By the mere fact that you are reading this blog it means you are on a smartphone, an iPad, or on your computer. A device that lets you connect to the Internet and go to a webpage. I love all my blog readers and followers, but for today I am going to tell you, read this blog today, watch the video below, and then turn it off for the day, or better yet, pick a day of the week to put your phone away, or a day a month, or if that might be hard for you, start by putting your phone down for an hour a day, and maybe gradually increase that to more and more time.
Some of you might have already seen this video, or it has been displayed on your Facebook or Twitter feed. Regardless I encourage you to watch it again and think about how many opportunities have you lost because you were too busy reading emails, scanning your Facebook feed, sending a tweet, or posting to your Pinterest board? I am just as much to blame. Yesterday I was at a conference and found myself in and out of a distracted mind between work emails, the presentations, and feeling completely out of it. I took ideas away from the day, but what if I had just turned my phone off? How many times are you in meetings and you see the same behavior (yourself or others) throughout the day?
I have written before about Sliding Doors moments, and I wonder if our phone is often that train that means that because our head is down, or our focus is off, that we miss out on important eye contact, fun moments, and maybe worse of all I wonder if our distraction actually makes others not trust us. Do we ever lead people to think that our phone is more important than they are to us? Yikes. There are times when Chris and I will go out to a nice restaurant and have somehow over time built a pact that we are there to be together – aka – no phones.
Watch this poetic way of getting us to realize how many moments we miss each day.
I have been seeing a ton of folks embark on 100 Happy Days, and I think it is time I joined them. I mean why not right? I know the next few weeks/months are going to be crazy for me, and so why not add another thing to the mix? I have been wanting to begin taking more pictures, and if I do this challenge, my Instagram connections might hate me after I show them how boring the next 100 days will be and how much I work, but oh well.
Have you heard of 100 Happy Days? It is a challenge that is meant to get you to share a photo of what made you happy that day for the next 100 days. They have set it up so you can share your photos publicly or privately, but the main idea is that you focus on what made you happy that day. Here are results from the challenge that were listed on their website:
“Start noticing what makes them happy every day:
Be in a better mood every day;
Be in a better mood every day;
Start receiving more compliments from other people;
Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
Become more optimistic;
Fall in love during the challenge.”
Often at the end of the day I will write in a journal, as a way to decompress from the day. (Really it starts with my run when I get home from work, and the writing comes just before bed). I process, explore, and resolve my world through the words that come out of my fingertips. There are moments of gratitude, moments of frustration, and moments of aha. 100 Happy Days will take it one step further to require me to notice those happy moments as they happen, and not as I recollect them at the end of the day.
I am so, so sad. I really do not know what I am going to do. It is the end of an era. “Daily Candy” an online email newsletter is closing down as of April 4. Subscribers (I being one of them) were notified last Friday via email. They had a dedicated and loyal fan base.
Daily Candy is an online newsletter that started 14 years ago (2000) by Dany Levy. It started in New York, as an email newsletter about fashion and the insider scoop. I, myself, signed up for Daily Candy because I lived in Boston at the time and wanted to keep up with what was happening in New York. Gradually more cities were added. While Portland never made it on the Daily Candy map, I still kept up with their Daily Candy Seattle, and Daily Candy Everywhere newsletters.
Daily Candy was profitable in their first year. Almost unheard for an email newsletter at that time of the Internet. In 2008, Daily Candy was sold to Comcast for $125 million. Over the years, I learned about new movies, TV shows, books, beauty products, recipes, fitness ideas, you name it, from my Daily Candy emails. It makes me wonder if Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks have made some online email newsletters a blast from the past? Are we so used to having content so immediate that when we see email newsletters in our inbox we no longer pay attention?
It is hard to say. Or maybe for a company the size of Comcast, they were not making enough money to be considered part of their portfolio. Local, creative, insider content would cater to a specific group of users. Of course advertising is what keeps companies such as Daily Candy afloat. If users saturated with online advertising begin to tune out banner ads, will that be the end of such companies in the future? Will our purchasing power dictate who can deliver us such customized news?
I am not sure how many of you watch Portlandia (if you do not you are missing out). Okay, honestly not every episode is amazing, but some are very clever. I compare it to a skit in an episode of Saturday Night Live. Some are winners and hilarious and others are horrible. The same goes for Portlandia. One recent episode had a sketch about our digital footprint.
Carrie Brownstein feels completely overwhelmed by all the emails, Facebook messages, texts, likes, etc that she gets all day. She decides to declare social bankruptcy. She goes into a bank to file papers to remove all of her online profiles. The guy on the other side of the desk (Kumail Nanjiani) basically tells her that everything will be deleted (Twitter followers, voicemail, her ‘social’ debt, etc). She signs the papers, and her social identity no longer exists. Her own friends do not even recognize or remember her. Is that what our world has become? We are only known through who we are on Instagram or Facebook? The man even has a nameplate on his desk that says: “Human Bandwidth Manager.” Clever. Rather than tell you what happens you can go online and watch it here.
It made me start to think as I have those days where I cannot imagine reading another email, opening another text, checking Facebook, because it all just feels too much. We have either embarked or wished we had the self control to take a day or a week away from social media. You hear folks all the time say they are going to detox from their smart phone or social networks. There are even three pages of articles on The Huffington Post just on “Social Media Addiction” and that is just one website.
I can attest that I at times am addicted. I blog, I Facebook (wow I just used it as a verb), I email, text, and quasi Instagram and sometimes tweet. I also enjoy my time away. I love syncing my emails and seeing nothing new (it makes the world feel quiet). Yet, are we so saturated that individuals have to go on a social detox, or maybe a social identity crisis? While Portlandia was making fun, will “Human Bandwidth Manager” be a job of the future?
We are bombarded with a plethora of articles, Facebook posts, and Twitter feeds that bring us back to our past. There are reminders of being children of the 80’s, 90’s, etc. Some of them are cheesy, and some bring back nostalgic memories of toys, songs, and adventures of our childhoods. There are always specific toys that we remember we just had to have. Sometimes it was so we could fit in with our friends, and other times the toys were just the coolest.
Recently I saw something on the Internet that brought back memories of a toy that captivated my attention. For some reason my memory brings me back to my grandma’s house, yet I cannot remember where she kept it and brought out when I came to visit. For some reason I do not remember having this toy at my own house. It is also not a toy that probably had widespread popularity. It was the “1978 Fashion Plates.” It should have been the precursor for Project Runway. I think I loved it because it allowed me to dream and think about how different pieces of an outfit would go together.
How it worked? There were different top, middle and bottom plastic pieces, and you would decide which you wanted to put together. You would place them on the left side, put down a piece of paper, and then use a colored pencil (or crayon) to rub across the plates to make a final design of the look. In the future, if I have a girl, (I know it is girly and pink and all) I would like to try to track one down.
I even found a cheesy commercial for “Fashion Plates.” Watch and be taken back to the 1970’s. Ah the fashion of the 70’s.