I’m Addicted to Instagram!

*City Girls voice:* “Period!”

[In walks Rod Serling]

If you’re up at 3am wandering down the rabbit hole into the weird part of YouTube, you may find yourself watching a “documentary”. This documentary will at some point, if conspiratorial enough, suggest that the world you know is a simulation or otherwise unreal. It’ll point to some dystopian future where every corner is lit up with Times Square-esque billboards and advertisements are beamed directly onto your retina. 🛸 👽

Well, we’re not so far off. 🤷🏾‍♀️

Times Square is in our phones. Always beeping, always on, always accessible. I know, Despite how I sound, I own zero cats. 🐈 🐱

My Matrix is Instagram. It has me firmly by the spinal cord pumping #FOMO and #fitspo directly into my brain. It simultaneously connects and isolates me. It binds us with tangible proof of our shared experiences while celebrating our differences in culture and cause; all the while making us clones. 📠

I know these things. Deep in my big thinky brain I know this, and I still let it get me. 📱👉🏾🧠 I’m worse off than my preteen sister! I grew up with a landline and PBS. Bob Ross was my therapy! How did this happen to me!?

How I know I’m an addict…

1. I’m willfully on the app all the time. I use it to fill my downtime.

2. My thumb can find and open the app subconsciously. Sometimes first thing in the morning; unfortunately setting the tone for a frazzled and preoccupied day.

⏰ 📱🏃🏾‍♀️💨 instead of 🧘🏾‍♀️🙏🏾📿 ✌🏾

3. The number of accounts I follow is disproportionate to the number that follow me. Not that I track it for influence or money, but it shows me that I primarily consume media despite my talent and desire to create it.

4. I label everything #goals. What then must I think of my life if I aspire so hard to take pages from other people’s books? Instagram is a perpetual motion machine cranking out envy and comparison.

5. I am noticeably preoccupied. You know you have a problem when you are constantly stashing your phone. I’m afraid it’s affecting my productivity and ability to have quiet moments with others. Simple intimacy. 🙅🏾‍♀️

They say acceptance and admission come first.

In the spirit of coming clean, I’ll make a few more admissions. I’m also addicted to sugar, I binge watch, and I’m terminally tardy. Please send help. 🚨🚑

What I’m doing to get clean…

1. 9-5 fast. During the working day I delete Instagram. The temptation gets real around lunch time, but it feels good to be productive. I’ve also been purging. I unfollow the accounts I can’t see benefiting me. Ones that me feel like I’m not enough.

2. Screen Time Limit. This new iPhone function tells you exactly how much time you spend BS-ing, and you can set a limit for app accessibility.

⚠️ Warning! ⚠️ It will cut you off mid-post, mid-comment, mid-like. It’s abrupt and effective, but not without temptation. You can delay and essentially press snooze on the limit for an additional 15 minutes, or for the rest of the day. AVOID SNOOZE!

3. “Productivity Blocks”. Set periods of time devoted to getting 🤬 done! At the end I can reward myself with a teeny bump of that good sweet social media. *snorts*

I’m slowly working on it. Choosing to redirect my energies. Sometimes I need reminding. Sometimes I slip. But more than anything I want to be creating moments worth documenting. But I won’t let chasing the perfect lighting take priority. I’ll actually reach out to people. I’ll work at my goals.

However, I will never stop taking pictures of delicious food. Never.

But y’all accept me.

Free yourselves. Find your hang ups, name them, and stare them down.

Update 11/8/18

Here’s an additional resource in the form of a podcast “Therapy for Black Girls” … or any colored persons…

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/therapy-for-black-girls/id1223803641?mt=2&i=1000417841627

Until later,

Update: 1/3/19

I’ve kept up with the 9-5 fast, but unfortunately that now includes Twitter; my paltry drug of second-choice. Thankfully, Snapchat is so unappealing that it has not yet hooked my attention.

I’ve also added an off-the-grid day. Usually a Saturday, most of which I spend with a dead phone. Guiltlessly binge watching on some other device, while washing/folding laundry or cleaning my bathroom.

Plot twist: you can both be a recluse, and a productive young person. Who’d have thunk!?

The holidays were rough. Tucked in at home desperatelyburying yo avoid the “What would you be doing if you were in Miami?” conversations. I spent so much time glued to my screen that I had to take whole naps to rest my eyes. Entire siestas to counteract the phone fiestas! I’m am torn between hiding away from, and actively participating in, my own life. A conundrum.

Caught up in the year-end twilight zone of reflection, aspiration, and regret, I spent what felt like eons looking over my accounts.

Why didn’t I post more? Why don’t I post more? Write more? Travel more? Why isn’t my Instagram more cohesively branded? My messaging more consistent? Why hasn’t my blog taken off? What aren’t I so flawlessly fleek celebrating the New Year in a distant locale?

The comparison monster stuffed my stocking with envy.

On an on. Please help! It’s an ongoing battle: getting clean.

Old Year’s Resolutions 🥂🎆

I’m sure we’re all looking forward to another journey around the sun; visualizing our new bodies 🏋🏾‍♀️, soon-to-be bank accounts 💵, and super fulfilling love lives 👩🏾🧔🏾.

In anticipation for the new year, it would seem that we are trained to accentuate the positives. We want to frame our experiences and shape our personal narratives positively in the hopes of making them so.

In this world somethings must die in order to give rise to what must follow. So that others might live, and take their rightful place and priority in your life.

tenor

Some habits, trips, and relationships can’t be manifested until their predecessors are trampled by a herd of wildebeest. (It was 1994, and it’s still too soon 😔🤭)

You can’t ghost 👻 your real-life problems in favor of an idealized life that resets on January 1st. You can’t leave your lingering family/relationship issues on read or deactivate your adulthood account. That’s unfortunately not how this works. I tried.

Didn’t work. Before you initiate the sweeping changes you have planned for 2018 2019, what are some small changes you can make today? This year?

A lil’ motivation to complete your Old Year’s Resolutions, and step bravely into the unknown.

And finally, I wanna ask you all a question. Inspired by the folks at Shine. “A Daily text to help you thrive.”

Take this poll!

Roze Goes … luv ya!

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The Essential Social Media Marketing Handbook

Let me start off by saying that Gail Martin definitely knows what she’s talking about. For sure. She has an MBA (which is NOT a masters in basketball) in marketing, owns a consulting firm, and has authored other similar books like “30 Days to Social Media Success”. She’s 🔥lit🔥marketing-wise.

*Disclaimer: Not sure if taking pictures of book pages is illegal. Please VHS bootleg 🚔👮🏾‍♀️👮🏾 police, don’t take me to copyright infringement jail!

Structure

The book is broken up into four sections. The first two sections introduce the reader to the themes and platforms of social media. The third and fourth (the really good parts) sections focus on optimization, navigation, and engagement with the communities that develop on particular platforms, and how they can be utilized by certain entities.

Each Chapter begins with a platform that serves as a virtual mascot (I’m punny!) for the Social Media format she analyzes.

Each chapter ends in a “Next Steps”. A mini-list of actions the reader can take to gain experience with/understanding of the type of platform she assesses.

“Next Steps” usually looks like this…

1. Research leaders/influencers using _____.

2. Experiment with sites/platforms that use _____ to create communities.

3. Create _____ account and engage with communities; posting consistently and authentically.

4. Rinse and repeat.

“Next Steps” is followed by an interview with an expert that expounds on how social media fits into their fields. Awesomely, many of the interviewed experts are boss ladies with years of acclaim and experience! It’s a shameless plug, but also highlights organizations, initiatives, and resources to check out when learning about SMM and branding.

Vocabulary/Terms

Law of Diminishing Returns – used to refer to a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.

“Like-know-trust factor” – Martin defines it loosely as the authentic relatable appeal that lends a content creator credibility in the eyes of a reader/viewer.

CRM– Customer Relationship Management

VoIP– Voiceover Internet Protocol

Gamification– collecting user information (preferences, emails, consumer habits etc.) through interactive quizzes, polls, games etc. (ie. Freerice.com and vacay contests)

Lessons/Tips

*Facebook yields less views to paid boosts over time. So their use, if at all, needs to be deliberate.* FB suppresses the use of external media sources in favor of “native media” originally uploaded and posted on FB

* The algorithmic application of ads, proposed connections become less organic. That means the likelihood of you happening coincidentally on a new and fruitful contact decreases with time.

* Use Rafflecopter to host contests and collect emails.

Need!

Ch. 12: Why You Still Need a Website and a Newsletter

Chapter 12 is super clutch! Most of the book is informative, but not instructional, so this chapter is refreshingly direct. It gives a play-by-play on how to structure and utilize information from visitors that choose to stay engaged with your site or platform. Martin lists resources to organize a listserv/e-blasts and how to interact with subscribers.

Chapter 15: Social Media Tips and Tricks for Authors, Speakers, Event Planners, and Content Creators

Now this one you can skip ahead to read! Ch. 15 links together all the values, professions, and platforms that may benefit from utilizing SMM. As a creative, SMM is an integral part of networking, collaborating, sharing, and generating revenue. How we use social media has to be both unique and deliberate while creating our brands. Martin spells out clearly which platforms to use for which art forms and how.

For example, she explores Patreon. A sort of VIP first-access crowdsourcing site that allows niche fans to support an artist and content that they want regular and premium access to.

A lot of cosplay influencers use Patreon to drum up a following and pay for costume creation and appearance logistics. Careful curation of content and mobilization of a base allows them to take their passions full time!

Don’t Need!

Some of Martin’s advice feels like a middle school computer literacy course. Then I realized that I may not have been the intended audience. In some places the handbook feels like “Explaining the Internets to Old People and Corporations” to anyone born after 1980.

*At one point she explains how each feature of the Google Suite works 🤦🏾‍♀️💆🏾‍♀️

* “When in doubt, more tags are better than none.”

I disagree. Too many tags can diminish the impact of a carefully-crafted post meant to hold value with specific audiences. Plus, it makes you look like a thirsty hype beast. #funny #jokes #internethumor #same #duh

Roze Gold score: 👍🏾👍🏾/👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

An overall really informative breakdown of social media platforms and and their growing applicability and reach that they exhibit to businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals. I’d reccomend.

I’ll be reading and reviewing all year long! What other books would you like me to review? What books should I read for fun?

What I learn, I share. Cuz I love y’all.

Roze Goes,

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#LFTU SELF Assurance 

Close your eyes and imagine the following. Well, just close one eye, you still gotta read.

spongebob-rainbow-of-imagination-reaction-gif

Imagine studying tirelessly for years; working day in and day out to eventually win the title of medical doctor. Only to have 80% of your patients think they can out-diagnose you with WebMD. Everyday your many years of study, apprenticeship, and practice questioned by someone that can’t even spell what they think they have, and worse yet, are responsible for making themselves sick!

That’s  what you look like second guessing the captain of your own ship – you! {*cough*Roze!}

You’ve circled the sun so many times. You’ve watched your entire life play out in front of you in Hi Def. Yet and still you doubt the most accurate account of your life to have ever been created. You’re so full of doubt that you’d let someone else write your autobiography!

55550-spongebob-square-pants-spongebob-gif

Failure is an impeccable teacher. Unfortunately, what we sometimes learn, is that we can’t trust ourselves: our instincts, our feelings, our ability to make decisions. So you subscribe to outlets and newsletters promising that they can help you de-clutter both your brain and closet. Before long, you wind up with an inbox full of so many other people’s two cents that you are slowly going bankrupt. Letting ’em drown out the inner voice you used to cultivate.

Now we read things like:

  1. 10 Trends Our Editors Predict for 2017
  2. 8 Ways to Get Ahead in Your Career Field
  3. Eat THIS to get the body of your Dreams!
  4. Celebrities Swear by THIS Special Secret Blood Ritual
  5. Don’t Poop Until You Read This!

Can you tell I really like The Wiz? #TeamUzoAduba

I get it. We’ve messed up. We’ve made terrible decisions with our credit, ambitions, outfits, favorite colors, and relationships. It’s easier to think someone else is doing better, or even doing it better. You’d rather be vanilla yogurt than admit you’re afraid of what might come tumbling out of your big dumb facehole.

You do a little comparing because it makes you feel good. If someone is doing better than you, the work is half done. Now, all you have to do is follow their instructions. But they can only half-teach you how to become the Metro PCS version of them. Guidelines can be gleaned from others. Little pearls of wisdom. You can’t steal their necklace, no matter how shiny.

Take my dawg Patricia here. I don’t actually know her. She makes helpful YouTube videos. Her numbers might suggest that her videos are unpopular, and maybe she’s compare herself to other YouTube-ers. Nonetheless, she’s living her truth and exploring her niche.

By now my inner voice is cracked and raw. Sometimes I have to silence my whole life to hear it. Too long I was telling it to hush, hiding it in the utility closet whenever company would come. I’ll shush my whole life to hear myself. I don’t trust anyone else more. Not anymore.

In parting, I leave you with the words of Katt Williams. A famed professor of culture current events… till that middle-schooler. {sadface}

It’s the assurance of your MF SELF!

(Ignore the cursing. Just swap out the references to ladies, fellas. This applies to you too!)

Roze Goes,

In search of a quiet place to listen to herself …

Roze Goes Footer

BEYONDSLAY: Miami Got Into Formation

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Strobing HEAVILY for Bey-bae! Highlighter on max, fro on lush.

Pre-Show:

I got to my seat WAY early and played chicken with the concession lines; debating with myself about whether or not Bey was worth missing or starving for. I starved, no question.

DJ Khaled, serial collaborator and Snap Chat Inspirational Speaker Inception-ed us by bringing out another unnamed DJ while he performed a slew of his favorite ad-libs and hype-man bits from singles spanning the 2000’s. He brought with him  a slew of artists that performed snippets and kept the crowd entertained.

Features

2 Chainz (the artist formerly know as Tity Boi), Yo Gotti, Lil’ Wayne (surprisingly NOT dead), and even (Father Time) Trick Daddy dusted off his old bones and performed his verse from the ever-popular urban-affirmation hit “I’m So Hood!”

Concert:

At the far end of the arena was the stage, and on it was a dimly lit giant white cube; an almost imperceptible seam running the length of it. Finally, the cube comes alive. Slowly, it begins to rotate and a fervor tears through the crowd. We’re all speculating.

 Will the cube open to reveal Queen Bee? Is she going to emerge from under the stage? What song will she perform first?

The show opens with the Superbowl 50 controversial single “Formation”. Bey comes out with her dancers serving us all-black corseted Zorro realness!

Beyoncé: “Ladies if you think you slay, say ‘I slay.’ ”                                                                                      

Me: “I slay!”                                                                                                                                                          

Beyoncé: “If you came out tonight to have a good time, say ‘I slay.’ ”                                                            

Me: “I slay!!!”                                                                                                                                                                  

Beyoncé: “If you work hard, pay your own bills, and don’t need nobody else, lemme hear you say I slay.’ ”                                                                                                                                                                              

Me: [screams] ” I SLAAAYYYY!!!” [vomits]

The whole concert was an artfully arranged mashup of some of her greatest songs. From tracks on the recently released Lemonade, all the way back to “Me, Myself, and I”. She worked in contemporary hits like O.T. Genasis’ song “Cut It” retooled with her classic hair-flipping, shoulder-bouncing choreography. She even paused briefly to turn the cube purple as fans sang along to “Purple Rain” in a touching tribute.

You can read all about the lineup and her several costume changes anywhere on the interweb. What you can’t find anywhere else is the renowned Roze Goes significance.

Takeaway:

I left the concert reinvigorated. I was entertained and inspired by a black woman who is beautiful inside and out. I learned, and was reminded of, a few things:

  1. Everyone and anyone can slay, no matter your circumstance!
  2. Black women are what dreams are made of! The actresses, dancers, musicians, songwriters, choreographers, stylists and all others involved with this behemoth of a project. All invaluable. All purposed.
  3. I gotta get fit! That woman danced for HOURS, and didn’t once sound tired. Her thighs were immaculate!
  4. Issues, real life issues visit everyone. No one is safe, and not even money can insulate you from everything. Your life is just as important, and your problems just as real. You have the same 24 hours as Bey and can do with them whatever you wish.
  5. Use your gifts. Beyoncé put money in the pockets of all the professionals in the stadium that evening. There is no reason why you shouldn’t do what you can, and use what you can to be as fulfilled as possible.
  6. Blackness is performed however you want. She’s been catching so much flack for using profanity, expressing social justice themes, and shedding a light on a culture that she had always been a part of, but somewhat removed from. She is (and we are) collard greens, neckbones, negro, creole, conservative, or whatever have you.

 

Here’s what else you can’t get just anywhere. My fellow blogger Wise Kouture’s Formation Inspired look book.

She doesn’t know it yet, but she’ll be helping me put together my Birthday/Halloween Costume… {coughs Beyoncé!}

And finally, the thing that I think brought you all here…

 

As always, kiss you mom for me. Today’s my Mom’s birthday! Love you, Betty!

Roze Goes