Social connections affect focus

Use of social media is known to impact our focus negatively. Social media had one fantastic benefit during the peak of the pandemic. Online connections, when fostered intentionally, can have a positive affect on focus. I recently started reading Michelle Obama’s “The Light we Carry”. She begins by discussing her use of small things to regain focus when bigger things become overwhelming. She took up knitting, among other things, during the pandemic. I was reminded of the many hobbies that many of us re/started during COVID isolation.

I also started knitting (again) after years of not picking up my knitting needles. I completed 1000 piece puzzles again. Worked on my photo organizing that had become neglected. And I wrote.

connections with self through writing

What interests me most about all of this is that many of us did not only take up or reactivate hobbies that we hadn’t participated in for ages. Many of these hobbies (new and old) were trending across the world.

When used with intention social media can aid connections

When we talk about the value of social connection we often refer to the negative impact social media has had. It has affected the quality and depth of our social connections overall. Yet, we used the same technology that has been creating disconnect and lack of focus, to make connections with people. People we otherwise were disconnected from because of physical isolation. And when we did so over common interests, goals and concerns, we did so meaningfully.

Introverts were relieved to have a little (or big) break from “peopling”. Many extraverts were struggling with loss of contact with people… Some of us found new people online… Others found new ways to connect with the people who were normally in our lives but suddenly not due to physical isolation. We mastered zoom and video calls to make family get togethers happen virtually. We learned how to “tiktok”. New interests were discovered while making new friends.

social connections affect focus

There was a nationwide shortage of yeast when so many took up breadmaking – many for the first time  Then shared the spoils on social media – or left gift packages on the neighbours’ doorsteps.

The thing about social media is that it’s really only effective when the user is highly active. Unfortunately that online activity can have a negative impact on in-real-life relationships. Unless both (all) parties are equally as active and are interacting with each other on the same platforms. When trying to be that highly interactive online while engaging in-real-life activities it tends to take away from the depth of in-the-moment experiences (think selfies and hashtags) while distracting from the actual experience.

connections affect focus

Connections affect focus

But during the pandemic we’ve been using social media to substitute for some of those lost connections. And when doing so while engaging in typically solitary activities we found ways to connect with ourselves as well as others. It only stands to reason that those improvements to lost social connections during isolation affect our ability to focus.

Did you take up any new hobbies since COVID-19? How have you connected socially in new or increased ways?


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A social media conference about connecting women with brands? Is this really for me?

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I don’t know about you, but my life has ballooned with chaos recently and I just feel so disconnected. Yet, here I am about to share my experience at the “She’s Connected” conference.

First and foremost, I felt very flattered to be invited to participate. Secondly, I wondered if I would really belong. I had never worked with brands before, aside from promoting the causes I support like “Team Diabetes” and my local candidate for the federal election. I knew I was willing to work with brands in some way, but wasn’t entirely sure how. Here I was joining 199 other bloggers, many of whom have far greater online presence than I do.

You can relate can’t you? Maybe it’s not in the social media world, but you’ve been there too I am certain.

I don’t see myself doing paid product reviews or product giveaway posts for a brand. However, there has to be some way. Nearly every brand can benefit from social media promotion, whether they be retail or otherwise. This became my goal for the conference. Aside from wanting to connect in person with some other active digitally active women, I hoped to identify how I might make this brand connection work for me and my online experience.

So here I am finding my way around the huge downtown Toronto Sheraton Centre bumping into bloggers and tweeters with much greater presence online than I. Many of these women have already established a source of income and were there to hone these avenues and expand.

When people ask me what my blog is about, I reply: “life”… I blog about whatever strikes a passion in me.

For some time now I’ve been thinking I need to get more focused, find a niche that will appeal to a “readership”, then I “met” Casie Stewart and Shannon from Shasher’s Life. Lifestyle bloggers who have made a big online presence for themselves. Women who stick to their scruples, represent their real selves and have developed a following as well as many advantageous opportunities/connections for themselves.

What are you all about? Have you figured this out yet?

When I talk about my blog and my writing I talk about: effecting change, about being real, about thought-provoking posts. Why can’t I continue to write about these things that I care about, however diverse they may be? It seems the trick will be in developing relationships with people who will care about what I have to say, but more so about the thoughts that are triggered within themselves.

Working with brands can happen in many different ways for every one of us. The area that makes the most sense for me is to get involved in helping to promote social change activities and corporate socially responsible campaigns.

A few of my new digitally connected friends from #SCCTO have utilized a variety of options for generating income from their work. Sheri was generous to provide me with a whole list of the platforms she works with. Jody and Pam each have their strategies. And many other new connections may result from this trip. Do you have great ideas for making your blog work for you?

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From Drop Box

The conference speakers had a range of topics, some of which were interesting but not entirely relevant to me, some inspiring, and others allowed me to see that this truly can be achieved!

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Now, time to strategize!

I’d love to hear from you about where you fit into the social media world. Are you (hoping to) making a living at it? Have you identified strategies for moving forward? Do you wish to connect further and support one another?

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun, email me at ceilidho at ceilidhontherun dot com, or use my contact form!

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