Tag Archives: social media

Summer Slow Down


Summer Slow Down | New Faculty

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been authoring much this summer. I wish I had a better reason and/or excuse, but I don’t. I’m just not. I’ve been working and am about to head out on vacation for a few weeks so don’t expect much out of this brain for a while. I’ve tried to reblog some of what I think is “good stuff” and I hope you think so too.

On that note, I’ve also done my usual social media shutdown too. I’ve quit posting things on my actual person (that’s me in real life) facebook account in general. I’ve removed the app from my iphone. I’ve noticed that when I get to the point where social media pisses me off, it’s time to take a break from it. Rather than deactivate, which I do several times a year, I am trying to break the habit of hitting the app on my phone when I’m bored, in between meetings, or something else that will grab my attention.

I share this with you not to brag, but to remind you (and me) that there’s more to life than work and social media. We may never find the balance, but we can enjoy what’s right in front of us. Hopefully it’s not a super giant pile of work. August will come and soon the syllabi will be flying. Until then, we’ve got a few weeks to slow down and enjoy life. I’m also slightly annoyed that facebook has been conducting research on me without my consent. The NERVE!

I’m practicing being more present. I’m reducing the distraction.

I’m enjoying my summer. I hope you are too!


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Reality Check: Spring Social Media Clean Up

Spring Social Media Cleaning | New Faculty


‘Tis the season! The hiring season is upon us! I see finely dressed students on campus for greek life events, but more importantly:

  • career fairs
  • internships
  • interview season!!!!!

I was eating cupcakes with a faculty friend and we were joking about how ridiculous we probably looked shoving cupcake into our piehole at lightening speed. We decided that perhaps not really a social media moment–a ‘real life’ moment for sure, but nothing that was really worthy of an instagram. We started swapping stories of some of our students (former & current) and their desire to ‘connect’ with us over social media. It turned into a “who’s worse” kind of conversation and we both had some dousy’s to share. I don’t know if a winner was ever declared–(is there ever really a winner in these?)–but we did determine a few things:

  • there really should be an app that screens your pics before posting.
  • most apps should automatically be shut down after 11 p.m. to help this.
  • there should be some sort of ‘screen’ prompt – “are you SURE you want to post this?”
  • when in doubt, just don’t….

As we sprint towards Spring and you may be on the job market, consider your social media presence. Clean it up, take it down, deactivate it. Job prep doesn’t just involve making sure your business suit is clean and your job talk is prepped, it now means making sure our online presence is also tight. If you keep a website, blog, twitter, instagram, facebook, vine, snapchat, linkedin, etc… update them, clean them up, change your preferences for privacy if you’re concerned, make sure that profile picture fairly represents the “you” that you want out there for the public to see.

As a former web designer and IT person, I can tell you this:

  • everything can be hacked
  • no one is 100% “private” anymore

So, do yourself a favor and spend some time cleaning it up this Spring. Like Spring cleaning, it can be fun to go through memories, therapeutic to purge some of the ones we’d like to forget, and can help us get our online presence in check with the presence we want to sell to potential employers. I find myself deactivating a few times a year, making sure my own search engine optimization is in check (what you see when you google yourself) and use services such as brandyourself.com to help me make sure people see what I want them, not the other way around.

You know people don’t usually go beyond page 2 or 3 in a google search, so spend a little time now and clean up your searches. ¬†I know I’ve not always been studious about this and I do let it slip because I get busy with my real life presence and forget about my virtual presence. It’s one of the times I do appreciate an email from whatever service it is to say, “we haven’t seen you in a while, want to update us?” I usually do or at least click on my profile to make sure it still conveys the message I’m trying to send (awesome, hello???) ūüėČ I know the email reminders can be a bit tedious, but it does remind me to check myself on social media.

We’re not going back to web 1.0 anytime soon, so we might as well participate in our online presence. Take the time now that you’ve invested a few moments in reading this post and tidy up your online feeds. I have never heard anyone say, “i’m so bummed i lost 30 min cleaning up my social media.”

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Just Like the Government: Shut Down

Shut Down Facebook | New Faculty


The federal government and I shut down on almost the same day. My shutdown was far less publicized, noted on major news networks, and as far as I can tell, there’s only one person suffering as a result.

I deactivated my facebook.

I had been toying with the idea for some time. I have always had doubts about the nature of friendship and what social media does to it. Recently, I found myself having some facebook envy and putting myself into a bad place over it. That wasn’t anyone else doing it-it was all in my brain. I know the research, both positive and negative, and found myself falling prey to the negative and not the positive. Don’t get me wrong, getting 134+ birthday greetings sure was nice, but during my own summer on the struggle bus, facebook stopped serving me and became a source of tension and angst that I could feel brewing and was trying to figure out how to deal with. I do enjoy facebook because it does help me keep in touch with people who I enjoy, went to college/high school/work with or have done those things in the past.

So, I did the most logical thing possible. I shut my ‘large’ facebook account down.

  • I needed to breathe.
  • I needed to re-evaluate its’ function in my life.
  • I needed to jump on the wagon and continue my own self-reflection.
  • It was freaking ME out. This is not about ANYONE ELSE. This is my stuff.
  • I need to pair down my ‘friend’ list dramatically. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. MY feelings of guilt about ‘unfriending’ need to be put in their proper place.

I was too in my own head about it. “will people disagree? do i keep it light & funny? what’s ____ doing? maybe i’ll check on them.” Way too many emotions tied up into innocent posts about things I care about. On the other hand, people are ALL ABOUT politics and it makes me want to stab my eye out.

Facebook and I have always been friends, and I’ve discussed it before¬†and once again making some rules–incidentally, it was just about a year ago in August, so it was a much needed reminder.

  1. Thou shalt use with caution
  2. Thou shalt be not afraid to block, unsubscribe, remove from social media life or ‚Äėhide‚Äô them forever
  3. Thou shalt not log on or keep the window open
  4. Thou shalt filter out or put people in lists
  5. Thou shalt remind myself: it’s JUST social media
  6. Thou shalt use it to my advantage. Promote my brand, my ideas‚ÄďI‚Äôm sure I annoy other people so they can delete me as easily as I can delete them.
  7. Thou shalt lighten up. Take it with a grain of salt.
  8. Thou shalt have the clairvoyance to shut it down again closer to any election.  Everyone is getting pretty sensitive about every. little. thing.

I’d like to add a new ‘law’ about social media.

~Thou shalt not fall prey to ‘social media’ envy and think that my life is any less fulfilling and make me feel badly about it.

Two weeks in and I have to say: I don’t really miss it. Macklemore said something about ‘finding a different way to get out of bed instead of getting on the Internet” and he is right. I don’t wake, pick up my phone, and feel like I need to catch up. Thankfully, my iPhone is also experiencing a mid-life crisis of its’ own right now (AKA: piece o’ crapola) and ios 7 is not treating it well. It’s not updating anything and shutting down randomly, it only helped me see that I can survive without facebook, email, and pretty much everything.

But I cannot survive without human relationships. Facebook gives us an unauthentic feeling that we know what someone is doing or even more importantly:


and it’s wrong.

If you want to truly know how someone is, ask them. But not on facebook. Most (ok, all) people censor very heavily what they put up on social media since they only want to make their most positive attributes shine, but we miss the stuff of ‘real life’ in there too. We miss life in general.

Life isn’t always so glamorous. I struggle with this message to our young people¬†because they cannot yet rationalize the stack of dishes that goes with that photo worthy meal per say. I needed to remind myself of that too and had even been putting up some mundane photos of my own ‘real life’ because that is the stuff that life is made of. Laundry and cooking are NOT necessarily glamorous tasks but it’s important for us to keep those in mind because they are part of life. Even hearing a friend say, “just doing laundry so I thought I’d call you” can help put the important things in life into perspective.

As we get in deep with the semester and many of you are probably feeling how I’m feeling (drowning but with a straw for life support), this is ONE THING we can cut down on to increase our sanity. Now, some of you may say, “social media is my vacation from reality” and I would say, “go forth” but if you find it a cause of stress in your life like I did, do just like the government and:
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Turning Off the Turmoil


I have a friend who is recently single. Her husband woke her up on a Saturday morning to let her know he was unhappy and he moved out. Their break up has been done over social media, email, texts, and rarely ever in person. My friend proclaimed to me a few days ago that she “f*^g hated facebook and her phone.” I told her to shut that crap down. Immediately. I recommended that she not respond to her soon-to-be-ex unless he wants to man up and she needed to woman up and confront the situation in order to end it.

As professionals and human beings, we NEED to separate ourselves from the devices we’ve become accustom to having. A friend and I ran a 5k this fall. I run intervals and she said she would try to run a little bit. She ended up checking her phone the whole time. I had jogged ahead of her and turned around to check on her only to see her looking at her phone. I was pissed. I screamed, “get off your god damned phone and live the life that’s right in front of you!!!! i’m right here, look at all these people running with us, whatever is in that phone can wait 45 minutes.” She didn’t get off her phone, I ran the course and waited another 30 min. for her to finish. Miraculously she crossed the finish line without her phone in her hand but in her pocket.

Social media, email, and everything technology related can be hard to stomach. The spoken word is so powerful and the range of other non-verbal cues that come with it are far more important than the message itself sometimes. As someone who researches facial cues and non-verbal behaviors, I can say with some amount of certainty that these cues drive us. A flat facebook message or email does not get across any of the truly important aspects related to the communication: the human connection. Email is great for business, for seeing how the kids are, for confirming flights, and scheduling meetings but rarely is it a great medium for someone’s joy, laughter, tears, heartache, or range of motions in between. Facebook is wonderful for sharing photos, puppies, babies, more babies, and your latest life experience but the only true way to connect is to communicate. Emoticons help but are less than two dimensional.

As our semester winds down and we begin to feel the emotional onslaught that comes with the end of a term, I urge you to check in with yourself and turn off your devices. Take a two hour break during the middle of the day. Stop working before the sun goes down and get some vitamin D. Stop pushing your emails, facebook notifications, and everything in between. Turn off the turmoil in your life and turn on the relationships you have with the people sitting in front of you. Your heart will thank you. Besides, you can always check out everyone’s Thanksgiving feasts later and black friday deals next week.

Your online addiction may be¬†adversely¬†affecting your life more than you think. I enjoyed the tidbits this article provided and have made my own steps to calm down my technology use to balance home time and work time. I do enjoy reading books on my iPad and playing Angry Birds, but have learned to turn off notifications and sounds when I’m busy, even if busy is watching TV or when I’m with friends, enjoying what I’m doing, and avoiding my digital life. After reading the HBR article about online addictions, I took my own stock and reflected on what I did and didn’t do. Here’s what I do:

  • I turn off my ringer in the mornings when I work. I work best during this time and do not want to be disturbed by texts or calls.
  • I continue to carry a good notebook with me for meetings. If my mind wanders and my laptop or iPad is open, I’ll stop paying attention to the meeting.
  • I break up my days with exercise when I can. Working out in the middle of the day helps re-energize me for the long afternoons. It doesn’t happen every day but I take advantage of it when it does.

This is what I can always work on:

  • Impulsively checking. Ugh. Sometimes I catch myself doing it and then I think, “stop it, it’s the weekend/night/not email time.”
  • Setting aside time to check in with myself and write. My writing/research writing efforts need to be amped up. I can’t help but admit that technology hinders that productivity and focus.
  • Stop letting Pavlovian pull suck me in. Must. Stop.

I’ll keep working on it if you will. As a new faculty, it can be tough to balance all of your job¬†responsibilities¬†and your real life.

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My hiatus from social media


I needed a break. ¬†A big one. ¬†I was thoroughly annoyed with social media. ¬†Mostly facebook. ¬†Between the bitching, ranting, and general complaining about jobs, politics, and random crap, I had had it up to “here” with it. ¬†So, I ran away and shut that thing down.

The two weeks were a nice respite. ¬†It gave me time to think about how I needed to start managing social media instead of social media managing me. ¬†I let it make me angry or upset and why? ¬†I have no freaking idea! ¬†I let it consume me instead of me consuming it. I over posted. I was neglecting real people sitting right in front of me or next to me with no good excuse. ¬†I needed to turn it off to tune into life again. ¬†It also happened that it fell in a lull with work and projects so I could focus on my lovely life, take some time off, and get re-energized for the upcoming academic year. Fast Company ran a clever submit page about social media and the post that resonated with me said, “if you’re bored with social media it’s because you’re trying to get more value than you create.” ¬†I don’t know who Tim O’Reilly is but he is a smart man. I finally get it though. ¬†My frustration was because my value on it was too high. ¬†Instead of taking it with a grain of salt, I was taking it with a big spoonful of it instead of sugar. I was my own worst enemy. Learning how to tame the social media beast took a few weeks away from it. ¬†Unplugging was the only to truly get my head wrapped around it and I’m glad I did!

On the positive side, it gave me a chance to build my blogs, do some work on them, create pages that I liked and work to create an identity that is much more solid. ¬†I have no future goals of making money off of my blogs, but picking a direction has been helpful in creating a solid foundation. I also realize how much I do enjoy social media if it’s filtered properly for me. ¬†By incorporating more things I like versus people who are just nuts in my view, I can be more at ease with it. ¬†A friend suggested I just unfeed those crazy people from my life and I’m going to take her advice once I open my proverbial floodgate again. ¬†I do love checking in with life long friends, I don’t mind babies and kittens, and for the most part, I find feedback rewarding in the positive and negative sense. ¬†I think my senses were just on overload and I was generally being quite pissy about it.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in order to work on controlling the beast called social media and not lose my mind as this article suggests:

  1. Thou shalt use with caution
  2. Thou shalt be not afraid to block, unsubscribe, remove from social media life or ‘hide’ them forever
  3. Thou shalt not log on or keep the window open
  4. Thou shalt filter out or put people in lists
  5. Thou shalt remind myself: it’s JUST social media
  6. Thou shalt use it to my advantage. Promote my brand, my ideas–I’m sure I annoy other people so they can delete me as easily as I can delete them.
  7. Thou shalt lighten up. Take it with a grain of salt.
  8. Thou shalt have the clairvoyance to shut it down again closer to the election.  Everyone is getting pretty sensitive about every. little. thing.
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A domestic academic needs some space


I don’t need a piece of wood to whittle, but I do need some space. ¬†As I’ve worked to get my technology habit under control, I found myself slipping ‘off the wagon’ this summer. ¬†It wasn’t pretty. ¬†I was checking my phone before bed, in bed, while PIC was trying to have a conversation with me, and at 100 other inappropriate times.

I was reading an article and incidentally, it started around the same time that I started swimming. I really enjoy swimming and luckily, the weather here has not let me down, it’s flaming hot. What’s nice about swimming is that while it’s not the act of doing nothing, it’s an activity that mandates there is no technology involved to distract me. ¬†Yoga is much the same way. ¬†The meditative state has become a luxury when it should be a priority in life.

So, I had faith in the Internet and took their advice. I made an iced coffee, left everything in my life inside of the house and went and sat outside. ¬†It was barely 9 a.m. so it was still relatively cool, the sun was not shining on the patio, and I had a giant iced coffee. ¬†And nothing but my thoughts…..

It was not hard to sit outside and enjoy the delightful morning. ¬†I took the time to notice that mowers were busy in the distance, a back up sound was being made in the distance, and that I could hear people going through their morning routines as well. ¬†I could smell oatmeal, hear spoons hitting bowls, and hear a vacuum running. ¬†I rent a townhouse with PIC in town to be close to the action and my townhouse row backs up to another living community, hence all of the extra people noise. ¬†In my previous life, I rented a house on the top of a mountain (really) and it was pretty silent. ¬†I had a huge “L” shaped porch where I did spend a lot of time on the swing sipping drinks and enjoying the peace and quiet. ¬†I hope to return to that state of living sooner than later and will happily sacrifice living 2.3 miles from my office for some more quiet. ¬†When I lived in the ‘motherland’ I owned a home and would often find myself out in my gardens first thing in the morning. ¬†Weeding, picking, harvesting, and general maintenance was soothing to me. ¬†Taking a half hour to sit with myself without distractions led me to a realization: it seems I have got myself stuck without any space.

It’s a start. ¬†Carving out some time to just sit with myself. ¬†No technology, no distractions. ¬†Yoga helps because they treat it like life should be treated. ¬†With ease. ¬†There is no rush in yoga, there is only the mind to contend with. You recognize your thoughts and then allow them to enter and exit without too much worry. ¬†All of the instructors I have ever had all say something similar during class, “watch your thoughts, see them come in, acknowledge that they are there, and then let them go.” Why can’t all of my days be like that?

I know the answer, but it seems like we could train ourselves to be content from time-to-time. ¬†The over-stimulation of technology has made us all a little grumpy with ourselves and each other. Maybe it’s the election year or the awful shooting in CO, but people are getting downright nasty. ¬†Abrasive, aggressive, combative, with that train of thought that one tiny statement identifies a whole culture. ¬†It’s too much.

I did take a few drastic measures recently to help with this journey. ¬†I shut down my facebook account. With all of those ‘friends’ it had really made me quite grumpy about social media. ¬†I have a second fb account, a much smaller friend list account and started a page for my blogging escapades. ¬†Please hit me up if you choose to and give me one of those “likes” at Domesticated Academic. ¬†I’ll still be cooking, taking photos, and thinking about education, but I hope to not get annoyed with myself or anyone else as a result of social media. I’m taking a one month hiatus from the ‘large friend’ account. ¬†Let’s see how it goes!

So, as I slide into a little down time B.S. (before students) I’m going to do the followings things:

  1. spend some time with my bad self–the good, the bad, and the morning breath ugly
  2. unplug more–quite frankly, i’m becoming pretty disenchanted with social media and could use a break
  3. focus more on creating my own space–swimming, coffee, laying in a pile somewhere, i have to find it
  4. work on my summer reading list.  three books down, one to go.

As a new faculty, what do you do to try and create some space in your own head while managing all of the other voices pulling you?

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why i use social media as a new faculty


I dig social media. ¬†Not just as a new faculty, but as a human in general. ¬†How else can we keep up with jobs, marriages, bad life decisions that ended up on someone’s smart phone, sonograms, videos of puppies stuck in boxes, Halloween costumes that would have been better left from our memories, pictures of meals that are unrecognizable in dim light, your fungus in your big toe, the person who posts over 30 things a day on kittens, and 100 photos of your kid at the beach crying the whole time because they hate the water?

All jokes aside, social media is a fantastic tool that new faculty should learn to embrace. ¬†And yes, I am guilty of posting a lot of stuff from time to time (or regularly depending on who is my social media friend/connection). Do you literally have to hug it every time you open Facebook? ¬†No. ¬†But the ability to keep up with friends, colleagues, and family members, not to mention students, current events, local events where you live, restaurant reviews, conferences, and other professional work is also important. ¬†I consider myself an ‘early adopter’ so it’s easy for me to log on to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, my email(s), Pinterest, and WordPress all at the same time to keep up with what’s hip. ¬†Is it always about work? ¬†Another no. Does it consume me when I know that it shouldn’t. Yes. ¬†I wholeheartedly admit it and juts like any technology, discipline is required.

Social media can be a valuable tool for a professional. ¬†I like to see what my colleagues are doing, what they’re highlighting, what’s important to them. ¬†I understand that once I put something on the Internet, it’s open to public scrutiny and while I try to keep things pretty light, I find a lot of things in this world pretty humorous that others may not. ¬†Not everyone agrees with me and that’s usually ok because I take it with a grain of salt. ¬†Some days, the grains are much larger or smaller than others, but nonetheless, it’s always meant in good fun. All in all, it’s a great way to learn what others interests are. ¬†It’s a great way to open a conversation, prompt students in class, find talking points with colleagues, or just share things in general. Perhaps you need to do a little recon work on potential students–head to the Internet and find what you need. ¬†Will it cast a shadow on someone? ¬†I sure hope not, but as the information age matures and we move from Web 2.0 to 3.0, it’s important not to shun social media from your daily, weekly, or regular¬†repertoire. ¬†Some might think it’s the last thing a new faculty has time for but I argue that you SHOULD make time for it. Simply “liking” a Facebook status shows that you are paying attention, reading, consuming, and producing other content.

Taking the time to subscribe to some regular feeds via rss or email can be valuable.  As someone in STEM and education, I subscribe to a few daily emails that I actually take the time each day to read.  Gleaning teaching tips, facts or research are positive side effects of what social media has to offer.

As a new faculty, how do you handle social media? ¬†What do you wish you could do with your social media that you don’t have the capability to do right now? ¬†Maybe your idea is the ‘next big thing’ that will catapult us into Web 3.0. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

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