Posted in Holiday Posts, Parenting, Personal, social media

Be Present This Holiday Season

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of work and writing and Christmas shopping. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and this year, I’m hosting Christmas dinner for my extended family. I know it’s going to be a lot of work, but I do enjoy these family events, and the shopping! I love picking out gifts for my loved ones. But enough about that.

Christmas, Be Present This Holiday Season, Lisa Orchard
Photo credit: Trey Ratcliff on Visualhunt

Today, I’d like to talk about being present this holiday season. I’ve noticed over the past year that many people take selfies when they’re out with loved ones and post them on social media. I know this is important when you’re building your brand, but we are so much more than our image on social media.

I challenge everyone to be present with your family and friends this holiday season. Make sure this season is about them and not building your brand. Take pictures for the memories and don’t worry about social media. You can always go back to building your brand after the holidays.

Really enjoy the moment whatever it may be. If you go to a Christmas parade, don’t just take a selfie and be done with it. Put the camera away and be present with your companions. We won’t get these moments back, and they’re so much more satisfying than getting hearts and likes on social media.

Christmas Parade, Parade, Lisa Orchard, Be Present this Holiday Season
Photo credit: jackoraptor on VisualHunt.com

This is how we get our connections back. This is how we strengthen our bonds with our families and friends. This is how we fight disconnection. We can’t afford to become more disconnected than we already are. Research has shown that increased amounts of screen time can be associated with anxiety, depression, and leads to social isolation which in turn leads to lower self-esteem.

I’m not a therapist, but aren’t these all ingredients for mental health issues? What if we increased our ability to be present and strengthen our bonds with family and friends off of social media. Maybe we’d see a decline in mass shootings and suicides.

Social Media, Be Present this Holiday Season, Lisa Orchard
Photo credit: Sean MacEntee on VisualHunt.com

So, let’s make sure we’re present this holiday season and strengthen those bonds with our loved ones. Maybe start some new family traditions or hold up some old ones. My family has started a new tradition of playing cards during our time together, and while we’re playing, we reminisce and laugh about our antics growing up. It’s a great way to foster that connection we all need.

How about you? How do you strengthen your family connections? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Entertainment, mental-health, social media

Ingrid Goes West: The Dark Side of Social Media

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of work and writing. I’ve been noodling some revisions for one of my stories and I’m thinking I’m going to start my revisions soon. I’m also making steady progress on my latest WIP.

But enough about that. Today, I want to talk about a movie I watched from Amazon Prime. It’s titled “Ingrid goes West.” Ironically, it was recommended by one of my followers on Twitter, but I digress.  It’s the story of a disturbed girl who finds someone on social media and they begin chatting.

Ingrid decides to move to the west coast after this person (her name is Taylor) suggests they get together after Ingrid comments on one of her posts about a meal she’s eating. Just like that Ingrid decides to move to the west coast.

It’s obvious Ingrid is unbalanced. She stalks this Taylor person and starts dressing like her, bleaches her hair to look more like her, and eating at the places Taylor posts on social media.

Ingrid Goes West: The Dark Side of Social Media, Lisa Orchard, Movie, Ingrid Goes West

She even kidnaps Taylor’s dog and then returns him in the guise of finding the dog for Taylor. She becomes friends with Taylor and starts hanging out with her and her friends. While at Taylor’s house she photographs her bathroom and medicine cabinet. She spins lie after lie about her life, and eventually gets caught by Taylor’s brother who tries to blackmail her.

This is a cautionary tale illustrating the dark side of social media. If you have a presence on social media, you don’t know your followers and you don’t have a lot of control over them. You can block them, but that’s only after you find out they’re dangerous, and usually by the time you find out, it’s too late.

It’s also an example of why you should always be kind. After Taylor and her friends see through all Ingrid’s lies, they reject her. Ingrid attempts suicide and posts a goodbye on social media. At the end, Ingrid wakes up after her suicide attempt and finds that one of her followers called 911 after her final post has gone viral. So, it turns out okay in the end. Of course it does, this is a movie, but in real life, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are like double-edged swords. They can be used for good and evil.

So, when on social media be careful because you don’t know who you’re really dealing with and be kind, one of your followers could be in a fragile state. Be careful who you allow to follow you, and make sure you know them. What precautions do you take on social media? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Parenting, social media

Making Connections

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of work and running. I didn’t get much writing done this week because I’ve increased the frequency of my runs. I love summer and I’m trying to spend as much time as possible outside. I also have a new idea percolating, and once I get it put together in my head, I’ll be starting a new project.

But enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about making connections. Last night I went to a movie with a friend, and it was so nice to see her. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of months, and we needed to catch up.

It’s important that we have in person get togethers. Especially now, with the invention of social media where we don’t physically meet anymore. We still need to have social skills. Humans are social animals. We need that interaction to feel connected. We need hugs and physical contact.

Technology is amazing. I love that I can google anything. The internet has made researching for my writing so much easier, but it can’t replace physical touch. I worry about the younger generation’s dependence on their devices. I hear scary stories of them hooking up just for sex and that scares me. Where is the emotional connection that we need for love?

I try to get my kids to socialize in other ways besides social media, and I’ve been successful in getting them to make connections with their friends, but it doesn’t feel the same as when I was younger. The overuse of social media has been linked to depression and anxiety. Experts haven’t proven there’s a link between social media and teen suicide, but along with the rise of social media, there has also been a rise in teen suicide after decades of a decline. This is worrisome. We need to monitor our kids to make sure they’re not becoming dependent on their games or social media, but it’s hard to monitor during the summer months when parents have full time jobs. On the plus side, connecting via the internet is safer in some ways with mass shootings and school shootings on the rise. Plus, with the online connection at least I know where my kids are.  

So, there are positives and negatives to social media use. What are your thoughts? Are you worried our kids will lose the ability to make emotional connections? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Documentaries, Entertainment, Family, friendship, social media

Technology’s Effect on our World

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve been busy working and writing this week and I’m making progress on my WIP. I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

But enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about technology and it’s impact on our society. I had a class reunion this weekend and I got to see friends I haven’t seen in a long time. It was nice to catch up and walk down memory lane with them. Some of them, I’ve been able to connect with on social media and chat via messenger with them. It’s a great way to reestablish old connections.

With social media it’s easy to stay connected and catch up via chats, but there’s nothing like face-to-face interaction. I worry about our future generations where most communication will take place via the computer. I’m worried because I feel they won’t have the ability to read facial cues when talking with their peers because they won’t have enough practice with real life communication.

I’m also worried because I feel our young people don’t get enough physical activity. I see my kids and their friends spending so much time in front of a computer that they’re not getting enough exercise. Childhood obesity is on the rise and I feel the main reasons are the added sugars in our processed foods and the fact they’re not physically active.

So, even though technology has given us the ability to make connections over many thousands of miles, it has had a negative effect on our health, and it has also made our in real life connections more fragile because social media’s main goal is to keep us engaged.

They don’t want us to leave their site. So, they place items in our feeds to keep us there. Different articles on things we’ve liked. For example, if I like a random picture of an elephant, I’ll find more elephant pictures and articles showing up in my feed. There’s a documentary on this phenomenon called “The Social Dilemma.” If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch it. It’s on Netflix and it explains this whole process.

How about you? Do you feel technology has had a negative impact on our physical and mental health? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Documentaries, Personal, social media

The Social Dilemma: A Documentary

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after watching a documentary over the weekend and I thought I should share it with all of you.

The documentary is titled “The Social Dilemma,” and it was eye-opening to say the least.  It explains what is happening behind the scenes when we “like” or click on a link on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

When I first became aware of social media, I thought these sites were collecting data about their users to sell to advertisers and this is happening I’m sure, but there’s another more sinister process going on here.

What social media doing is working very hard to keep you engaged. That’s right. We are the product. Our thinking. Our opinions. It’s all being processed, and we’re being manipulated to stay engaged with social media by the items that show up in our newsfeed.

For example, let’s say I like elephants. So, I like or comment on a random post about elephants and this gets processed by Facebook and suddenly, I find all kinds of images of elephants showing up. It’s to keep me engaged. So, social media is stealing our time and taking it away from other things, like face to face interactions. We are the product folks. Let’s use social media wisely, and if you get a chance, check out the documentary. You’ll be glad you did.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today, I appreciate it! How do you feel about social media? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, quarantine, raising kids, Reading, social media

Quarantine: Week Two

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. My family and I have gotten through another week of quarantine and we haven’t lost our minds…yet. I’ve been putting my story together and I’m getting more and more excited. I’ve written this story differently than my other stories and I really like how it has turned out. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

So far, my family and I have stayed healthy, so the quarantine is working for us. It has also brought us closer together with late night Uno games and binge-watching Netflix. I love hanging with my kids.

 

Photo credit: hannah.rosen on Visual hunt / CC BY

But this quarantine can be hard on people who don’t have a family. People who live alone can become depressed and lonely. So, check on your friends who live alone, send them a text to make sure they’re okay. This is a time to stay connected even if we can’t get together.

There’s a variety of ways you can stay connected in this trying time. Social Media is a great way to stay in touch and make sure everyone is okay. There’s also program’s like Skype and Zoom where you can video chat with your friends. At the very least, you can pick up the phone and give them a call.

 

Photo on Visual Hunt

Another way to fight depression is to stay busy. I’ve been working on my book, so it doesn’t register that I’ve barely left the house in two weeks. Hubby has a couple of major projects going on around the house that’s keeping him busy and the boys have their video games where they communicate with their friends. I’m letting them have more screen time because playing video games is another way to fight depression.

They’ve been reading every day and their school has a website set up where they can do some assignments. I think it’s great, but I’m not forcing them to do it. I believe they’ll be just fine when they get back to school. The school must adjust to the students needs and I believe they will.

 

Photo on Visual hunt

So, that’s how were dealing with the quarantine, working on our own projects and having more family time and staying in touch with my single friends. How about you? How are you combating depression in this crazy time when you can’t leave the house? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in friendship, kindness, Love, social media

The Art of saying “No”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after an eventful weekend. My computer died this weekend, so of course, I had to rush right out and get a new one because, you know, writing, right?

 

Photo on Visualhunt

So that’s why this post is late. But enough about that. What I’d like to talk about today is Social Media and its effects on communication skills.

I’ve noticed a trend happening with social media and that is when someone sends you an instant message, and if you don’t want to chat with that person, you don’t respond. You just ignore the message. Now, I understand, maybe you don’t want to chat with that person or don’t want to participate in the activity they’re asking you to do, but is just ignoring them and hoping they’ll get the hint the best course of action?

Photo on Visual Hunt

This trend is disturbing. Why? Because we as human need to be able to say no. We need to be able to do it without offending the other person. What happens when we’re in a face to face situation and we’ve got to tell the other person we don’t want to do what they want to do?

What if that person is your boss? Are you going to just walk away and pretend he didn’t ask you to participate in that meeting?

 

Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images on Visual Hunt / No known copyright restrictions

This is a skill our kids will need to master if they’re going to make it in the working world. We need to communicate negative information in a diplomatic way. Social Media is breaking down the barriers in a lot of ways, but it’s also putting up walls.

I find it so odd that people can’t say no and just be honest and say: “I’m not interested in that kind of activity, but thanks for asking.”

That’s not offensive in the least. It states your lack of interest, so the person doesn’t feel rejected, and they’re able to recognize this rejection isn’t personal, and it’s polite. You can say no without hurting your friend’s feelings.

Another positive aspect of being able to say no is that it communicates your lack of interest in that activity, so your friend will probably remember this and won’t ask you to do it again.  Being able to say no allows you to establish boundaries.

So does ignoring messages on Social Media, but ignoring messages damages the friendship and creates an environment of distrust. Your friend is left wondering why you’re ignoring them. Did they offend you? Are you upset with them? Telling your friend “no” is also good for them. They aren’t left hanging and wondering what happened between you two. They can move on and ask another friend to participate and your friendship is still intact.  So, learn the art of saying no in a compassionate way. You’ll be glad you did. 😊

Photo on VisualHunt.com

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you tell someone No without offending them? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Parenting, raising kids, social media, Teen

Social Media and its Effect on Conflict Resolution

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of writing, shuttling my boys to places, and painting. Yes, that’s right. My friends and I got together and had a painting party. It was fun, and I highly recommend it.

 

Photo on Visualhunt

 

Today I’d like to talk about social media and its effect on our ability to resolve conflict. I was thinking about that this morning as I wiped the sleep from my eyes because I’m worried about what the future holds for my kids.

Photo on Visual Hunt

In my opinion, social media is detrimental to teaching our littles the skill of resolving conflict, of compromising to get along. Why? Because they don’t have to come to a resolution, they just have to turn off the computer. However, they still have to deal with those negative emotions that negative comments and confrontational interactions stir up.

Being able to resolve conflict is an important skill for the working world. What are our littles going to do when they have an upset customer? You just can’t turn off the computer then.

Social Media allows people to turn off their filters and say whatever they want under the guise of just “expressing an opinion.” Then when things get too heated they’ll block someone or logout. So what happens when you’re dealing with someone in real life and things start escalating?

Photo on VisualHunt.com

We need to teach our littles to “agree to disagree” with respect. We can still respect someone who has a different opinion than ours. We as parents need to be the role models for this behavior.  Unfortunately, not all parents do this.

Another reason we need to teach and model appropriate behavior is because of the negative emotions that are stirred up when things escalate out of control. On social, media name calling and bullying cannot be tolerated. The effects of this type of behavior are resounding and have far-reaching consequences after the computer is turned off. Our nationwide suicide rate has increase 25% since 1999.

Photo on Visualhunt

Doesn’t that scare anyone? It should. When did social media make its first appearance? 1997. Then blogging became popular in 1999. In the early 2000’s My Space was born and following that, in 2005 YouTube arrived on the scene. Right on YouTube’s heels, Facebook and Twitter.

I hope I’m not the only one seeing a correlation here.

We need to make sure our kids learn how to negotiate and compromise for when they can’t turn off the computer. These skills are vital for them to make their way in the world long after we’re gone, wouldn’t you agree?

Photo credit: Mariana Wagner on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

We also need to teach them coping behaviors so they can deal with cyber bullies effectively. They need to learn how not to internalize negative messages and how to deal with the feelings they inspire. We need our “in real life” friends now more than ever, don’t you think?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. It ended up being much more serious than what I intended, but sometimes that happens, you know?

Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my thoughts. 🙂

 

 

 

Posted in Parenting, social media

Making Connections with Social Media

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m going to talk about making connections, but first, I want to let you know I finished my novel!! Whoo! Hoo! (Wipes Sweat from Brow) Now to get it off to my Beta reader to see what she thinks. Hopefully, she likes it (crosses fingers).

Photo credit: discoodoni via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

 

But enough about that. Let’s get back on track and talk about connections. In this day and age of social media, we’re able to connect with people we haven’t actually met. Our circle of influence has grown exponentially. This is a good thing, especially if you’re trying to make a name for yourself whether you’re a writer, or trying to become a social media personality.

Photo credit: Visual Content via Visual hunt / CC BY

          When I say social media personality, I think of Kim Kardashian. Before she was a social media personality, she didn’t produce anything. After she became famous, she developed her own clothing line and I believe she has a makeup line as well. So how did she become famous? Her mother strategically leaked a sex video of her and an old boyfriend on social media. Instant Fame.

Another example of this is Logan Paul. He’s a video personality who became famous by making short clips on the social media site, Vine. He has over twelve million Instagram followers and has now branched out into acting. He’s in the movies “The Thinning” and “Chainsaw.” It would’ve taken him much longer to break into acting if it hadn’t been for social media. Click the link below to check him out.

Logan Paul’s Official Youtube Site

 

Social media is changing the climate of our world. It’s bringing us closer to people we would’ve never met. It’s closing the gap between celebrities and the common man, by turning the common man into a celebrity.

It’s also allowing people to come together for a cause. Now, we’ve always had this ability, but with social media people from all over the world can communicate about something they all believe in. For example, after the documentary “The Keepers” aired, their Facebook Group exploded. In fact, they had to shut down the group for a few days. It’s back up and has over ninety thousand members, all of them expressing their horror over the murder of Sister Cathy and the abuse that occurred at the school. There are people from all over the world in the group. Without social media, there’s no way they would all be able to get together and share their theories and show their support for the victims.

Image result for the keepers

          So, you’re asking, what is the point you’re trying to make, Lisa?

A fair and good question. My point is, social media is a way to garner power. That’s right.  I’ll use “The Keepers” as an example. One of the investigators posted in the group a request to write a letter to the Archdiocese asking them to release the files on Father Maskell (the priest who’s accused of abusing students).  Now, it’s hard for the Archdiocese to ignore letters from ninety thousand people. Can you imagine getting that many letters making the same request? Even if only half of them sent letters, that’s still forty-five thousand letters.

Photo via Visualhunt

          They can’t ignore them. For the first time in a long time, the common man has a tool to fight against people and institutions who hold power. This is incredible and I’m following “The Keepers” to see where this all goes.

Social Media, when used properly, is a tool that can help keep those in power in check. It can also help an introvert become famous, but  just like any other tool, it can cause damage as well. So use your tools for good and not evil.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you feel about Social Media and the Trends that are happening in our world? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂