Tag Archives: Social Media

Quotes and Pushbacks

Have you ever wondered if those who post quotes on their social media sites actually read and truly live and believe in these quotes?abe

 Are we posting them to inspire others or ourselves?  Are they lashing out  in anger,  denial, crying out for help, griefing the death of a loved one or their favorite basketball team that didn’t make it into the final four of March Madness(no worries- mine is still in there- GO UNC!),-  or  deflecting upon others what we need to see or change within ourselves? Maybe our intentions are to bring about positive change in this world or open one another hearts and minds to a new perspective.

Perhaps it is all of these.


When scrolling through the other day, I came across this all too familiar quote and stopped to reflect on it.  While idle gossip rarely serves any good purpose, there ARE plenty of good reasons to discuss people.

I discuss with my students Martin Seligman and people on campus who radiate positivity.

The children I mentor at the abuse shelter discuss who is being nice to them.

I discuss people who have inspired me to serve a purpose bigger than myself, pried opened my heart to the possibility of love again and those who share a mutual affection for nature.

I discuss great warriors, writers, teachers, coaches with my son.

What is important to keep in mind when scrolling through our social media feeds at lightening speed, is that we always have a choice of how we react and respond to it.  If you use it to make you better, you’ll be a winner every time!










Plug Into What Matters

I’m not much of an artist, but allow me to try and paint a picture here for you.  The courtyard of the high school where I teach or probably any high school for that matter may fit this description…

-Ketchup packets strewn about on the ground that some teen thought would be  funny to stomp on all the while engaging in flip the bottle contest with pals.

-A table full of girls turning their backs to a couple of boys who like  sloths slowly make their way over, move in with a sly grin, throw out a couple of jokes and boom-score a number!

-Laughter, smiles, teens vigorously trying to type their essay before the next class.

-Group of boys rough housing it on the lawn, tormenting the young bucks on the team with a few slams to the ground and a lunch monitor giving a slight warning to knock it off.

Yep, we see it all on the daily including the times where the opportunity zooms overs their heads to create a connection or a touchpoint with a friend, teacher, parent.  Today was no different.  ‘Laura’ – sitting with four friends at lunch.  As they always do, they  pop open the lunch boxes, cell phone in hand or within quick reach.  She began to confide in them that her father had been in a serious accident and was in the hospital.  Each taking their turn with the required “aww, sorry- hope he’s ok” while  continuing to text and stare scrolling right along on their devices. Now in some cases, keeping things as normal as possible can be helpful.

In her situation, she needed them to really listen and  could sense that they weren’t truly interested in what she was sharing. A few moments later, she gathered her lunch and backpack and off she headed towards the library.


Pay attention.

It is so easy to miss these opportunities to make a deposit into the relationships that matter– to create  meaningful  connections where people feel validated, heard, appreciated, supported and where  people know  that trust and empathy are present. When we do this,  it leads to more productive and healthier  relationships between parent & child, among friends, partners, colleagues and within our communities.

As a teacher and Mom of two, I must  guide my students and children in understanding and practicing the right times and situations to plug into their cell phones/computers and when to plug into people and the moments that matter.

I must also remember to practice what I teach.

Please watch Simon Sinek discuss it best in describing the generational changes and the power of connection in our personal and professional relationships.


Connection – Grandpa vs. Gary Vee

I’m sure there are more than a handful of you out there who are like me-children of the BCCI Era- before cells, computers,  and internet.  Thank goodness too- I’m pretty sure I would still be grounded!  Yep, you too huh?  

Before the world went and got itself in a big darn hurry, some of my best memories come from sitting under a giant Oak tree that shaded my Grandpa’s home where we lived for a time. He told the best stories- the kind that made us  laugh til tears streamed down our face, the kind that convinced my brother and I that working in his  cabbage fields was far more fun than sleeping in on the weekends.  The kind that made us realize how blessed we were because there was always someone who had it a little bit tougher than we did, and the kind of stories that have kept me wanting to connect with others and helping my children understanding the value of storytelling and connection.IMG_0034

So, does it matter How we share our stories?  I think  we must first know Why we are sharing our stories and who is your audience?  Is it a means of earning money?  A way of processing the scars we’ve had to endure, or perhaps because we love writing and/or helping others. It could be a combination of all of these and that’s ok, too.

Like, Grandpa, I’m old school and seem to have a love/hate relationship with this  21st century way of connecting  online with people – it  can be pretty scary and overwhelming at times.  I like to see and feel someone’s emotions in person when I hear or share a story. Can I translate that raw  human emotion through a text,  blog, IG, Snapchat(I don’t have this for the record), Tweet, or FB post?    I can operate a car, a Bissell, help build a non-profit organization, and a relationship with each of my 100 students but ask me to load a photo on to Instagram… well, you can take a look at my Instagram and you’ll see what I’m talking about. And  Twitter? –  I have resisted it like there is no tomorrow!  I think I’m well over the 140 character count by now with this post!

It is part of a growth mindset  to remain open to new ways of connecting.  I have met via online some amazingly, inspiring people-  umm, hello have you met Danny @ Dream Big, Dream Often?!  Or Kerri @ InsideOutFitnessandNutrition – more than once I’ve said to myself “what would Kerri do- exercise or not?”  Of course she would choose the former so off I went… Thanks, Kerri!  🙂

Grandpa would say…

social media rabbit

 Can someone really meet with great success and tell an effective story with a picture or in three short sentences?   Well, you be the judge…

Gary Vee would say…

gary vee story



 While I  will always be most fond of the ‘grab a chair under the old Oak tree’ kind of stories or quick to grab my journal and pen – I think there is room and a need for both the traditional means of telling stories and connecting and those that well… require wifi.

Here’s some food for thought by Gary Vee  on the need to stay with the times if we want to stay connected in the 21st century.






Campfire Social-Media

As my son and his friend Michael plopped down on the log next to our campfire, Michael looked over at me and asked if he could have his cell phone.  I took a deep breath in and before I could respond, my son looked straight up into the darkness of night and with the bright stars  up high he said, “Wow, it’s so cool here. Man, you don’t need your  phone; look up.”

In that moment, I smiled lovingly at my son and knew he ‘got it.’  He understood why I brought him here. As a girl who grew up in the woods of Western Carolina and the Swamp, I was a bit ashamed that I hadn’t taken him camping before now.


After the initial shock of not having modern technology at their disposal, they both came to realize that they could still have fun and embrace all that Mother Nature has to offer.  There is a unique joy for boys of peeing in the woods, being muddy, dirty and the ever real frustrations and success of  putting up a tent.



Ahh, the sweet taste of victory!

Our lives are full of  details; the hustle of the work week, homework, chores,  bills and the blunders of the day are all sure to creep into our daily conversations.  However, something quite transformative happens when we put ourselves around a campfire-

 We tell stories.


Kalahari tribe-photo credit livescience

We share-we listen- we empathize-we connect on a visceral level.

And we’ve been doing it for thousands of  years.  The hunting-gathering societies such as that of the Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana utilize the fireside chats to bond with others in their tribes through dancing, song and stories of their ancestors of whom displayed tremendous courage in the hunt. Perhaps this was the  early beginnings of social media- a way to connect; to form a sense of community-ever heard of Facebook? WordPress? Twitter? And yes, much to my chagrin, Snapchat.

social media icon


The circles that are created around a campfire are a natural source of unity and human openness.  On the second night of our camping trip, Michael shared his deeply personal feelings and desire to play professional soccer.  A campfire story  that expressed disappoint- a dream dismissed by his parents as ‘silly and too expensive.’ Even at his young age, I believe he understands the value of being part of a team, and  something bigger than himself- connecting with others who share his passion. We encouraged Michael to keep speaking of  his love and dream with his parents and anyone who would listen.IMG_3726

And if he does, oh, what a wonderful story could be told… around the campfire.