mommyness, my thoughts, new media, stuff from my life

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?

my thoughts, new media, stuff from my life

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!

my thoughts

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.

books I've read, my thoughts

Not feeling Outliers…

I’ve been listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers (got it on Audible) over the last few days and quite frankly, I’m not feeling great about it.  I mean it’s actually getting me in a bad mood.

I resent the fact that he suggests that people who haven’t been brought up at just the right time, circumstance and geographic location will essentially have an uphill climb to success – at least in their professional lives.  That’s it’s all about opportunity.  I’ll agree with him that talent, determination and hard work remain key factors to success but it irks me enormously to hear that all that isn’t enough.

I know it’s suppose to be a conversation starter (and obviously it’s working) but all it’s doing to me is depressing the heck out of me.

I admit to not having Practical Intelligence and I suppose that will stop me from getting ahead (as it already has).

I’ve been in a rotten mood since I started listening to this book … maybe I should just stop.

Is there anyone else who feels like this about the book?  Please let me know I’m not alone.

my thoughts, new media, Portfolio, social media trends, stats, stuff from my life

Totally Stoked!

fairuseebookcoverI got an huge opportunity to do the design work for Daisy Whitney’s first eBook entitled: Keeping You and Your Content Out of Court.  Get your copy at  If you don’t already know, Daisy is host of This Week in Media and New Media Minute.  Check her out.  It’s totally worth it!


Thanks Daisy!!

my thoughts

A look ahead and some reflection back

I like to look back on a year; as we all do I imagine, and closely review the lessons 2008 offered me. Hopefully, I was paying attention and learned something! I hate learning something twice.

2008 brought personal and professional challenges for me but one thing remained constant – my passion for the web.

Being able to reach out to my Twitter and Facebook communities and connect with people; special people (@pbaileymtl, @tanmcg and @daisywhitney), was invaluable to me in 2008.

2009 holds many secrets (personally, I’m hoping all good) and probably even more challenges (again, good ones!).  Economic volatility will undoubtedly force social media to the forefront of necessary tools in everyone’s arsenal. Being connected and staying connected will become key in 2009. Relying on your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and FriendFeed communities will become a lifeline to keeping up with this fast moving world. Content will be key, as it will distinguish you from the rest. So consider it to be open season on creativity!

All I can say is Thank You for your eyes during the year and for your comments especially. It proves to me that my WordPress stats have human beings behind them. I need to know you are out there and you need to know that I appreciate the time spent with me.

Happy Holidays!

Cheers for 2009!!