Do I consume social media or is it slowly consuming me? This blurred line has garnered increased attention due to recent documentaries like The Social Dilemma, which popularized deeply unsettling questions about the impact of social media on our mental health, politics, even free will.
Yet many of us have our reasons for staying in the game. I’m sure there are some prolific entrepreneurs and writers who have no problem managing their social media usage, but that’s not my experience. I find these platforms consistently distract from my most important work. It’s a huge cost that I just can’t ignore anymore.
I’ve attempted on several occasions to rise above the addiction, placing heavy restrictions on my daily usage. Good intentions only got me so far. Somehow I’ve always been pulled back into social media’s gravity, using it the way it demands to be used (i.e. obsessively).
That is, until a few weeks ago. I have finally decided that social media steals too much of my time and attention to warrant continued investment. For 2021, I’ve chosen a more clear-cut approach to handling social media: network-cutting.
The opportunity cost of social media
On a sunny day in the late 2000s, Mom snapped my photo and uploaded it to her computer. There I was, a freshman, grinning and backlit in front of her blinds. Not candid or stylish — just a grainy placeholder photo to help me complete my Myspace profile. Months later, I adopted Facebook as well, and within a couple of years, I had signed up for Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Unlike most hobbies and habits I picked up in high school, this one stuck. The longer I was on social media, the more weekly time I invested in each platform. I recorded photos from backpacking trips, learned about important causes, shared my own articles and short stories, and networked to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars for my copywriting business — all thanks to social media.
But the benefits did not come without their costs.
The most obvious cost was my time. According to Statista, the average daily social media usage was 144 minutes in 2019. Assuming I’m fairly average — a safe assumption — that means I spent almost 900 hours browsing social media websites in one calendar year. Since high school, that adds up to several months of my life in accumulated scrolling, liking, posting, friend requesting, and meme sharing.
But on its own, sunk time doesn’t directly equate to a lack of value. What I gained for all that time on social media — and whether I could have gotten greater value for my time elsewhere — is harder to quantify.
I think the most apt analogy I’ve heard is that social media is like cognitive junk food. These sites emphasize headlines and hot takes rather than depth and nuance.
Like fast food, social media plays on my weaknesses by maintaining a close enough appearance to substance — so much so that sometimes I can ignore the difference.
The problem is, I don’t want a mere passable substitute for tackling big ideas, understanding the news, and connecting with friends. Just give me the real thing. Give me depth, substance, and real connection.
And what about creators who only use social media to spread and publish ideas? Instant publishing offers many clear benefits — but it also offers a dangerous shortcut for anyone who desires to produce work that lasts.
Author and economist Tim Harford put the opportunity cost of his social media usage in exact numbers: “My Twitter habit is more of a problem. I have 145,000 followers, gently persuaded over 10 years and 40,000 tweets to follow me — that’s about 10 books’ worth, or 20 years of weekly columns. This alone was a reminder of just what an effort Twitter could be.”
How I got here
I’ve never taken more than a single month off social media since my freshman year of high school. And even those few breaks wouldn’t have happened without first discovering the work of Cal Newport, author and professor of computer science at Georgetown.
Newport writes at the intersection of professional development and technology. From late 2018 through 2019, I read three of his books in rapid succession, with one idea rising above the rest: deep work. Here’s a definition from his website:
The Deep Work Hypothesis: The ability to concentrate without distraction on a demanding task (what I call ‘deep work’) is becoming more rare at the same time that it’s becoming more valuable in the knowledge sector. As a result, those individuals and organizations who put in the hard work to cultivate this skill will thrive.
Newport’s Deep Work Hypothesis caused me to reconsider how I organize my day, what I value in work and leisure, and my relationship to social media.
As a copywriter, deep work is how I make my living. Unbroken, focused attention is what pays the bills and moves my business forward. The more time I dedicate to the craft and business of writing, the better I become and the more work I produce. When something gets in the way of writing, it interferes directly with my earning and career potential.
And nothing pulls me away from writing faster than Twitter, Facebook, or even LinkedIn. What began as an innocent high school hobby now steals so much of my time and attention. I knowingly bleed productivity every week.
*wakes up and looks at phone*
ah let’s see what fresh horrors await me on the fresh horrors device
— Miss O’Kistic (@missokistic) November 11, 2016
Maintaining a social media presence — especially for writers and entrepreneurs — often feels non-negotiable. The choice isn’t whether you use social media, but how.
In the opening page of Invested, Charles Schwab writes, “The world of business, like the rest of life, is full of wonderful temptations, and making a choice about where you are going to devote your energy is often as much about dismissing things as it is about choosing something. A singular sense of purpose gives you focus and clarity.”
Cutting social networks from my life for the next year is my attempt to achieve a new level of focus — perhaps one that becomes an advantage. What will a return to focus mean for me this year? Maybe I’ll publish more articles in more reputable magazines than any year before — or earn a book contract. Maybe I’ll finish work early every day and have more time to read, exercise, or call up a friend.
Think about when was the last time you texted someone, “How are you?” Without the crutch of feeling like I know friends from updates from social media, I’ll have to be more proactive. I’ll have to ask. For now, I have many aspirations and I’m optimistic about what a year without social media could mean personally and professionally.
Of course, there’s a possibility that things go counter to my plan. Maybe a year without social media will change the way I see it. Maybe the benefits will become clearer to me and I’ll re-log on to each platform with enthusiasm at the start of 2022.
If I’m honest, I doubt that’ll be the case. I believe the internet is a better place to learn, write, and grow a business when I’m not competing for trivial achievements like a fresh new badge about a single retweet or like.
I have a hunch that I’ll never choose to go back to social media. Or maybe it’s a prayer. Either way, I’m out.
Published March 8, 2021 — 09:27 UTC
GLAAD Media Awards presenters support transgender athletes
LOS ANGELES — “Schitt’s Creek” and “The Boys in the Band” were winners at the GLAAD Media Awards, which included soccer’s Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger calling for transgender students to be accepted as “part of the team” in sports.
Harris and Krieger, spouses who play for the Orlando Pride and were on the 2019 World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national team, presented an award in Thursday’s virtual ceremony to the film “Happiest Season,” about a lesbian romance.
The couple drew attention to transgender athletes amid widespread efforts to restrict their participation, including a recently signed Mississippi bill that bans them from competing on girls or women’s sports teams. It becomes law July 1.
“Trans students want the opportunity to play sports for the same reason other kids do: to be a part of a team where they feel like they belong,” Krieger said.
Added Harris: “We shouldn’t discriminate against kids and ban them from playing because they’re transgender.”
“Star Trek: Discovery,” “I May Destroy You” and “A Little Late with Lilly Singh” were among the other projects honoured in the pre-taped ceremony hosted by Niecy Nash. It’s available on Hulu through June.
The GLAAD awards, in their 32nd year, recognize what the media advocacy organization calls “fair, accurate, and inclusive” depictions of LGBTQ people and issues. Presenters and winners in this year’s event highlighted priorities including the importance of solidarity and self-respect.
“Friends, I’m so proud to stand with the LGBTQ community tonight, just as the LGBTQ community stands with Black and diverse communities,” said Sterling K. Brown, who presented the outstanding documentary award to “Disclosure.”
The “This Is Us” star, citing the Black Lives Matter and Black Trans Lives Matter movements, said that “we’re going to keep spreading that message of unity and justice until every one of us is safe to live the lives we love.”
JoJo Siwa, the teenage YouTube personality and performer, presented the award for outstanding children’s programming to “The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo.” She said in January that she’s part of the LGBTQ community.
“I have the best, most amazing, wonderful girlfriend in the entire world who makes me so, so, so happy and that’s all that matters,” Siwa said. ”It’s really cool that kids all around the world who look up to me can now see that loving who you want to love is totally awesome” and should be celebrated.
Other awards went to Sam Smith, who was honoured as outstanding music artist for the album “Love Goes”; Chika, named breakthrough music artist for “Industry Games,” and “We’re Here” won outstanding reality program.
Cast members from “Glee,” including Chris Colfer, Amber Riley and Jane Lynch, paid tribute to Naya Rivera and her character in the series, gay cheerleader Santana Lopez. Rivera, 33, died in an accidental drowning in July 2020.
Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
Source:- Coast Reporter
Social Media Etiquette Review
Despite your best efforts, you may cause someone pain with that Tweet or Facebook post. Here’s a refresher on social media best practices, along with advice for some pandemic-only dilemmas.
In an ideal world, your followers would think every photo, video or thought you post on social media is like a little gift to them. In reality, it’s hard to predict how posts on Instagram, Facebook and other social media will land, especially during the pandemic. After so much loss and isolation over the past year, people are on edge. That vaccine selfie may feel joyous and hopeful to you, but it could be a digital slap in the face to someone who hasn’t received a vaccine shot or who has suffered a grave loss.
“Someone could be experiencing loss in such a way that there’s no way someone else won’t post something that compounds their grief,” said Catherine Newman, who has written the Modern Manners etiquette column for Real Simple magazine for 10 years. “That’s how grief is.”
Still, it’s hard not to overthink things — and to worry that despite your best efforts, you may cause someone pain. Some social media experts say you should review your sharing practices periodically, so here’s a refresher on social media etiquette, along with advice for some pandemic-only situations.
Ask why are you posting.
First, identify your motivations. Are you sharing that picture of the exquisite cake you baked because you want praise, or do you want people to feel bad that what they made themselves wasn’t as good? If it is to receive affirmation, that’s OK. But if you find yourself trying to get all your needs met by social media likes, it might be time to think about what else is missing in your life.
Second, focus on your friends. If you tried to consider every possible person who might be hurt by a post — your seemingly unobjectionable photo of tulips could very well remind a follower of someone they have lost — you might never post anything on social media. But absolutely think about your inner circle carefully.
Ms. Newman, for one, hasn’t posted about her own post-vaccination visits with family because so many in her immediate friend group have lost a parent in the past year. If you’re in a similar situation and you still want to post your vaccine selfie or the first time you’ve hugged your father in a year, consider acknowledging your own good fortune.
“I still appreciate it when people say, ‘We’re so lucky and there’s been so much loss and I’m sorry if you’re experiencing loss,’” said Ms. Newman, whose best friend died of cancer five years ago.
Before you hit “share,” read your words in multiple tones of voice, as different people can interpret the text differently, suggested Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert and the founder of the Protocol School of Texas, a San Antonio company specializing in corporate etiquette training. If there’s any doubt, add a cue, such as an emoticon, about your tone.
Don’t go low, go high.
If you want to post something negative, keep in mind that what you say or share often says more about you. Disagree (respectfully), but avoid sweeping generalizations about entire groups of people — or about one business based on your interaction with a single employee.
Additionally, remember that any message you share, even with close family members, will be amplified to your entire online community. (The tension may also be amplified around vaccines, health measures and the stress of a not-normal year.) If you are replying to your sister online about something, that doesn’t mean you can speak to her as harshly as you might privately. Ms. Gottsman advises taking a heated family debate offline.
“Don’t start a family feud on social media,” Ms. Gottsman said. “It can affect the next family holiday.”
If you are soliciting donations for a particular cause or charity, or asking for money to pay someone’s rent or medical bills with a GoFundMe campaign, recognize that the financial situations of many people have changed this past year and there may be many other appeals compared to times past. Skip shaming phrases, like “How can you not help this person?” Instead, Ms. Gottsman said, use ones like “If your heart moves you, I’m sharing this.”
Consider your audience.
Think less vigilance is needed, because your text group is small or your settings have been changed to private? Think again. When Heidi Cruz, the wife of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, shared her family’s plans to flee a devastating winter storm in Texas for a vacation in Mexico, she texted only a small group of neighbors and friends. Screenshots of the messages ended up with journalists. Elaine Swann, an etiquette expert and founder of the School of Protocol in Carlsbad, Calif., points out that it wasn’t just one person who shared the chat with The New York Times; there were others who confirmed it.
“Even if you think it’s just your inner circle, there’s always somebody there who isn’t 100 percent on your team,” she said. “That’s the person who takes the screenshot before you delete whatever it is.”
Ban body-size talk.
Posting about food and fitness may be even more tempting than usual, given that a lot of people have changed what they eat and how much they exercise during the pandemic. But confine your commentary to how these lifestyle changes make you feel, not how they make you look. Among other things, not all people have had the luxury of more time to exercise during the pandemic — or if they did, they might not have had the energy to do so.
Dr. Lindsay Kite is a founder of Beauty Redefined, a nonprofit that promotes body image resilience, and an author of “More Than a Body.” She noted that your “before” photo — talking about how fat you look — may be someone else’s “after.”
If you really want affirmation and accountability for your fitness goals, avoid the sports-bra selfie and posts about body measurements. Instead, Dr. Kite suggested posting a picture of yourself in a blood pressure cuff, or a less body-focused snapshot of you jogging to your favorite coffee shop.
“Loving your body and improving your health doesn’t always lead to a more ideal-looking body,” she said.
Acknowledge your mistakes.
There may be situations in which a post doesn’t land as you had intended. Maybe you shared a photo of a masked-up pandemic wedding, but followers pointed out that attending still involved travel. Or you posted a video of your family’s Easter egg hunt, because all the adults participating had been lucky enough to be vaccinated.
Ask yourself how many people reacted negatively. If only one follower is unhappy, it may just be that one person is raw.
“We have a genre in my family we call ‘hurting your own feelings,’” Ms. Newman said. “Where you’re looking for something to hang some pain on and you find it.”
You don’t have to own the person’s grief, but you do have to take responsibility for yourself and apologize. You can keep it simple, Ms. Newman said: I see your pain. I’m so sorry.
If you post something that is hurtful to a wider audience — you inadvertently said something offensive or you didn’t consider all the issues — it should absolutely be deleted if it’s causing people pain.
If it’s not, consider keeping the post up, Ms. Newman said, because deleting it erases the post from public view but does not address the hurt it caused. On Facebook, she suggested an “edited to add” with your heartfelt apology. This should not include the words “but” or “if,” as in, “I apologize if you were offended.” These words don’t acknowledge the hurt person’s truth and their situation, or your role in hurting them.
“If you accidentally step on someone’s foot, you don’t say, ‘I’m sorry if I stepped on your foot,’” Ms. Swann said. “You did it. It’s not a question.”
Your apology should also include a thoughtful plan about how you’ll do things differently in the future, which can be calibrated based on how grievous the offense. For lesser instances, Ms. Gottsman said, a sentence like “I’ll think twice before I post,” may be enough.
These are words all of us could live by.
Source:- The New York Times
Media Advisory: Virtual Infrastructure Announcement in Brampton – Yahoo Canada Finance
SAN DIEGO, April 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reneo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies for patients with rare, genetic, mitochondrial diseases, today announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 6,250,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $15.00 per share, for total gross proceeds of approximately $93.8 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses. All of the shares are being offered by Reneo. The shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on April 9, 2021 under the symbol “RPHM.” In addition, Reneo has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 937,500 shares of common stock at the public offering price less underwriting discounts and commissions. The offering is expected to close on April 13, 2021, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Jefferies, SVB Leerink and Piper Sandler are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and became effective on April 8, 2021. The offering is being made only by means of a prospectus. Copies of the final prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained, when available, from: Jefferies LLC, Attention: Equity Syndicate Prospectus Department, 520 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10022, by telephone at (877) 821-7388 or by e-mail at email@example.com; SVB Leerink LLC, Attention: Syndicate Department, One Federal Street, 37th Floor, Boston, MA, 02110, by telephone at (800) 808-7525, ext. 6105 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Piper Sandler & Co., Attention: Prospectus Department, 800 Nicollet Mall, J12S03, Minneapolis, MN 55402, by telephone at (800) 747-3924 or by e-mail at email@example.com. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of, these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction. About Reneo PharmaceuticalsReneo is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies for patients with rare genetic mitochondrial diseases, which are often associated with the inability of mitochondria to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Reneo is developing REN001 to modulate genes critical to metabolism and generation of ATP, which is the primary source of energy for cellular processes. REN001 has been shown to increase transcription of genes involved in mitochondrial function and increase fatty acid oxidation, and may increase production of new mitochondria. Contacts: Joyce AllaireManaging DirectorLifeSci Advisors, LLCjallaire@lifesciadvisors.com Vinny JindalChief Financial OfficerReneo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.firstname.lastname@example.org
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