Archive for the ‘Text Messaging’ Category

The “Charm” of the Virtual Office

Friday, February 1st, 2013

You are so Lucky!

Everyone says it.  They love working at home in their PJ’s.  And I won’t lie to you, I feel the same way…some days. But to be honest, being the social butterfly that I am and always have been, I find the virtual office a challenge, actually. Customer appointments help contact and I tend to bunch them up into a couple days so I am not spending a lot of time on the “back and forth.”  We have customers spread all over !  (Thank Goodness!)

I Miss Humans.

I miss the jokes at the office, the food that we share, the face to face contact of the office environment.  I genuinely ike my coworkers.  I care about their lives, their families, them. We still have weekly face to face staff meetings but it isn’t the same.

I don’t miss having to go out on a stormy day, moving my car for the snowplow, having to dash home to get dinner started.  Because ESPECIALLY with the last one, I can start it when I am taking a break from staring at my monitor or talking on the phone to a customer.

If you ever have worked virtually from the road (or from home), interruptions are usually minimal-unless they are YOUR interruptions. Or in my case it could be my dog Crosby or Sam just wanting to climb up into my lap as they follow the sun around the house.

I’m Fortunate

I have a completely separate room with my computer set up and the sun shines in and today while it is about 20 outside it is 78 degrees in my office.  I have Pandora cranking on my laptop, my iPad open, I have sent about 20 text messages, gone through emails, posted on some Social Media sites and it is 9:30am.  I could never get that much done in an office in that time period.

Pandora is great – but I do miss the radio, the chatter of the on air talent,  people talking, real ones. But there aren’t that many LIVE on air people anymore either.

I don’t own a radio that even comes in clearly (my car doesn’t count).  If it doesn’t stream on the internet, I don’t get it.  It can be very isolating some times.  To some people that are not in PR or Marketing, the more technical fields this could be the perfect environment.  With more and more people working from home these days are we becoming less social or do we need to channel that “social-ness” into another area?

I serve on some Boards and Committees.  Boards of non-profits in our area. I get some “people time.”  I need “people time.”  Volunteering makes me feel good.  In this life of it seeming to take forever to see results on some projects, volunteering is a “quick fix” to feeling like you are doing something that matters. In our region, there are many people that are willing to “roll up their sleeves” for the better good.  We don’t call it “giving back” or “paying it forward”  we just do it because it needs doing.  So that is my lift for the day or week.

What do you do to feed your soul?

 

To Know Me is to Love Me…Would You Give Me a Chance?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

We are all so different.  Some folks are visual (ah… that would be me), some are more analytical and if a person is one or the other than you can bet each side loves each one sometimes but is disgusted with the other most of the time.

Internet romances have been the rage but it wasn’t long ago that most people thought they were for losers, psychos or fortune hunters.  Maybe internet dating is a good thing, people talk like old friends and learn about each other without the stress of the “first date.”  I am not dumping on that at all. But we live in a world now where technology connects us as well as disconnects us.

Example #1:  Significant other finds their “beloved’s” cell phone, check through the texts and “POW!”  There are fireworks and they aren’t the good kind either. People like Tiger Woods and Brett Favre know this fate only too well and even better this is all used in lawsuits.  And in both cases, it wasn’t just the heartache that was inevitable,  it was the wallet break that went along with it.

Example #2: I saw a nice couple in a coffee shop the other day.  They held hands as they walked in and in fact one of them held the door for me and greeted me with a smile.  Left me feeling pretty good.

Every one ordered and I sat down across from them.  And there they were, one talking and one staring at his cell phone.  Now if this guy had included her in what he was reading and punching onto the phone, then fine.  But he was very distracted and she went on about a situation she was dealing with.  He had his eyes down and kept clicking away.  Finally looking up he said, “Oh sorry babe, I was texting.”  (This is not a gender thing, this is a manners thing.)

Since this smartphone held power over a human to human interaction, you have to wonder, if it wasn’t an emergency, why did this happen? Is it so hard to put down the phone, flip it upside down and look each other in the eye and talk?  When did we stop being human?  It wasn’t a point in time, it has been an evolution.

I have taken to leaving my phone in my car on customer appointments.  What’s worse than texting during a face to face encounter?  They can see they aren’t as important as whoever is in your phone. AND you are doing this in PERSON.

In 20 years, well maybe 10 – where do you think this will lead us?

Will Twitter or Facebook cause World War III?

Friday, June 10th, 2011

It is amusing to hear some members of the main stream media mention that Twitter could be blamed for so much of the unrest in the Middle East.  These recent outbreaks of violence, demonstrations and the like have been happening in the Middle East for thousands of years – yes there was life before Twitter.  People demonstrate because they are passionate about something.  Twitter and other social media platforms were used to facilitate the assembly, no doubt. Texting also helped.

Just like when you want to meet your friends or kids somewhere you probably text them.  Many folks have cell phones without data plans and still can get text messages.

The point here is that you communicate, you find a way.  Many parents I know ONLY started texting because that was how they could reach their kids.  I have one friend who refuses to carry his cell phone most of the time because he wants to TALK to his kids, not get a random text from one of them asking for money!  He wants to connect to hear their voices as opposed a text that he feels is impersonal.

Yes. Texting allows you to be in one place and communicate with many others. But while you do that what is that person across the table looking at you thinking? How about, “I guess there are others more important than me…”

It is so common to see people in appointments and meetings looking down at their cell phones, disconnecting with where they are to wonder what maybe better or more important, fun, etc.  Feel insignificant yet?

And lots of people, your “friends”  know what is going on in your life because they cruise your Facebook page and you never even know it.  Have you wondered where face to face relationships will be in 10 years?

All this leads to a communication breakdowns, misunderstandings, hurt feelings all because we are not taking the time to ask for clarification of a compressed text message or those dreaded “tweets.  It all is kind of scary to me.  I am taking a page out of one of my friends book and leaving my cell phone in my bag when I am with a customer – whether I am in a meeting with them or at lunch with them.  He always makes me feel like I am on his “Important List” and I have noticed.

What will you do to make people feel like they are on  your “Important List?”

 

 

Too Dangerous…

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

My niece just got a cell phone.  She is 10 years old.  I have no children, so I am not qualified to comment on whether this is a good idea or not.  When she was a “wee one” of about 3, I would call my brother and he would ask her if she wanted to talk to “Aunt Kelly” she would say, “Too Dangerous.” We thought that was funny.  We thought that she had a sense of humor. Even my brother and sister-in-law thought it was funny.

Well little did I know that because she lived so far away, she didn’t remember me, so I was a STRANGER in her world.  So the whole “STRANGER DANGER” thing took on a whole new meaning. We see them and talk to them often, so I am no longer a stranger to her and we spend summer vacation time together.

For the past few years, she would confiscate her mom or dad’s cell phone and shoot me off a photo or a text message and I would be thinking, “What are they talking about?”  Then I would find out it was my niece and not them.  She is quite versed in using a cell phone – she can text better than they can!

Last Saturday, I got a text message from an unknown number, but from the area code that my brother lives in.  My first text, “Hi Auntie Kelly.”  It is my niece (obviously) she has gotten her first cell phone. Within the next 2 days I must have gotten 10 text messages from her.  Then I thought “Whoops I hope my brother’s package includes unlimited texting.”  (Here’s something that will freak you out – an $18,000/month cell phone bill!)

When you get a cell phone for your kids, it is meant to be a “tool” so you can stay connected, for them it is often considered a “toy.”  Last week,  I posted on our Sephone Blog this article about Facebook Places in relation to “Privacy Settings” .  Then when I started this post, I found this one from safekids.org (which is really a great site for all kinds of things.) In particular, this is about your kids telling too much information or their friends telling too much information on where they are, whom they are with, and at what time.  That may be helpful to you as a parent, but it is also helpful to bullies or predators.  Unfortunately, that is the world we are living in.

Our cell phone people (Central Maine Wireless) are the best.  They actually take the time and really help us make the phones work for what we need them for and everybody is different.  So take the time and make sure you don’t get some whopping bill because your kids usage of the phone may not be the same as yours or maybe things you cannot even imagine are happening BECAUSE of that cell phone. Here is a link that Paul shared with me about features you can apply to the phones you can buy for your kids.

Here is an old post (but a great one) to review when you buy that cell phone or even to use as a learning tool for those that have one all ready.  And have a safe and happy Fall 2010!

Text Messaging – What do those "words" mean?

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

I have no children, but I do hear horror stories from my friends that have them about the text messaging phenomena. This post is not about how bad your cell phone bill is or if Johnny or Suzy got into trouble in math class because they were “text-ting” their friends.

This post is how to understand what they are saying to each other when they text. If your child tells you they cannot learn Spanish or French while their fingers are flying on the keys of their cell phones, they are just NOT motivated to learn it. Text messaging is just like a foreign language or a type of shorthand and they are motivated to learn that because there friends are all doing it and they want to be in the loop.

You don’t have to learn all the words, but wouldn’t it be good to know if your kids are talking about a party and someone’s parents leaving town? My fathers biggest fear was having to learn Aerosmith on an 8 Track, boy have things changed!!

I found a pretty neat page on internet.com that has a list of all the terms. Click here to check it out. It even includes what all the smiley (emoticons) faces mean.

But if you are looking for a word specifically, click on this link and you can type it in and it is pretty good on finding the word what means for you.

So click away and take a look, once you get the pattern it will be more natural than you think and if you really want to throw your kids for a loop, text them yourselves and keep them guessing as to how much YOU know!!


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