Tag Archives: Authors Hard Work

Cheers to the Mommas

Okay all you Mommas out there..or you lucky Stay at home daddy’s, grab a glass of wine or a bottle of Dr. Pepper..whatever it is that makes you relax and feel like a real adult and get ready.  Anytime I write/say the word cheers…take a drink.  Hopefully by the end you feel just a little better and more relaxed so here we go.

Wait..you are at work?  That’s okay…I’ll wait.  YOU ARE WORTH IT!!

To all the poop.  The poop in the diapers, the poop on the floor, the poop in the potty (Yeah!!!) that you then have to still wipe the poopy butt, and the poop near the toilet because they almost made it (I’m so proud of you) to the even the dog poop you step in because we love those furry critters too.  Oh and the pre-poop.  If you have a little boy you know, the air that passes before the poop (and after the poop and during the poop) and the laughter that ensues and the smell that follows. I don’t even have time to talk about pee or all of the talk about poop.  Cheers…..

To no sleep.  I mean who needs that afterall.  What I want most in the world is to be woken up three times a night because of scary puppies, sore legs, itchy ears, dry throats, sweaty heads, and stolen blankets.  Really…(Okay I do love them, I know these moments will pass but for the love of it all I just need a good nights sleep).  And when it’s time to go to bed, what I really want to do is get water because that H2O doesn’t fetch itself.  and that wanted doll..conveniently its always the one playing hide and go seek at bed time. And the questions..ugh the questions.  They hate me….they really do.  Cheers….

-To laughing. At their cute little stinking parasite faces.  To the funny things they say and the joy that they really do bring.  To the puddle jumping and the kitchen dancing.  To the fact that by their actual birth existence I actually have to watch the amount of laughter that ensues or make sure I use the bathroom 2194 times a day.  But they are funny.  Really, really funny.  I mean the knock knock jokes alone that make absolutely no sense but that they laugh and are so proud of is just about enough for me to call my entire life and parenting a success.  To laughing…poop covered so tired laughing.  Cheers…..

-To the Working Mommas. Whether you drop your kiddos off and head out to work, or work from home as a mom or with another job…that’s super multitasking ladies.  No matter which option you choose they are all hard.  You are Incredible.  In case you don’t hear it enough.  Go you!  So Proud!  To the juggling kids and jobs, deadlines and playdates, practices and meetings.  Hip Hip Hooray!  Cheers. 

To no means no.  But actually it doesn’t.  Apparently it means “mom please” or “in a minute”. Maybe it even means yes and we don’t even know it.  I’m not even sure what it means any more, but I think it means something between “Yes” and “You’re saying there is a chance.  Cheers….

To not being the yelling mom.  Nobody wants to be the mom that yells at their kids.  We all want to have a happy holistic approach to life.  We want them to grow up mentally sane and equal.  No therapy needed for my kid kind of life, but lets be honest.  There is only so many times you can say “please pick that up” before the voice eventually escalates to a level they actually hear.  Often times for me, it when I am laying on the floor after I have tripped over something.  I’ll try again next time not to be the yelling mom.  I’m sure they will hear me when I speak to them.  Or if I just take the time to put my hands on their cheeks so they can look me in the eye as they are cartwheeling past me at mock 2.  That’s when I will catch them.  Next time….I own this.   Cheers

Refill your glass….Not you?!?  hmmm…maybe a Cheers for being awesome then…now refill your glass.

To your bad ass dance skills.  You know you got ’em.  Or at least those tiny side kicks think you do.  Isn’t it the best ever when you are dancing and you see them doing what you do.  Then you laugh in your head and sometimes out-loud because you don’t have the heart to tell them to stop practicing that because it will never…ever….be acceptable in public.  nah….bust a move baby!   Cheers

To Story Time.  We all know it’s good for our kids and we do it.  That alone deserves a great big huge pat on the back.  Because if I am being honest, would I rather be reading llama llama or the newest Lisa Gardner I would be lying if I said it wasn’t Llama Llama with those cute faces..actually now I am lying it’s absolutely Lisa Gardner.  But I do it.  Because one day I want those big growing minds to grow up and read Lisa Gardner and then we can talk about it because I know in the future they are going to want to talk to me every single day about the books we read the night before.  Bammm….  Cheers.

To not swearing.  We are raising tiny humans and trying to teach them to become respectable adults.  But let’s be honest.  We all swear inside our teeny tiny heads every day and let them roll around in there for good measure.  If you don’t..I need a dollop of your patience….Cheers.

-To Books and Netflix.  The tiny escape that keeps your mind thinking.  Thank you text-to-speech on my kindle so I can move with my book from reading to listening in my car.  If only Netflix would default to my profile and remove that one extra click from the kids profile…is that too much to ask?  Cheers..

To Politics.  I don’t have time to even begin. You can’t fix stupid…and you know right now each side equally thinks the other side is stupid.  Agree to disagree and go about being a good human.   Cheers…Cheers….Cheers.  (need to refill after that..I know we all feel it)

In fact now might be a good time to just grab a straw and the bottle.

To personal space…Or no personal space actually.  To tiny minions in our back pockets.  To knowing there is not a single solitary space in your entire house that is just yours.  You can maybe slip in a closet or the bathroom for a moment, but you realize what a dream it is when you place your hand on the bathroom counter right into the middle of a big blob of kid toothpaste (Or your makeup that they were “trying” on without your permission).  They know the contents of your purse, your bedside drawers, your closets….They are like teeny tiny little spys.  You have no personal space.  Just get used to it.  Cheers….

To Amazon. I am all for the support of shop local, but if I can choose not drag the kids out to the store I’m all for the that.  Plus if I can purchase now rather than trying to remember to write it on the store list that I may or may not leave on the kitchen counter when I actually go to the store that’s another one.  Also I remember years ago discussion about the lack of mail being sent because of the introduction to email so the USPS was about to go out of business.. Amazon pretty much saved them. My sister works for the USPS so I feel I am supporting her. Using that as an excuse.  Cheers..

To the joy.  The pure and utter joy that the tiny humans bring.  The deliriously happy joy.  The heart full of gratitude that they are yours.  The overwhelming pride in every teeny tiny body fiber that calls out…Thank you.  Cheers to the little people!

To good friends. The friends and sisters that have already heard this and agree.  To friends who don’t judge.  To friends who come over when your in your pajamas and you don’t even feel under dressed.  Cheers….   Double Cheers….Cheers... to the friends who don’t have kids or have older kids and still let you come over with yours.  Who play with them and love them because they love you.  Thanks for those friends.  Cheers… Now buy them a bottle or a six pack and take it over and drink it with them.

-To the partners.  The awesome amazing partner who work their butts off to provide for the family.  To the true partners who know just how hard you work too and they lighten the load.  They go to the store, they help clean the house, and they pour you that much needed glass of wine.  Finish that bottle for them…Cheers!!

Bottoms Up! 

I bet you are feeling a little more relaxed about right now aren’t you.  Really we are all in this together.  Nobody is perfect.  “Aint nobody got time for that.”

Feel free to open another…you deserve it!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Snow Shoveling/Exercise Balance

Piles and piles of snow.  That is what we currently have.

IMG_2088

This leads to the following question…

“At what point does shoveling snow count as exercise?”

So I ask you…Is there a line?

For example…

Does one actually have to be the one shoveling the snow? (cause that looks like a lot of work)

And if sweating is a requirement…

Can one instead be in a hot tub with a Bloody Mary watching another someone shovel the snow and it still count?

Asking for a friend….who clearly needs a vacation…on a beach…with a Pina Colada…

I’ll tell her to do that…and maybe some yoga.

Thanks Guys!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

With Thanks

With Thanksgiving on the horizon I have been making a conscious effort to feel and think all of the many things that I am thankful for.  There are so many things to be thankful for.

I recently heard for the first time a song by Jewel that says:

I am my father’s daughter, he has his mother’s eyes
I am the product of such sacrifice
I am the accumulation
of the dreams of generations
And their stories run in me, like Holy Water
I am my father’s daughter

View Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK8oI4Dx8DY

I have had a very hard year.  A year where I found one man standing.  One man, only one human being on this planet that can look me in the eye and say, “I’m glad you are mine.”  I had so many before.  So many that I felt their force so strongly in my life.  A life energy that kept me pressing on to do and be a better person.  It feels quite lonely knowing that now, there is only one.  (even though he is a mighty man and I am so blessed)

And in the loss I have searched for and have found joy.  Sometimes in the places that I least expected it, and sometimes I found it missing in those I would have thought I would surely find it.  I’m learning everyday.  Learning how much it matters to make an active positive impact on others.

Today I am overwhelmingly thankful for those who have done that for me.  The people in my life that make me feel home and connected.  I now have my very own tree with very strong roots. I am thankful for those roots, still present, still strong.  Some living their lives so wonderfully that they bring life and energy to them all.  I am thankful for the roots at the base of our family tree.  Both from my side and my better other half.

I have a very good man to help build the tree and hold it steadfast and strong.  We are solid and strong, connected in support, love and trust. My heart is overwhelmed with thanks.

And my sidekicks, those branches, I’m watching them grow. So amazing. Such joy! I am so thankful.

Sometimes, In the strongest of winds, we will bend ever so slightly in need and find ourselves, our tree, being supported and secured by the family trees around us, that branch from our same roots. Together our trees are strong, together we are a forest.  I am thankful for them too.

I am thankful for the sun, and the water.  That feeds and nourishes our forest and our souls. I am thankful for God and his blessings.

With all of this to be thankful for and so much more, I take moments to listen to the air around me, the whispers in the wind, the stories in my veins and I can’t help but feel, if only I could hear the right wavelengths, there would be voices all around me saying, “I’m so glad your mine, go and do good things, bring joy to others, and share my stories(love),” and maybe, just maybe, the feather touch of my momma’s hand on my cheek as leaves from my tree.

I’m thankful for my family every day, and in special gratitude, an active awareness and action on Thanksgiving Day I am thankful for my Forest!

IMG_6555

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Author Interview

My first blog author interview.  Thank you so much Mandy Eve Barnett for taking the time to talk with me.  Remember this post?  She’s one of the great ones!

View my interview here on Mandy’s Blog!

http://mandyevebarnett.com/2015/03/05/welcome-newcomer-meriann-boxall/

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Publishing a First Work

I have some very exciting news.  I have story that will be published in the Secrets and Doors anthology set to be released very soon.  It has been quite a journey for me and I have learned a lot.  If you are currently writing, or hoping to write and someday be published, trust me when I say it isn’t quite the way you imagined it would be.

SDSebookCover

I always thought that the most difficult part was writing the book-all the way to the end.  When I finished my first book, I heard many times, “You wrote a book, how many people can say that they actually did that.”  The truth is, a lot.  There are so many stories out there just waiting to be published it is overwhelming.  The book market is incredibly competitive. I learned this very early on when I started to get serious about writing.

I have been writing for a few years now and finished my first full length novel in 2008.  I finished another novel a few years later and during that time, my family moved.  We moved to the back of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.  I joined a writing group and met some wonderful people.  I have been very lucky because the authors in my group are more than just great writers, they are full of integrity.  As you begin writing you will find that trait is just as important as finding a mentor that can write a good book.  I look up to them and I am so lucky that I got to work on this project with them. Find them here: Lehua Parker, Christine Haggerty, and Angela Hartley.

I also learned that authors are their very own species.  Maybe it is artists in general, but surely authors.  Authors are creative minds with very sensitive souls.  When I first walked into the world I told myself that I wasn’t going to feel that way.  I was going to write because I loved it and not worry so much what others thought of me.  What I found, however, was that I am just another author.  As an author you are only as successful as the people who support you.

Thanks to the incredible group of people that I met, I learned so much and was able to submit my own story for the Secrets and Doors Anthology.  The process from there was a lot of work.  There is a lot of collaboration that goes into an anthology and I realized just how hard the leaders of our group work.  They spent hours marketing and selling, finding editors and options, while I, learning from the sidelines sent a few cheers while I worked over and over again with the editor, Callie Stoker, to make sure my story was just right.

I was on cloud nine.  Willing to put in the time and work hard.  Writing is hard work.  You need tough skin and a really big heart.  You also need a great support team.  I realized this when I received an email that asked to get a review of my story.

“No problem,” I thought.  “I have friends and family with blogs.  I know people.”  How disappointing it was for me to realize that when I posted and asked for a small amount of help, I was answered with crickets from all of my blogger friends.  Don’t feel bad for me, I did plenty of that for myself.  So much so, that my precious sidekicks, so in tune with feelings made me this incredible drawing of themselves “answering my blog.”

FullSizeRender (5)

I really do have a great support system, just most of them don’t blog or are already in the anthology so I strapped on my boots and did what I should have done to start with.  I asked a stranger.  Marketing 101 for a book, be brave, get out there, be willing to connect, and toot your own horn.  I did just that and found the wonderful Mandy Eve Barnett to read my story and write a review.  I will forever be grateful for her kindness and her ability to remind me that there really are great people in the world.  I sent my story off to her with my stomach full of nerves.

This is the moment I realized I was an author.  I had something special.  Something that mattered to me.  I shared my soul with the world. I was crushed when I felt a lack of support only to sit, waiting, stressed, scared to death and worried that I would get a bad review from someone who I never met.  Would my career as an author be over? Would my next book never see the light of day?

I took a breath.  I looked at my sidekicks and my husband with his thumbs up.  I called some family who said they had my back and I thought of my mom who would probably be more excited for me in this moment than I am for myself.  I moved on.  I read others blogs, supported some friends and family on other things and remembered that life goes on. I already have some pretty great things to look forward too.  Even if my reviewer hated the story, it was coming out anyway and this was a huge accomplishment.

I will let you see what Mandy thought of my story here:  http://mandyevebarnett.com/2015/02/05/meriann-boxall-short-story-anthology-review-5th-feb/ while you are there, follow her blog, send her a thank you, and vote her a 5 because she is an incredible person. She took a chance on me and will forever be in my circle of people who made a difference.  Additionally, this works out in my favor.  My story will be shared with many that it never would have been otherwise.  Had I have had a family member or friend help with my story, I would have reached the same crowd I would have anyway.  Things happen for a reason.

So as a first time author I would share that be prepared for a lot of hard work.  Know that just as any other job in the world, you are just one of many-learn to stand out.  Market yourself well with bravery.  Believe in your story and in yourself.  Learn from others, especially your mentors. They know what they are talking about and can help you along the way. Remember that your support may not be found in a blog post, but will be found in a letter from your sidekicks or those that took a chance on you to publish your book.

Don’t worry, I am over the disappointment I found early on. I am the lucky one to get to be one story of many that I share with some of the most incredible authors out there.  Make sure to grab our book.  The anthology proceeds will all be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  That is thanks to the great publisher Crimson Edge Publishing and all of the authors involved.  While you are at it, make sure to check out some of the other authors and buy their other books too.  They are good, honest, people and really great storytellers.

More about the Secrets and Doors:

Open the door and unlock the secrets in eleven short stories from The Secret Door Society, an organization of fantasy and science fiction authors dedicated to charitable work. All proceeds from this anthology benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in their quest to cure Type One Diabetes (T1D).

In these pages you’ll discover a modern woman trapped in an old fashioned dreamscape, a futuristic temp worker who fights against her programming, a beautiful vampire’s secret mission disrupted by betrayal, a sorcerer’s epic battle against a water dragon, the source of magical mirrors—and more. There are tales for every science fiction and fantasy taste, including new works from award-winning authors Johnny Worthen, Lehua Parker, Christine Haggerty, and Adrienne Monson.

Join us in the fight against T1D as you peek into a world of magical and mysterious doorways—if you dare.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Secrets and Doors Cover

I am so excited about this book, what it supports, and how it came together. The stories are wonderful and the cover is so beautiful! You know you want to pick that right off of the shelf!

Cover

A closer look at the back cover:

BackCover

Open the door and unlock the secrets in eleven short stories from The Secret Door Society, an organization of fantasy and science fiction authors dedicated to charitable work. All proceeds from this anthology benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in their quest to cure Type One Diabetes (T1D).

In these pages you’ll discover a modern woman trapped in an old-fashioned dreamscape, a futuristic temp worker who fights against her programming, a beautiful vampire’s secret mission disrupted by betrayal, a sorcerer’s epic battle against a water dragon, the source of magical mirrors—and more. There are tales for every science fiction and fantasy taste, including new works from award-winning authors Johnny Worthen, Lehua Parker, Christine Haggerty, and Adrienne Monson.

Join us in the fight against T1D as you peek into a world of magical and mysterious doorways—if you dare.

Make sure to order it today at Crimson Edge Publishing: http://crimsonedgepublishing.com/bookstore/

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Few Steps in a Walk Across America

I have a few traits that seem to be pretty well-known by those in my closest circle.  Sometimes I am teased and bring people into things that they may or may not have wanted to do.  But sometimes…I become a part of something really, really cool.

Example A:  I would do almost anything for anyone, my husband would do anything for me, therefore, he gets roped into doing a lot of things for others, that probably wouldn’t be on the top of his list.  i.e.  taking boxes of food to a bunch of kids stuck in a home with drug addicted parents.  Not his idea-not safe for me on my own-so he does it for me.  Good man.  Not …fun…

Example B: My sister loves to chat.  She gets stories out of people and learns a lot about others.  Then she tells me stories and “opens the crazy,” as she says.  Ian and his walk across America fits here.  She met Ian and Jake as they came into her store to buy some shoes.  She told me their story and I then contacted them on Facebook and promised breakfast.  I woke my kids up at the crack of dawn (my niece and nephew too) so they too would get to be a part of this walk.  My sister, dad, and sweet cousin joined in the walk. Together we walked a few steps through town to support them on their way.  The mission is one I am very passionate about. I urge you to support their cause.  You can find Ian’s story here.  The blog is: www.ianwalksamerica.com and he’s almost to his destination.

photo (17)

My mom was a therapist, my sister following in her tracks.  My mother was innovative and believed in the power to help make change.  She worked miracles.  I saw it because I worked alongside many of her clients.  She was passionate about suicide prevention and had a plan in the works just prior to her passing to offer her gift to those in need to help keep people like Ian from losing their loved ones.  I am proud of her and her work.  She would have taken a few steps with these men too, she probably did that day.  So not just for Ian but for my mom, for my sister, and all others working in Mental Health or in need of services-support this cause.  It matters.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Review: Eleanor by Johnny Worthen

I have previously reviewed another one of Johnny Worthen’s books, and decided to try another. I received a review copy of Eleanor and it didn’t take me very long to read it.

18754928

Eleanor is magical.  She is so easy to connect to that I felt engrossed in the book right from the beginning. She comes from such a troubled past that the fact she is a loner outcast comes as no surprise, yet, there is something really endearing about her.  She finds new/old love and friendship with David who learns her secret and stands by her.  This is a paranormal story with a twist.  The idea of skin-walkers set in modern-day almost feels possible through Eleanor.

I really enjoyed it and it is not as dark as his others stories and could easily be read by a younger audience.  The best Johnny Worthen book so far!

You can find Eleanor on Amazon here.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Awkward

Let’s set the mood here with this one. I want you to watch this amazing video by the 2 Cellos.  Think back to the “good ole’ days” and sing along if you know the words, only this time, insert the word “Awkward” every time you usually say “Thunder”.  Mood set-for some of my greatest Mom moments.

2 Cellos

You’re feeling it now…Song playing over and over again in your head (your welcome).  Bouncing to the rhythm, inner dialogue taking place.  Your ready…proceed….

I have realized lately that maybe the greatest moments of motherhood exist not in the big decisions, i.e. what school for them to attend, or sport they should participate in,  but instead in the small every day situations.  Maybe it is in our everyday dealings that we craft our children to become what they are when they age.  I wonder…If I made different decisions, would they become different adults.  I digress.  Enjoy and I hope to all that is holy that I am not the only mom that thinks this way.

Those awkward moments of motherhood:

Situation: Tiny Sidekick Poops in the tub.  (it happens)

Inner Dialogue:  I wonder if I can hurry and get them washed before I drain the water and clean the tub?

Decision:  Fine…Kids out, tub washed, re-enter for an official butt washing and cleaning.  30 minutes of time wasted.

 

Situation:  Slightly bigger sidekick throwing medium sized tantrum in store aisle.  (I say medium because even the leg kicking, screaming at the top of lungs-doesn’t compare to some I have seen at home.)

Inner Dialogue: There is an emergency exit right there.  I can run out the door screaming “I wish someone would control their child” and make my way around the store to my car.

Decision:  Smile politely at all passerby’s while teaching a lesson, “we don’t get everything we want,” and “throwing a fit, won’t help you get more.”

 

Situation:  Tiny one decides for the third week in a row that 5:30 is the appropriate time to wake up.

Inner Dialogue:  If I close my eyes and pretend I don’t hear him, will he go back to sleep…no?….I wonder if I got a small mini fridge and stocked it with bottles, could he open it and help himself? (not those kind of bottles people-I do have a line)

Decision:  A grumpy wake-up to address tiny needs in a very big world.

 

Situation:  Running short on time, but really wanting to ensure children get a well balanced meal, unfortunately, the news and all my Facebook friends just informed me, that the microwave removes 90% of nutrients from food.

Inner Dialogue:  By giving them the microwave steamed broccoli they are still getting 10% more nutrients than they would otherwise.

Decision:  Dinner can wait….Oh, who am I kidding, Pampered Chef that broccoli baby.  We can’t be perfect.  Next time I will do better.

 

Situation: A day out where I know I will see people that I know.   Bigger Sidekick would really like to dress herself in pretty dress with checkered leggin’s and a super duper awesome bow!

Inner Dialogue:  She can’t go out in that.  People will think I don’t care.  Does she really think that looks good? Where do kids come up with this?  Actually those shoes do kind of sparkle like the bow, maybe it will work.  But the hero cape and mask..hmmm..Ugh.

Decision: Refuse to crush that tiny spirit inside.  “Rock it Princess.  Let that inner diva shine!”

 IMG_8530 (2)

Situation: Tiny one poops, but I have just five minutes left of my show.

Inner Dialogue:  Nobody can smell it. He will be okay.  Does this make me a bad mom?  Why couldn’t you have waited oh tiny one?

Decision: Butts must be changed, but truly what is it with boys and poop?  Their timing…it’s crazy.

 

Situation:  Just 20 more minutes of work today and then we can enjoy our time, but kids are screaming in the background.

Inner Dialogue:  I started first thing this morning, so I could play with them.  Why can’t they just get along?  Maybe if I give them ice cream, unattended for breakfast, they will stop all this nonsense?

Decision:  Ice Cream. Clearly that was the right choice.

 

Situation: A quiet moment, while using the bathroom. Tiny hand sticking under the bathroom door waiting.

Inner Dialogue: I wonder how long I can milk this quiet time?  This chocolate bar is delicious, will they smell it on my breath?

Decision:  Shove chocolate in face, read last page of book and exit bathroom with a closed lip smile.  Pat child’s head on your way by.

 

Situation: Child screams bloody murder in the middle of the night.  They had a bad dream.

Inner Dialogue:  Someone is trying to steal them.  Bolt Upright and run to child’s bedside.  Child is crying and in tears about a bad dream they had.  Someone called them toothpaste face, it’s terrifying I am sure.  Please just buck-up buttercup and go back to sleep.  Mommy just fell asleep and is exhausted.  Can’t they do this on their own?

Decision:  “Come here honey.” Big Hugs!  Why don’t you paste your hot, constantly wiggling body to my side for the rest of the night so we can both get some deep fantastic sleep!  “Mommy Loves you!”

 

Situation:  My older niece and nephew and the epic battle of homework.  “Why do I have to learn this?  Why does it matter how I got the answer? This is how I think, why isn’t it right?”

Inner Dialogue:  Truly, you will never, ever use this in your whole adult life.  I have no idea how you got that, even if it is right.  Can I blame the common core? Everyone else does.  Most of school is really a waste, it’s the social part that really matters. Oh and the grades so you can get a scholarship and go to college so you can meet really great people (and/or get a piece of paper to help you get a better job-which is really-really important and will change your life).

Decision:  Encourage child to keep trying. “You may use this. How did your teacher show you to do it? Let’s do it that way.  That way you can get it right every time, not just this time when it happened to work out.”

It’s the tiny moments people. I am sure of it.  I may not always make the right decisions, but trying is half the battle right?  Please tell me you think this way.  Share with me your examples if you can. It will make me feel better and/or laugh my butt off.  I’m classy like that, really!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Social Media: Moments Lost? Or not… Pros and Cons Discussed

I have been learning so much about social media, and the many platforms.  In doing so I have also been reflecting on my personal life and the impact that social media has had on me.  I thought of some of my life’s biggest moments: wedding, birth of my children, loss of my mother;  and some small moments: birthdays, fun activities, and my writing career.

So many articles on this topic are extreme to one side or the other, either that social media makes you lose the human connection, or that it is necessary and is creating a more globalized social structure.  In my experience it’s both, a road right down the middle.

2391747442_e64c8d28b3_o

Here is my list of pros and cons, and what I have learned along the way.

PROS:

  • I can catch up. I now have information about so many people from my life’s story.  I know where they are, what they are doing, and what is important in their life.  Many, I would not still be in contact with if it were not for the online presence.  It also makes it possible when I meet a new friend to see where they came from and what is important to them.
  • My Grandma thinks I am a great family member. What?!?  Yes, this is one of the pros.  My Grandmother is not online, but when she asks about one of my cousins, I can often tell her what they are up to, and even show her pictures.  Automatic good graces and status of quality family contributor.
  • Today may not be a holiday, but it’s reason to celebrate as it is most likely, someones birthday, somewhere. It’s like a built-in calendar for candles and song.
  • Business and Marketing.  One of my friends recently said, “I never used Facebook very much, until I started my own business.”  The reach is amazing, and if used correctly, can make a huge impact on business success.  It also has been such a huge learning tool for me in my new business.  Learning the in’s and out’s and connecting with people in the right places.
  • Distance is not a factor.    I can keep in touch with anyone, anywhere.  It doesn’t matter how far away they are, I can still view pictures and see just what they are seeing.  Refer to Grandma.  Those pictures of cousins in other states and even countries-can’t be beat!
  • Major high fives.  Likes, Loves, Comments… I can share news or exciting information with all of my “friends”.  Even if they are not someone I would likely still be in contact with today, they can like something and show support.  It’s so easy to click a button in support and feel like you were a good friend-because it does matter.  When a child comes into the world-huge kudos to show of that new little one-from everywhere and everyone.  Who can resist commenting on a picture of a new baby?  Not me.

CONS:

  • It makes it easier to be absent. A like or a comment in a post along with others is no substitute for real connection.  I watch this more carefully than I have in the past.  I realized, when my mother passed away and the well wishes came flowing in under the comments of a picture,  that it was great to have all the extra support. Until one of my dearest friends also posted that way.  No phone call, no private message, no card, no email.  It was easy to check the box of support by a simple comment.  Clearly missing the mark.
  • Conclusions can be made, and Feelings can be hurt. It is so much easier to read words, or see pictures, and miss the actual meaning in an assumption.  I am the first to admit that I have read posts or  comments, some not even directed at me, and still felt offended and hurt.  Upon reflection, usually I can see that it was never meant the way it was taken, but it happens, all too often.
  • When it’s posted, it’s out there. Everything you post is public.  Even when you set it to private, things get out.  Whether later by word of mouth by one of your friends, a screen shot, or an issue with privacy settings.  What you post, can impact your future, or even your now.  It’s a record of you. Who you are inside and out.  People will judge, they will question, and they will talk.
  • It makes it easier to support. It’s hard sometimes to see what is really great and important, because it is so easy to click like, comment, or love.  I have noticed on some of my posts that the likes don’t always reflect the views on the article I shared.  This tells me that people are supporting me (thank you so much) but I’m not really sure if they even read it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the support, but the clicks count too, so I am adjusting my own actions accordingly.
  • It’s your birthday?  I have not yet listed my birthday on any social media sites.  I am not sure why, but it’s a connection thing for me.  I guess I would feel a little silly if people were sending messages, and I know that the only reason they know this is through social media.  It feels a little distant I guess and just isn’t something I get.  Many say, “why not? The birthday wishes are fun”-so meh…that’s just me.

Looking at my list I realized that there are a few things I want to do differently.

  • I will be an active participant in the life’s of people who matter most.  Outside of social media, I will call when needed, send a card when possible, and try have the personal connection.
  • I will support my friends and their businesses because I see how important it is, and the impact it can have.  I will still click like. It’s easy to support.
  • I will take it one step farther when necessary with a personal comment or message to say, “this was great” or “how are you really”
  • I will filter my thoughts. Making sure to think before I post, hoping not to offend or upset another.  I want to make sure my actions will make me proud in the future.
  • I will keep making new friends, learning more about others and life, and sharing my experiences as I go along.  Social Media can be fun and I am really thankful for those I get to connect with. Even if it’s only online!

I am also learning more about the hierarchy of social support.  From basic to more advanced:

  1. A click: Like, Love, Favorite
  2. A public comment, Retweet
  3. A private/personal message
  4. An Email/public share
  5. A Phone Call
  6. A letter/Card
  7. Own post/topic in show of support
  8. A personal visit/hug/high-five

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized