Social Media Zombie Continues (COMM0011 Post #5)

People on bench.jpeg

In my first post I wrote about hitting a threshold of being too digitally connected to the world and the intense desire to spend more time with living, breathing people in my space. At that time I figured it was probably a good time to do a personal audit of how I use digital and social media in my personal and work life. I chose to tackle work first…


There’s plenty of online advice about managing our social media addiction. Here’s what I’ve learned so far that is applicable for me:

Too many devices and applications. I do feel that my overloaded work schedule coupled with an ever-increasing abundance of platform choices has made me a less-than- discerning user. I need to look at how I communicate with work colleagues and reduce the number of platforms and devices I use.

Ding, chime, snap, sizzle, whirl, squawk, thud, swooooooooosh noises aren’t always       needed. I’m turning off  audible and visual notifications when not needed and using these notifications more selectively. 

Controlling thee impulse. Be more disciplined about when I access my devices, applications and online communities. Work on controlling that “just gotta check” impulse. When necessary, let colleagues know that, for example, I will check emails at 9am and 2pm daily and they should call if something is urgent. Not everything needs an immediate response and the interruptions can easily become a diversion to achieving more focussed, productive work. 

Add a platform to manage my social media. Contrary to my above self-advice, adding a program like Hootsuite is helping me focus my now edited complement of social media networks. 

And lastly, or should I say sadly, reduce the bathroom-stall talk. Although not digital, it is social, not face-to-face and just adds to my feeling of always being “on” and multi-tasking. Ironically, I’m worried about appearing rude if I don’t respond to a stall-mate and it’s amazing how much we get done in the Ladies Room at work. 😉


There are some good tips on the following websites:

Taking a Break From Digital Media for Your Sanity

Six Steps to Successfully Treat Social Media Overload

Digital Marketing Tips to Help You Stay Sane

Things I didn’t know about emojis and emoticons


I’m a very visual person meaning images often have richer, more immediate meaning for me than text and because of this I find our ever-increasing use of emojis and emoticons fascinating. I did some digging on the topic and here is some background information about both and a few things I didn’t know.

Both emojis and emoticons are useful when we want a quick, efficient way to communication via social media whether it’s to replace a sentence (typically with emojis) or express our feelings (typically with emoticons).

The first emoji was created in the late 90s in Japan by Shigetaka Kurita.(1)







The resemblance to the English words “emotion” and “emoticon” is purely coincidental. Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji comes from Japanese e (絵, “picture”) + moji (文字, “character”). (2)

The original meaning of an emoji can acquire different meanings according to its cultural context. “For example, 💅 (nail polish) has been described as being used in English-language communities to signify “non-caring fabulousness” and anything from shutting haters down to a sense of accomplishment.” (3)  Just as the word pension has different meanings depending on the culture using it. 

Emojis center more around ideas while emoticons more around emotions, although some emojis are emotion based. While an emoticon denotes your emotional state, for example, an emoji can have a complete meaning and thought behind the picture. Having made this distinction, a lot of emoticons integrated into the list of emoji simply because of how incredibly popular the system for emotions had become for digital communication. Emoticons can express emotions inside a group of emoji. (4)

For example emoji-3

Using coded language isn’t new. Our rather long history of using symbols and images to communicate with one another dates back to the prehistoric era and has evolved along with tools we’ve had at hand to record and transmit the message (i.e. media), and “in tandem with shifts in political and economic systems, and by extension, systems of power.”5

Morse code was the first invention (1840s) to successfully exploit electromagnetism for long-distance communication. In a significant way, it was a precursor to our current means to connect with people over distance. We don’t use Egyptian hieroglyphs to communicate, but we do still use some Morse code in our written communication, mainly our abbreviations. (6) 

Much of Morse code abbreviated words in a straightforward manner and several of the abbreviations we still use, such as TNX for Thanks, FWD for Forward, and MSG for message; interestingly, others codes have become antiquated, such as OB for Old boy and YL for Young lady (originally an unmarried female operator). There are others that required a knowledge of the code, such as 88 for Love and kisses and 73 for Best regards. And, here is my favourite,

HEE for Humour intended or laughter (often repeated, e.g. HEE HEE)Clearly a predecessor of LOL.

 .. / .- — / .-.. .- ..- –. …. .. -. –. / — ..- – / .-.. — ..- -.. .-.-.-



Sources and where to read more:







ablokeabroad – COM0011 Post #3





Social Media Zombie


          It’s rare in my current life that I just want to reject all communication devices, close all my apps and crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and talk – if I still feel like talking – only to humans breathing in my space, but this week was it. I was working in a beautiful city for 4 days. And,  was unexpectedly holed up in a less than ideal hotel room with very little natural light, a broken AC system and a bit of a work crisis. I sat for hours with a softphone on my head, my work computer remotely connected in front of me and my cell phone at my side. Aside from food breaks and very sweaty half-sleeps, I was connected for consecutive hours with people across the country. Living, breathing people in the city I inhabited played a minor role in my visit. Oh wait a minute, I did get to spend 5 hours with a whole group of people in an emergency department to get some stitches. (I sliced my feet open on my way to some hotel food.) And even in the ED, I passed the time texting and checking our FB. To complicate all this, my husband was in the same city caring for a family member in need. Due to our individual responsibilities, we did not see each other but texted and sent images of our lives to stay connected. It felt surreal. It was surreal and after 4 days I wanted to be unconnected – more than ever before.

So, all this to say that I feel like it’s time to audit how I use digital and social media in both work and my personal life. My next task is to figure out how…