Are You Too Dependent on Technology?

Last week, my phone died. My phone was on the brink of dying for a while and it was acting all sorts of catawampus, but I hoped to extend it until at least October so I could have an upgrade for my birthday. Of course, during the middle of my son’s preschool performance (I’m glad I was able to snap some pics prior. See below), my phone died.

So, for an entire week, I was without a phone until my new one was delivered. While I love, love, LOVE, my iPhone 7 Plus, I learned a good lesson…

Am I too dependent on insta-technology?

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I have numerous apps on my phone and they all do a variety of things – banking app, makeup app, photography app, gaming app, meditation app, transit app, etc. You get the picture. I can’t even tell you how many apps I have, but I’m sure the number is close to 50. Yeah, I have that many.

While I was bummed I couldn’t access some of the apps I used and it made driving a bit of a challenge since I depend on my navigation app, I quickly got accustomed to not having a phone.

And the thought of it was a bit scary.

I was able to concentrate on writing more. I actually bought a planner and began to use it (the utilization is the important part of this story). I was more creative in preparing dishes for dinner. I actually got to do a chunk of household chores.

I…had a life?

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It was a realization that maybe I was too dependent on my phone. Sure, I love taking pics of Bear and keeping in contact with friends and family. But a lot of the time – and I’ll be frank – I was really posting bullshit. Does everyone really need to know what I had for lunch? Do I need to show what I’m listening to? Do I have post these memes?

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Not only that, but do I have to go on all of these social media websites I belong to? If I don’t post in a while, will people notice? Will I gather more interaction? I quickly found out, that’s true! When I posted on IG for the first time in a week, that lone post had more interaction than anything else I posted previously.

I actually allowed people to miss me. Heh.

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Now, don’t get me wrong. If you do those things, I’m not coming down on you. In fact, I’ll still do those things. But not having a phone made me realize what was important and exactly how much time I waste trying to be a social content creator and not a person who’s just living life.

For now, as I shop for cute little cases of my new iPhone and explore all of the nifty things it can do, I’ll keep in mind that while I’m out here creating content, I should also put down the phone and enjoy life.

And as promised….let me present to you, Superhero Bear:

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Why My Son Has His Own IG Page

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Courtesy of me. Bear’s IG is @bogdanbear

There’s often a debate on how much a child should be exposed on the world wide innanets when he has no say in that exposure. Some parents are very private with their children and you rarely see a pic of them. Some are like, ‘Hey, you want see a picture. I have 19797893423 of them. Here you go!’

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Some parents decided their kids should have their own IG. I, for one, agree with this.

Yes, it might sound nuts. Why does a baby/toddler/child need their own IG page? Well, if the parent is known for something, I can see the kids having their own site so if people are interested in seeing photos or keeping up to date with them, they could just go there. A lot of celebrity parents do this and it makes sense, if you think about it.

Of course, I’m not a celebrity. Hell, I’m not even web famous. So why does Bear have his own IG?

Well, for starters, his daddy is a photographer. So Maks often test drives certain camera angles, lenses, etc. on Bear.

In addition to Maks being a photographer, Bear often accompanies him to different photo shoots where other photographers take photos of Bear:

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Courtesy of Ian Zamorano @heychamo
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Courtesy of Andre Garcia @darth_nikon
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Courtesy of David King @iamdavidking
Processed with VSCO with f3 preset
Courtesy of Harold Gonzales @haroldjbgonzales
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Courtesy of Jesse Cleare III, @therdchild
Processed with VSCO
Courtesy of Lisa Marie @love.lisamariee
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Courtesy of Ashia Anderson @rougebaladi

Courtesy of Michael Castro, @kaotical24, http://www.kaotical24.com

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Courtesy of Robyn Cherry, @robynfcherry

I also tend to do vlogs and hair product reviews on Bear’s hair so it would be nice for him to have a page that’s just dedicated to him. Though, I’m slacking on updating it (it’s really brand new) but I hope I’ll start adding more pictures to it very soon.

Now, of course, there’s the issue of protection and privacy. There’s a reason why I don’t post pictures of Bear in his diapers and underwear. I also carefully monitor who is following me and his page.

Bear has already a small fan club forming from the likes of LAFC, the LA Metro system, and even the mayor, Eric Garcetti, commented that Bear had swag.

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So, what are your thoughts? Are you Team #PicsAllDayEeryDay or are you #Nahbruh?

Why You Need a Vacation from Social Media

social media

Facebook.

Twitter.

Tumblr.

Snapchat.

Instagram.

Peach.

Periscope.

And le sigh…so many more I really don’t care about. But you get the idea.

There is so many social media apps, hubs, networks…it’s really almost too much for people to care about.

I’m a bit “old-school.” I remember when Myspace was the new hot sauce. I actually liked Myspace because I was able to customize my page, have music or other graphics on it, and people could leave me messages on my wall.

Then Facebook exploded and of course, everyone migrated there. It was great because you caught up with people you haven’t seen in a long while. Reconnected with friends and family. Mourned in their losses. Celebrated their triumphs. Got angry with them. Became elated with them. Gave a few a much-needed side-eye. Vented your frustrations with the threat of losing friends and family. And let’s face it…getting a certain number of ‘likes’, is pretty addicting. Facebook was everything.

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But then a funny thing happened…

I slowly stopped caring.

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So, I migrated to Twitter where I have two accounts, one for my pen name and one under blussianmommy (I barely tweet so follow me at your own bored risk). And again, it was the same scenario.

I found the same scenario repeat at Instagram (also known as IG).

I tried Snapchat but I really don’t care and honestly, I’m too boring for Snapchat.

Then someone recommended Peach to me and I’m like, what?

And that’s when I slowly began to realize…maybe I’m being overloaded with too much social media? 

You see, it’s easy to get obsessed with it. It’s instant and all you have to do is scroll down to see what you’ve missed. Oh, someone got married? Write congrats to them! Someone announced a pregnancy? Send another congratulations. Someone is having a bad day? Send them virtual hugs. Someone is looking great? Send them a smiley kiss. You want to spy on someone? It’s really easy to do if they have a public page.

Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

Then I began to realize…you know what? I really don’t care.

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Now, let me be clear. It’s not to say I don’t care about my friends and family. They’re everything to me and they’ve helped through some really tough times. But when you have 300+ friends on Facebook, an additional 400+ you’re following on IG, and a little over a thousand people you’re following (and following back ) on Twitter, well, it’s hard to authentically care about every single person.

Let me repeat that for the people in the back – authentically care. When’s the last time you actually struck up a conversation with someone on your social media? Like an actual ‘Say, how is everything going with your life now?’ type of conversation.

I’ve been taking extended hiatuses from Facebook and it’s helped my mental a lot. And I started doing the same with IG, not posting for days at a time. Instead of checking who posted what, I’ve been focused on my writing, on my long-overdue vision board, and most importantly, focusing on my family.

Another thing I discovered when I took a break from social media…I enjoyed life a lot more. Life as in IRL (in real life, for those who don’t understand the lingo).  I’ve focused on my goals, getting my home together, and furthermore, I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished and stopped comparing myself to what I don’t have.

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In closing, I’m not saying to give up social media completely. If it works for you, great. But sometimes, it’s okay to take a break from it and realize you have one life to live – yours – and not living vicariously through anyone else’s. Now, that’s worth more than any status or likes.

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Virtual Insanity

 

I read a recent article on slate.com, regarding how one woman plans to never post anything about her child online ever. EVER. If you’ve followed his blog recently, you know about my struggle to even post Yoda’s picture for fear of public reaction, due to Ethan. 

But never posting anything about Yoda…ever? Hmm…that seems to be a bit harsh. It also seems ridiculously unrealistic.

I should probably explain my stance before I delve further into the topic. I’m naturally a very private person, so to those who know me, keeping this pregnancy a secret for as long as I have isn’t a far stretch. Never once did I share an ultrasound photo of Ethan, even when one could clearly make out his facial features. I really value my privacy and I’m lucky to have friends and family who honor that as well. I figured if someone really wants to know what’s going in my life, they could send me a message or call me. I don’t necessarily have to broadcast everything nor do I want to. I’m sure you know people like that as well. How many people can you think of off the top of your head, have suddenly announced births, marriages, divorces, etc. and you had no idea? In the day and age where everyone feels obligated to share everything, it’s nice to have a ‘oh’ surprise.

Back to the topic at hand, I think it’s up to the parents to post about their children and they can use their discretion as to what and how much they post. I have friends who post every.single.thing about their kids, almost to the point of annoyance. (Really, babe…I don’t care that Junior had cornflakes for breakfast.) Some post key/significant details like birthdays, grade school achievements, and the like, which I feel is awesome. You have an amazing, talented, and bright kid, brag about them!

Let’s keep it real for a moment – Do you need an album full of 50 photos of their first few days? Do you need to post a photo of them every.single.day? I think after a few photos, I kinda have an idea on what your kid looks like.

But to say for 18 years, your child will be completely off the grid? What if your child suddenly goes missing? The first time anyone will see a photo is when it’s broadcasted on the news, along with thousands of other strangers who will see it. What are you going to do when your child becomes a teenager and wants to utilize social media? Most websites allow children to use them when they’re 13, though I know a lot of parents who bend that rule.

I think as parents, there has to be a fine line between posting about your child and being ridiculous. While I’m still on the bubble of posting a fresh picture of Yoda online when he’s born, I doubt I’ll wait until he’s 18. M. and I have come to a temporary agreement of one photo a month. It might seem extreme but let’s face it, after the birth/newborn photos, how many photos does one need to see of the same baby on a regular basis? I think if we released a monthly photo, showing his progress, it’ll give everyone a nice surprise. It doesn’t mean there won’t be any Thanksgiving photos or Santa Claus photos for those who wish to see them. I just don’t feel we need to broadcast every waking moment of his life.