Category Archives: social media

Transformation Tuesday (Or, How I Stopped Bitching and Learned to Love the Hashtag)

There’s this holiday-themed Fruity Pebbles commercial from the mid-80s l that I would drop everything to watch when I was a kid. As we were more of a Grape Nuts, Cream of Wheat, and Quaker Oats family, the draw was less about the product and more about the strong sense of family and the magic of the Christmas season (and, of course, Fred finally letting Barney have the cereal).

No lie, that commercial is still fun to watch as an adult. But being an active, sometimes unwilling participant in consumerism, I have developed a little bit of a Grinch complex, particularly towards the over use of hashtags in social media and digital marketing. Considering their overall purpose and that they’ve only been clickable links within the past decade, I can’t really be too critical of them. Within the social media framework, they only serve to further connect people and ideas, whether for good, bad, or worse. And when you think about it, SEO and hashtags are merely yester-era’s catchphrases and slogans. The only difference between :more traditional” forms of media (i.e. print, radio, and television) is that this still relatively new media is available on demand, 24/7.

Anyway, with this realization, I’ve decided to shut up about the whole hashtag thing and learn to love the monster for linking the world together. Marketing means consumerism, which means a potential boost in both local and global economies. Even further, the fact that notable messages, ideas, causes and projects have the potential of receiving substantial exposure outside of an echo chamber is huge. 

Finally, because this type of media is still so new in comparison to others means that there are still plenty of uncharted avenues in which to employ it outside of the standard, excessive, and sometimes annoying. Independent creativity, meet wave of reinvention?

I can feel my growing heart three sizes already.

Advertisements

Social Media Makes the World Small. It’s Not That Deep

worldMy good friend belongs to the same dance troupe as the now-wife of my first lover, and has been for a year or so now. I know this thanks to some photos my friend has shared on Instagram. (C’est la vie.)

This past weekend, I went to a bar downtown and friended a guy who runs in the same musical circle as the childhood neighbor I’d play four-handed piano with on Tuesday nights after Bible study. (Just a happy coincidence.)

Just this afternoon at my day job, I came across the portfolio of someone whose name I immediately recognized from work I follow on social and creative media platforms. (Well, all right, then.)

I realize that these interactions pack a little less punch than, say, going to the deli or car wash and bumping into someone who just happens to be a friend of a friend of someone you used to know. However, these instances were just intimate enough that I’d be lying if I claimed that I wasn’t the least bit affected. But due to the modern web of social media, it only makes sense that these worlds would collide directly, and at times violently, into mine.

A few years ago, I might have viewed the above occurrences as chance, or maybe even a sign of the past being manifested as a present branching-off of a celestial event. I wouldn’t be the only one, either — perhaps you would feel similarly. With the wealth of exciting activity occurring in the universe this month that will continue to be observed from our vantage point on Earth, it’s only understandable. 

But let’s really think about it: Anyone can be found on the internet. As of March 2017, statistics suggest that at least half of the world’s population has access to the internet. Interactions such as the ones above are really not that random. It’s just that individually-drawn, personal associations are powerful enough in convincing people otherwise.

As for me, right now, I subscribe to the fact that the world is small as a result of the internet’s far reach — nothing more, or less. 

It’s kind of fun, fascinating, maybe even thrilling. But it’s also really not that deep.

20 Blog Posts on Rose-Colored Linds! What I’ve Learned So Far

blog2I am, at my core, a writer. Since I was a child, it has always come relatively easily, what with having a very vivid imagination and the ability to be infatuated with just about anyone (or anything). But like most creative endeavors, full-time adulting eventually took the fun out of it.

It’s been that way for about six years — that is, until the idea for Rose-Colored Linds came about. I truly don’t know what changed, but writing and documenting here for the past month-and-a-half has been really fun. Needless to say, I am looking forward to more.

To mark this milestone of 20 posts, I thought it fitting to share what I’ve learned so far:

1. The best ideas really do come in the shower, or while driving, or out for a walk. I’ve been making a concerted habit to go through my thoughts during such moments of pause. Sometimes it gets a just a little bit weird, but, hey, we’re all mad here, etc.

2. Research is more than a Google search. Listening to new music, going through your Twitter news feed, engaging in water cooler talk — that’s research, too. Writing is inherently a solo activity, but it instantly becomes a social engagement once published. So being somewhat in tune what’s stimulating others will assist in what you add to the discourse.

3. If you want to create content, don’t wait — start now. As in right now. If you think it’s all been done, think again. Sure, there’s a lot of content out there, but there’s always room for more, especially if it comes from a fresh perspective. The interwebs are deep and dark, but plenty of gems kick up to the surface. Let one of them be yours.

4. Visuals go a long way. Everyone has an imagination, but there’s something to be said for a photo or video making a wall of text more digestible. If a picture is worth a thousand words, you’ll probably only have to write 500 or so.

5. Be patient. Stick with your dream. Earlier this year, I had big plans for the patio garden outside my apartment — a hopeful little jungle oasis to be enjoyed during the heat of summer. I bought some seedlings, was gifted a couple tomato plants, and my faithful annual geranium started blooming. It took a while, and didn’t turn out exactly as I’d imagined, but I’ve got a garden that I’m really proud of. Things don’t happen overnight. They may not happen for weeks, or months, or even longer than that — but they will.

To wrap it up, I’ll leave you with this quote by inspirational speaker Sandra Turley: “Seek to be worth knowing rather than well known.”

Thanks for reading – see you in the next post!

Yes, You’ve Settled¬†

settled

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” — Will Rogers

In 2001, I had a Samsung flip phone, a 5G iPod nano, and a Dell Inspiron laptop running a Windows XP operating system. That was all I could ask for, and as a struggling college student, it made more sense to hold onto what I had until it either snapped in half or melted enough AC adaptors to render it useless.

Soon after graduation, however, smart devices were experiencing a massive boom, so I decided to move onto something new. I totally could have got another flip phone, as they were and are still being manufactured. But for me, it was time for me to join the new and ultra-improved tech stream the whole world had found itself thrust into. And so I did, essentially trading three devices for one.

Now, new tech is one of those things that — while increasing exponentially — is at most everyone’s fingertips in the form of a smartphone. With constant release of new products, updates, and features, it can a challenge to keep up — but either you do, or you don’t. The choice, relatively, is yours.

This can apply to anything you can think of, from a film or music genre to a sex position. It’s great to know what you like — but being so sure runs the all-too real risk of being frozen in time. And not in a classic, timeless sense, either. More like a primitive relic.

I’ve been feeling this lately and have been making an effort to implement simple strategies to be more in tune with the outside world instead of humming along, ignorantly blissful within mine:

1. Listening to new music. This has probably has been the easiest and most accessible way to keep stay in the now, because — while I may question some of the latest trends in popular music — it gives me some insight into what is “hot” or “fresh”, therefore leaving me feeling somewhat hot and fresh. It’s also given me more insight into how my parents and other adults felt about Top 40 music when I was a teen during the late nineties. (Sorry, Mom and Pop.)

Today I stumbled upon Julia Michaels while reading an article from BBC that piqued my interest. A songwriter-turned-pop-artist, she reminded me a bit of Tove Lo, who I can’t get enough of. So I figured, why not give her a chance? Michaels’ debut mini-album “Nervous System” was released just this past Friday, and if you like pop music with a little twist, you’ll probably like this. (Saucy types, stick around for “Pink”.)

2. Reading articles from start to finish. Like, actually reading them and not merely reacting to a headline.

Cool story: I came across a Vanity Fair article on tonight’s Game of Thrones episode (look out for spoilers) and I had geared up to tell them off via Twitter based on my strong reaction to the headline via Google search. (I actually did, but deleted the tweet once I actually read the article. Oops.)

Say what??

Just saying, we’re all guilty of falling into sticky af clickbait and we should know better by now but, you know, we don’t.

3. Hanging out with people. Whether online or in-person (ideally the latter), social engagement is where the magic happens. Having turned 32 this year, I feel very “old” sometimes, and yeah, while not a teenager, my mind feels like me, which is as only old as I feel. And now the cliche phrase makes sense, whereas it used to be just words.

Sharing ideas, interests, coming to a common ground, etc. keeps the blood flowing to the appendages, as it were. Keeps the neurons alight and all that jazz. Going where people are may take a little effort, but more often than not, it’s worth it.

Don’t get me wrong: having that comfort feeling that makes you feel how you felt the first time doing anything is one of the best things out there. Like that cozy sleeping-in feeling on a rainy day, being comfortable is absolutely needed. Just remember that being too comfortable can run the risk of mental and emotional atrophy from staying in the same place for too long. 

Besides, new experiences are always out there, waiting for that first time feeling to be uncovered. Rarely will they be where you’ve been a million times before.

So get moving.

Strength Training for the Zombie Apocalypse, Ep. 5

Leg day, glute day, lower body day — my favorite, my favorite. Probably because when I see or feel progression, it is such an accomplishment. My lower body is a beast and I’ll always be working to tame it. Definitely a worthy challenge.

Here’s a routine I did the other day for time, which was around 56 minutes:

I have a community gym in my apartment complex – no fancy machines, but some equipment (dumbbells, ankle weights, resistance bands, ab rollers/slides, pull up bar, etc.). It’s been fun figuring out and improving upon basic exercises/functions in the name of strength progression. Like kinesiology, except, well, obviously not.

Still, it can be a little bit of a challenge to wake up other muscles in the body, which why I surf other blogs, YouTube channels, Pinterest, and the great and powerful Google for inspiration. I mean the way that the “yeah, she squats” craze burned across the interwebs years ago, I’d’ve never thought to do abductions or pull throughs. Like, come on now. She does more than squat, fool.

Anyway, a lot of folks incorporate and modify moves by “The Glute Guy” Bret Contreras, who incorporates and modifies from others as well. Let’s face it, though: he’s some kinda king. Boss of butts.

Abby Pollock on YouTube is also a favorite of mine with her scientific breakdowns to understand why and how instead of blindly jumping in and hoping for the best.

Check out previous episodes here:

Episode 4

Episode 3

Episode 2

Episode 1

Where do you get your workout inspiration?

20 Unconventional Blog Post Titles

Thought I’d have a little fun — stop me if you’ve heard these before:

1.  How to NOT Go Viral

2. Face It, We’re All Dying 

3. The Good Old Days Were Great for You, But Sucked For Your Parents

4. 20 Singers Who Do Not Use Autotune

5. How to Silent Fart Your Way Out of a Bad Date

6. 5 Exercises to Get a Flat Butt

7. 10 Reasons to Go Carnivorous

8. How to Stay Below the Poverty Line

9. Save on Dental Bills by Avoiding Responsibility Altogether

10. How to Side-Eye Your Way to the Top

11. Charming Incompetence = Basically a Princess 

12. How to Talk Yourself Down from a Double-Shot Espresso High

13. 8 Reasons to Marry Your Fiance and Not Run Off With the Horse

14. Chocolate is a Vegetable, Wine is a Fruit

15. 20 Ways to Emo Like It’s 1994

16. Celebs: Like Hell They’re Just Like Us

17. A Day in the Life of a Parched InstaThot 

18. You’re Not Special, Just Loud and Annoying 

19. How to Successfully Daydream Yourself Out of a Job 

20. Throat Punching: The New Pinky Swear 

Would you write about any of these? (I’m sure someone already has…)

Happy Friday!

Is LinkedIn the New Facebook?

I used to follow a very notable personality who I had assumed was an expert in nutrition, fitness, etc. Without naming names, it was one of those situations where — with  an e-book, numerous videos, subscribers, a certain aesthetic and surety in one’s voice — it would have been tough to not think they were an expert in some way.

Naturally, not just this one person, but many others I’d assumed to be relative experts, started coming out as just that: personalities, with life experience as teacher, and not experts in their field or line of interest.

Now, to me, there’s nothing wrong with any of that. However, there is something to be said for some backing regarding one’s experience rather than merely what they speak about. It’s one of the reasons why I’m taking public speaking courses, digging through old textbooks on literary theory, looking to perform personal essays — for me myself, I need some educational backing to improve upon my interests, and to work with the world around me to do so  (but I digress… so worth it, though).

With all that said, LinkedIn is quickly becoming the hottest place for normal folks to build one’s brand, if not already. No longer a place to merely update your resume in between jobs, it is a highly active networking/sharing platform for professionals of all types.

On YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc., if you’re a lifestyle / vegan / travel / fashion / fitness / model / guru / whatever, you’re probably going to be lost in a sea of carefully crafted personas. LinkedIn, however, is a slightly smaller pool with with less trolling and more substance. It is user-friendly with liking, sharing, and following capabilities, but is built on professionalism first. Now a place with influencers and channels, it’s a buzzing environment and a lot of fun to navigate.

In my personal opinion, Facebook is quickly becoming MySpace in the form of memes, viral video sharing, and random pages of cluttered, black hole content. It seems to be implementing flashy integrations to boost its relevancy when compared to competitors rather than actually improve users’ experience — whereas other outlets such as LinkedIn provide more focus, with the foundation of professional networking that seems to curb any overstepping.

Social media is definitely not going anywhere. It provides an opportunity in which spectator can be entertainer (and vice versa), a highly interactive format where anyone’s voice can be heard. That’s powerful. And really, for all the meh content and functionality, there’s some really great stuff out there as well.

But if you’re looking to improve upon your brand and network, I highly suggest LinkedIn. If you’re not logged in at least three times a week, well, you really might want to be. In fact, I dare you.

Do you think I have a point, or is this all BS? (I don’t think so, but I’m open to being wrong).

What’s your favorite way to network?