I have a very on-again/off-again, love-hate relationship with my smartphone.
As a marketing professional that spends 6+ hours a day on social media, I can’t exactly ditch the device and still pay my bills.
As an avid outdoorswoman (yes, that is a word) that really, really enjoys breaks from the 9-to-5 screentime, I pretty much continually fantasize about throwing my always-there mobile device off the peak of a Colorado 14er, watching as it shatters into a thousand inoperable pieces on the rocks below.
I’ve done digital detoxes (LOVE!!!), commit to frequent screen breaks, and stick to a pretty rigid schedule of when I’m staring into that little Wi-Fi powered box and when I’m not. Overall, I’d say I have a pretty healthy relationship with technology, especially since my job depends on spending a LOT of time online. It takes commitment, and structure, but (most of the time) it works.
Social media – an empowering platform or unnecessary evil? Depends on who you ask.
As a marketing consultant and millennial blogger, I spend a lot of time on social media. Posting, streaming, tweeting, and snapping my life, along with the curated content of my client’s, is broadcasted 24/7. The internet never sleeps, and given that my bread and butter is reliant on social media, I found it tempting to justify being “plugged in” around the clock.
Turns out, I’m not the only super “social” professional out there; recent studies show that Americans check their phones an average of 46 times a day and spend over two hours a day logged into a social media platform (some studies reported upwards of five hours a day). Constantly being plugged into social apps has been repeatedly linked with dangerous physical and mental health effects, including anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, neck pain, poor posture, and vision problems. Continue Reading…
What do you think of when you hear the term “mental health”?
Do you have visions of barbaric psychiatric hospitals from America’s past?
Do you become uncomfortable, afraid someone will either start discussing something you don’t want to talk about, or fearful you’ll say something insensitive and stupid in response?
Do you avoid discussing mental health because it’s a topic that we’ve learned to avoid at all costs, in order to dodge unfortunate discrimination and social isolation?
Nearly 44 million American adults–1 in 5 Americans—are affected by a mental health condition in any given year; yet, as a society, we refuse to talk about it.
As you may remember from last month, I’d shared my mobile device dependence experience in Unplugging: My First Digital Detox post.
Over the course of three days, I’d gone tech-free (including my phone) and journaled the concerns and emotions ditching my devices brought up.
It wasn’t easy, but it was much needed.
I was so pleased with the health benefits going three days without devices provided that I’ve made this whole “digital detox thing” a regular event.
It’s been a wonderful way to reconnect with the non-tech world, along with myself, recharge and refocus in a way that leaves me towards optimal experiences with my community, family, and work. Continue Reading…
I’ve been taking pictures since Polaroids were a thing.
The whole “Smile! Flash! Shake!” was a pivotal part of my childhood, as I’d set up neighborhood “photo booths” charging kids a quarter for a “Glamour Shot” (in my defense, I had an impressive collection of Disney Princess inspired boas). Eventually, my early photographic style evolved into one that could be classified as more “photojournalistic”; however, that’s not how my neighbors saw it when I climbed over their fence and “documented” their family BBQ from the bushes.
In high school, I had the opportunity to take a few photography classes, but we amateur photographers were still processing film, as the digital option were priced well above my “after school job” budget. Taking photos got real expensive, real quick, so I had to limit the hobby to special occasions, shooting film only a few times a year. Continue Reading…
Confession: I’m a pretty tech-obsessed millennial.
Over the past few years, the digital world has emerged into a portal for me to realize exciting opportunities, expand my network, and connect with inspiring individuals around the globe.
Maintaining a fairly consistent presence on a variety of social apps, e-mail, and my blog has evolved as one of my favorite expressions; however, digital saturation can have its drawbacks – like when I start to think “in tweets” or am unable to sleep due to an obsessive tendency to monitor a well-performing Instagram post.
Left unchecked, the technological advances that make our lives easier can become major hindrances to our well-being.
Recent surveys show I’m not the only tech-dependent professional: a 2015 Deloitte survey revealed that the average American checks their phone 46 times a day. Continue Reading…
I’m a “Yes” person – it’s been my standing default response to just about anything, even stuff I really didn’t want to do.
Here’s just a sampling of the “I’m saying yes but really want to say no but don’t for god knows why” scenarios I’ve found myself in:
- “Want to eat grilled alligator for dinner, Hannah?”
- Gulp. “Yes,” I meekly respond, silently gagging inside.
- “While the semester starts this Monday, we were thinking you could add on an additional three hour course to your teaching schedule. Want to?”
- Cringing at the thought of creating an entire new course in 48 hours, I whisper a quasi-confident “Yes.
- “I know we agreed on a smaller campaign, but the board decided we wanted something bigger and we want it to start next week. You can do that, right?”
- Another (hesitant) but near-automatic “Yes” reply, as I mentally make a list of all the weekend plans I have to cancel to pull off this client’s request.
All I had to do was say “no”, but I didn’t.
Instead, I felt as though there was only one answer I could say, regardless of what I wanted to do or not do – “Yes.”
In 1997, a distinguished surgeon named Don Miguel Ruiz, authored an incredibly inspiring (yet rather small) book that spent over seven years on the New York Times Bestseller List – The Four Agreements.
One of my entrepreneurial mentors recommended the book to me, during a particularly challenging period of growth within my consulting company. Always down for a good read, I immediately ordered the book devoured its golden nuggets of wisdom in one sitting.
While not a very spiritual person at the time (I was raised in extreme fundamentalism, emerged as an atheist as an adult, and eventually found my way back around to New Age spirituality), the impactful concepts of Toltec inspired wisdom shared throughout the book emerged as incredibly applicable to my very millennial career.
So here are four ways in which Don Miguel’s Four Agreements impacted my career: Continue Reading…
What images does that word conjure up in your always-busy mind?
A powerful business figure yelling out orders?
A frazzled corporate manager pulling 16 hour days?
A single parent/solopreneur slaving away at their side hustle all weekend?
Is that what being “productive” really is?
I used to think those destructive visions of “busyness” were the modern workforce’s definition of “productivity”, that was, until at age twenty-seven, I collapsed with searing chest pains, a numb left arm, and inability to breath. Continue Reading…
I do it.
You do it.
We all do it.
Obsessive Comparison Disorder, a non-scientific term coined by millennial author Paul Angone back in 2012, describes our compulsion to constantly compare ourselves with others, producing unwanted thoughts and feelings that drive us to depression, consumption, anxiety, and all-around joyous discontent.
Comparing oneself to others isn’t anything new, but it’s a helluva a lot easier to do now (thanks to social media) than ever before.
You know the drill:
Rolling along, having a pretty good day, when – BAM! – your old college pal’s recent home upgrade or trip to Jamaica or baby announcement shows up in your Facebook feed.
You know you should be happy for them – and maybe you are – but you also feel pretty shitty because your life doesn’t feel as “awesome” as theirs (looks) right now. Continue Reading…