Are we missing on Life because of Social Media?

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I am not sure if this has come up before, but I am expecting. So, this morning, as I was waiting for my doctor appointment at the General Hospital, I could not help but notice all the other moms-to-be in the waiting room, some of them alone, others with the dads-to-be besides them. So, imagine a mid-size waiting room at the hospital; walls are all white, there is a water fountain and cups and two big desks on each side, from where you can hear the receptionists talking on the phone, scheduling ultrasounds appointments or welcoming new moms who are just arriving for their appointments. Pretty regular and normal scene, you would think! Until, I realized, that inside the waiting room, no one but me and my mom was talking to each other; they were not even making eye contact, even those who came together; Instead of talking or looking at each other, everyone was staring at their smart phone (one lady was on her lap top), scrolling down, what seem to be Facebook feed, or I bet, another social media channel, or reading an article, most likely from a social media feed. I could not help but wonder, are we missing on life and if so, how much? What compels us to choose our smart devices vs. a living and breathing human being next to us, in order to fulfill a need for closeness, human interaction, or at a minimum, stay entertained while waiting?

I tried and visualized that same scene some 15 years ago or so, when Facebook did not existed (from article: When did Facebook start?) and believe me, that same scene seemed a bit more happy, relaxed and I should say, normal, to me, than what I was witnessing today at the hospital: women were chatting among each other, sharing experiences of their pregnancies, what they’ve gone through with their first ones, or at a minimum, couples were conversing between each other, making small talk, while patiently waiting for their appointment with the doctor. When you think about it, that would be pretty normal: at least, they all have one thing in common, right, they are all pregnant… so chances are, there is a lot to be said and shared, even if one was shy or uncomfortable to speak to strangers!

I myself, the book nerd that I am, brought a book for the ‘occasion’ as every single time I go for my monthly check up, it is a minimum of 2 hours wait; this time was not an exception: I had a book in my purse (you guessed it, on yoga and mindfulness, of course) and even a magazine – Yoga Journal, just in case! But, in the last minute, my mom offered to come with me, so while waiting, I felt guilty for leaving her to stare up the sealing, while reading, so I opted to chat about anything and everything with her, to pass the time! It was the best thing ever and I don’t exaggerate. I asked her about her experiences when she was pregnant with me; if she was scared of delivery date, as much as I am, what was like to be pregnant 36 years ago, etc. It was a very pleasant, mother-daughter conversation, which made me feel so much closer to hear and a bit calmer and content; In retrospection now, I feel we would have not had that chat, if we were both on our smart phones, wouldn’t we?!

As we were conversing, we both noticed how everyone else in the room was on their phone and how sad it looked; I wondered how many friendships could have been started between expectant moms in that same waiting room, that same day, if it was not for social media and smart phones; how much more richer and meaningful that experience would have been for them, if they just lifted their heads, made eye contact and smile softly to the other very pregnant lady besides them?!

In that moment, as I was considering all this, I felt a profound sense of petty and sadness; social media was invented to connect people, not alienate them from one another; it was and still is, I tend to believe, about sharing human experiences, not robotizing day-to-day life; it is a tool to share, to experience, to connect, to present, to live richer life, in relation with people who are far away from us…. but, in so doing, I would think, it was never intended to ignore completely the people who are right next to us! And, the really sad part of all this is that we’ve grown completely ignorant or accustomed to all this; we consider it now all normal to be next to each other, fully concentrated on our phones, instead of each other!

What do you think, am I a complete lunatic to believe we can remain social and present in the here and now, while still indulge in all that social media has to offer to us, without one jeopardizing the rich experience of the other?

As I continued to wait for my appointment, I began to envision on how I will raise that little boy in my belly; how am I going to teach him, show him, prove to him that this behavior is NOT normal, is not customary, in fact it’s rude and ignorant! How to show him and teach him to cherish the moments spend with others around him, because this is what makes life richer, meaningful, and special!

 In your opinion, can we remain social and present in the here and now, while still indulging in social media?

Are we missing on Life because of Social Media?

The FabFitFun Brand: Mastering the Social Media Art

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From personal experience and as a young marketer, a great brand to me means a brand that is engaging, relevant, cool, fun, continuously evolving, truthful and that takes its social and environmental responsibility seriously. Of course, this is the definition of a really good brand today, in the era of millennials, Global warming, Globalization and wide spread inequality, the Internet and social media. Many would think that these things have made branding easier; however, if that was the case, we would have not had so many brands out there who are still tuning in and struggling to find their voice and ‘social’ persona, wouldn’t we?

So, for this blog post, I wanted to focus on a brand that is really mastering the art of social media, in my opinion: The FabFitFun brand! You may have heard of them or not – they are the company that sends boxes to their customers full of cool stuff, that supposedly will make you look Fabulous and Fit and will bring you some FUN! The real fun (or not!) is that you have no clue what’s in the box, until you receive it; so imagine the anticipation and trepidation people experience while waiting for their next box of goodies to arrive! Initially, I could not understand what the fascination with this FabFitFun boxed-mania is; it was challenging for me to grasp the idea that I would spend $80 or so for something I might not need, know, or even want! But, right from the beginning, the FabFitFun brand ensured to hook us all up, by skillfully using rich, engaging and very real-life content on social media to make it look like the most natural, super cool and trendy thing in the world: they started coming up with these very personal, unique, do-it-yourself kind of videos of their clients who have just received at home The Box, and the whole opening experience right on a display for the world to consume! They were a hit from the start! Even I got curious and watched till the end to ensure I didn’t miss on any of the items that were in the Summer box. Not much longer after that, my girlfriend told me she is entitled to ‘gift’ a box to a friend, so she shared it with me, and here I am, a few weeks later awaiting my very first box! Another smart move for FabFitFun brand to entice new box-lovers by giving each of the existing ones the power to spread the ‘fabulous’ goodness! Smart… very smart!

Fortunately for my bank account and unfortunately for FabFitFun brand, I cancelled my subscription after the second box, as I found the boxes had a lot of make-up, which I tend to sparingly use, therefore the content was not much relevant for me after all. I continued to keep an eye on the brand though, as it’s so alive and colorful and engaging… aren’t we all drowned to brands like that, after all? They are so easy to like and follow… even if you are not on Facebook. Lucky for them, I am and after some time, here they are again, on my feed: this time they have partnered with one of the greatest beauty queens of our time, Eva Longoria, which almost made me renew my box subscription right then and there. The big fan of Eva that I am, but guess what: not only they’ve partnered with her to promote their lifestyle and beauty products and accessories, but also with Eva Longoria Foundation, whose goal is to “help Latinas build better futures for themselves and their families through education and entrepreneurship” (Facebook page’ link HERE)! So, now, they are not just a ‘pretty face’ but they have actually committed to spread goodness and happiness around the world, by using the wide social media channels’ reach, to promote the causes of various foundations!

So, as they continued to evolve, they ‘discovered’ their brand voice, by heavily engaging and using social media platforms from Instagram to Pinterest, which now speaks the universal language of love, kindness, compassion and inner peace and beauty! They are not just the cool looking kid anymore, but position themselves as leaders and game-changers! The on-line experience ranges from cool life-experience photos of happy and healthy people, to rich content videos, engaging FabFitFan app, trendy e-mail promos, their own magazine and video content! In their own words:

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“It was important to bring life to the brand’s social media and marketing channels. From our first photo shoot with only a pineapple, model and a summer box at the beach, we started using models as a main way to convey how FabFitFun box product could be used in real life.” (Source: FabFitFun’s brand evolution’ article.)

This is one of my favorite brands and their evolution on finding their personality and voice; I am curious to learn about your favorite brand: why it is your favorite? What draw you initially to it? What evolution have they gone through that makes a difference in the world? Please, share your comments with me, below! Thanks for reading!

What are your favorite brands you engage regularly on social media? Why? What do they do differently that inspire you to follow them?

What is your favorite brand and why?

How Social Media Enables Us to Live Our Passions – COM0011

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I have been considering closing my social media accounts for some time now; each time I deliberate whether to do it or not, while mentally listing all the reasons why I should close them once and for all and never look back. I am not sure about you, but my main reasons typically involve the facts that social media is highly addictive, anti-social, impersonal, commercialized, depressive and pretensions; it also distracts us from the reality we live in, allowing us to 1. pretend to be whomever we imagine or want to be, not who we really are and 2. withdraw in this make-believe world of success stories, pink skies and rainbows, rather than facing the row truth about people and the world as a whole. Think about it: we are only supposed to post happy and joyful and successful moments of our lives; to be careful not to offend anyone or dramatically oppose others’ political or religious views; and to never show our true selves, especially when sad, mad, disappointed, aggravated, disturbed, and annoyed… and, everyone on social media knows to do the same, so the sad reality is that we are dishonest and pretentious, most of the time, if not all the time! So what good brings this to the world?

BUT, and yes, that is a very big ‘but’, social media, when used mindfully and thoughtfully, can enable us to live our dreams and passions and potentially to inspire others to do the same too, instead of mindlessly using it to waste time, to gossip, to pretend and to hide from the truth. So, every time I consider closing my accounts, I think of that and the good I am able to spread in the world if I don’t, and I opt to keep them for a little longer. This is how my Yoga-Ayurveda Facebook page (YogAyu – ‘Yogic Life’: ) was born too – instead of simply reposting other yogis and spiritual teachers’ inspirational content on my personal page, I decided to create a page that will educate people about yoga and its sister science, Ayurveda (more about these two in a following blog post), AND encourage and inspire them to live healthy, mindfully and happily!

Source: personal library – trip to India (2017)

Yoga and now Ayurveda have become my greatest passions and teaching and sharing their ancient wisdom from 5,000+ years ago brings me the most joy and personal satisfaction. On this Facebook page and through my weekly yoga classes, I try to inspire my followers and students to live the best versions of themselves, to be loving and kind and compassionate and offer them simple solutions for mindful, not mindless and fulfilled existence, one where we are in tune with our deeper selves, with our bodies, feelings, minds and emotions. My goal is to encourage self-reference, observation and presence: continuous and flawless connection with this moment, here and now… totally the opposite of what social media often promotes: absentmindedness and distraction from reality. Ultimately, more and more people will discover their true calling and purpose in life, something they are head over hills passionate about that they can share with others… at the end of the day, I believe that was the real intention behind the phenomenon of social media: to connect our personal stories and experiences, through which we can transform each other and the whole the world around us becoming a better, more kind, loving, pure and authentic place! Can we achieve this goal; do you think? What is your passion you’d like to share with the rest of the world that will profoundly and authentically change it? Looking forward to hearing from you. Namaste!

Blog #1 – Opinion peace on Social Media: 3 Reasons Why I Still Love Social Media

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When I googled the question ‘social media: a good or a bad thing?’, there were exactly 1,290,000,000 results found; obviously, this is a very hot topic, with lots of opinions in the online space. Although, I agree with most if not all of social media negative effects, I believe there are lots of positive ones as well and above all, I believe social media has the potential to do good and to be used for good! As I was saying in my previous blog post, social media has a transformative nature and it changed forever the way we communicate between each other, exchange information, share thoughts, ideas and daily experiences. It provides a platform that shrank the world, making it possible to communicate with people on the other side of the planet with whom we share a hobby, a cause or a passion.

But, social media is much more than a networking tool: it can and should be used more broadly for global causes to initiate change and transformation, especially in areas such as religious tolerance, political dogma, economic injustice, spiritual growth and transformation and the protection of the animals and the environment, among other things. If nothing else, social media gives each and every one of us a voice, a power to express our opinions, to raise issues of national and global importance, to be the agents of change towards a more peaceful and happy world. Maybe I am too naïve, maybe it’s the yogi in me that wants to believe we can change the world through yoga and meditation, or maybe I am just blind or ignorant to the evil that social media is being used for, such as cyberbullying, body image slamming, reinforcing anxiety and depression in young people, or becoming a severe addiction, to name a few (Source: 7 Negative Effect of Social Media on People and Users, yet, it is my believe and conviction that we can change all that for the better. Here are my top reasons why I still love social media: v

1. It broadens our vision, allowing us to experience grieve, destruction, and desperation on a very personal and intimate level: social media brings to us the stories of tsunamis and earthquakes, abused animals, the dire picture of extinct species or destroyed jungles, sick and homeless people and much more. As long as we don’t take a back seat and passively observe the suffering of others, social media has the power to begin and transform this suffering around the globe!

Our Planet: Edible paper can help safe the bees (video):

2. It connects us to total strangers, literally, allowing us to influence them, inspire them, motivate them, and even transform them; this is my personal goal with my own Facebook page and social media presence: to show people how they can live a little more mindful and joyful lives, which does not involve money, career, and belongings. How empowering is it to practice yoga on Parliament Hill together with thousands of other aspirants! Amazing feeling!

Source: Parliament Hill Yoga Community Facebook page:

3. It enables us to take action right the way: Social Media is a tool that not only empowers us to express our opinions, to be vocal and to speak up, but also enables us to take action, to get engaged, to initiate shifts in how other people think, behave and live; I have a thing for wild animals, especially raccoons, and use every opportunity to promote their wellbeing through my social media channels or to donate money when they need financial support. Hopefully, others will follow suite and support the cause too!

Source: Hope For Wildlife Charitable Organization’ Facebook Page:

If tomorrow, one more person or one more corporation embraces a more inclusive, tolerant, kind and mindful approach to the use of social media, we will be a step forward on the journey of universal transformation, for the good of all living creatures on this planet. Indeed, this is my dire hope and personal drive, that motivates me to continue my practice, to teach and inspire others to find that corner of their hearts that can open up to all possibilities and embrace it with loving kindness, tenderness and compassion. Do you think this is doable? Can we transform the way we use social media, to be good and to do good? I would love to hear from you, even if you have completely different or opposite views on social media usage. Thanks for reading!

Can we use social media to transform ourselves and others to be good and do more good in the world? Time to look deeper in our own online habits.

Can we transform the world through social media? Who knows! #socialmediagoodorbad