When I sat down to start writing this blog, I got stuck on the title. Originally, I had something like “Is Social Media Toxic?” But the fact is, as a normal human being, I don’t think social media is all bad. I’ve made some amazing friends since moving thanks to Facebook. It’s how I’ve managed to keep in touch with a variety of old friends, even if all I do is passive stalking by seeing their posts when they come up in my feed. I LOVE Twitter as a place to get my news and commentary, as well as a direct line to people I’d never get in touch with otherwise – I tweeted at my favorite morning news lady this weekend to say her dress was gorgeous, and she told me where to get it. How cool is that?!
But I also use social media as a blogger, and apparently, I’m doing it all wrong. If you’ve read any of the books about how to grow a business or a brand, the advice seems to be fairly consistent across the board. Use social media to grow a personal brand. Post constantly. Advertise your products. Always be hustling, always be building a mailing list, always be growing. But I’m increasingly worried that it plays into burn out culture, especially for entrepreneurs, and encourages creating a persona of authenticity instead of really just being yourself online. Also, it doesn’t help that I’ve recently watched the Fyre Festival documentary and American Meme on Netflix. So, let’s break it down a bit.
A few days ago, I saw a twitter thread about the last message from the Mars Rover Opportunity, and it nearly made me cry. I keep trying to figure out why it’s affecting me so much. I don’t consider myself a HUGE space or Mars enthusiast. I mean, I love speculative fiction, which is often set in space, but it’s not like I regularly read up on the latest science coming out of Mars research.
I blame NASA and their amazing use of social media and personification. I follow the Curiosity Rover on Twitter, as well as InSight, the robot that sent back the first sounds of Martian wind. Those twitter feeds are hilarious, informative, adorable, and heartwarming. They make you feel as if you’re actually on the surface of Mars, something that was only science fiction not that long ago.
(Photo by Julia Sakałoŭskaja on Reshot)
Back in December, when I said that I wanted to start meditating as one of my goals for the year, I had actually already started. So I guess that means that I’m already two months into my new meditation practice, and seriously loving it. But I know it sounds super New Age-y, and probably a bit odd for people who know me. I’m a geek, a techie. Sure, I buy the super expensive free-range, cage-free eggs and have a few other “crunchy” tendencies, but mostly I’m a modern, sarcastic, pragmatic kinda woman. So what am I doing meditating, and what am I getting out of it?
Well, it’s precisely because I’m so modern, sarcastic, and pragmatic that meditation is ideal. The reality is that I often feel like I’m thinking about a bajillion things at once. If I’m not thinking about work, I’m thinking about this blog or my YouTube channel. If I’m not thinking about my kid or my husband, I’m thinking about my mom, my friends. I’m planning dinners and figuring out when I’ll slot in a gym visit. I’m thinking through a grocery shopping list and trying to organize a meet up with some local working moms. Life is busy, and I’ve often lamented not even having a chance to breathe. But meditation has helped me get exactly that.
Over on YouTube, I’ve been having a lot of fun reading kid’s books out loud. Being consistent has helped me to grow my channel. I’m getting more and more views each month, with a steady rate of growth of subscribers, too. But I have a goal, and I’ve set myself a sorta reward. The next hurdle for my channel is getting 100 subscribers. And when I hit that goal, I will do a YouTube live stream, reading Roald Dahl’s The Twits.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, in part because I know that once I commit to something like this, I have to do it. I can’t push that off for the 250 subscriber mark, or the 1000 mark. I’m definitely going to read The Twits out loud once I have 100 subscribers.
I told you before that I had goals for 2019. You can read the more detailed commentary about the goals, but the core was to take care of my mental and physical health, to save some money (hopefully towards travel), and to put more time into my creative outlets like this blog, my YouTube channel and my coaching business. It’s all well and good to make goals of any kind, but it can be hard to keep track of them or take the necessary actions.
Last year, I bought my first Erin Condren planner. I really liked it. But by the end of the year, I didn’t feel like I had really used it to its full potential. So this year, I decided to set myself up for success using my Erin Condren planner, and a month into the process, I feel like I’ve found my groove. So I thought I’d share how I organized it, what’s working for me and what I want to do better.
(Full disclosure: When I decided that I wanted to write this blog, I figured I’d also sign up as an EC affiliate. This means that the links to Erin Condren stuff are connected to me, helping me earn a small commission if you decide to buy anything. Or you can use THIS link to get $10 credit when you buy and I’ll get also get some store credit to buy more stuff!)