Me and some of my favorite future PhDs. #Cubenation, hold it down.
I’m almost certain when I look back in a few years I’ll have some trendy name (e.g. “Bluppie Beginnings” or something like that) for this summer of transition. There have been many changes — endings, shifts, new beginnings — in less than 15 weeks. I finally completed grad school, left my doctoral internship of four years, and moved all the way to Texas to begin a new career. At this point, almost every day is a blur. However, it hasn’t been lost on me that this is, and has been, the goal. This very moment. This phase. It’s what I’ve been working for: I’m in motion.
There have been moments, several of them, where I’ve been overwhelmed by the emotions I feel. I loved my role with University Housing, and transitioning to my replacement was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m pretty sure I dropped a single thug tear on the day I grudgingly relinquished control of our social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, Pinterest, Instagram, Storify, Google+ — all of it!). I immediately had to unfollow each one so I would not begin obsessing over what I was letting go. I had to repeat to myself: Felicia, you cannot be a doctoral intern for the rest of your life. Continue reading
Here’s what I love about social media: its ability to connect people with others.
On the surface it seems so simple, but the power of those connections is anything but. I’m very particular about my language so I want to clarify: I don’t believe in the power of social media; that doesn’t exist. Social media is a tool. I believe in the power of people who use social media to perform meaningful actions – to spread the seeds of a new idea, to publicize little known facts, to share photos across the globe, or to simply connect with other people. These series of small, meaningful actions are the source of power that people often mistakenly attribute to social media. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I often identify with and am inspired by women who share their lives via social media. Within a week, I found myself being forced to confront the flip side of this: how intimidating it can be to live in a socially mediated world. If you read What is Movement?, you’ll recall that I often ask upon meeting other women: “How can I get there, too?” But there’s a fine line between being inspired by someone and being obsessed with their life – especially when you reach the point of measuring your accomplishments against the accomplishments (or shared-on-social accomplishments) of others.
In addition to my research and personal experiences with social media, I’ve had the opportunity to work as a content curator for going on four years now. Through my work and conversations with other curators I’ve learned one thing for sure: smiles behind filters and stories told in 140 characters or less are not real. I’ve used a filter and a few enhancements to turn gloomy weather into sunshine plenty of times. What we encounter online are productions, and our reactions to them are perceptions. And as a Roman poet and somebody’s mother would say: “Things are not always what they seem.”
Pacing the fine line between searching for inspiration and fending off obsession has been a part of my journey to overcome perfectionism. Continue reading