Posted by Stronglikemycoffee
Good afternoon, friends! I began typing up this post on Wednesday, but I drew a blank and deleted everything. Then I started again this morning and here we are 6 hours later with little more than a sentence. Time to buckle down…
Yesterday in my digital marketing class, my professor made the entire class create a Twitter account. For some reason, this really annoyed me. I have avoided Twitter, kept my Facebook page private, censored my Instagram posts and limited the Snapchat selfies. ;) This blog is my main form of public media, and even then the content is filtered for what I will and will not share. I didn’t want my name attached to Twitter and I didn’t want one more dumb social media app on my phone!
Practicing social media modesty is important. It’s so easy to share every aspect of our lives with hundreds of “friends” down to a picture of the breakfast we just ate, detailed statuses about our love life (or lack thereof), and tweets of self-congratulations or self-pity. I think social media is a great and wonderful way to keep in daily contact with the people you care about, but there is definitely a point to where it becomes obsessive or intrusive. Privacy is a powerful thing. I’m not too sure about using Twitter, how many different websites do we need to use to talk about ourselves?
So what do you think, am I totally backwards? Should I be embracing the social media platforms? I may need serious convincing before that takes place. Actually I have been making a conscious effort to put the damn phone down more often. I always refuse to keep the phone in sight while I’m driving or sitting in class. Usually I try to limit it while I’m hanging out with friends too. The whole Be Present thing. But I think I can do a better job of finding an alternative activity when I’m bored than just scrolling through Pinterest. Speaking of which, last night was a fun, phone-free time….
Team “Berries and Beer” (formerly known as the “Sangria Sweethearts”) dominated Trivia Night at the country bar again. (And by dominated, I mean performed mediocre-ly and avoided last place.) One of the rules of trivia night: NO cell phones (their rule, not ours.) Three hours passed by after 8 rounds of trivia questions covering sports, 90s cartoons, classic movies, famous soundtracks and Mario Bros.
Before we were seated, our group sat outside around a fire. I felt a hot spot on my leg, looked down to see an ember had BURNED A HOLE through my skirt and tights. The little orange fleck was still sitting on my thigh when I looked down, so bummed that my brand new skirt had a peanut-size whole in the front. (My roommate Bri cleverly ordered me to cover my ash hole -_- )
Trivia night also revealed that we have no expertise in video games and only a slightly better-than-average recall of any pop culture before 2011. However our riddle skills were on point and we were, in my opinion, the best dressed. ;)
I was the designated driver for the evening to I kept it to one early glass of sangria before the games. We finished up around midnight, and I couldn’t wait to fall asleep. Such a fun way to kick off the LONG holiday weekend with my friends :)
Okay I think I’ll take my own advice, unplug for the rest of the afternoon and go for a walk.
What are your thoughts on Twitter? And how much phone time is too much?
Posted by Stronglikemycoffee
I’m not sure how the subject came up, but my boss began talking about Abraham Lincoln last week. He referenced a memorable book, and had it on my desk by the end of the day. I’ve enjoyed reading the short chapters in Lincoln on Leadership by Donald T. Phillips, particularly because the character that Lincoln models is so rarely seen in today’s generation. Abraham Lincoln was kind, inviting, patient and wise. He did not allow his actions to be guided by animosity, vengence, or spite (yes, even through the Civil War).
He garnered support and respect by raising up those around him, offering compliments and considering the perspective of others when making decisions.
I highlighted several passages, most of which spoke to the power of an amiable personality and genuine compassion.
Not only do I want to be more like Abraham Lincoln’s character; I want to surround myself with people who value the same character. I want friends who are kind and inviting and raise up others. Relationships that grow from patience and understanding. People who don’t need attention for validation and self-worth. I respect those who have developed a strong sense of gratitude and who prioritize relationships over superficial habits.
I want to have friends who express genuine gratitude. My parents have enstilled in me the habit of noticing the generosity of others. Consequently I can appreciate an extra-friendly cashier, a kid with manners, a sweet message, a sincere compliment. And when someone remembers a small detail I mentioned? IT MAKES MY DAY. It seems like many fellow millenials feel entitled to the kindness and generosity of others. Sometimes its hard for me to understand how a friend can expect attention and understanding….and offer none in return. I can’t help but feel sorry for a generation who has replaced gratitude with entitlement.
I’ve learned that the sooner we come to terms with the following, the better off we are: “We cannot change people and their habits; we can accept them.” I’m learning to accept them. In our busy world, it takes actual work to sustain a relationship beyond social media. I’m willing to put in the work if they are too. There are cases, however, when it’s a one-sided effort which makes me wish I was born decades ago when social etiquette was not such a rare thing. Sometimes (and I think Lincoln would agree) a forced relationship is a hopeless cause.
For the sake of avoiding being vague and coy, I’ll give some specific examples.
I onced dated a guy who liked to throw himself pity parties. As an empathetic person, I immediately jumped to “pep talker” mode. I would point out his good features, bring him compliments, remind him of all of his best qualities. I became his source of a verbal ego-boost…and that was it. Days would go by without so much as a word, and the moment he felt insecure he called for some Kenzie-compliments. Once I gave him enough to feel sufficiently confident again, he disappeared.
I am not stupid. I’m not a fool who believes that he cared about me whatsoever. All along I was aware that he would bring me nothing but self-pity and I would give kindness and compassion. There is no balance for a relationship in that, and it felt like I was being “mean” when I eventually stopped responding. But the one-sidedness had to end.
A different offender was always less-than-enthusiastic to make plans beyond Netflix. He would use any lame excuse to get out of a hike, scenic drive or something else I enjoyed, including my Christmas party because he “didn’t want to pay for parking” (it was $5.)
Even a friend of mine once crushed on a classmate until the entirety of their relationship amounted to Snapchats. And for some reason that didn’t seem to be a problem to him. #lame.
*Don’t worry; none of these people know about my blog. I’m not passive-aggressive enough to write about someone who will find it.
The standard pattern: what starts as new and exciting grows comfortable. Comfort leads to laziness. Laziness loves convenience. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect someone to make an effort beyond convenience.
That’s another thing I’m learning. EXPECTATIONS RUIN REALITY. Unfortunately my high expectations lead to disappointment, more often than not. And to be fair, it is not someone’s fault that I had previously anticipated their reaction to be larger than life. It is far more beneficial to expect…….well, NOTHING. I’ve tried and tried to understand why someone can’t muster a simple “thank you” for a kind gesture or a surprise. I haven’t come to a conclusion. But I have learned that wasting MY energy on this only results in my own frustration. Instead, I can take the satisfaction knowing that I did something for someone with good intentions. It made me happy. And leave it at that.
Sadly, today a successful life has more to do with the number of followers on Twitter or the number of “likes” on a photograph. Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram and Facebook! They are convenient and entertaining (and sometimes addicting.) But that’s it. They are not measurements of a successful person. Success is being incredibly happy with your life regardless of how “perfect” it appears or how many people validated it on social media.
My dad says that posts like this look like I’m dabbling in the “Advice Column” department. I’m not hugely attracted to that label because it implies that I am qualified to offer answers and advice. In reality, I am a 21 year old girl with high expectations and certain opinions on what it means to be a “good person.” A blog is a pretty appropriate platform to speak on these, so I’m not opposed to expanding my content beyond running and recipes from time to time.
All I’m sayin’ is Abraham Lincoln may have been considered one of the ugliest presidents, but I bet he was a pretty great boyfriend. ;)
Well I just dropped a monster of a rant on you, didn’t I? You know you can vent to me if you need it, too!