Tag Archives: communication

From Internet Junkie to Fun and Spunky (it’s the only word that rhymed with Junkie..)

6 Sep

So naturally, when a person realizes that they have no life, they go looking for one. And when I realized that all I do is sit around on my ass (which is growing at an alarming rate) doing absolutely zilch with my time, that’s exactly what I did. Of course, going from being an internet junkie to just not being one is somewhat akin to dumping drug habits cold turkey; it’s a pain in the butt, and virtually nobody can do it. That’s why I developed this brilliant plan: with my facebook deactivated, I had all of this free time to learn new things and do fun stuff. But learn what? Do what? I almost Googled “fun things to do” (talk about being desperate) …. but then I found a solution. StumbleUpon is like, the coolest invention ever. I know what you’re thinking: “What the hell, Jess! You said this was all about getting a life and getting in touch with the real world and all that crap, and here you are advocating for another timesucking internet invention?” Yeah, basically. …. No, I’m just kidding! It’s all part of the story. I deleted my facebook and then I decided to see what kinds of cool things I could find on StumbleUpon. Even though I think people should spend a minimal amount of time browsing the internet, I’ve gotta say, SU is a great way to find articles and fascinating tidbits of information that really interest you–so if you’re bored at bedtime or something, sure. Check it out. Anyway, I digress. Back to the story: Stumble helped me to develop a few concepts that are pretty important if you plan on breathing some life back into yourself. They are:

1. Educate yourself. It’s more important than you think, because the older you get, the less impressed people will be when you know the entire storyline of Grey’s Anatomy or Lost but have no concrete understanding of anything of substance. I hate politics and current events with a passion. I don’t know what it is, but I find it about as interesting as I find the fact that the sky is blue. If you’re like me, do what I do. Watch The Colbert Report — it’s at least hilarious, and can kind of keep you somewhat aware of current events. Read books. If you have a special interest like me (I’m obsessed with people and their behaviors), read articles. I read Psychology Today every day. If you don’t like books, watch the history channel or Animal Planet or something, who cares.. the bottom line is, you’ve been in school for most of your life and it’s about time you’ve got something to show for it.

2. Appreciate the arts. No one’s telling you you’ve got to drool over the statue of David or a bona fide Jackson Pollock; hell, I wouldn’t. Art History was the single most painful class that I ever had to sit through, but that’s not the point I’m making. Here, I’m referring to “arts” in a more general sense — things like painting, photography, music, or crafting. There is so much art in the world, and practically nobody sees it. Take this, for example: Sand Animation, Ukraine\’s Got Talent. Like, are you kidding me? Isn’t that just jaw-droppingly awesome? That’s the kind of art I’m talking about. The kind of thing that everyone knows exists but takes for granted. Think of photography: until I started Stumbling, my perception of photography was just “whatever”… it’s just pictures. But after coming across several different series of photos by extremely talented photographers, I saw things that took my breath away. And have you ever noticed how beautiful traditional, classical music really is? That some people are gifted enough to create such beauty with their fingertips? Amazing. So when I say appreciate the arts, I mean stop taking them for granted. And maybe, if you’ve got the balls and the patience, invest yourself in something that interests you. Learn to play the guitar. Take up painting. Write a story. I don’t care. Just stop taking life for granted and take advantage of the incredible noggin you’ve got inside that skull. It would be a shame to let it go to waste.

3. Get Up Close and Personal. Seriously, cut the texting, facebooking, twittering, and IMing crap and get personal. That’s the problem with people these days — do you have any idea how much of communication is nonverbal? Let me tell you. Although there may be newer information on the subject as of late, the most commonly understood information stems from the research of Dr. Albert Mehrabian from UCLA who found that 7% of communication comes from the meaning of the words spoken, 38% of communication comes from tone of voice, and 55% comes from nonverbal cues. Since texting and social networking is written only, that means that tone of voice is also null and void. Guess what, people? That means that 93% of what you are trying to communicate through texting, emails, and social networking is open to interpretation because the person you are chatting with only has a few of the puzzle pieces. Communication is complex, and relying on texting and emails is sort of ridiculous. Think about all of the times that you’ve been offended by something a person said to you, or vice versa. It’s almost always through media, isn’t it? So here’s your solution: get personal again. CALL people so that you can hear their voice. Go SEE them. Spend time with people and nurture real relationships instead of wasting your time with all of the superficial nonsense Facebook and texting have to offer.

4. Get Creative. Make stuff. I kid you not, it is the best, and most rewarding, way to spend your time. You will feel entertained and accomplished! Thanks to Stumble, I’ve become a HUGE fan of DIY projects (Do It Yourself). They are a great way to save money and have really cool things to decorate your house with. If you’re a tech-savvy guy with a lot of spare time, check out this gem. Yeah, I’m serious, you can make that… I mean, I’m not about to try, but if you’re at MIT or something, I say go for it. And if you’re a girl, peep this awesome website called P.S. – I made this…. Those are just a couple of examples, but Google can guide you to TONS more websites with awesome cool ideas for DIY projects that are fun and easy. And also, because I want you to like me and keep reading my blog, I’m going to post entries with the ones I tried and loved and step by step how-to instructions. You’re welcome!

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Calling All Procrastinators

6 Sep

I want you to read this article by Timothy A. Pychyl, Ph.D. :

Facebook — A whole new world of wasting time

And ask yourself, do you have a problem? If the answer is yes, you should probably think about detaching yourself from Facebook altogether for a while, but for those of you who can’t (and I know all too well how embarrassingly difficult it is), here are some clever ways to help prevent yourself from using Facebook as a procrastination tool:

  • Have your roommate or someone you trust temporarily change your password until you are finished studying, and then change it back.
  • Disconnect your internet temporarily.
  • Deactivate your facebook temporarily. YES, this is possible! Let me squelch the rumors once and for all, as someone who has deactivated her facebook: When you deactivate your facebook, ALL of your account is saved exactly as-is; your photos, posts, comments, status updates, info, notes, etc. will all remain saved on the Facebook database FOREVER, so when you’re ready to log back on, everything will be waiting for you just as you left it. Now, personally, I find that a bit disturbing, but to each his own, right?
  • Don’t use a computer, period. That’s kind of hard though, in this day and age.

Deactivate. I dare you.

6 Sep

I’d like to think you’ve saved us both some time by reading the “about” section of this blog, but let’s be honest… that probably didn’t happen. So, I’ll take advantage of my dear friends copy & paste, and explain to you in greater detail what this blog is all about. Oh, and just an FYI — Before I got sucked into the abyss of the unproductive time consuming monster that is Facebook, I used to write. And guess what? I was good. And believe it or not, I was funny! But, like so many other people held captive by this social network and the refresh button, I lost interest in my passions. I lost my individuality and my voice. The good thing is, it’s like getting back on a bicycle after a few years: you’re a little wobbly at first, but eventually you’re soaring effortlessly. You’re probably starting to wonder what my point is. And I just realized that I don’t really have anything better than “I suck at writing right now, but if you stick with me, I promise to get funnier and more interesting!” …..Please?

If you’re reading this sentence, then I’m patting myself on the back, because either my writing isn’t as shitty as I thought it was, or you’re just a really nice person (in which case, you should be patting yourself on the back). Are you excited? You should be, because I’m about to tell you why this blog even exists, and how it’s going to change your life — if you let it. Here’s the deal:

I’m just your average twenty-something girl floundering my way through a world that revolves around social networking, a college student’s #1 excuse to do absolutely nothing productive whatsoever. Around a month ago, I realized that I’m basically no one. I’m a big fat nothing with a pretty face and nothing inside to show for it. When I was younger, I used to read, write, draw, ride horses, play soccer, swim, run cross country, learn, paint my nails, play piano… And now what do I do? NADA. Absolutely nothing. What is my problem?  What do I live for? Where is my pulse? After more than 5,000 status updates, 1,076 pictures, 997 amigos, over a million comments, and and embarrassing number of hours per day, I realized what the issue was and decided it was about time to end my toxic relationship with facebook and focus my time on something a lot more intriguing: the real world. I know, right? Well, that’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it. Try to answer the question “what do you like to do in your free time?”. If the only answers you can come up with are lame ass ones like “tv, movies, friends, internet, family, shopping” and/or if you spend more than twenty (yes, twenty) minutes on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr–whatever–a day, I have a challenge for you: Deactivate. Or, if you can’t bring yourself to do that, at least make an effort to cut back on your usage. For Christ’s sake, GET A LIFE. I’ll help you!

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