Friday, September 23, 2016

The Power of the Exclamation Mark

Do you do a lot of communication via the Internet? Silly me. Of course you do. It's 2016 and there is so much interaction and communication done online. Whether you talk to people for social reasons or job-related, whether it's facebook, twitter, email, texting, discussion boards, etc... we find ourselves doing a lot of written communication. It is very difficult to sense 'tone' in emails or written communication in general. We could be in a great mood! yet the email might come off crass or blunt. We could be simply saying something matter of factly, but the unintentional tone of the communication might be rude or short or indifferent. So with so much communication in the form of writing, we must think through not only WHAT we say, but HOW we say it. You can craft an email in a way that your tone is clear and that is with two things: Exclamation points and emoji's! The power of the exclamation point is so strong. It is the single best weapon in trying to not only convey your happy tone, but also in building relationships because the more exclamation points you use, the better the recipient feels and then is more likely to have good feelings/thoughts about you and it will snowball from there into a great relationship. 

Scenario #1:  A person does something nice for you and you respond with "thanks." Now, that person might think, "oh wow, what a jerk. that's all I get?" It comes off as a very unmeaningful showing of half-hearted gratitude. BUT, if you respond with "Thanks!!!" then we have a whole different situation on our hands. That person sees those three exclamation points and immediately knows you are saying that with a lot of appreciation and a big ol' smile on your face. That makes the person feel good. And to think, all it took was hitting shift + 1 three times. We go from the person basically hating you for being rude, to loving you for being so nice and appreciative. 

Scenario #2: You are texting back and forth with someone and even though you don't think something is very funny, you send a bunch of crying-laughing face emoji's because you know that will make the recipient feel good and that you are really crackin' up over their jokes. There's no such thing as using "too many emojis." Use as many as you can! The more the better. There are tons of examples of people building great relationships solely based on emoji's.  Huge companies have merged to make a great joint company through wide-grin emoji's and the thumb's up emoji. Think about it in your own life: how good do you feel when you see that chocolate pudding smiley face and start laughing because you know it's not actually chocolate pudding? Exactly. Probably all the time. 

So pick a favorite emoji!!! Use them liberally!!! Start leveling up your written communication!!! 

bye (see? doesn't that seem rude or like the person doesn't care?)
Bye!!! (that's better. This person is clearly excited to leave you.) 

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Power to make someone's day

You have the power to make someone's day, and it doesn't even take that much effort. When is the last time you received some words of encouragement or gratitude? How did you feel? Words are powerful. Use them for good. Fire up your computer, log into your email, facebook, text tool, etc. and send a message to someone telling them how much you appreciate them or some words of encouragement. How powerful of a thing to do, and so easy! Literally, one sentence is all you need to totally change someone's outlook on life on any particular day. Even more so, you have no idea (possibly) what type of day that person is having. Maybe they really need to hear some positive words and you can be the one to do it. Every day is an opportunity! Sometimes people feel like they are not appreciated, like nobody cares about them, or they are a nobody. Let them know they are wrong.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Glow Kids: Screen addiction

"That’s right — your kid’s brain on Minecraft looks like a brain on drugs." -Article in the New York Post

I came across an interesting article the other day about kids and screen addiction. The quote above is chilling. Think about that quote which is based on research and is fact. A child's brain who is addicted to screens looks the same as someone is who is addicted to cocaine or heroin. That should make you stop and think. That should make you stop and think that maybe you should limit the screen time for your kids. I know I need to. I can also relate. I can feel the tug of the screen, even when I have no reason to go on it. I see myself grabbing for my phone, just to check it, knowing there's no new messages or notifications. But there's that pull. That pull in your brain that is making you do it, even when you don't want to or have no reason for it. It's an addiction. I don't feel as if I have a full blow addiction to screens, nor do I think my brain looks like a crack addict, but I can definitely see how it can happen. With unsupervised children "cranking" out the hours, becoming addicted is real. (Pun intended). As the article states, breaking an addiction to drugs and alcohol requires you to get rid of all that stuff. How do you break a technology addiction? How can you go 4-6 weeks without using or looking at any type of screen? I would say it's close to impossible unless a major life change happens (quit job, move to the mountains, crawl under a rock, etc.) Prevent your child (and self) from becoming a Glow kid, who you begin to think their face actually does have a blue glow to you because the only time you see their face, it's with a screen 5 inches away.