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One Major Problem with Social Media

Posted on October 19, 2015 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

I was drifting through my social media feeds recently and I realized something quite profound. Many times in life, we talk about FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Here’s the description of FOMO from Wikipedia:

Fear of missing out or FoMO is “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. This social angst is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”.

FOMO is a real problem for almost everyone. We’re all making decisions every day on what to do with our 24 hours and we all face the reality that we’re going to miss out on something. It’s just the stark reality of this life. As my mother always told me, “John, you can’t do everything.” As usual, my mom was right. You can’t do everything and that means that you’re going to miss out on something.

The problem with social media isn’t that it creates FOMO. You can be afraid of missing out on something and not be on social media. However, I realized that most people’s social media paints a clear picture that indeed you are missing out. There’s no fear of missing out. You know very clearly that you are missing out.

I think back just the past couple weeks to things I’ve seen on social media. One of my friends was in Italy. Another one was at Disney World. Another one was walking on the beach with her family. Another one was in Hawaii. I could go on and on.

The reality of life is that all of us have friends every single day doing something fun and we’re not part of it. Plus, most of us only share the fun things we do on social media. So, our social media feeds are full of the most fun things are friends are doing and very few of the hard things. I guess this is really an extension of my previous post about “Saying You’re Happy” where I said:

How dangerous is it for us to compare our worst perceptions of ourselves against our “friends” best image of themselves?

This post probably sounds like I’m anti social media. I make my living off of social media, so I’m a big fan of the benefits of social media. However, I also see first hand the concerns over the negative impact of social media as well. Being inundated by everyone’s best experiences is one of those negative impacts.

I’m not sure I have all the solutions to this problem. It’s hard to see all your friends “having fun” and not let that effect you. Sure, it helps to be unselfish and celebrate the fun your friends are having. Some people are better at this than others. However, I think this has an impact on everyone.

There’s a lot of benefits that can come from social media. It’s great to stay up with friends. It’s great for grandparents to keep up with their grandchildren. You can learn the latest news and insights on a specific topic. You can connect and network with amazing people. You can be incredibly entertained. There’s a lot of good that can come from social media, but we have to be very aware of the negatives too.

Exploring New Social Media

Posted on June 22, 2015 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

I’ve spent a lot of time on social media. The majority I do because of my job, but I also do plenty of it for my own entertainment as well. I’d say that I’m in the top 1% when it comes to social media. I have probably 120k followers across all my accounts. I don’t say this to brag, but to merely say that I’m pretty deeply entrenched in the world of social media.

What’s interesting for me is how I try and approach and learn new social media platforms. Quite frankly, Twitter and Facebook make up the majority of my social media time with LinkedIn a close third. Although LinkedIn definitely feels more like work while Twitter and Facebook are a mix of work and fun.

I’ll set those 3 social media platforms aside and instead talk about all the others out there. I’ve played with most of them. None of them have really taken off for me. However, I continue to dabble and see where they go.

My approach to new social media is to just start using them. I usually joke with whoever I’m with about how amazing I am at this new platform for which I know nothing about. I literally feel like a little kid trying to learn a bike for the first time every time I try a new social media platform.

My latest experience was trying out Periscope (I want to try Meerkat next). It felt like G+ hangouts, but not quite as dynamic since I couldn’t have anyone else join me. Although, I was surprised at how simple it was for me to start broadcasting live video of me. In fact, I could have done it from any of the 8 different devices in my home. I think that’s going to massively change things. It will just be ubiquitous for my kids. They won’t think anything of it.

Today if you follow me on Instagram, then you might have seen the wave of pictures I’ve posted. It was part of me still learning the platform. I could see how Instagram makes a lot of sense for parents who are at homes with their kids. It’s fun to take pictures of kids and even more fun to share those pictures and get feedback. As I sit in front of my computer all day at work, what pictures would I share on Instagram? Unlike some of the people I work with, I assure you that people don’t want to see a picture of me working.

The learning process on all of these is a challenge. Snapchat is the weirdest of all of them for me. I’m still learning why and when I’d want to use it. I haven’t really figured it out. Although, here’s my approach for learning these new social media platforms. I usually start using it when someone is around (often the Crash Wife). I then start posting pictures (almost all of the new platforms are picture and video if you haven’t noticed) to the platform. I’ve found that diving in head first is the best way to learn.

After a rash of posts and interactions on these new platforms I then start telling whoever I’m with “I’m so good at [insert new social media platform name here].” Of course, the comment is dripping with sarcasm and always elicits a laugh from whoever I’m with since it’s not true. I’m not sure why I do this, but I’ve done it over and over and I’m sure it will continue. It’s probably a way for me to build my confidence on something for which I have no confidence. Building a confidence on a social media platform is a challenge. Although, it’s so powerful once you do.

He is the Gift Christmas Video – #ShareTheGift

Posted on December 24, 2014 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

As a mormon and a social media nerd, I’ve really loved the #ShareTheGift hashtag this Christmas Season. One of my favorite things has been the people on Instagram who are holding a sign that says “I Will #SHAREtheGIFT By…__________” and then they fill in the blank. Here’s one such example:

View this post on Instagram

#sharethegift #lds

A post shared by Jillian Holley (@jilllianh) on

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas, I love the reminder that the most joy comes from sharing with others. This video is also a great reminder of the reason for the season:

Merry Christmas everyone!

Follow Crash Dad on Social Media

Posted on December 17, 2014 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

What a ride! We’re already 2 months into my Daddy Blogging experience. This post will be my 22nd post and Crash Dad has had 3,284 pageviews as of this posting. Not too bad for a part time hobby. Plus, I have to admit that it’s been a lot of fun to write and hear people’s reaction to my posts.

My favorite response came yesterday from my Crash Brother who said, “I like reading it because it makes me think. I would also love to contribute some day.” I hope this blog will help people to think. I hope that many will join in a discussion in the comments as well. Plus, don’t be surprised if my Crash Brother joins and starts blogging as another Crash Dad in the future. That would be fun. I always love multiple perspectives.

Yesterday, I started inviting some of my friends to like the Crash Dad Facebook page. Thanks to everyone who liked the page. We’ll do our best to provide you entertaining and useful content that makes you happy you liked the page. If you haven’t already liked Crash Dad on Facebook, what’s holding you back? We’ll be here when you get back.

Thanks also to everyone who’s signed up to receive the Crash Dad posts by email. If you haven’t done so, you can subscribe by putting your email in at the top of the page. You know you want to!

Unfortunately, Crash Dad was taken on Twitter. Plus, I’m already on Twitter as @techguy. Feel free to follow @techguy on Twitter if you’d like. Fair warning, I tweet quite a bit from that account and about a wide variety of my interests.

Now you can easily keep updated with Crash Dad. You wouldn’t want to miss any of the excitement would you? Thanks to everyone who’s been reading. It’s always fun to know something you’ve written is read and enjoyed by many people.

Next, I think I’m going to give myself a challenge. I was going to do a thirty day challenge (ie. one post a day for 30 days), but that might be a bit much (especially with the holidays). Instead, I’m going to do 20 blog posts over the next 30 days or basically 5 posts a week. Let’s see if I can do it. If you have a blog, I challenge you to do the same. One of the keys to writing well is writing regularly. The posts don’t have to be long. Just share something valuable with your readers 20 times over the next 30 days. Let me know if you’re doing it so I can check out your posts.

Saying You’re Happy

Posted on December 4, 2014 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

I have to admit. I’m probably one of the happiest people I know. My wife might argue otherwise (I have my moments), but actually even she complains about how laid back and positive I am about things. In fact, I think she probably wishes that sometimes I’d just get angry and upset over stuff. I’ll admit. I just love life and am generally happy.

I’m not saying this to brag. I don’t think it’s really anything I did. It’s a feature that came with me when I was born and no doubt was shaped by the way my parents raised me. At this point, it’s really just a part of who I am. I’ve been given some gift that lets me see the best in situations. While a lot of people preach this, for me it just comes as second nature.

What’s odd is how many people say they’re happy when they’re really not happy. Facebook is the worst for this. I’m always amazed at all the happy posts I see on Facebook from people who I know aren’t happy at all. The happy person inside me wants to think that it’s a good thing that these people are trying to find the good in a tough situation, but I think there’s more to the story.

I love social media, but it’s far from a true representation of who we are. My wife is one of the only people I know who really honestly posts to Facebook (sometimes to my chagrin). I love the connection with other people, but we have to be careful on social media. It’s a huge mistake to compare one person’s persona on social media with our own personal state. How dangerous is it for us to compare our worst perceptions of ourselves against our “friends” best image of themselves?

Similar to this, I can’t say how many times I’ve met people who flaunt their affection for their spouse (online or in public places, it doesn’t matter). Shortly after, they get divorced. I think that many of these people are trying to make their best effort to show affection in order to mask what’s really happening.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against public displays of affection (ask my wife). However, those public displays have to be backed up by real affection and action. I’m certainly far from perfect at this, but I try. Take for example today during lunch. I was hungry and tired. Did I want to put the dishes away? No! I wanted to turn on Ellen and wait for my food to be ready. However, I knew how much my wife would appreciate the dishes being put away. So, I sucked it up and did it.

Of course, the real beauty of what I did is that I get the reward as much as my wife. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my wife happy. My happiness being dependent on my wife’s happiness is a story for another day.

Long story short: Be Happy…don’t just say you’re happy. (Easy for me to say!)