Who’s Got The Scoop On Social Media Etiquette?

Hi folks. This week’s blog is a question to you? Is there an etiquette guru out there covering our behavior on social media? This week I had the privilege to present a refresher workshop on business etiquette. I covered etiquette for emails, calls, meetings, business meals, business cards and of course, social media. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much on that last one. Of course there was lots of stuff about not posting photos of you drunk and sleeping on the office conference table. What I was looking for was the emerging body of accepted Internet behaviors that make up good social media etiquette. For example, it is my sense that if someone follows you on Twitter, you should immediately tweet them a direct “thank you”. Or, if someone follows your blog, it is proper social media etiquette to welcome them within minutes. What is proper etiquette for Facebook? LinkedIn? IM or chats?

 In combing the net for good content on this topic I found a blog I liked and I am sharing a video I found about “When Should You Update Your Relationship Status on Facebook”.

Apparently, it can be awkward when one partner in the relationship posts “in a relationship” while the other remains “single.” It’s the equivalent of being the first in a relationship to say, “I love you” which creates the awkward pause and fear that the sentiment will not be reciprocated. Among all the things to worry about when you are single-and-looking or suddenly-single is your Facebook status. Who knew!

In a discussion about the use of the Web to deliver educational content instead of in a traditional classroom, I heard someone say, “where does it end?” I’m afraid it doesn’t sir, I wanted to say, and to be perfectly honest, it only gets better (or worse) from here, depending on how you feel about the direction that technology is taking us.

 Today I noticed an ATM-like machine at the grocery store that looked out of place. It was in front of the deli section where one would normally walk up and order a pound of head cheese from the person behind the counter. The screen invited me to place my order. I didn’t need anything from the deli so I didn’t try it out. Maybe next time. The grocery store’s investment in this new gadget is banking on the theory that our society is becoming much more comfortable interacting with machines than we are with people. Purchasing something no longer requires you to engage in chit-chat with a cashier. We can scan our own stuff and pay for it without ever talking with anyone. We are increasingly shopping online, banking online and even dating online so that we don’t have to physically be with people. Where does it end?

voicebox diagram

Will this become an expendable body part as our fingers do all of our talking?

I don’t see an end to the ubiquity of technology but I wonder: in time, will our voicebox be downgraded to expendable body part as our fingers do all of the talking? While you ponder that I want to go back to my original question. An entire new set of social norms and behaviors are being adopted every day as we increasingly interact with each other through gadgets and social media. Is someone out there writing that etiquette book?

 If you have any social media etiquette tips that you would like to strongly suggest, please feel free to comment.

 Much Love,


Little Reminders

I am flying back from the 6th Annual NASA MUST Symposium that was held in Florida these past few days. The symposium ended this morning with a roaring applause for the students, the project team, and best of all the 45 students who will be graduating in 2013. They will be conferring degrees that cover a wide spectrum of STEM fields and range from Astrophysics to Mechanical Engineering.

Programs like these are designed to motivate and inspire students. But it isn’t only the students who walk away with a renewed sense of purpose. It affects everybody and I found inspiration at every turn.

There were many nuggets of pure wisdom I took away from the speakers but none deeper than this one here: Believe that you deserve what you’re going after. This little reminder was not a stand-alone quote. It was supported by others like “silence the negative voices in your head” and “anything you blame has more power over your life than you do.” This resonated with me because I am continually plagued by the negative voices around me. The external voices of negativity contribute to the volume of the internal voices of doubt. Another quote that triggered some reflection was: the more success you have the more critics you have. This was a reminder that there are plenty of people who doubt that we will achieve our dreams, so why should we join them? I was reminded this weekend to stay the course.

Another great message I wrote down was “take a leap and grow wings while you’re falling.” When I decided to create Yaya Speaks my vision for what I was doing was that of a large bird taking flight from a high cliff. It made me wonder if entrepreneurs have similar visions or share a pattern of thinking that get them to put their plans into action. This quote reminded me how great it felt to follow my heart.

The underlying message at the symposium was, be fearless to follow your dreams. Brian Wong, Simon Bailey and Heather Fleming were amazing examples of doing just that. But, when you are mid-career with a number of family and fiscal obligations, being fearless is not as easy as it sounds. Like our waistlines, the fear factor multiplies with age. Undoubtedly being young gives you an edge and a much larger safety net. But it’s not too late for us who are in our 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s. We will take less risk but we can still go after what makes us most fulfilled and happy.

For me it wasn’t about being fearless. Fear has been my companion since I started working for myself. It took every ounce of courage for me to give up a paycheck and create my own business. And, even though I live with the fear of failure, of running out of money, of ruining my relationship, I know that I am doing things I would have never had the chance to pursue if I had not tried. Pursuing your dreams is not about being fearless but about having the courage to take a leap of faith.

The MUST Symposium was a great success and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it and for the chance to reflect on my own career journey. I would like to close this week with a message that came to me as I wrote this blog: we are quick to place all our trust in our minds, in our logic and thinking. But, when we don’t trust our heart we miss being the person we are uniquely designed to be.

Much Love,


Procrastinate Responsibly

A moth reviewing it's to-do list

This could only mean one thing: I am a quick-reward junkie!

Hail to the Queen of Procrastination! Yeah, that’s me. In college, I was definitely a master of it. Had a paper due at the end of the semester? –started one week before it was due. Had an exam coming up?-studied the night before. A lab report is due next week? Mañana. Surprisingly, it worked for me. I was still able to get good grades but my sleep cycle was out of whack and stress level was off the charts. Fortunately, I graduated matured.

Well, it’s true that I matured but I still suffer from occasional bouts of procrastination. It’s easy for me to spot a case of it because I use to-do lists. When there is one or two items that make it onto new to-do lists, I know I have a case of the mañanas (put it off until tomorrow). The things that I tend to put off fall into one of three categories: 1. It’s something that is very complicated and will require a great deal of time and concentration (i.e., updating my business plan); 2. It’s something that I “should” do because it’s my duty or obligation (pull up the weeds in the front walk); or 3. It’s boring or tedious (taxes – also falls into first and second categories).

Look, I am not entirely convinced that procrastination is a bad thing. It gets me to do a lot of other things that I wouldn’t ordinarily do such as, dumping out the receipts and gum wrappers from my purse, cleaning out the lint from the tiny vents of my blow-dryer, organizing the hair products in my cabinet and scouring for loose change under my car seats. My blow-dryer could have caught on fire one day had it not been for procrastination! And, now I can pay my tolls, thank you very much. Besides, the one time that I completed a term paper – a whole 2 days before it was due – I got a C+! I was that kid who got A’s on the paper she wrote the night before.  Lesson learned – I write better under pressure.

I am curious as to the root cause of procrastination. Fear of failure or success does not apply to most of the things I procrastinate doing. I mean who cares if I fail or succeed at shredding the bills I paid five years ago?  It just makes it more difficult to file new bills, but otherwise, not a big deal right? Could it be laziness?  I don’t think so. Like I said, my productivity shoots up when I am procrastinating. This could only mean one thing: I am a quick-reward junkie! My days are filled with quick-git-er-done  tasks and it seems that I have become addicted to the adrenaline of completing something in a short time. Basically, if I were an Angry Bird, I would knock down the wooden planks before going for the pig.

Should we change our procrastinating behavior? I would say it depends. It depends on the complexity, output, and audience. It’s not a good idea to put off something that requires the input of others, is a project for your boss, or contributes to your career or lifetime goals. Procrastinating on these types of projects will rob YOU of precious time to analyze, review, modify, practice or execute. But, if your project is to organize your lingerie drawer, well, you can probably put that off until you can’t take it anymore!!  Unless putting off organizing that lingerie stresses you out. Then the answer is DO IT NOW. Stress hormones do a number on our bodies so it’s not worth it. And speaking of bodies, it’s never a good idea to procrastinate on anything that affects your health. Putting off a colonoscopy or a mammogram? Well, as unpleasant as those may sound think how much more unpleasant it would be to hear that something serious could have been prevented had it been caught it in time. Just saying.

Look, we all have things that we wish we could put off until eternity. But if it important, it’s better to just do it or, at the very least, start it. Once you get some of it done, the task doesn’t seem as daunting and, if you’re a quick-reward junkie like me, you will get your fix.

Here is my first entry to this week’s to-do list: schedule your annual exam ALREADY!

Much Love,

Remember your childhood summers?

Remember how great we felt when summer finally came? We were finally free from the jaws of homework and the annoying sound of classroom bells. Hello ice cream truck, short shorts, tank tops and flip flops! Summertime was awesome. We were carefree and didn’t care if our swim suit was too tight, or gave a thought to how many calories were in that Popsicle. I don’t remember ever complaining about it being too hot. Longer days meant longer play. And, visiting family took us out of the city to ride bikes, pick berries, and shoot hoops.

A sun bear

This sun bear looks like how I feel – hot!

You know you’re getting old when you start talking about the good ol’ days. But, those days of childhood freedom came to mind this week as I watched the neighborhood kids light up their fireworks. It was great to see kids playing outside, which today is as rare as spotting a sun bear. I miss those days when this season opened up a great number of possibilities for fun and play. It didn’t matter what grade you were in, if there was a ball, and a bunch of kids, a quick game would ensue. But, unfortunately, due to age, global warming or both, these temperatures are intolerable for my adult body. And, from what I hear, my internal temperature regulator is just going to quit on me, eventually, and confine me indoors for the summer.

Can you say cabin fever?

I went for a run early this morning and thought I would melt. I cleaned my house, not one dish is in the sink, stove is clean, laundry is done. I have watched the most movies I can take, and I am catching up on my reading (http://yayaspeaks.com/2012/05/27/whats-on-your-summer-reading-list/) , but there is only so much reading I can do before my reading glasses start to feel like a brick on my nose. It’s too hot to cook or bake. What is left? Call family, wax legs, exfoliate, do nails. Done, done, done and done.

I think I will pull out those photo albums and wander through the good ol’ days 🙂

Much Love,

Five #PetPeeves That Drive Me Crazy


Picture of a dog peeing

As an English learner, I might at one time thought that pet peeves had something to do with dogs. Check out my blog Lost in Translation! Photo credit: Anatomy of A Cinnamon Girl, http://anatomyofacinnamongirl.wordpress.com.

You might be thinking, what? You only have five?! No, there are more, but these are the ones that just make me scrunch up my nose, squint my eyes and purse my lips or stare blankly ahead so that people don’t notice how annoyed I am. My guess is that we all have low tolerance for certain behaviors. But I wonder, as I look at my list of grievances, what is the trigger? Why are these particular behaviors annoying to me, but maybe not to someone else? Is it our upbringing? A bad experience? Grouchiness? I invite any Psych majors to fill me in. Oh, if you do any of the things on this list, the next time you see me, just pretend you never read this.

  1. Talking during a movie. OMG. Will you shut up already!! Why do you want to have a conversation at the movies? If you wanted to talk, why pay $30?! You could do it outside, for free, and I could actually enjoy the movie. This pet peeve also applies to movie rentals. Just because I have a pause and rewind option does not mean that I want to have a conversation while the movie is playing.
  1. Driving too close. Ever hear about the car-length rule? Apparently some people skipped that section in the driver ed. book. Driving so close to my bumper is not going to make traffic move any faster, get you there any sooner, or make my car get out of the way. If you feel entitled to be 72 inches ahead of me, please feel free to go around. I’m in the slow lane anyway.
  1. People who say “like” or “you know” every 3 seconds. Unfortunately, if you speak like this, I will not have a clue about what you were speaking because my brain likes to count how many times you will repeat that word or phrase. I can’t help it.
  1. Opened doors that should be shut. This one drives me crazy at home. Closet doors, cabinet doors, cellar doors should be closed right after you have retrieved what you needed. My husband believes that these spaces need to aerated – or perhaps that’s his excuse for forgetting to close the doors.  My theory is these spaces get air when we use them. Nothing below the sink, in the storage closet or the linen closet requires oxygen to exist, and if it does, I don’t want it thriving.
  1. People who take an extraordinarily long time to get to the end of their story. Another OMG! Some of us (myself included) sometimes talk in tangents. We may start to tell a story, then remember another equally juicy part that we want to share so we will digress from the original story to fill you in. Other people digress so many times that both me and the story-teller forget what the heck they were talking about!

If you have any pet peeves that drive you up the wall, please share!!

Much Love,