Woven Together Differently

Adventures in social media enlightenment


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Why I dislike lists and the importance of intuition

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The internet is full of ‘top tips’ and ‘how to’ lists for social media – the 16 rules of Facebook etiquette, 10 social media trends for 2015, 7 tips that will make you awesome at Twitter. You get the idea. Whilst I’ve been hooked in and read many of these lists (and written some myself), I’ve noticed that I’ve started to glaze over when I read them. In fact, I’ve started to glaze over when I see a number or the word ‘tips’ in a news article or blog post title. Continue reading


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Some thoughts on ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You’ by Cal Newport

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I’ve mentioned Cal Newsport’s Study Hacks blog on here previously. The blog focuses on finding meaningful work, as well as chronicling Newport’s own attempts to create a fulfilling career for himself. It’s a great blog and one of the few that I instantly read when there’s a new post up. Last week, after reading the latest Study Hacks blog post and feeling particularly inspired, I decided to finally get round to downloading Newport’s book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, onto my Kindle and giving it a read. Continue reading


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Review: Mobile for Good by Heather Mansfield

cover_mobileforgoodWhen I took up my current job role, doing communications for an NGO, I started looking around for useful social media resources for NGOs and charities. In my search I came across Nonprofit Tech for Good and immediately signed up for their newsletter. That was how I found out about Mobile for Good by Heather Mansfield. I can quite honestly say that I had difficulty putting Mobile for Good down once I started reading it (though perhaps that says more about me and my social media obsession). I bought the ebook version, but I’d recommend getting a paper copy and sticking it next to your computer at work! Continue reading


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What if Twitter were like a gently flowing river?

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I never wanted to be one of those people who says they don’t have time for social media. Not least because I have spent my professional life telling people – oh, but you do have time for social media! And it’s not so much that I don’t have time. I could make time, and I do where I can. I sometimes spend my commute catching up on Twitter or writing blog posts (case in point, I’m writing this post on the train). I also usually find myself checking Facebook in the evening, after dinner.

There is time and I make it where I can. But even where I make time, I don’t always have the head for it. After an early morning, a commute, a full day at work, cooking dinner and getting ready for work the next day – my brain can’t really handle any thing more complex than the thought of going to bed. I find myself of an evening, scrolling through my various news feeds, only to realise that my head is somewhere else and I haven’t actually read anything. At the end of the day, Twitter and Facebook are just a bit too overwhelming. When my brain has spent all day processing and juggling various bits of information, the last thing it wants is to be bombarded with more information.

I like to drink Yogi tea. Mainly because of the little zen sayings that they put on the teabag tags. These nuggets of wisdom are kind of like tweets – only more calming. As I was reading a tag the other day, the thought crossed my mind that maybe I’d get more out of Twitter if I just received the odd tweet here and there – on the teabag tags during my tea breaks, on a napkin when I eat my lunch, on a sign post as I take my afternoon walk, spray painted on a fence seen from the train window (my favourite piece of train ride graffiti is the ‘It was all a dream’ outside Rotterdam Centraal).

I think my brain could just about manage that.


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Productivity versus presence

Image by Sebastien Wiertz. Used under a CC 2.0 license.

Image by Sebastien Wiertz. Used under a CC 2.0 license.

I recently wrote about my digital spring clean. I deleted a number of my social media accounts because I felt that I was spreading my efforts too thin and also because I felt that it would help me to be more productive. Productivity is something that I worry about constantly, sometimes to the detriment of my ability to relax at the weekend and when on holiday. I always feel as though I need to be doing something productive and lately I’ve been striving to use my time even more effectively.

However, I recently came across an article about Alan Watt and his writings on happiness and living with presence, which made me question my relentless drive for productivity. Continue reading


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Does Facebook increase self-esteem or make us more depressed?

Image by Phil Shirley. Used under a CC 2.0 license.

Image by Phil Shirley. Used under a CC 2.0 license.

A few of my Facebook friends are taking part in the #100HappyDays challenge, which involves sharing a picture of something that makes you happy, every day for 100 days. It got me wondering about whether such “challenges” actually work. It also got me wondering about the role that Facebook plays in our emotional states. Does it have a positive impact on our emotions or does it create and reinforce negative feelings? Continue reading


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The internet is full of fluff and click-bait

Image by ginnerobot. Used under a CC 2.0 license.

Image by ginnerobot. Used under a CC 2.0 license.

As part of my digital spring clean, I’ve been trying to kick the terrible habit I have of seeing an interesting looking article, opening it in a new tab and then never reading it. I end up with so many tabs open that the favicons are no longer visible and I have no idea what any of the tabs are. I decided to sort through the tabs I already had open and as I was doing so I read a few of them. I was surprised to find that most of them weren’t very interesting. They had click-bait titles that had drawn me in, but actually the articles themselves weren’t very substantive – they were fluff. Continue reading


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Why I’ve decided to have a social media spring clean

Image by Susy Morris. Used under a CC 2.0 license.

Image by Susy Morris. Used under a CC 2.0 license.

I recently started following a blog called Study Hacks, from computer scientist and academic, Cal Newport. Study Hacks is about decoding patterns of success and looking at why it is that some people have successful careers and are able to lead meaningful lives, whilst others are continually seeking after their life’s passion. Newport argues against the passion hypothesis and instead believes that finding fulfilling work is about honing your craft. 

I first encountered Newport’s blog via a post he wrote about why he has never joined Facebook. In fact, Cal Newport doesn’t use any social media at all (unless you count blogging as social media, which I would argue it is). In reference to Facebook, Newport asks – what problem do I have that this solves? The answer, for Newport, is that it only offers something new, it doesn’t solve a pre-existing problem. Continue reading


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How visible should social media icons be?

Image by Patrick Denker. Used under a CC 2.0 license.

Image by Patrick Denker. Used under a CC 2.0 license.

Working in social media, I often find myself going to company websites in order to find out about their social media presence, so it can be very frustrating when companies and organisations hide the social media icons away or make them so minute that they’re impossible to see. It seems so counter intuitive to me – surely you want people to click through to your Facebook or Twitter profile and follow your company on social media. Why hide the icons away? They should be large and placed at the top of every web page.

At least, that’s what I thought. However, I came across an interesting argument the other week that had me thinking twice about my previous stance on social media icons. The argument goes that because your website is the central focus of your online presence and you want to drive traffic to your website, not away, social media icons shouldn’t be prominently displayed because people will simply click straight through to Facebook and before they’ve even looked at your Page they’ll be distracted by the pictures of cute cats that their friends are posting. Therefore, social media icons should be placed at the bottom of your company’s web pages, not the top. Continue reading