Some girls plan a wedding or honeymoon or amass pictures of teeny tiny clothing for teeny tiny children they have yet to have on Pinterest.
I made a board of various alcohols this morning.
As a regular reader of Ragan’s PR Daily (even got quoted about a month ago in their communication section) I always enjoy the posts that include lists. Such can be said for pretty much everything online - if it’s in a bullet format or infographic, gimme. Long winded dragging paragraphs? Depends on the source, topic, and/or lede but I’ll always extend favoritism toward articles with compelling imagery included. Or, in this case, anything that hits home to my profession.
I work in social media which is pretty much a job for a nut. This kind of career requires dedication, timeliness (next to godliness), and a nonstop lightbulb on in your brain to generate ideas with. You don’t ever fully “turn off” from the world and if you’re really into it, you don’t want to either. It’s a world where no two days are the same and when you “end” the work day and are asked what you did, you wind up rattling off a list so long that inspires a “wow…” response. (Low whistle included.)
You take the good with the bad in social media and evolve your life to reflect it. I’m never at a loss for news topics to discuss, from Marissa Mayer and everything Yahoo! related to what’s trending on Mashable’s front page. But I also grow impatient now more than ever if I text someone and don’t receive a reply back within an expected time window. My sense of time is falling into two categories: online and offline with a rapidly closing gap between the two. I rarely acknowledge online haterade because I know within a day the feeling will fade with attention paid to something else. I know better than to create a parody Twitter account and bask in the overnight glory it offers before it fades from our radar. What I do know is that it’s critical to make the most of the time you have now because it will not be there for long. With the passing of time goes the passing of youth and moments that you could have spent learning, doing, and being, both online and offline.
I sound like a dream case study for this article on 25 signs you need a vacation from social media. Do I though? Let’s bold what matches up.
1. You see a clever tweet or status update, you immediately get angry that you didn’t think of it.
Blog postings, usually.
2. You find yourself thinking in status updates more often than is healthy, which leads to thinking in the third person. “Rachel has had a tough day and could really use a drink.”
3. You enter a new place or social situation and you immediately judge whether it’s Instagram-worthy.
To me, everything is Instagram-worthy.
4. You speak in hashtags. For example, “I totally just fell down the stairs. Hashtag —fail,” or “I ate too many donuts today. Hashtag—first world problems.”
5. The word “like” has taken on a whole new life since Facebook entered your life. What’s that you say? Someone in the office is wearing a new shirt? “LIKE!”
6. Conversations with friends have become recaps of a week’s worth of Facebook posts.
7. After saying something interesting or funny, you immediately wonder if it can be pared down to 140 characters so you can tweet it.
With careful abbreviations, this is entirely possible.
8. You’re starting to resent the frequency with which you type the phrases, “check out,” “click here,” and “for more details”
I AM THE “CHECK OUT” GIRL FULL ON.
9. You’re frustrated when you see low engagement on your most important personal status updates.
Not my own, but on the company I work for. Also, does Twitter count?
10. You tweet at the person sitting next to you.
11. When you go out to eat, your food is always cold because you’ve just Instagrammed it into oblivion.
Last March at the Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, there were about 12 bloggers/writers/critics at every table at Luma on Park. The restaurant was gorgeous, the food was delicious, but I’m not kidding when I tell you every single person at that table did Instagram for 10 minutes before eating. Same goes for our dinner with Martha Stewart a few days later.
12. You’ve lost sleep over your Klout score.
13. A retweet from a Jonas brother is cause for massive celebration (now if only you could get a mention from Bieber!).
Nicole Richie following me on Twitter is one of my favorite social media moments of the year, HANDS DOWN.
14. A look around your house reveals that you’ve completed way too many DIY projects that you found on Pinterest.
15. You want to test posting later at night for your personal brand. You setup TweetDeck for your accounts to do so.
16. You call your online presence your “personal brand.”
17. You start posting images with your personal tweets to increase link clicks.
Okay, these are becoming too accurate now.
18. You post all of your Facebook updates with photos so you can edit the copy based on engagement … also, to cover up typos.
19. You tell your friends about the very (slightly) clever things you say online at your job. You do so multiple times a day.
Hehe, I mean what?
20. When you go out with co-workers the bar is swarming because you all checked-in there.
21. You come up with ideas for posts while hanging out with your friends. You immediately start texting yourself future post ideas.
YES! I write in my iPhone’s notepad constantly - anything can trigger a thought!
22. You’ve used “Ermahgerd!” when speaking with your parents.
Not with my parents, but with my interns, full on.
23. You haven’t posted on Instagram in a while. So you go out of your way to do so—taking pictures of things that should never be photographed.
24. When you reuse a joke from your Facebook on Twitter, you feel so cheap inside.
I’m laughing reading this because it’s so true and yet.
25. You criticize friends who have their Twitter connected with their Facebook.
I am only critical of people who sync their Pinterest to their Twitter account. That’s a big no-no, especially if you pin pictures all the time. Who can even get to your content that way? It gets lost in the shuffle!
It has been awhile since I wrote in this blog, wrote out a long, drawn out personal entry. And to tell you the truth, I do know why that is. I’ve been facing some great changes in my public and private worlds, all of which I have been in complete control of and have brought on myself. None of which I have wanted to write down or discuss either, outside of a very small handful of people who know me best. Even then, it’s been a struggle.
As of late I have not wanted to hear my own voice. I just haven’t. It’s not because I don’t like it either or I’m getting down on myself. There have been so many times where I feel like so many separate versions of me are in this world and I’m only ever putting forth a few choice sides. The few sides that I know people do want to see, that they will like, that they will envy me for, and to that end I do what I can to make it all look so easy. So simple. But it’s not, not by a long shot. Very few people can even grasp what that means until they’ve lived it. There is good and there is bad with every position in life we take, with the luck that we have and the chances we take and no way of ever knowing exactly what the true outcome of any of it may be.
My personal outcomes as they are I am through with leaving in the hands of others to decide. My boss at my full-time job recently told me that my personality being what it is would absolutely despise working for a corporation. She’s right. I have never liked the idea of someone or some… thing having control over me and I will work my entire life to be sure I will never, ever allow that to happen. Freedom can come. You can manage things and still be free. When I was in the 6th grade, my mom told me after a parent-teacher conference that my teacher had told her I would be at my happiest forever sitting underneath a tree and reading a book. It still holds remarkably true over a decade later.
In the past month, I have:
1) Quit one of my freelance jobs.
2) Attended the Pillsbury Bake-Off.
3) Was one of three panelists on a webinar with over 500 listeners present.
4) Received several new blogging opportunities.
5) Joined a Bikram yoga class.
I don’t plan on going on for too long on any of these but in brief, here are my summaries for all:
1) There is an adage that we’re all familiar with: quitters never win and winners never quit. And that when one door closes, another door opens. But I don’t happen to believe in either one. I believe that sometimes you do have to quit something. It doesn’t mean you’re a loser either. Maybe it just doesn’t work out for you or it’s too overwhelming. And I also quite firmly believe that at times, you have to close a door that was once open on your own because not every open door has an opportunity stays golden forever. By doing so, you’re brave. It’s an act of knowing who you are and of your bravery to do so. Making the decision to quit one of my freelance positions wasn’t one I liked doing, but I had to. Do you know what really made me do it? Beyond rude emails, beyond my sleep schedule getting jacked up, beyond having to go all over the place in Hollywood la la la land of the stars (I don’t like Hollywood at all and if you were in my position, I doubt you’d like it much after either), beyond the endless press releases from pr firms I couldn’t stand- it was the sheer moment where I had a thought at the beginning of March in which I considered staying. Then I realized my original contract end date would be at the end of June. 4. More. Months. And I had been there since last August.
"Yeah, I’m not doing this," was my epiphany. (There’s so much more on this one I could elaborate on but for the time being I’m not going to. Also, why does sitting here writing this feel so weirdly deja vu’d to me? Like I did it in a dream before. Or maybe because I sat here for so many days trying to get these words out and they never actually got free. Well here they are- freedom in writing!)
2) Oh, the Bake-Off. So near and dear to my heart and also something I’m currently working onto putting together a Giggles post on. I had a wonderful time attending in Orlando, Florida and staying for several days in the elegant and spacious Peabody Hotel. I got to fulfill a childhood dream of mine of meeting the Pillsbury Doughboy which was above and beyond encountering any celebrity, EVER. I ate a lot of food and had dinner with Martha Stewart, one of the guest judges there. We had wine with every entree, I stayed up late every night and woke up early each morning, I got to talk with so many people within the General Mills family tree (a company structure I have known too much for my own good about since childhood), and the weather was in the 80’s and just… perfect. That was my spring break in a nutshell and I loved every minute of it. And in an interesting turn of events, I did get asked out at the airport terminal too… as well as pulled aside for a random security screening but we don’t need to relive the latter of the two again.
3) The webinar was for social media and the topic was Pinterest, as it appears virtually everyone seems to adore the site except for me (Tumblr is my true love). Originally my boss was supposed to present but a family emergency came up and she asked me to step into her shoes instead. I eagerly took the position, but worried a little bit about the copyright law side of Pinterest that is so famous for being highly discussed and brushed up on my knowledge of that before the webinar started. It was a tremendous success and though virtual, I had a wonderful time discussing the merits of the site with the other panelists- as well as getting a ton of replies for my comment that “Pinterest is not for every industry.” (IT ISN’T. I refuse to say it is either- you’re talking about a website that lives by the idea of constant, consistent beauty for popularity with an 80% female user base. Wedding retailers, check! Cake shops, check! Accounting firms, no check!)
4) I am going to opt out of saying just exactly what these opportunities are and where they’re at for the time being. But they’re quite good and I’m tremendously excited for the latter of the bunch which will be airing a TV show in conjuncture with the site.
5) Yoga has been for so long on my to-do list that it saddens me just how long I’ve left it there and did nothing with it. I may walk everywhere but that doesn’t translate into being limber in all areas of my body and today marked my first class at the local studio. Bikram yoga is hot yoga- 105 degrees hot. You sweat like crazy- like dripping everywhere and shaking it off of you like a dog. You contort your body into a million different positions. You ache and get dizzy at times because it is constant. For 90 minutes today, I checked my normally tidy appearance at the door for sweaty palms, stretching, and inner jealousy at all of the other yoginis who were waaaay past the beginner’s stages- they were toned, and muscled and flexible. Everything I want to be and hope to become by taking this class. I’ve already signed up for a month of unlimited sessions (which for new students is crazy cheap, holla at me if you want more details) and plan on going 3 days a week, minimum (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Ideally I’d like to include one Monday-Thursdays in there somewhere but I’m not sure which day would be best without overdoing it.
And there you have it. My life, to a degree, is simpler. I’m working to make it that way. Though there are many parts of it that will not change. I’m still a Boss Lady at work. I’m still writing a whole bunch on the side. I’ll still be hitting up Coffee Bean in the morning, still be glued to my iPhone (on a Bikram note? I couldn’t take my phone into the studio with me. That. Killed. Me.), and I’ll still be laughing at all times at random things I find.
Let the good times roll,