Ask Jess


Advice Not Found on Google

Time and Productivity // March 2018 • Jess Davis

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What does "conscious connection" mean to you on social media? - @mollybryn

Oh wow. “Conscious” and “connection” are two words that have unfortunately been commoditized and swallowed whole by advertising, media, and capitalistic companies. Let’s try to steal them back :) Consciousness is simply having an awareness of one’s surroundings. Connection used to mean a relationship with a person, place or thing. Today, it leans more towards the social media as a digital leash. But I do feel that there is a chance here to use social media the way it was originally intended….to foster connection. Being connected doesn’t mean 1,246 friends on FB that you never see or speak to. When used consciously we can now connect with strangers across the world. With the click of a button, you can find a date, a person with a shared interest, or someone to admire. But that’s just the first step. Conscious connection means that you take these digital connections, intros, and people you follow, and then try and grow them in real life. Following each other is fine. But if you asked that person for a cup of coffee...what would happen?


Do you let your son use tech?

Ah, parenting and tech. It's so convoluted. Yes, I am trying to follow the guidelines recommended by pediatricians, scientists, psychologists, and some pretty smart folks I have the pleasure of knowing. My son is almost 7 now. We let him have an iPad for about a week when he was two and a half. What his dad and I noticed was that he became, well, not the kid we knew. He threw temper tantrums, he wouldn't go to sleep easily, he wasn't as chatty, he was in a hurry to get inside. The quick and drastic change connected back to the introduction of the iPad, so we agreed to toss it. Yes, though, there are times he gets gadgets. I drive four hours to visit family and that last hour is BRUTAL. Flights? I try, God how I try, to make it all the way….but Hawaii is a little far.


We have some simple rules we try and uphold:

  • iPad is for watching only, and only when absolutely needed. No games, no reading apps, just watching.

  • No phones. He is not allowed to touch them unless it’s a phone call with someone or FaceTime with a grandparent. We have a house line, and we prefer him to use that.

  • TV or "shows" as he calls them: one in the AM while we all get ready and one at night. When he is sick, though, it's like 48 hours straight.

  • Movie night is a special occasion where we have popcorn and sit together facing one screen.


Does this work all the time? NO. DO we try our damnedest? YES. Do we disagree from time to time? YES.


Why do you think we need to rebel?

There’s a quote that sums up how I view our current relationship with tech, consumerism, media, superficiality, prescribed beliefs, societal norms, money, retirement, advertising, news, busyness, perfectionism, college, politics, religion, and so much more.


“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.” - Mark Twain.


We are consistently being pulled down the rabbit hole of “eat me, read me, watch me, buy me, listen to me,” by the Alice-in-Wonderland stupefying that the big corporations, tech companies, and media are using to profit off of us, plug us in, and keep us coming back for more. People are digitally exhausted and addicted, and yet when they feel lonely they turn to their social media feeds instead of another human. We’re being force-fed a diet of marketing garbage convincing us that “fat” is the enemy when in fact it’s the company making us think all the diet drinks and waters full of vitamins are healthy. From the moment we wake a constant barrage of patronizing “not-good-enough-unless-you-have-____-(insert: body, car, house, shoes, attitude, vacation, etc.)-and-we-care-about-you-and-how-you-feel“ advertising and media giving us something to feel bad about and something else we SHOULD strive for. Filling our lives with clothes, celebrity culture, fake news, empty calories, and virtual lives is leaving us unfulfilled. With good reason. The only ones benefiting from all the eyeball awareness, calories, and debt are not the consumers... but the creators.


It’s important to look behind the curtain at who’s pulling the strings to understand how these hidden powers-that-be affect us and to bring to light the distraction traps, deceptions, and tactics of conditioned behaviors. A "question everything" attitude is rebellion in its truest form.


And just to further prove my point —after digging a little into Mark Twain's quote and it's attribution, it is in fact not his, or at least, it can't be proven that he said or wrote it. Refuse to be fooled.


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