BlogPageWelcome to my blog -- Grace's Rantings

I have made a study of human communication -- interpersonal as well as mass media.  I am intrigued by tremendous changes in human interaction in recent years.  The computer, Internet, smart phones and social media have dramatically changed the way we interact with each other.  Human discourse hasn't changed, but the mediums by which we communicate have..."and that has made all the difference".

 

Please share your thoughts and join in the discussion. I welcome your input and comments!

 

Our Social Media Habit is Growing

Here's an interesting infographic from Mashable 

It seems we are suffering from Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), and as such are more tied to social media than ever!  I see myself in a lot of these stats.

  • Like 51% of the population, I manage 3 e-mail accounts (well 4 if you count an old aol account that I check periodically just in case);
  • I don't check my social networks as soon as I wake up (as does 27% of the population), but I do as soon as I sit at my desk and turn on my computer for the day;
  • Like 35% of you, I spend at least 31 minutes responding to email, writing on my blog(s), on Facebook, Pinterest, etc;
  • I have multiple Facebook pages, twitter accounts and blogs (as does 42% of the population).  I have one set for my personal passion--wellness.  My personal blog can be found here, along with the corresponding Facebook page, and another set for my professional side --like this blog, and this FB page!)

However I'm not sure I am afraid of missing out.  It's more like I want to stay in touch with what is going on!  (Is that the same thing?)  And I don't plan to stop or "take a vacation" from my social network sites.  I enjoy writing on my blogs and keeping up with my friends on Facebook.

Do your habits correspond to these?SocialMediaAddictionInfographic

Give Pen and Paper A Try!

I am a firm believer in sending hand writing letters to friends, relatives and business associates.  I even make it a new year’s resolution to send a card or letter each week!  I find that writing a letter is an entirely different experience from typing an email or sending a text.  To quote our friend Marshall McLuhan, the medium really is the message!
Peter Scott

Today I'd like to present a guest post from Peter Scott Stringham.  Peter is a Certified Law of Attraction facilitator and teacher of prosperity, neuro-linguistic programming, goal setting and true success.  You can find out more about Peter Scott and his workshops here: http://peterstringham.com/blog/

Peter has written a great post on the value of writing things down by hand.  I hope you find it as interesting as I did!

When we take the time to write by hand, we engage in a more reflective mode of thinking, the first requirement of greater creativity."

Richard Restak

I invite you to take something you have been typing regularly and try hand writing it instead.  Preferable, it should be something that draws on your creative, right brained side.  Some possibilities:

  • a business plan
  • creative writing- a story about something that happened in your life perhaps
  • a blog post (to be typed in later)
  • a letter to a friend or relative (remember those?)
  • the book you are working on (Steven King, John le Carre and JK Rowling are among the authors who do all their writing by hand)
  • journaling

Neurologist and author Richard Restak says that writing longhand forces you to think more deeply and calmly about what you are trying to say.   “When we take time to write (by hand),” Resak has written, “we engage in a more reflective mode of thinking, the first requirement of greater creativity.”

When I am writing, I feel a glow in my chest, warmth that comes from having tapped into my divine-Self.  Writing is the gateway to a world of thoughts that I never knew were inside of me.  It feels so good to write I don’t know why I’ve done so little of it these past few years.

I've resolved to connect myself back up to my joy by writing daily once again.  By hand.  And producing my newsletter weekly and blogging regularly (heck, Seth Godin does it and has hardly missed a day in years).

And yes, I hand wrote this posting before typing it.  Felt great.

I'm Official, I have a QR code!

Taking the advise of Geekalicious, I have made a QR code for this blog using Kaywa QR Code generator.  I'm feeling quite up to date (for the moment!)

I also have another blog, dedicated to staying healthy.  It too has a QR code in case you want to check it out:

Do You Tweet?

I still can’t quite figure out what’s up with twitter. 

I use twitter.  In fact I have 2 accounts, one for my professional persona and another for my personal use.  But with the speed that thing come into twitter, I can’t possibly read all the tweets that I receive.  When I look at my page (or whatever it is called), I typically glance at 15-20 tweets.  Often I click through to a url then that’s it, I’m gone.

If that is typical, then people and businesses who tweet in an attempt to promote their website, blog, latest seminar, etc., must have to re-tweet their message over and over again, just adding to the clutter.

As a matter of fact this is indeed the case.  HubSpot reports that companies that tweet 10-50 times a day have the most followers!  And they state that 22 tweets per day is optimum.  They also recommend that tweets are set up to automatically publish for best results.

This practice disconcerts me.   It seems that no one is manning the ship at twitter.  Random copy, special offers, links to Blog posts, and Facebook updates are automatically posted to twitter on a predetermined schedule many, many times a day by large companies trying to be social with me!  If it’s all automated, there is no personal touch; it is simply another form of broadcasting a message to the audience.  The only difference is that the audience has signed up to receive the message.   But, with so many people and businesses are shouting out their 140 character messages, is anyone being heard?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, please let me know how you use twitter and if you find it useful.

Facebook….Do you Love it or Hate it?

I love it.  Well maybe love is too strong a word.  But as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I thoroughly enjoy keeping up with friends and relatives on Facebook.  Sure we all have some of those friends who feel the need to post about everything – what they had for breakfast, how great their kids are, what they think of the political scene, how their farm is doing, etc. etc. etc.

And if you are like me, you probably added some old high school and college acquaintances as friends.   Funny, in 30 years our lives didn’t intersect now we can keep up with each other via Facebook.

But here is where the magic of Facebook comes in…  Last night I reconnected (in person) with a friend I first met in 1977 at our college orientation!  She was the first person I met college and we became good friends.  Then we graduated and went our separate ways.  I hadn’t seen or communicated with her in decades.  We reconnected a few years back on Facebook.  Come to find out she travels to my area frequently, and we decided to meet for dinner.

What a wonderful reunion!  We laughed when we saw each other and said, “How do you catch up on 30 years?”  Well we did our best, laughing, talking, and sharing a bottle of wine ….   It was as if the years hadn’t intervened and we were right back in our dorm room!

Without Facebook we would never have met up with each other again.  We would have continued in our own worlds and lost the friendship we once had.

This social connection, this power of bringing people together, of reconnecting with old friends,  is what Facebook is all about for me.

Do you Pinterest?

Pinterest--currently the 3rd largest and fastest growing social media site.

I read a great description of Pinterest on The Daily Retort:

It’s kind of like a living mashed up visual montage of Better Homes & Gardens, Food & Wine, Parenting, Style and People magazines blended with the Oscars red carpet plus a dash of baby shower with a healthy dose of Silpada jewelry all drizzled in chocolate.

This description is fairly accurate, although her forgot  to include "bridal show".

I enjoy Pinterest.  It is fun to see all the interesting things my friends have gathered from the web.  I re-pin many of their findings.  Personally I use Pinterest as a scrap book or bulletin board where I pin things I want to be able to find later.  Things like recipes, vacation ideas, interesting sayings, and yes, wedding ideas for my future daughter-in-law.

Lately I've been reading a lot about how businesses can use Pinterest to market their goods and services, and I'm sure marketing and advertising will begin to seep into Pinterest as it has into every other aspect of our lives.  But for me, I enjoy it as a tool to catalog my likes and interests.  I have no goals of getting hundreds of followers, as a matter of fact to me it is more of a personal collection for me and my real-life friends to share.

How do you use Pinterest?  Do you want it to become yet another means of advertising?

Freedom to Post!

According to an Euro RSCG Worldwide study of more than 7,000 consumers in 19 countries, people in all age groups believe that we share too personal information online.  Not surprisingly, 71% of those aged 55 and older believe that we need to return to more privacy, 62% of those aged 35-54 and 57% of those aged 18-34 agree.

But wait a minute, if we feel that we need more privacy, we should simply stop posting personal stuff!  No one is making us post our personal information.

The key is to think before you share.  Remember your college friends, coworkers, neighbors, relatives and anyone else you accepted into your social circle, as well as their friends, can potentially see your posts and photos.

So before you make an off color comment, post a compromising photo or share your exploits or political biases, think about all these people and how they might interpret what you have to say.  If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t post it online!

As for someone else posting something about you, “Hey Billy, you were a riot at the bar last night.  Let’s do shots again sometime soon”, in the “old days” before social media, you can bet that Billy’s friends and coworkers verbally shared stories about his antics the next morning!  Now they share it online, either way Billy got drunk and acted like a fool, and word got around.  It just gets around faster and to more people with social media.

We have the power to control our privacy, use it!

The Personal Value of Facebook

I must admit I enjoy Facebook. I enjoy catching up with friends and family via Facebook. th_facebook_logo I have a bunch of friends who I never see as they live 9 hours away, but I feel like they are still a part of my life and I of theirs as I read and comment on their posts, view their photos and share my news. I have relatives who are involved in their own lives and families, but through Facebook we can visit far more often than just at the holidays.

Unfortunately I also have old friends and relatives who are not on Facebook, and I don't feel as close to them. I would love to add them to my on-line community, but they offer up excuses that fall into two categories -- privacy concerns and a fear of wasting time.

As for privacy, the answer is fairly simple. Don't post anything that you wouldn't want other people to see. If you are having a serious issue, pick up the phone. If you want to share pictures of your daughter's prom dress, Facebook offers you the opportunity to share with your friends and family. Also, there is a nice blocking tool. If there is a person you absolutely don't want to see anything you have to say on Facebook, you can block them. You won't see any of their posts, comments or photos and they won't see yours.

The wasting time concern is a funny one. These people seem to be saying that they know that if they get on Facebook, they will enjoy it so much that they will be on Facebook so often that other important things in their life won't get accomplished. Wow, that's giving a awful lot of credit to Facebook! YOU control how much time you are on Facebook. You can choose to go on once a day or check in every few hours. As a matter of fact with your smart phone, you can check in on Facebook just when you are hanging around waiting for something else--at the doctor's office or hair salon, while in line at the grocery store or post office, waiting for a friend to show up for lunch, etc. Looking at it this way, Facebook fills in your otherwise wasted time!

letterAnd, since when is communicating with friends and family a waste of time? It certainly takes very little time to update your status, read and comment on friend's status' and post a photo that all of your friends and family will see. If you were to sit down and call these people, or send them all an individual letter, it would take hours, even days. More importantly you wouldn't be able to contact as many people; some more distant friends and/or relatives wouldn't get a call or a letter. These relationships would simply wither and fade away.

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