Social media adds values to our lives in many ways - with some of them seemingly more dumb than others to some people. For me, it's fun. It adds a little color here and there to my day. I get this stupid grin on my face and sometimes I may even add a silly squeal to that when I get a badge from one of my check-ins. It's not real - no where near real, but who cares? It's fun for me (and a zillion others). Why you ask? How is this fun?
As fun and harmless as this may all seem, there are a few rules to follow to safeguard your safety:
Rule #1: Cleanse your contact list every so often - especially from the social media tools that have that "check-in" functionality. I do this with my Yelp, FourSquare, Facebook, LinkedIn, ... By the way, did you know that your contacts on FourSquare can call or send you texts, in addition to commenting on your latest check-in? Be careful who you allow to call you "friend" - and if you add them, understand how much information you are releasing to them. It's more than you realize.
Rule #2: Check-in when you are leaving a place. This is the general rule of thumb. If you are trying to have people come find you, check in at the beginning. Don't be consistent about this either... which leads to...
Rule #3: Be completely inconsistent. Do not check into every single place you go to, don't show off your regular patterns and habits, ... Take some breathers here and there and detox from Social media. When it comes to your safety - be consistent about being inconsistent. :)
Are there any other tips or thoughts you'd like to share that I've missed? Send them my way!
Friends come and go. A few special ones stick by. Most go on by after awhile. I would say most of the friends that go on by, are still friends in my book - I jump up with delight when I see them (though rarely) and come to their side if ever called upon. I'm optimistic in that I think most of them would do the same for me, but I'm left here feeling a little bittersweet about this lately... especially the past few weeks.
The most difficult situation is when you have friends that move on or change stages in life ... and you remain pretty much the same. My girlfriends started disappearing from my world 6-7 years ago as they got engaged, moved into married life, and very quickly into the life of parents. Message and calls that used to be returned within a few hours... sometimes never get returned. Emails get lost. Dinners get rescheduled. They're still disappearing. I have friends that did that getting married thing and are recently coming back into my world as divorcees.... only to go back into "married" life a few months later. I have to say, I am esctatic and elated when my friends are happy and well taken care of. I adore their minis and their happy new homes. Let me restate that - I adore their spouses, their babies/children, all of it. Adore. ... But what's not being said (the elephant in the room) is that I'm also a little sad. I see these awesome changes in their lives - and now I get to see them once a month, then a few times a year, and less and less as the years go by. When I see them, the talk is mostly about children and Costco trips and what room they are re-decorating. ... I can kind of relate, but I wonder, where's my old friend?
I miss you - our talks about me and you (my friend). I am mourning our care-free days at our favorite happy hour drinking cocktails and giggling together. ... I wish we could do chick flicks, do a spontaneous road trip to Portland, ... go hit that fabulous new restaurant that just opened. I want to have you over and drink that delicious bottle of wine I've been saving to drink with a special friend. I feel that most people actually do this mourning in private and quietly - but I don't feel like I can hold it in any longer. Every year, I go and find new friends - and I love my new friends (because I love meeting new people). ... But I want to feel okay about grieving the old friends and our old relationships as they change. I wonder if they grieve a little too - or are they too busy in happy marital bliss with beautiful bundles of joy to notice? I love them, no matter what... but...
Don't you miss me too? Why do I feel a little bad about feeling a little sad about these wonderful changes and blessings? I know I've literally buried myself with projects and work, too ... but that stuff can only fill you up so much, you know? I miss you.... I miss us.
I will be blogging my face off today and tomorrow. I know I signed up to do a blog post a week in 2011 - and wow, today is the last day of this week. Blogging regularly and consistently takes major commitment and dedication, no doubt. Lord knows that life gets in the way sometimes ... and I won't let that happen to me. I can do this. I can do it - #postaweek2011.
Few tips I've picked up so far for my fellow blogging friends that might help:
[Random Post] For any of you that follow me on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and Instagram know that my new project is to learn to play the ukulele - particularly the song, "You and I" by Ingrid Michaelson. It's so damn cute and spunky! Was poking around on the YouTube on my Apple TV tonight, and came across this sexy man - Jake. Wow. Inspirational. I am going to practice more!
Just got home from a magnificent night at the symphony - saw Pinchas Zuckerman. Who knew the viola could be such a star. Beautiful. Very happy any night I get to spend at the symphony (or opera). I grew up deep in the world of classical music with piano, violin and voice. I wrote on all of my college applications that the language of music was the first I learned. I still write on my resumes that music is a language - it is. Music is the universal language of people. Anyone else going to learn the ukulele with me?
Good night, friends.
I'm a sucker for TED. As I've gotten older, I also prefer the company of women for friends. In my career, most of my colleagues have been men - recently as I had the opportunity to venture out on my own (until this past week), I've had the opportunity to choose women to be my clients and colleagues. Here's a summary of my thoughts from my past... 5 years:
The rules for women (and men) are changing:
Liza touches some interesting points. Back in the day, say children born in the 1960s and earlier, life was different. Boys became men by having muscles, working on cars, and being the protectors and providers... Girls became women by wearing pink and dresses, taking home economics, and learning to bake and the art of being sweet and soft. Now - it's different. Boys are taught to be politically correct and sensitive, and to put away their toy guns and trade them in for art. Girls are told that they must compete and take on as much education as possible. Statistics say more women then men are graduating from universities and graduate programs now. Feminism has empowered women - we can do so much, own property, vote, get PhD's, and be the boss.
Take that to the world of relationships:
With men being more "sensitive" and less "manly", in the rough and gruff sense - and women being more "strong" and less "passive"... we know that the world of men and women are at a crossroads now. We're learning to re-learn and also create new rules to live and work by. Both partake in household duties, men cook, women bring home the "bacon", ... so how do we maintain that sweet polarity and necessary tension between a man and a woman when we are so similar to each other?
I don't know. I'm working on that list.
How can I be my best: as a woman, as a colleague, as a girlfriend/wife, as a mother, as a leader, and as a follower? I don't want to be known as pink - I want to be red, burgundy, fuchsia and plum. I don't want to choose between having a family or a successful career - I want both: my future amazing sexy husband and adorable wizard children with my kickass career at the top of a socially conscious very profitable company. I don't want to be known as the bitch at work - I want to be friendly, genuine and strong. ... I WANT IT ALL.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Single or paired up, and even though it's a cheesy Hallmark holiday, take the time to celebrate love. I know people look at it as a day when the women get the attention - but when she's happy, it's a win-win, right? :) Be good to yourself and those around you.
Websites are expensive. Like our All Things Wishful CTO says, "they're like sausage - tastes good at the end, but man, what a mess it is to make it." And wow, seriously, it is quite a lot of work creating just the right site from scratch. SERIOUSLY. Having worked in consulting firms with ginormous technology clients for many years, websites are also a majorly expensive venture. Thousands and thousands of dollars, zillion hours, .... pushing the damn pixel up and down, playing with fonts and copy. Logos. Design. Buttons. Layout. Usability and user experience. Security. Privacy. Data. AH!
But what about the small businesses that want a nice website for their bar/restaurant, yoga, or photography business? Why should they have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to a firm or freelancers to build them a website, that might… really just suck and they wouldn't know it? WHY??? WHY??? WHY??? ---> I'm sorry, but really, when a small business really wants a nice website with nice home page, a menu, contact us page, maybe a blog, some photos, ... they really should not be burning their valuable resources on hiring a developer to build a website. Hellz no. I've had the opportunity to work with a bunch of small women‐owned businesses with their website needs recently, and here are some thoughts:
WordPress! Everyone loves WordPress! Seriously - probably one of the best tools out there for the DIY website | blog. Really well supported. Lots of people running around building site after site with it. I do contend though that this is probably a little more difficult to use upon first glance than other template‐site building options out there. They got a zillion plug‐ins and widgets galore. I can see it being a little intimidating for the not‐so‐tech‐saavy user. Actually, it is intimidating.
SquareSpace is another template website builder that's pretty easy to use for your average Jane or Joe. My dear friend, Kate, is a big advocate for SquareSpace - used them to build her wedding website when she got married the other year. Loved the experience - I haven't used them yet. 14 day free trial period. Social media plug‐ins. Photo galleries. Blogs and hosting. Seems quite nice. They are on my list to try. Still, I'd say it's more for a more seasoned web user.
Then, there's Weebly. My younger brother told me about them last year - hot SF‐based firm also building website solutions for the non‐developer. No, actually, more for the completely non‐technical person. My way of helping the bunch of small women‐owned businesses with their website needs: I handhold them through the process. I pick the tool for them, train them on how to "manage" their own website (blog, change content and copy/photos, add pages, etc...) —> and for the small business owner that is looking for a simple solution and is completely not-tech‐saavy, Weebly has been wonderful. Social media tools, videos, photos, cool web fonts - I'd totally recommend them.
I've been telling this story to a bunch of people as an example of why it is just so difficult to meet a good man. I know, Seattle, the ratio is just right - and it's completely the city for a single woman. We have our pick! ... Not so much. I hear guys complain about how difficult it is to meet a good woman - and how women have it so easy. Here's the truth - it's not easy for women either.
Case in point, "Cody" [specific details like names, places and such have been slightly altered]. I was introduced to him a couple years ago. One day, a friend who is a matchmaker for Seattle's "elite" (and I had no idea he did this until he reached out to me), reached out to me and asked, "Arry, are you single?" -- to which I replied, "actually, yes, but not really looking." Turns out he had a client that he thought was just terrific and thought I'd be a good potential match. And so...
His name was Cody. Age 35-37. Never married. No kids. Caucasian. Intellectual and more introverted. CEO of a well established company. Tall and well mannered. Family oriented. ---> Oh yea? Hey, I'll meet up. [So matchmaker friend gives Cody my contact information]. Cody calls and asks for a coffee meet-up. I select a place about 5-6 blocks from my place - so in case I get uncomfortable, I can jet out of there. You never know, right? I usually give these types of meetings a time block of 45 minutes, and then I'm out of there.
The Coffee Date: I meet him at the said coffee shop. He's tall - towers over my 5'5 frame. I think he's like 6'2 at least. Well groomed. He's dressed "casually" - but you can tell he's one of those guys that spends a lot of time selecting his cloths. Expensive taste, even for the casual hoodie. Quality materials. Okay - detailed kind of a guy. He buys me a soy chai - we go over to the side and talk. How do you know matchmaker friend? Where are you from? What are you looking for? What do you do? ... Okay... Okay... seems nice enough. Well mannered. Soft kind voice. Makes eye contact. Not bad.
He calls shortly after and we make arrangements for a second date.
The Dinner Date: Picks me up, takes me to a nice seafood restaurant. Tells me it's one of his go-to places and his family likes eating there. Opens car door when I get in, opens car door and holds his hand out to help me to get out. Chivalrous. Good. Nice dinner date - order dinner. Conversation flows smoothly. Eye contact. He likes his close friends. Talk about families. ... After dinner, he suggests I come check out his newly remodeled home. [Guarded... ] I say, "uh... ok, just for a min". He jokes, he won't bite me quite yet. [Awkward giggle from me]. Okay - he's showing off with this visit to his home. Penthouse - custom job. Beautiful home. Very clean. [He's HANDY! Yay!] [Ugh... cats... I don't do cats] Takes me to his bedroom shower to show off all the crazy buttons and settings he has for it. Surreal. [I'm tired... ok... time to go!] He picks up on the cue and offers to take me back home. Hug good night. Hmm... seems like a sweet man. I'm liking.
Yea, I'm getting to the punchline. Weekend comes and I'm hanging out on my rooftop patio with my awesome friend: champagne, laying out on the deck, talking about our recent girls' trip to Vegas. He texts, "What are you up to?" -- I reply, "Enjoying the sun on my deck with a gf" -- he responds, "Oh nice. Me too." [Shrug, back to hanging out with my friend - update her on Cody]. He texts, "I bet I'm wearing less than you are." [Oh no... oh no... ] -- and then another text quickly follows... OH MY GOOOODDDDDD!!!!!!!!!! He sent me a text of himself laying out on his deck.... COMPLETELY NUDE! [The horror... the horror...] Show my friend and now we are both squealing and screaming and yelling and in horror. He calls. "Hey, so, did you get it"... [Yes I did... you surely blew this...]. I think he gathers from my silence and says, "I shouldn't have done that, huh?" -- I say in a low voice, "No, you shouldn't have. Please do not contact me again."
A seemingly well mannered educated kind successful man obliterated in one stupid photo. We had gone on 1.5 dates. Hadn't ever really touched, held hands, kissed, ... WHY WOULD A NUDE PHOTO BE A GOOD THING HERE? I deleted all his info, texts, the photo -- but boy am I regretting deleting that photo. That would have been funny to include with this post. [Not]
Lots of changes this past year, this past month... and this past week. Yea, I'll update you soon. :) In my last post, I talked about hitting this emotional low and very unexpectedly - a person crossed a boundary with me and I felt violated. I blew up. Angered. Fuming. Hurt. It came at an inconvenient time too - and with witnesses.
The path of my emotional journey since that post:
Be real. Maybe it's me, maybe it's women in general or people - we're so afraid to emote, to express our true innards, ... and when we do, oh my gosh, the horror. Stop apologizing. We walk through life desensitized and careless - and when you feel/see/hear true emotion, it's shocking, it's embarrassing, ... and our natural instinct is to APOLOGIZE. WHAT THE HELL!? Take ownership. Own your feelings, own your actions, own your mind and body. Put in the time, be respectful, and take care of yourself.
That's where I'm at now.
Good night, friends.