I swear this will be my last social media rant for a very long time.
If you’re online as much as I am, you’ve probably heard about Ello, the NEW MUST-HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM IF YOU’RE NOT ON IT YOU’RE MISSING OUT ZOMG.
Listen, I’m not going to ‘totally’ pick on Ello, because I think the people who created it really want to give users a place where they can go that’s ad-free. Nothing wrong with that.
No, my Amish Rant is because it’s yet another social media platform for you to manage instead of going out and actually socializing.
Do you remember that? Socializing with people in real life? Where you meet face-to-face and don’t tweet it out, Instagram the coffee you’re drinking, check-in with Foursquare, or update your Facebook status?
I remember those days. I think they were called the '80s. And while I’m glad there are things that have changed since then—I’m looking at you dot matrix printers and feathered hair—I miss the simplicity of life back then, when we would meet with friends and family and not immediately announce it to the world.
We’re so busy Stumbling, Instagramming, Pinteresting, Facebooking, Tweeting, and updating statuses that we’re forgetting to actually be social. And those times when we do go out into the big wide world to meet in real life, we’re not enjoying the moment because we have this need to let everyone know what it is we’re doing at any given moment or check in to see what everyone else is doing.
Instant gratification much?
And don’t get me started on the fear of missing out on the next biggest and best thing to come along. Ello was rolled out by sending invitations to join the social media platform, so that the people who didn’t get invites were afraid they were going to miss out. It was actually quite brilliant how it preyed upon basic insecurities to get people to want to join.
Helpful Life Hint: Unless you’re being chased by Cujo or a dude in a hockey mask who’s carrying a chainsaw, basing a decision on fear never ends well.
For that reason, I’m saying goodbye to Ello and creating my own real life social platform called “Hello.”
How do you take part?
It’s simple. Just pick up the phone to call people, meet for coffee/drinks, go out with girlfriends, spend real time with your family where you're not distracted by tech, chat with strangers in line at the grocery store, and just interact more with real life people.
The caveat is that you aren’t allowed to put it on whatever social media platform you happen to be on.
While this video is funny, it points out exactly what is wrong with social media and the internet.
I believe there should be scores in soccer and that every kid shouldn’t get a medal for just showing up.
For the record, I’m cool with participation ribbons.
So it’s ironic that I’m left wondering what to do with the medals from all the races I take part in, medals I don't even want.
When you cross that finish line of a race, whether it’s a marathon, half-marathon, triathlon–or any of the other hundreds of races you can sign up for–there are volunteers who come over and put a medal around your neck. I once tried to refuse it but the volunteer looked so hurt and confused and I was so completely spent, I just bowed my head and let her put it on. While I like to see the styles of the medals and how they change from year to year, mostly my medals just end up stuffed in drawers gathering dust.
My kids made me this for my 44th birthday. It represents different accomplishments throughout my life.
One of my first published articles in a magazine, how I got my job at YMC, my first triathlon, and my fifth place ribbon for a speed skating meet (there were only five people in my group).
That took care of one medal for me but I still have another ten gathering dust.
So what to do?
“Medals4Mettle is a non-profit charitable organization that began in 2005 as a vehicle to collect runner's medals which could be donated to those who are battling serious and debilitating illnesses and who have demonstrated similar courage and mettle in fighting those illnesses.”
Essentially, you donate your medal from a marathon, half-marathon, or triathlon (with the ribbon removed) and Medals4Mettle then gives it to a recipient with a Medals4Mettle ribbon attached. The medal symbolizes the hard work and courage it takes for each individual to fight his or her battle.
Your time, energy, and effort got you across the finish line. Now the medal that represents that time, energy and effort can help someone who has a serious illness get across an even bigger finish line.
It’s a pretty cool concept and it's where my medals are going to be headed next week.
If you're interested you can donate your marathon, half-marathon, or triathlon medal to Medals4Mettle here.
If you liked this you'll also like How NOT To Raise An Olympic Athlete: The Fast Track Way To Get Your Kid To Hate You And The Sport He Currently Loves.
I am becoming more and more low tech as I get older. In about two years you will find me churning butter in a cabin in the woods. Feel free to join me because, butter.
It was the annual Fall Fair in our community. The boys and I have been going for ten years and this small fair is anticipated with as much excitement as Christmas morning.
This year the organizers had chartered a transit bus so parents and kids could go on free rides around the neighbourhood. While my younger son wanted to go off with his friends and hang out, my older son and I decided to take a bus ride together.
We chatted as we looked out the window, talking about everyday things, but mostly trains because right now he's really into trains.
Then we saw The Penguin Guy. We see The Penguin Guy about two or three times a week and The Penguin Guy deserves to be bolded, because this poor guy stands on a busy street corner, no matter what the weather, waving a sign advertising a dozen roses for $24.99. Only for some reason we’ve never been able to figure out, he wears a large penguin head while he’s doing it.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the conversation about costume choice was going on.
What says, “Buy roses for your loved one?”
"Penguin. But not the full body, just the head."
This is right up there with trying to figure out who decided to market Porchetta as a lean meat. It doesn't matter how you label it, Porchetta will never seem like a skinny choice.
As we drove past, my son noticed that on this particular day The Penguin Guy was wearing a t-shirt that said "WTF" and pointed it out to me.
“That’s probably what he’s thinking every time he has to put on his penguin head,” I said.
We both burst out laughing.
Then I said how I wished I had a camera so I could take a picture of it, and in words wise beyond his years, my son responded, “Just take a picture with your mind, mom.”
So I did. And that picture has stayed in my head along with all the emotions attached to it. I’m actually smiling as I type this.
I watched this video today and, well, it says everything I feel lately about our lives on the internet. You'll want to take three minutes to watch it. I promise it will be well worth your while.
We don't need to document everything, and hugs are always better than likes. And we can all do better than having an attention span that is less than a goldfish.
Now step away from your computer or tech device and go make a real life connection.
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This app will be the scariest thing you encounter all year.