and mentioned only to emphasize that for me, Social Media had to take a back seat. My life was interrupted and consequently, my minimal interactions reflected that I was disengaged. Were you aware?  I wondered if anyone even paid attention.  Some did notice my glaring absence and lack of visibility and took the time to reach out to me.  It turns out that Facebook friends really are more than just fans. Go figure.

As an active user of many genres of Social Media,  I hadn’t the time nor the inclination to engage.  Life was too busy.  Admittedly, any kind of Social Media sucks up way too much time.  Sometimes it even feels burdensome.  As a business owner, (by choice, sans a virtual assistant who could manage and monitor my posts for me) I feel a certain responsibility to maintain a Facebook presence and to keep my blogs flowing weekly, and foremost, rich in content. What I’ve recently learned is that although I write for YOU,  I also write for ME.  It’s 100% cathartic. I take pride in sharing my authentic self so when real time trumped screen time, I took the virtual pause that I needed.

It was beginning to feel more like a second job more than something I really enjoyed doing. I always say, “you know when you know,” and so I knew it was time to take that break. There were days after work that I never even walked into my office to sit at my computer, as usual. My phone kept me connected enough, and the down time was actually quite liberating. Life without Facebook felt a lot less frenetic and free of pretense.  When it all became too much,  disconnecting was a healthy relief.

But things weren’t all bad, there was plenty of good too.  The greatest parts of summer were that the weather was stellar and my business was soaring! 🙂 (Hmm…caused me to rethink if Social Media is over-rated anyway)

But the very BEST part of this summer was that it ended with my daughter’s engagement!!  I’m over the moon with excitement! She’s marrying her best friend and soul mate and I couldn’t be happier.  Planning and preparing for this wedding has already begun to shift my perspective once again.

I’m back on course now, flying higher for sure.  Enthusiastic and passionate…just a wee bit more insightful.  Stay-tuned until the next blog.  I’m back on the radar.


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Syncing or Sinking with your Busy Life? Is Technology Your Friend or Foe?

914512389_optManaging our “busy” is a daily challenge for most of us, and how we approach it changes from day-to-day.  Some days it feels like all the stars are aligned and we navigate through our day with seamless effort, right?  Our calendars are synced to our phones, we get to our appointments on time, and our schedules are running according to plan. We are in sync. Our phones are “smart” and life is good.

Living in a high-tech world is the new normal. We’re able to access social media while on the go with no worries. We can receive all of our e-mails, glance at Facebook, and connect with anyone (anywhere) with a simple click, tweet, or “like.”  But if things go awry and in the event that we lose Internet service, battery life, or even the actual phone, we stand to lose more than just a connection.  We are likely to feel off kilter and out of control.

Sometimes the techy world becomes all too consuming and can overwhelm our lives.  The foe rears its ugly head.  Because we are virtually “available ” 24/7, it can invade our personal spaces. We can easily drown in the social media pool, sinking ever so slowly, without realizing that it is robbing us of our leisure time. In a recent blog, I shared my experience of “disconnecting” while on vacation, “The Rules of Disengagement: My Quest for the Ultimate Get-away Vacation.” Imposing a social media break was extremely elevating and eye-opening.

Technology makes our world both simple and complicated. Indeed, it is a double-edged sword. Some of us depend on the cell phone for just about everything, and highly regard it as an alternate brain. Hence, in the event that it’s lost or misplaced, it can be catastrophic.  I can remember a time that a phone was just a phone, not our life GPS, computer, radio, TV, camera or bank.

Managing our busy with the help from our technology works perfectly…until it doesn’t.  We are at its mercy.  When our devices have glitches, we freak out.

I often think about how scary it is to be so dependent on technology that I have implemented certain practices to foster a little more self-sufficiency.  I  love having a smart phone, but I still want to feel smart and in control. Here’s what works for me.

    • Back-up– I’m NOT talking about the obvious virtual back-up onto your pc or the cloud. (Besides, the computer can potentially have a meltdown when you need to access info in that moment) I’m referring to backing up my appointments on paper. I’m old school, and I love paper calendars.  Although I might also sync my schedule with my phone,  I refer to a wall calendar for my personal social life.  I rely on my purse-size calendar to reflect my day-to-day and work schedule.  I take comfort in having a physical hard copy and can edit, without worry of powering up or accidentally deleting (yes, I still use an old-fashioned pencil and erase). I feel in control.


    • Memorize important phone #’s–  The phone #’s of the most important people in my life have always been embedded in my memory. Granted, using  the “speed dial” feature for key contacts is so easy, fast, and efficient, but how many of us can recall their numbers by memory? Ask yourself if you lost your phone, how would you recover the contacts?


    • Write it down- I’m a huge advocate of writing everything down so having a physical hard copy of important phone #’s, vital documents, passwords, and personal info, is a comfortable habit for me. I store them in a secure location but it is always retrievable.


    • Discriminate the data – Personally, I discriminate and limit what personal/private data I send to the cloud. I choose not to relinquish all control to multiple devices.


    • Print and preserve photos- It’s super convenient to save photos to your phone and share them when you’re out socializing, but I still prefer having a physical space to capture my memories.  I have always kept organized photo albums and still love turning a page and thumbing through the good times in a photo book, and sharing it together at a family gathering.  I’m so grateful to have them. We can trace our lives through these photos.  It is our timeline.  They rekindle the memories and compel us to retell the stories. For me,  scrolling through hundreds of images on a camera roll is not the same experience.  But that’s just me.


So how about you? Have you completely succumbed to technology? Are you 100% in?  Do tell.

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