Tag Archives: social media

Realistic Social Media Notifications

If you’re on any form of social media, you know that you can opt in or opt out of getting notifications any time someone “likes,” retweets, pins or comments on your updates or on the status of your friends.

I generally opt out of getting the emails because too many emails make me twitchy and I really don’t need extra noise. When I go to the site, I’ll see it. The end.

But I might change my mind if I was sent more realistic social media notifications—something more than “Anne commented on your status update” or “Bill retweeted one of your tweets.”  I have a few suggestions in case anyone wants to contract out my services.

FOLLOW

Facebook

That relative that you were forced to “friend” is replying “LOL” to all your updates from the past month.

Fifteen people posted Someecards or memes expressing their addiction to coffee/wine, their love of Friday/hate of Monday or being a parent.

Your friend Ann changed her profile picture seven times in 10 minutes in an attempt to look sexier.

No one “liked” Anne’s new profile picture after three minutes, so she changed it again.

Your cousin just rolled his eyes at the link to your latest blog post.

A friend just invited you to an event tomorrow night that’s being held on the other side of the country.

“That” couple is having a private conversation through one of their status updates. He loves her.  She loves him back. They are “so blessed.”

The “bad boy” from high school just posted a picture of him braiding the hair of his toddler twin girls.

Don’t bother checking your Facebook fan page. Only 3 percent of your fans are seeing your posts.

Pinterest

Gina started a wedding board to send hint after to hint to her boyfriend in a passive aggressive, Pinterest-y way.

Sally shared the same pin of her last blog post to 12 different boards in five minutes.

Beware! Three friends a going through a phase and pinning nothing but inspirational posters.

Someone liked one of 235 recipes you pinned that you’ll probably never make.

Becky created a board of Creative Projects to Make with Cat Hair.

Twitter

Someone almost retweeted you but instead just added it as a “favorite” because they were ticked they didn’t think of it first.

Lisa says, “GOOD MORNING!!!”

Several people you follow are engaged in a Twitter Party. Avoid until party is done.

Bob is tweeting at famous people in an attempt to get them to follow him.

You are now only 15 people away from 2,000 followers and only three friends away from having three friends.

Someone is retweeting every compliment they’ve ever received.  (Suggested action: block or unfollow)

Jenny made toast, took a picture, posted it with a recipe and added multiple hashtags #bread #toaster #lunch #food #eat #noonecaresitstoast

Three people unfollowed you because you didn’t follow them back after they had been following you for five minutes.

Your super funny tweet got no stars.

Justin Beiber tweeted, “I like tacos.” It was retweeted 465,000 times. Maybe you should give up.

LinkedIn

Someone you have never worked with just asked you to endorse them for biomedical engineering with a focus on potato blight in Idaho, or something similar you have no knowledge of.

A complete stranger is waiting for your response to an invitation to connect with no customized message attached.

Mary is celebrating a 5-year work anniversary at a job you didn’t even know that she had.

A connection just endorsed you for “grocery shopping” and “snacks.”

Well, yay! Finally an endorsement that makes sense.

Your turn. What notifications would you suggest? 

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P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

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You Don’t Have To

There’s a lot of guilt and obligation floating around both online and off. And while you don’t have to believe a word that I say—trust me, I don’t always believe these myself—just for today, try.

youdonthaveto

You don’t have to hide your quirks. They make you unique.

You don’t have to drink coffee, and if you do, it doesn’t have to be designer Arabica beans or a $6 latte from Starbucks.

You don’t have to love a certain food because everyone else seems to love it. You can if you want, but do it for you. Not for any other reasons.

You don’t have to check your phone right this minute. Remember how life was a decade ago? Whatever it is can wait.

You don’t have to be the best parent, spouse or friend, but you do have to be there when those people need you.

You don’t have to love yoga or CrossFit or running. Try to be healthy, but be healthy for you. We all need to find out what works.

You don’t have to like everyone and everyone doesn’t have to like you.

You don’t have to cook complicated meals with a lot of ingredients. Microwaves were made for a reason.

You don’t have to make Pinterest-worthy desserts. Bakeries are there for a reason, as are Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines mixes.

You don’t have to pin a damn thing.

You don’t have to hide your successes, but it’s far more impressive when others discover your charm without you having to tell them.

You don’t have to tweet a damn thing.

You don’t have to be mean to be funny. In fact, you don’t have to be mean at all.

You don’t have to love your job. You don’t have to hate your job. But you should do a good job when your name and your rep are attached.

You don’t have to tell everything you know because you have a spare minute.

You don’t have to undervalue your strengths or overvalue your mistakes.

You don’t have to hide your scars. They show that you have survived.

You don’t have to take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

You don’t have to write a book. You don’t have to read a book, but if you don’t, you’re missing out.

You do not have to complain each time you’re annoyed, but silent gratitude feels rather wasted.

You don’t have to love being a parent all the time. You don’t have to feel guilty for that.

You don’t have to complain about being a parent all the time. Nobody likes a martyr.

You don’t have to write if you really don’t want to, and when you do, write for yourself.

You don’t have to compare yourself to others. You are you. That is enough.

You don’t have to be inspirational—life isn’t unicorns and glitter—but everyone has their own junk. Try and provide some relief.

You don’t have to click on the link and read through. In fact, you can log off.

You don’t have to make the bed, fold the laundry or clean every day. A house is meant to be lived in.

You don’t have to have it all figured out. Nobody does, and you don’t have to believe them if they tell you they do.

You don’t have to take the road others have taken. Just make sure the path is your own.

And most of all, you don’t have to be the exception.

You are worthy of happiness in your life.

You are worthy of laughter, good food and good friends.

You are worthy of love and support.

You don’t have to do it alone.

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P.S.  I created a new “Illustrated Issues” tab to the top of my blog where I added some of the most popular images from Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy!

Getting a Busy Signal

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for reading books. My love of reading isn’t anything new, but allowing myself unlimited “free” time to sit on the deck to read whenever I can instead of trying to do a million other things instead is.

It’s no longer a guilty pleasure, but rather simply a pleasure.

It’s a relative shift in thinking for me. I used to feel guilty, like I should be spending that time doing something work or blog-related that would garner an external result of some sort.

Why?

Because almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t working or doing something to promote their work. Bloggers talk about “taking things to the next level,” working on widgets, book signings, business cards, spending hours on various social networks, reading, writing, commenting, sharing, creating new tabs for their blogs, etc.

If that’s your job, that makes sense, but I just can’t keep up. And to be honest, I really don’t want to.

My job has me in front of a computer all day. I don’t love it, but it pays the bills, I work my butt off and I’m lucky I have it. And while I love blogging most of the time, it isn’t my job and I know that I’ll never be “big.” I know that as hard as I work, I’ll most likely never “make it to the next level” without devoting hours to doing the things that I’ve mentioned above.

Now don’t get me wrong…

I’m a very hard worker and would spend a million hours working towards “making it” if I thought doing all of those things was the key, but I’m not sure that it is. Why? Talent only gets you so far. There is only one Bloggess, and the market for those looking to recreate that magic is diluted with writers that have time and money to spend in an effort to build up their brand.

I do not.

What I do have are decent ideas, a couple books that barely paid for themselves, a laptop I have basic knowledge of and a fairly constant insecurity that a) what I do isn’t good enough b) confusion over what does become “popular” and c) a desire to hang it all up and let everyone else duke it out.

Because, oh yeah, there’s that whole depression/OCD thing to add in there, too.

And unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury to pick and choose when and where I work. Some days are great, and other days leaving the house simply sounds like hard work—but I have no choice.

What I tend to forget is that I do have in choice in how I spend the rest of my time. And sometimes I get caught up in the hype and forget I’m not the girl who is comfortable promoting herself or trying to appeal to a sponsor or some “higher up.”

I’m the girl who rambles and has her head in a book (when it’s not up her ass) and the game on TV with some snacks. I write because I want to share things, not because I need to have those things shared.

So I guess it’s a conscious decision to choose time and simple pleasures over the pursuit of  “more, more, more.” It’s a decision to always work hard and look for new opportunities, but to be content with where I am, whether it’s on the deck with a book or on Twitter spewing one-liners.

It’s remembering that the best investment of my limited time is to spend it doing the things that I want when I can and ignoring the things that might chip away at that contentment.

True, I might miss “making it to the next level,” but I won’t miss feeling like I’ve missed the moments worth writing about. And if I plan things right, I also won’t miss the ballgame.

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Take Me To Your Leader

As much as I like blogging and social media, it seems like people are taking this stuff a little too serious at times. To be honest, it’s getting a little creepy.

And while I don’t have personal experience with “traditional” cults, I did a little research and found the following characteristics that apparently define them.

Do any of them sound familiar?

“Cult”ivating Community

The group is focused on a leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.  

“I will read ANYTHING that (insert blogger here) posts—even if they publish a theory that unicorns are the driving force behind global warming—and I will tweet it out multiple times a day despite the fact the “big” blogger has no clue who I am.”

The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

“Do you follow me on Facebook? On Twitter? Do you subscribe to my posts? Have you checked out this page yet? Grab my button!”

The group is preoccupied with making money.

Lately it seems as if blogs are just billboards for ads. “See my sponsors on the side? Your ad could be there! This post was brought to you today by (insert company that has nothing to do with the blog post.)”

Questioning, doubt and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

This is evident when a blogger’s followers take to defending the blogger in the comment sections of posts and are personally appalled when someone questions a point that was made—and then that reader is promptly banned from further comments.  If you’ve never noticed this, try reading healthy living blogs. Trust me.

The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.

People who don’t blog/tweet/Facebook “don’t understand,” which is something people who blog/tweet/Facebook don’t understand.

The group’s leader is not accountable to any authorities.

Anyone can blog, which mean anyone can say anything they want at any time without (relatively any) consequence.

The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them.

“I’m only two followers away from (insert random number)!  Help me get there by tonight, or else God will kill a kitten!”

Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group.

“After you link up, be sure to read at least 35 of the other posts here, leave comments, come back here and tell us that you left a comment, tweet about which post you liked best and then post it to your Facebook page.”

But have no fear!

If you find yourself  taking things too seriously, remember that you have free will!

You don’t have to believe “them” when they say, “if you don’t post a picture, an update or an announcement of everything from your lunch to the cold you’ve been fighting, how will anyone know about your willpower or dedication? How will anyone congratulate, commiserate or validate your feelings or your feats?”

Remember that you will know, and that just because you didn’t post it online, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. After all, one should be posting the best parts of their life that happen authentically and not living life for the best thing to post.

I know the pull is strong, but you can be stronger.

You can break free!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go tweet out the link to this post. Oh, and by the way…

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Tweet, Tweet

Well, I caved.

I must confess that you can now count me among the more than 200 million people that attempt to communicate, amuse and enlighten in less than 140 characters.

And because that sentence is longer than 140 characters and I’m suffering from Motivation and Inspiration Deficit Disorder (MIDD) — it’s a real thing if I say it is — I decided to write up a post.

My name is Abby, and I joined Twitter.

Considering I’m years behind the popularity curve on this one, I realize it’s not a big deal. However, for me, it kind of is if only because I was so adamant about not joining Twitter for so long. Plus, I like to overanalzye things and figured this was another one to pick a part and find a deeper meaning for.

So why the Twitter timidity?

For a while I maintained that I had better things to do with my time, which after a day on Twitter I still think is probably the case (but it’s fun!)

Anyway, I didn’t see the point in spending any more energy on something else that would distract my already distracted thoughts from the important things I should be doing (like catching up on Kitchen Nightmares and protecting my flowers and fountain from crazy chain smoking neighbor lady and her flammable cocktails.)

She swears they’re thriving because she chants over them with her morning coffee.

So when everyone told me it was a great way to connect with people, I countered with the fact that I was already on Facebook. When they told me it was a great way to meet new people and find new opportunities, I countered with the fact that I was already on Facebook. You can see where I was going with my argument…apparently to Facebook.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the main reason I wasn’t jumping on this bandwagon was because I already felt left behind. I felt like I missed the boat and treading water was easier than dipping my toe in the deep end. Plus, I really had (have) no idea how it works in terms of making the most of the features.

However, the more that I read things about it from people I trust and respect — enter more overanalysis — the more I realized that it really could be beneficial and not just another time suck to distract me from the fact that I’m creatively constipated.

So I’m taking my own advice again and only posting on my blog when I feel inspired—once a day or once a week—and Twitter looks like a great way to still satisfy the attention whore in me by sharing a few witty lines and reading the great links from others.

To be honest, I really like it.

Considering it’s only been a day, it’s safe to say I’m still in the honeymoon stages of our relationship. I haven’t been annoyed with metaphorical toilet seats left up or dirty dishes brought right next to the sink but not actually placed in the water. While I only have a few followers and still feel like the kid that joins the class in the middle of the year and is three steps way behind, I am feeling my way through and trying to figure out how to make the most of this new medium.

I don’t plan on following a million people — I don’t need any more obligations and actually like writing and breathing outdoor oxygen — but if it can connect me to more people that make my life a little richer, a little more inspired and my blog a little better, then it will be worth my time.

If it’s not, no big deal.

But I can be pretty damn funny, and with only 140 characters I have no obligation to explain myself.

Tweet, tweet.

Any Twitter suggestions or things I should know about?