#happypanda

If I could describe myself in three words, I believe it would be the following:

  1. goofy
  2. loyal
  3. good-sense-of-humor-having*

However, I’m afraid the stresses that come about from being a self-diagnosed workaholic that spreads herself too thin by attempting to also balance an unreasonably busy social life have slowly been turning me into less of the person one would expect to meet from the three descriptors listed above and more into a snarky, high-strung, debbie downer.

I don’t like that Amanda. I dislike it so much that I refer to myself in the third person when I am like that. It’s honestly not representative of me at all, so I can’t fathom it’s becoming a common perception of me, something one would describe me upon first meeting. It’s almost repulsive.

I’m also slowly making changes to combat it, too. One of these attempts, though it may seem silly, is a little hashtag I’ve been using more & more often. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll occasionally see that I use the tag #happypanda. It’s my excuse to share something positive, whether it’s the love I have for my city, or getting to spend time with those I love, even tweeting that it’s a pretty day.

Where’d this come from? The “panda” bit has has been a nickname used by various people throughout the years, especially my sister. But in the past six months or so this nickname has picked up steam with various people, including those I work with and new friends. From “Apanda” to “Panda Pants” it seems the panda nickname will never leave. And I’m absolutely fine with that. Nicknames are used to create a sense of belonging, sort of like an inside joke, or communicate a higher level of comfort between people. When people feel comfortable enough to call me a nickname of that sort, it makes me, well…happy.

In an effort to not only be happier, but communicate that I am, in fact, that goofy, good-sense-of-humor-having Amanda that I claim to be, I am making a conscious effort to show people this side of myself. #happypanda is just one attempt, but it’s a start.

*Don’t knock #3, if it has tons of hyphens it totally counts as one word.

Long Live e-Reading

The day has come. The day where I ditch flipping the pages for flicking the screen. Highlighters have been replaced with the tap of a finger to mark my place.

Yep. I am now an e-reader convert.

I was always one of those people, a purist if you will, that refused to get on the e-reader wagon. I considered them a waste of money (“It’s not quite a computer, and a little obnoxious for a book – what a waste.”), but more than anything I saw the rise of the digital book trend to be an end of the experience one has when reading.

You see, reading is so much more to me than the flip of a page. It’s a break from the norm, a chance to escape the everyday, and being that being on the Internet constantly is almost essential for my line of work, it’s always been nice to close the laptop and pick up a book.

Reading Technology

Was it not for my Kindle Fire Christmas present this past year, I can pretty much guarantee you I’d still be arguing that which I have above. That books are king, the e-reading business is going to kill off the already dying printing industry, we’re all becoming much too dependent on technology, yadda yadda. But now that I am the owner of one of these devil devices, I can tell you that having an e-reader doesn’t really affect any of the aforementioned arguments.

Sure, the printing industry is suffering quite a bit, but I hold out hope that things will take a turn for the better. My marketing instincts always steer my advice to clients and non- alike that an integrated marketing approach will help not only save the industry from going under, but keep it treading water and, eventually, more than stay afloat. Having a support system that encourages both online and offline customers will bring more revenue to the printing sector, and costs will be cut thanks to having a wider online audience. That may be a somewhat naive comment to make, but one must recognize there is value in that thinking.

And as for the argument of technology taking over, well, yes, there are more and more devices each day that take us away from traditional print, from writing our thoughts out and directing them towards the keyboard instead. However, what technology is helping us achieve should justify our greater adoption of tech devices. In this case, I may be shying away from print and finding myself clinging to the Kindle Fire more, but that’s just it – I am reading more than ever.

There are reports out there that due to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, whatevz.com (not a network, but I felt another “yadda” would cheapen this post), have shortened our attention spans so much that we can’t stand to read something for more than a few minutes. Online video views are higher than ever, but people don’t particularly like to watch anything longer than 1-2 minutes. I work in social media – I am absolutely one of those people I’ve just described. But now I have access to a mini-library in the form of a portable tablet, and I’ll tell you, I find myself getting lost in the virtual pages for hours at a time. I am now skipping catching up on Hulu or continuing on my hunt for the world’s next best animated GIF to see what Peeta Mellark is up to, or pondering which I wish I’d known when I was 20. It may not be the preferred medium of college professors, authors, heads of The New York Times, but no one can knock the end result. E-readers can very well get us back into books. How can you be against that?

I am an e-reader convert.

Why aren’t you?

Better Safe Than Sorry is a Sorry Excuse

I like to give off an air of confidence, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t second guess myself from time to time. Or all the time. I find I’m constantly asking myself such as, “Am I good enough for this position?” or “Is my writing up to par with those I admire?” among other things.

Playing it safe is something I do rather well. I stick to my routine – cling to it really, venturing outside of the norm only on rare occasions. I’ve never really considered this to be such a bad thing until recently.

I was chatting with a friend about taking the next step and really putting myself out there as far as my career, while following each statement with an excuse for why I wouldn’t or couldn’t pursue such things. He then said something that really struck a chord with me:

“Where’s your sense of adventure?”

Good question. Being reckless is one thing, but aren’t you doing yourself more harm in the long run when you don’t take chances? No one ever got anywhere without taking that first step.

This is something essential to your career as well, especially when it comes to establishing a presence in social media. Everybody has to start somewhere, you’ve just got to take that first step and get started. I only recently dove back into blogging here, and it was a challenge, but one that was well worth taking.

So what about you? What risks have you taken to further yourself, both personally and in your career? Where is your sense of adventure?

Sweet Beard Hat? Check.

Someone, though I don’t know who, really made my day on Monday.

It was the typcial workday: blogathon for hours, meeting here & there, and the usual hiccups in between. But then something unusual happened.

The Admin Assistant to my boss tossed a package on my desk – strange seeing as I have never received a package in the 7 months I’ve worked at my job. I opened it up to find the most amazing thing ever:

sweet-beard

Sweet beard, bro.

I had tweeted a few weeks ago that I absolutely love everything taraduff has created for her Etsy shop, especially these awesome beard hats! All it took was one tweet, and a Facebook update, and bam! – I have a new hat.

So, to whomever gifted me this wonderful beanie I just wanted to say:

thank you.

We Need a Break

If you haven’t caught on from my previous post, social media is a huge part of my everyday life. I will read any Chris Brogan or Brian Solis blog post out there. Mashable is my home page at work so each Monday morning I can catch up on all things web-related that happened over the weekend. This field is my passion, my hobby, and slowly, it’s becoming my life.

As much as I live and breathe this field of marketing, I’ve come to realize that even those who are considered “celebrities” in this realm, the individuals that are constantly in the public eye for their social media efforts, all do one very important thing: they each step away from the computer every once in awhile.

Brian Solis, a public relations executive, aut...

Even he takes a break every once in awhile.

Labor Day Weekend was the perfect opportunity for me to take a break from the Macbook and out into life. I mean, that is why we reserve this holiday. I got outside, enjoyed some amazing Georgia fresh air (if you’ve never gotten the chance, to feel it, you’re missing out), and relaxed. And I have to say…it was pretty great.

Although I didn’t do as much as I would’ve liked, and I scored a pretty sweet sunburn, I got to catch up with friends, sleep way too much, and just enjoy life sans the fast-paced and hectic work demands. It was lovely. This break from the interwebs was exactly what I needed.

Now I’m ready to get back to the grind that is the work week feeling more refreshed than ever. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s only a 4-day week!

I Tweet, You Tweet.

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