Creative Humans Require One Important Thing

Turns out it’s Solitude.

I found this post on www.zenhabits.net today.  This well thought out post clearly demonstrated that being alone IS indeed a valuable and very necessary part of being a creative human being.

Personally, I need “alone” time to recharge my spiritual / creative batteries.  Without it – I would be a wreck!

Here’s a portion of the post I wanted to outline in particular:

Just a few of the benefits I’ve found from solitude:

* time for thought
* in being alone, we get to know ourselves
* we face our demons, and deal with them
* space to create
* space to unwind, and find peace
* time to reflect on what we’ve done, and learn from it
* isolation from the influences of other helps us to find our own voice
* quiet helps us to appreciate the smaller things that get lost in the roar

What else does solitude bring to your life?

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Money always the motivator – I think NOT

Found this video via one of my Facebook friends and had to share it. To be frank, I didn’t want to loose track of it so I am posting it here.

This is an amazing video about what really drives and motivates us at work and in life.

Where did my walled-garden go?

Here’s a thought

When Facebook dares to change it’s design (not features) but its physical design, millions of people get in a twist about it.

People organize by setting up Facebook Pages dedicated to expressing their disgust and hatred because Facebook dare move a button.  Not to mention the thousands of Status Updates where users publicly threaten to delete their accounts if Facebook doesn’t put the site back to the previous design.

Reality check please

BUT when Facebook fundamentally changes its privacy policy (or what’s left of it) no one cares and worse, no one even knows what the big deal is.

My “Facebook Fail” moment

Note to “unlike” and stay away from the groups with funny names where you get to see the mystery image only if you “Like” the page.  Come on, are you really that naive?

Your personal information and surfing habits are being observed, calculated and quantified AND they are being sold to strangers.

The whole new search-able you

If you don’t put the correct privacy settings on those 900 Facebook photos; you know, those pictures of you drinking and making a fool of yourself at the various parties around campus, well, they are probably being seen by people outside of Facebook and worse; they are (or will become) search-able.

Now I know, that might not mean much right now because you probably have the usual “I don’t care what people think” attitude but remember this post in a few years from now when you suddenly don’t get that “dream job” even though you were completely qualified for it.

Let’s face it, the “Facebook Walled-Garden” is dead.

I know why I need Facebook in my life so I won’t be deactivating my account however, I have made changes to my privacy settings that suit my personal needs.  I do not accept Facebook gifts, game invitations or anything else that needs me to “Like” it in order to see it.

I suggest you do the same.

UPDATE: There are a few posts out there saying that it’s the “older folks” who are having a problem with the new Facebook privacy policy.  I ask you this: What do you think is the average age of today’s Facebook user?  If Facebook looses their trust – then they are history.

More food for thought: Recent stats indicate the Gen Y users are most likely to falsify their personal info on Facebook. What will Facebook do with a bunch of unusable information?

Are you turning your loved-ones into Social Media haters?

I have a 13 year old boy and I realized something enormous this past Saturday. I’m speaking of a game changing event.

Evan and I planned to spend Saturday in the city (about a 25 minute bus ride from where we live). We would walk and talk and have lunch somewhere.  It was to be a free-form afternoon.

As we were getting ready I naturally packed up my iPhone.  Evan immediately asked me “you’re not going to check in on Twitter and Foursquare every place we go with that all day are you?”

Stunned, I answered no but I suddenly realized that in some part, Evan has indeed been an innocent by-stander when it comes to my Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare ways.  I am not, by any means, a social media addict.  I’ll even prove it.  I am able to leave the house without my iPhone and I sometimes DON’T check in on Foursquare everywhere I go. You should be able to do the same by the way.

Anyways, all this got me thinking.  Here I am; thinking that I am a cool Mom because I am an early adopter when it comes to geeky things like social media and technology.  That should make me awesome right?  It seems not.

Social media participants know, it literally takes a few seconds to check in somewhere but all this paused-attention has a direct effect on the people around us. I think we are unknowingly sending them a message.

What is that message?

Well in my case, I am telling Evan; and very clearly I might add, that every person I follow on Twitter, Foursquare, or Facebook is more important at that moment and that we must pause our conversation, our walk and our moment while I announce to my audience that I am doing, seeing, watching something extraordinary, funny, odd or stupid. Aren’t those things supposed to reserved for our offline lives? Or at least some of it should. Don’t you think?

Make no mistake: this is also an issue for our non-participating Social Media loved-ones.

Let’s say you are out with your non-participating social media life partner and you both have planned to walk, converse and share quality time with each other.  Now, how much of that is actual quality time if and you are clutching your iPhone, Blackberry or Droid with the grip of a young Chuck Norris and are constantly announcing to a bunch of strangers precisely where you are and exactly what you are doing at every possible moment.

In actual fact, if you really think about it, you ARE NOT doing what you say you are doing with your child or life partner because you are are way too busy signing in, tweeting and checking @ statuses every moment you can. And of course, hoping someone will RT your message as you announce every clever word, phrase, action or reaction your child or life partner experiences during what was supposed to be “quality time” together.

I’ve asked Evan a few times if he wanted a Twitter account and his answer has always been “Nah, it’s not for me”.  Of course it’s not. Why would he want to use the one thing that takes my attention away from him.

I think I may be unknowingly creating a social media hater.

How do I (we) change this?  Well, like with every problem knowing you have a problem is a good start.

A case for moderation

I think we all need to monitor ourselves and gauge our Social Media usage to the more appropriate moments in life.

Don’t Use Case – You are the only person at the family reunion with a smart phone and the inclination to Tweet or self-geo locate.  Answer: Your best bet is to send an offline-for-awhile Tweet and put the mobile away and enjoy your family.  They love you and want *and deserve* your complete attention. (update) Okay, maybe you can take pics with your mobile but wait until you get home to upload them to Flickr.

Ideal Usage Case – It’s Twestival and the place is filled with like-minded tech-savvy peeps and you want to share your minute by minute experiences as well as share your pics and want to pick up lots of info for your next blog post.

Share your story about the non-participating Social Media people in your life.  Do they understand what you do? Are they frustrated? Has it affected their view of Social Media?

An addiction that’s good for me

What am I referring to?  Audiobooks and Podcasts, of course.

I commute and have done so for over 19 years now.  Either I was going to school or going to work but the one gadget that I always took with me was my yellow Sony Walkman, then silver Sony Discman (darn it, cannot find an image of the one I had) and finally my iPod (I’ve owned 4 now).   I really wasn’t a book reader in those days.  Plus reading on the bus made me nauseous and still does.

Throughout decades of this earbud addiction (i.e., the better part of my teen and adult years), I have noticed a significant shift in the type of things I listen to.  The ’80s and ’90s were no doubt my most musically intense times.  That makes sense because that’s where I was developing my ‘ear’ let just say.

Something happened in the last 5 years though.  My music sensibilities changed drastically and my taste for what came out of my ear buds was also altered.  I started downloading these things called Podcasts when I got my first iPod.  They were informative, interesting and totally addictive.

I remember that I worked for a company that used Mac’s and since I was a total novice with anything to do with Apple, I decided that learning about Mac through Podcasts would be a perfect match.

Fastforward 5 years ahead, I owe a lot of my social media/web and technology knowledge to Podcasts of all sorts.  Oh yes, even foodie podcasts.  I love the idea that as I am walking, shopping and staring out into space (but not really) … I am totally absorbed by what is being pumped direcly into my brain and I hope … learning something.

Speaking of learning something…

Audiobooks are another way I spend communte time.  You name… it from Agatha Christie to Sophie Kinsella to Seth Godin, I am there and I am present &  accounted for.

What’s that?  What did Seth mean?  Well, let back that up 30 seconds (new feature on the iPod – Yippy) and listen again until I understand it.  I get my audiobooks from Audible and have done so for about 2 years now.

I’m trying to keep my brain working and this is the best way for me.

Let me know if you decide to try it.

P.S.  I’m even learning about Art History on Audible.  HA!

No idle hands here…

I haven’t been posting a lot these past few months because I have been busy designing a new website.

It’s a huge project and the rebranding is intense.  The launch will likely happen in the next 2 weeks.  I’ll certainly will keep you posted when that happens.

I’m currently working on something for my blog and should be able to finish it and post it soon.

All that to say: I haven’t abandoned my blog and I will be back… shortly.

Really shortly.