A Bric. Inc. Production

Think Social Media is a waste of time?

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

It’s hard to let go of preconceived notions. Some of us live cosily inside of our web of prejudices and pigeon holes that we have created for the world around us (consciously or not). Wouldn’t we all like to think this doesn’t apply to us? That somehow we are better, elevated, more sophisticated? Ironically, thinking that way creates it’s own host of problems where we can so easily fall into the trap of elitism. In reality so few of us possess the true gift of open mindedness. It is definitely something to aim for in the pursuit of personal, professional, and financial success.

I am not a linear thinker. This caused some trouble in my early education. I excelled musically, but I find reading music challenging even with years and years of practice. Forget math. Science worked for me because it was based in concepts, which given the opportunity to talk about I could go for hours. Ask me to put a physics equation to paper? FAIL! At first social media felt this way to me. Linear. I felt like I had to keep up, check in, follow what people were doing and the order they were doing it in. This was overwhelming for me. Scrolling through status updates, looking through entire albums my friends were posting, crafting witty, timely comments.

The amazing thing about any social networking interface is that you can choose how you interact with it. Once I woke up to this idea I suddenly started seeing my ‘connections’ in a whole different way. Instead of looking at status updates as something to read through, I started looking at them as conversation starters. I opened myself to what people were saying and how it related to my own experience. I became mindful of where I could learn from those I was connected to virtually. I started seeing my network more like this, instead of as list of friends.

This isn’t even touching on all of the other turn-offs associated with social media (which I will get into below). Stripping my preconceived ideas about facebook or twitter gave me the opportunity to step outside of my own experience of social media and gave rise to the ability to see what it means for other people. It took the act of signing in from ‘something I do’ to ‘something I choose to be a part of’. Maybe you can relate to that.

I am connected to the REAL world, I have no need to connect virtually

This may be true, that you are connected to the real world, but assuming that the virtual world isn’t real is a tremendous mistake. The modes though which we communicate be it touch, talk, or text are simply interfaces that facilitate connection. Our interactions online are founded in natural connection. This way of interacting wouldn’t exist without the humans moving behind it. If your concern is becoming a slave to the device or the software then the good news is you have control over that. It’s up to you how much time you spend using the virtual world as your interface. There’s also nothing to say that you can’t bring those interactions into the natural world. It’s amazing how many people I have have met to only find that we have been interacting online. They move from my online community and become part of something greater and I become a part of something greater for them.

I don’t have anything interesting to say

Everyone has a story. It’s interesting because it’s yours. You might not feel like you have something NEW to say, but that’s not relevant. Social Media isn’t just about sharing new ideas it’s about sharing ideas in general. Concurrently, the more you engage in the conversation, the more you will learn and ultimately the more interesting things you will have to say.

Social Media promotes gossip and bullying

Yes, there is a lot of this happening online and it’s atrocious. As a child who was ridiculed horribly, I can tell you that I’m glad social media wasn’t around when I was growing up. What’s shocking is that as an adult I have been witness and subject to gossip and bullying and for me it’s not happening online. Not only that, these acts aren’t limited to a social sphere, they happen in the work place just as often. People take these acts from the natural world and bring them online. To combat this, groups, organizations and people in general take the matter into their own hands. And they use social media to do it.

I am not popular enough, I won’t have any friends

This could find it’s way lumped with the issue above. Sometimes we let our insecurities get the best of us. Having friends or followers online isn’t exactly about popularity, (although this is how some people build their public presence) it’s about putting yourself out there. There are thousands of communities to connect with across the world. If you find something that speaks to you engage with it. Social media actually isn’t about how many people are following you (unless you are trying to spam, in which case that’s a whole different discussion). It’s about how many people YOU follow.

I am not interested in telling you why you SHOULD use social media, but I would like to let you know how you COULD be engaging with it. Getting over barriers we set for ourselves can be challenging as it can mean testing our limits. Moving beyond what’s comfortable for us. Social media is not the end all be all, but it is a powerful and useful tool if used properly and ultimately for good. If you are a business and still not engaging with your community via social media then you are just missing out. Period. If you are a young professional and out of work, you have no excuse to not be using what’s available to you to find a job. Or using social media to find a way to make your own job.

If you don’t want to be online that’s fine, but before you make that choice be sure to have all of the information. I would never accept my 5 year old saying he doesn’t like or need a food he hasn’t even tried. If you think you know something about social media and you haven’t tried it, I mean REALLY tried it, then you are ultimately missing out on something that could enhance your life, both personally and professionally.

Are you already using social media and feeling stuck about how to get the most out of it? Contact us, we can help!

One way to be smarter, make up a word

In Connect on July 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm

A few years ago I stared using the word ‘Knowledgeer’.

Knowledgeer

know•ledg•eer [nol•ij•eer, ‘nɒlɪdʒ’ɪər]

noun

1. A person who has made it their person quest to acquire ‘knowledge’ through the acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from studyor investigation.  She may be lacking in formal education, but her knowledgeering nature is clear to anyone who knows her.

2.  A pioneer of ‘knowledge’.  The strategies she employed were in true knowledgeer spirit!

I don’t know if I invented this word.  It’s not on the internet (so that means it must not exist, right?).  It was kind of born out of the general silliness that seems to prevail with my use of the english language.  The naysaying part of me wants to think “Hey, no, you probably heard that somewhere”.  Maybe that’s because I think it’s cool and society has taught me thats its ‘not cool’ to accurately evaluate my own coolness.  Maybe I just think I couldn’t be intelligent enough to come up with something as useful as a new word.

Regardless, this word is powerful in that it says says exactly what it means.  There is no confusion about what a ‘knowledgeer’ might be or is.  It is positive and empowers those who find themselves associating with it.  In a time where information is everywhere a distinction must be made between those who access knowledge and those who acquire it.  Acquisition requires investigation, retention, integration and synthesization.  The best knowledgeers figure out ways to put what they have stored to good use.  Maybe even to help someone else.

What do you think?  Are you a knowledgeer? Would you like to be one?

How I quit my job, again, and was ok with it

In The Story on July 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I quit my job.

This is the 5th job where I have walked into my boss’s office and just given my notice.  No job on the horizon.  No better offer, other than the thought of NOT working there anymore.  Is that a lot of jobs to quit?  It sounds like a lot given how scary quitting a job with no prospects can be.  I’ve been good and truly in the work force for almost 10 years now.  In all of that time I have been a community programmer, a social worker (or rather a person who did social work), a camp director, and most recently a barista/server/cafe manager.  I have lived in 6 different places, 3 of which I owned, 1 of which was the loft above my in-law’s garage.  I have immigrated to a new country.  Lost a dear and beloved parental unit.  Gestated, successfully birthed and begun to raise two beautiful and healthy amazing little humans.  I now have a mortgage, car insurance, 2 cats, 2 fish, 2 kids, 3 credit cards…and roller derby dues.  And no income.

This is a journal entry from the week before my 21st birthday.  It wasn’t a joke at the time.  It sat this way, a blank page in my journal for a week, then a month, then a year and I guess now 10 years later it’s still perfectly empty.  At this stage in my life I don’t even know if ‘together’ness is what I want.  If I drew a diagram I think what I envision is a bunch of strands hanging down or across or up waving like nettle tentacles.  They wiggle and sway and jolt in, around, towards, and away from each other.  Sometimes they meet creating one big rope strand, like a bunch of uncooked spaghetti clenched in the circle of your forefinger and thumb.  Then BLAGH! There’s a current or a fish or a net!  All the tentacles scatter away from each other and it looks like they will never find their way back together.

As clear as anything can ever be I know I can’t wait for that ‘together’ness nor can I make it happen by sheer will.  As I cling to a tentacle I must be as committed to holding onto it as much as I shall be committed to letting it go if it looks like it’s going to break or travel uncomfortably distant from the others.  Only I can make that choice for myself.  The choice to hold on or to let go.  I am reassured with the knowledge that there will always be another one, or more, to grab onto that’s quality is only measured by its neighbors.

What I have proven to myself so far is that I’m not afraid to let go.  Now what I need to figure out is if I am not afraid to hold on.

Just for a little bit.