Entries Tagged as 'Life'

thoughts on social media, part 1

Posted on: Thursday, January 19, 2017

today I want to share about social media and the wild world of the Internet. I’ve shared about this subject before (in 2011!); the importance of turning off your phone and focusing on real life instead. lately, i’ve noticed how easy it is to get slightly “off course” and fall victim to some not-so-awesome aftereffects of social media and the Internet. these social media platforms and apps in and of themselves aren’t bad, harmful or negative – but the way we use them and/or let them impact our lives can be a slippery slope.

there are SO many good things about social media, like the opportunity for connection and encouragement and inspiration, and i’m going to do a separate post (part 2!) about all of the amazing aspects very soon. but today, i want to share some outcomes of social media usage that aren’t so meaningful, inspirational or encouraging and discuss how the right perspective on something powerful and good like social media can easily shift to something skewed and not-so-great. without further ado:

the comparison trap:
have you ever felt bad about yourself because your life doesn’t look like the perfectly curated Instagram squares of other people’s lives online? do you ever feel like your Facebook feed is flooded with other people’s exciting life updates – marriages and new jobs and babies and home ownership – when your own feels boring in comparison? or perhaps jealous because of someone’s impeccable #minimalliving or trendy #ootd when your home feels cluttered and today’s outfit is old leggings and a giant sweatshirt? please tell me i’m not the only one…(and yep, that’s what i’m wearing right now as I type this.)

there’s this thing called the social-comparison study arguing that people track and access their self-worth by comparing themselves to others and how this can lead to insecurities and feelings of insignificance. when we’re bombarded with seeing all the cool things people are doing and wearing and eating online, we can often feel like what we’re doing and wearing and eating isn’t quite measuring up. and that isn’t how our lives are meant to be lived at all. i’m striving for less comparison and more contentment. less of that “less-than” feeling and more “I am enough” no matter what my home, clothes, relationship status, whatever looks like. for more about comparing on social media (and why/how to stop), check out this article and this one too.

the urge to constantly refresh/check my phone:
some of you probably don’t quite understand this and I’m jealous of you for having a healthier relationship with social media than I do. as someone who works in social media and genuinely *usually* likes social media, i find myself ALWAYS GLUED TO MY PHONE and ALWAYS CHECKING/REFRESHING. when i’m bored, I check my phone. when i’m sitting at home drinking tea with E and there happens to be a gap in the conversation, I check my phone. before bed, I check my phone. it’s become a really bad habit that I want to break. one thing I’m trying to do to combat constant phone checking is to bring a book or journal in my bag, so I can divert my attention to something a little more meaningful (for me) when I feel the urge to check Facebook/IG/Pinterest/Snapchat/Twitter/every app possible.

my friend melissa told me about an app called moment that shows you how often you pick up your phone and how much time you spend checking each app on your phone. YIKES. she said it’s super eye opening and if you’re someone who feels like you’re always checking your phone (yep, me for sure), then this app sounds like a helpful way to monitor yourself and evaluate your social media habits.

the “i should have an active online presence” pressure & obligation:
I’ve spent my entire career doing social media for brands and businesses and telling them the importance of consistent content – sharing regularly and giving your followers consistent news, information and so on. i’ve been “active” on social media personally since college, but recently, I’ve felt an overwhelming pressure to create and share and engage. and then guilty when I’m not doing so. other people seem to be able to actively post content and interact with others so regularly – why shouldn’t I?

I was talking about this with a friend who mentioned she felt the same struggle and pressures. it was difficult for her to be active online – share her workouts, promote brands, attend Twitter chats, review products, etc. – while juggling a full-time job and new baby. she felt an obligation to share and engage on social media all the time, because she was in an online community of others who did so, and expected her to do the same. separately, I was recently introduced to the idea of “comment pods” on Instagram, where you share your posts with a group via direct messages and everyone is supposed to comment on your photos to boost your engagement, and you’re expected to do the same back. at first I liked the idea…it seemed like a cool way to support some gals on IG that I like and help boost engagement on my own account at the same time. but then it turned into this deep, dark rabbit hole where I constantly felt obligated to comment on SO MANY PHOTOS and a lot of the comments I was getting back felt inauthentic and pointless, like  “great feed” and “keep up the good work.” (um, thanks?).

when social media starts to feel like an obligation and a chore, i think it’s time to re-evaluate how you spend your time on any given platform, and find ways to manage your stress accordingly. for example, right now I have to stay active on my client’s Instagram and Facebook page because it’s my job – but I don’t need to force myself to constantly always do the same on my personal accounts.

the FOMO:
I was talking with another good friend who mentioned she was having an amazing weekend trip with her husband, but then checked IG and saw that her friends were at a weekend trip and never invited her. she immediately felt the all-too-common FOMO (fear of missing out) and was in a bad mood afterwards. often times, social media can make us feel discontent in the moment we’re in – even if we are also doing something amazing and fun at the same time! being glued to what other people are doing and sharing takes away the joy and presence of being right where we are IRL.

the obsession with affirmations:
hi, I’m Andi and I crave affirmations. for real though, my love language is words of affirmations and I feel most loved/accepted when I’m given genuine compliments and affirmed. it’s even for silly small things, like my dad telling me (again and again) that yes, he did like the gift I gave him for Christmas. ha! often my perceived insecurities stem from a lack of encouragement and approval and i’ve noticed that social media can play into this. sometimes i’ll actually think, “wow. no one has commented on this photo or Facebook post. why did i even post this?!)” or be annoyed when one photo or tweet isn’t liked liked/retweeted/responded to as much as something else I’m shared. IT’S SO SILLY AND RIDICULOUS THAT MY BRAIN IS RESPONDING THIS WAY. i’m trying to remind myself to embrace this bob goff quote: “the more we fill our lives with purpose, the less time we’ll spend looking for approval.” I don’t always feel like this, but I’ve noticed that it can be really easy to use social platforms as ego-boosting, approval-craving tools. Instead, let’s think of them as purposeful platforms for connection, inspiration, encouragement and community.

if you’ve made it to the bottom this post, seriously WOW and thank you for reading! I’d LOVE to hear what you think – if you’ve ever noticed any/all of these effects social media may have on your mindset, self-worth and mood. the most important thing to remember, all the time, is that our real life (compared to the virtual self) needs to be cared for, loved, celebrated. sometimes taking a few days off or re-evaluating how much time we spend on our phones makes all the difference.

stay tuned for part two of this topic coming soon! i’m going to be sharing a few reasons why i appreciate social media and chat about a lot of the goodness and awesomeness it brings to my life! xo

Meet Jack!

Posted on: Wednesday, January 11, 2017

hi friends! say hello to our new puppy, jack! we’ve been wanting to rescue/adopt a dog for a few months now and it finally happened over the weekend. recently, we’ve been pretty much stalking rescue websites all over the bay area, applying/reaching out and not having too much luck. we ended up braving the rain and attending an adoption event on sunday afternoon that rocket dog rescue was hosting and met this sweet guy!

he had been in a loving foster home one week before the event, but before that, rocket dog rescue volunteers picked him up in the bakersfield area. apparently one of the volunteers saw a sign somewhere (like a grocery store or community bulletin board) that read “lost dog, will trade for iPhone” (😞😣). the amazing volunteers reached out to the guy and rescuing the dog from there. we aren’t sure where little jack was before that, but we’re v happy he’s here with us! i’m so amazed by the work that rocket dog rescue does to save and re-home these pups. their team/volunteers have been super responsive and helpful even these last few days answering questions about shots, crate training, etc. their adoption fee/donation also includes the cost of the dog’s neuter/spay appointment and all up-to-date shots. thank you rocket dog rescue! fun fact: he was previously named squirrel, which is mostly funny because i’m absolutely terrified of squirrels. we decided that jack was better suited for him instead!

he’s been super energetic and playful and at the same time, cuddly and sweet. we know he’s a terrier mix, and our guess is something closer to a border terrier mix based on his coloring and markings and personality traits he’s exhibited so far. we’re still working on crate and potty training (🙏🏻) but so far it’s been a pretty good transition welcoming jack into our home and making sure he feels comfortable. once he has all of his shots, we’ll be bringing him on a bunch of adventures! until then, SF friends, you guys should come meet him at our apartment. 😊 and we’re already planning jack’s big trip(s) to ohio when he’s a little older to meet his puppy cousin scout and our other family dog, rugby.

now…time to buy a puppy raincoat!

2016 recap

Posted on: Saturday, December 31, 2016

as i view my blog as my own little corner of the internet and a place to document life happenings, i wanted to share a little 2016 recap. there have been a lot of ups and downs this year, but i’m committed to looking back on 2016 with gratitude and looking forward into 2017 with optimism.

2016 was filled with countless flower shop runs, trips to wine country, and brunch dates. i read a lot of books, started doing hot yoga regularly, taught myself to braid my hair (woo hoo, finally!) and discovered a lot of new-to-me spots here in SF and in places we visit frequently, like Nashville. i went on 20 (!!) different trips / roundtrip flights. i started to really feel comfortable with myself – to trust myself more, to love myself more, to appreciate myself and my body more. we really started making our apartment feel like a home (and added A LOT of plants to our little nest) and we went on a lot of weekend roadtrips. we celebrated birthdays and accomplishments and regular, everyday life just because. here’s a month-by-month recap. happy new year, friends!

january: started the year in mexico for new years and my birthday // trip to columbus to see my fam + puppy scout and took eric to athens for the first time! // work trip to DC with kate, including a west wing tour at the white house (so cool)

february: quick trip to nashville // work trip to miami // welcomed baby ruby to the family! // started contracting at Facebook doing social for Messenger // vance joy concert

march: SXSW in austin // weekend trip to mendocino // kristen (my sister-in-law) visited in SF

april: celebrated E’s birthday // quit my job // trip to chicago for girls weekend and to meet baby ruby! // spontaneous add-on trip to ohio // launched lucky collective (!!)

may: my parents and hope visited and we spent the weekend in carmel and big sur // first time going to alcatraz // palm springs with E to visit cat and monte!

june: went white water rafting with E’s parents // trip to columbus (my good friend from high school barr was in town from australia!) and got to celebrate father’s day with dad // trip to nashville

july: TAHOE with besties for July 4

august: trip nashville and my entire fam joined us! // threw big event for bare snacks at ampersand //

september: trip to europe – london, south of france, provence and paris // celebrated our one year anniversary ❤️ // ran the OU alum 5K with aimee

october: trip to nashville with kerry // visited the new SFMOMA // trip to vancouver to visit courtney // impromptu trip to carmel and big sur – became wine club members at a great spot in carmel valley! // our home tour was featured in the everygirl!

november: spent a week at the most amazing airbnb along the coast with E’s parents // celebrated thanksgiving with E’s extended family in sacramento //

december: went to a warriors game // quick work trip to LA // threw a holiday party at our house! // trip to nashville // trip to ohio for Christmas

MORE: 2015 recap // 2014 recap // 2013 recap

Lucky Andi Archives: 20 Things Every Twentysomething Should Know How to Do

Posted on: Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I shared this blog post three years ago and wanted to re-share today! The post was originally from RELEVANT Magazine. Back then, my favorites were #1 (yay breakfast!), #3 (love talking to my grandparents on the phone), #6 (spending less time on my phone is a good thing), #14 (more sleep! always!) and #19 (slooooow down. life is not an emergency). Now, I still love all of those reminders, but also have learned to appreciate #4 (forced to learn to do this in SF on hills!), #17 (as an extrovert, this is a work in progress, but spending time alone has become more enjoyable for me over time) and #20 (close friends, especially those who have known me throughout different life chapters and seasons, are the best gift).

I hope you enjoy!

1. Make a Great Breakfast
Ideally, you should be able to craft a great meal for any occasion, but this is the most important meal of the day and so, it’s the one you should have down. Use real butter, large eggs, fresh mushrooms, cheese, whatever, but know the ins and outs and invite a lot of people over to eat it with you regularly.

2. Argue Kindly
An increasingly rare trait, but you’ll be better for it. Learn how to have your own opinions (and make sure they’re actually yours—not just something you “heard somewhere”) and how to put them firmly and politely, in a way that invites spirited conversation. It’s a rare and wonderful thing.

3. Hold a Conversation With Someone of Any Age
Whether the person you’re talking to is eight or 80, you should be able to hold a meaningful, intentional conversation with them. Remember to ask a lot of questions, be more interested in who they are than in who you are, and strive to make their day.

4. Parallel Park
Nothing menial about it, and not nearly as hard as it looks. Practice a little. Become an expert. Dazzle your friends.

5. Defend Your Media Choices
Whether you like Kendrick, Kings of Leon or Ke$ha, you should be able to articulate why. The media we consume affects us, and you should be able to explain to yourself why you’re listening, watching and reading the things that you are.

6. Limit Your Online Life
This cannot be over-emphasized. The inability to manage an online presence has toppled promising careers and made fools out of otherwise competent individuals. You should have a good grip on how often you use social media and what you’re using it for. If you find most of your free time spent on the Internet, it’s time to make some choices. If you’re checking your phone at every awkward pause, delete that Facebook app.

7. Approach a Stranger
Whether it’s for directions, a favor or even just to pass the time on an airplane, knowing how to strike up a conversation out of the blue is a marvelous skill. Ask them questions (don’t lead with information about yourself), be approachable (not aggressive) and look for clues that they’d rather be left alone.

8. Stand Up for Yourself
Whether it’s your boss shooting down an idea before you’ve explained it or a guy shouting rude comments as you’re walking by, you should know how to keep from getting walked over.

9. Say “I Was Wrong”
A relationship squabble. A professional tiff. A theological debate. Whatever it is, you should always be looking for where you might have messed up. “I was wrong” is a magical little sentence that diffuses conflict and brings peace to any situation. You should have it at the top of your go-to phrases.

10. Brew a Great Cup of Coffee or Tea
Look. Once and for all, turning on the coffeemaker and brewing a pot of coffee is totally fine. But you should also be aware how to make a perfect cup of coffee or tea. For yourself. For your friends. Do a little reading. Perfect your technique. It’s a skill you’ll be glad you have forever.

11. Tip Generously
What’s just an extra buck or two to you can completely make your server’s day. Make it a habit to tip generously and, if you’re really feeling daring, write a brief thank you note on your check.

12. Maintain a Mentor
Your twenties are a great time to invest in a mentor. Find someone you want to be like—be it your pastor, a friend or even a peer—and commit to meeting with them regularly. It takes a little humility and a lot of dedication, but there is no ceiling to the value it will add to your life.

13. Bite Your Tongue
Know how to pick your battles. It’s OK for you to be right without getting everyone to admit you’re right. It’s OK for you to be offended by something without everyone knowing you’re offended. Understand when you should go to bat for what you’re thinking and when you can let it go.

14. Stay Well Rested
Late nights will come (if you’ve got kids, they’ll come pretty frequently) but our generation has forgotten the value in a good night’s sleep. Push yourself to go to bed earlier. Utilize your downtime wisely. Resting is just as important as being productive. In fact, you’ll be more productive if you are resting well and often.

15. Respond to Criticism
Defending yourself against criticism is easy. Graciously accepting it is harder, but the improvements it can make to your life and work are wild. Remember that criticism usually isn’t meant to be a personal attack and, if you can learn to take it in the spirit it’s offered, people will have fewer things to criticize you about in the future.

16. Write a Cover Letter
Filling out an application is a pretty simple process but, in all likelihood, the job you really want is going to take more than a list of references and previous employers. Cover letters require some effort, but it can be the difference between “don’t call us, we’ll call you” and “when can you start?”

17. Be Alone
The Millennial generation prizes community, which is very good, but it tends to come at the cost of fearing loneliness. The truth is, being alone can do you a lot of good. Be able to sit quietly—reading, writing, praying or just listening to the silence—and use that time to truly evaluate how your spirit is. Loneliness is exercise for your heart. Do it regularly.

18. Recommend a Book, Movie or Album
It’s harder than it sounds. It’s easy to sound like a pretentious snob or a gushing fan when you’re telling someone to check out something you love. Be able to explain not only why you love something, but why you think someone else would love it.

19. Prioritize the Important Over the Urgent
There are two types of demands on your life. The first and easiest to focus on are the urgent: paying your rent, getting ahead in work, etc. The second and much harder to tackle are the important: your spiritual life, your relationship with your family and looking after the health of your soul. Know the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important, and know which one matters more.

20. Hold on to a Good Friend
There’s going to be a lot of transition in your twenties as both you and your friends float from job to job and location to location. You’ll have to say a lot of good bye’s in the midst of it all, but you should know when you’ve found the rare friend who you don’t want to lose, and you should be able to prioritize staying in touch with them beyond the occasional text message.

{Photo by Geoff Duncan}

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