Saturday, January 14, 2017

Social Saturday: Let's Get To Know Each Other


There's nothing quite as fun as finding someone you can connect to on a deeper level, whether that's through reading a blog, keeping up with a YouTube channel, or even scouring a Twitter feed. From Instagram to Snapchat to Google+ to LinkedIn, we spend our days more connected to other people than ever before - and while we're always seeing news articles about how important it is to limit "screen time" and "unplug" for a while, I'm not sure I like those concepts entirely, and here's why.

Social media allows me to interact with my loved ones on my time - allowing for the quiet I sometimes need on the day when I'm extra anxious, extra busy, or extra depressed. On the other hand, social media keeps me connected - if people who care about me don't hear from me for too long, they bombard me with messages until I come out of the funk to check in. There are days when this level of connectivity is a godsend for me, as I cherish the reminders that I am present in the thoughts of those who care about me.

Social media has enriched my life and brought friendships back to me that otherwise might have been lost. When I was sixteen, my mother and I moved to Tennessee from our little central Florida town, and while it was a great adventure for me that opened up so many things in my life (and saved mom and I from some rather urgent circumstances), this also cut me off in a very painful way from friends that I had been close with all of my life. I missed them terribly - and while the internet was just starting to find its way into many homes, for a long time, mine wasn't one of them. Letters between my friends and I (the few that I had even had time to say goodbye to) became fewer and farther between, and eventually the number of times mom and I moved stopped the letters from finding me at all. I had lost touch with people that I had loved dearly ... but Facebook gave those people back to me. All of them. And I know sometimes we get too tied to our devices and we forget to look away from our screens to spend time with real people, but the truth is, while I get just as overwhelmed with social media as anyone else, I can't help but love it for the way it keeps me connected to my friends, my family, and you, my readers.
Still, I'm not signed on to on every platform, and I'm not always active on the ones I use - but I'm out there, and I'd love to interact with my readers on a more personal level. So while you're enjoying your Saturday, why don't you spend a few minutes checking out my social media profiles? Follow me when you stop by, and make sure to leave a comment so that we can get to know each other a little.

To get in touch with me on the platforms I use most often, like me on Facebook, check me out on Instagram (@AuthorBrandiKennedy), and follow me on Twitter (@BrandiKennedy84). I use each of these profiles differently (other than sharing my blog links), so each one is a great way for you to follow and interact with me on your level - but following me on all three platforms will mean you'll see me in at least one of your newsfeeds most days of the week.

I'm on Google+ too, though I don't remember to use it as often as I probably should, and for those of you who are into it, I'm on Pinterest. I pin lots of things on there, from hair to makeup to hotties to books. There's more, too, but that was a run-on sentence already. Just like with Google+, my Pinterest use is sporadic - but it's worth watching if you're into fashion, food, fun, movies, books, journaling, positivity, and/or mental health hacks.

I send out a monthly newsletter that catches you up on any big news you might have missed out on here. It's a great way to make sure you stay up to date on all the biggest things happening with me and if you'd like to receive that newsletter, you can subscribe to it here. While you're subscribing, you might also want to subscribe to this blog here - that will ensure that you NEVER miss a post, because they'll come directly to your email box! Convenient, huh?

Want to step up your subscription benefits? A great way to show love to me specifically is to support me on Patreon. Patreon is a sort of monthly "tip jar," where you can commit (on a monthly basis) to supporting your favorite artists in exchange for certain subscriber-only benefits. For as little as $1 a month, you'll gain access to an exclusive newsfeed that will include short stories, blog-style postings, memoirs, and (as I begin to reach my Patreon goals) more!

And if you're not really the subscribing type, or if you're a blog lover like me, check me out on Bloglovin'! Bloglovin' is a great site (and app) for following all the blogs you love best - it pulls all the newest content right into one clean dashboard you can scroll through at your leisure. It's like turning all your favorite blogs into a customized magazine with only the content you love.

I'm also on LinkedIn (although I rarely ever use it) and for those of you who prefer more personal and less public interaction (or for those who might be interested in booking a sponsored post on this blog), you can always just send me a good ol' private email at authorbrandikennedy@gmail.com. This is an email that I check personally, but since I'm squeezing it between writing and everything else, just know that I don't always manage to get back to everyone right away.

The last (and perhaps my most favorite) way to get in touch with me is through the regular, old fashioned postal system. You can send mail to me at my P.O. Box, and I might even talk about it here. You could drop a postcard, a letter ... anything you like. For those of you who follow me because of my novels, if you send me a paperback copy of any of my books, along with adequate return shipping, I will be happy to sign the book and send it back to you. I'll probably even sneak some swag stuff and surprises into the package because I'm fun like that. The address is:

Brandi Kennedy
P.O. Box 12035
Knoxville, TN 37912

So go on, check me out. I'd love to get to know you better! And ...



Questions for the Comments Section:
  • What's your favorite social media outlet, and why?
  • What are your views on the idea that we should be limiting screen time?

28 comments:

  1. FB but I am trying to limit my time on there this year. I realize I spent way to much time on there last year. I do love to be able to use to keep in touch with my family and friends I don't live close. I'm doing more stuff around my house and reading more (print books) so I'm not as digital boound. While I never see myself getting off FB totally I hope to have more balance in my life with social media. I also have an Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram accounts but never really use them that much were I feel I need to scale myself back. My goal this year is to be more healthy and balanced in my life
    PS I'm loving these blogs. I may not comment on them all but know I read everyone and treasure them. I hopoe to be able to meet you in person one day as I really feel like I know you after following your for so long. Are you doing any signing this year? I'm not goign to many but we me being in Ky and you in TN I thought maybe we might end up at the same one

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    1. I can totally understand trying to tone down some of the time spent on social media, especially if it's being used to the detriment of your home life and activity levels. I definitely like it better when I'm more active, and it's hard to be really engaged in real life when you're tied to virtual existence so much! Balance is a major factor in this, just like with all things ... it's important not to go too far in either direction, I think.

      I'm so glad you like my posts - it's always a thrill to see your comments here and know you've come back again! I'd love to meet you too - unfortunately my recent split with my kids's dad cleared my signing schedule for this year. With him not really in the picture, I'm the sole caretaker for my daughters, so there's no one else to count on to allow me much time for travel. However, I'd love to schedule a meetup if you find yourself in the Knoxville area - shoot me an email to let me know when, and I'll see if I can meet you for coffee or something!

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  2. all of them , maybe a preference for FB and linkedIn because FB helps my blog growing and LInkedIN helped me to find a job, but even if i am dependent of all those SM, i am trying to spend my commute time reading the paper book just because we should disconnect a little from technologie.

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    1. I agree - it's important to spend a little time disconnected - it's healthy to take time away sometimes, too, just to give your eyes and your mind a break from all the constant input.

      But I also agree about Facebook being good for strong blog growth! I've been promoting more actively there recently, and have seen enough of a spike in views that I can say confidently that I know exactly where they came from.

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  3. Good points and love the post. I was ever really big on social media until I started blogging... I used Facebook merely to keep up and in contact with my friends and family. It's such a great outlet to make new friends and we have made so many this past year.

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    1. I agree! As well as getting back in touch with friends and family that I hadn't spoken to in years, I've made friends on there that I think will be a part of my life for the rest of my life. It's amazing how much contact social media gives us - so many opportunities to touch each others' lives and make connections with like-minded people.

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  4. I agree with you about Facebook. I moved out far away from my house, but I can still be in touch with my old friends! I checked your Pinterest as well- looks really nice!

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    1. I think that's the best thing about it - being able to keep in touch with people you love even though you may not be able to drop in at their house anymore. With in internet and social media, distance doesn't have to be distancing anymore.

      Glad you liked my Pinterest! It gets a little cluttered sometimes, but I love it there!

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  5. Monthly newsletters is a great thing. I need to create one. I'm on Instagram as @bon_voyage_luv mainly.

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    1. Thanks - they're handy in that you get instant delivery right to someone's email box. So you don't have the same issues with trying to get around social media algorithms and things like that.

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  6. I like Facebook for keeping in touch with family and friends also. I reconnected with several friends from high school that way.

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    1. That has made it so meaningful to me - getting back in touch with people I was friends with in my childhood was an amazing thing, and being able to catch up so effortlessly is great. Now we're all watching each other's kids grow up, thanks to the connectivity of the internet.

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  7. A lot people like to focus on the negative social media can bring, but when used in a pleasant manner and utilized to create relationships, the outcomes are so beneficial! Connecting with others from around the world who share your interests is a great way to network and contribute to globalization!

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    1. I was just having the same conversation with someone the other day. She was saying how social media is so bad and so depressing because all you see on your media feed is bad news and inappropriate content and things like that. Well, I brought up MY feed and showed it to her - mine is full of people who encourage me and lift me up, and content from pages that do that same. I told her it's all about who and what you follow. Even with the people you're friends with - if they're in the habit of sharing content you don't like (but you can't just unfriend them for whatever reason) you can choose to block content you don't want to see.

      Needless to say, she was amazed and gratified to be reminded that she still has that kind of power over what she takes in, even when it comes to the internet.

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  8. I'm a fan of Pintrest and Instagram. But my WHOLE family is on Facebook....so that keeps me there too. It's crazy how many ways to 'connect' there are now!

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  9. I love using Facebook since all my relatives and close friends are mostly on it. I can easily be ipadted what's new with them. IG is love because of the photos that they normally post there.

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    1. I think each platform has it's own strengths for sure! For me, Facebook is my regular daily use for personal connection with friends and family - but I find that I have the most interaction with readers right here. Aside from that, I find the best business networking on Instagram.

      I haven't found the right thing for Twitter yet - or maybe I'm just using it wrong.

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  10. Thanks for linking your socila media, had a peak at your IG account. As for Google+ I've never really realized how that is used, but Im thinking about setting up an account in the near future. I'v never heard of Patreon before, I will definitely look this up. My favourite social media outlet is one we only have in my country, but my favourite global SM outlet might be instagram due to the visual content. I love photos! I also think that limiting screen time would do us good in the long run, and I am trying that myself.

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    1. No problem, and thanks for checking me out! Good luck with your screen time goals - I don't have any myself, since most of my friends, family, hobbies, and business efforts are online or digitally oriented.

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  11. I don't have an account with every social media network and I purposely limit the time I spend on Facebook not because I get hooked but because I often find people posting too many info & most of the time negative stuff. But well, to each his own so we just let people be right? IG has been my outlet and super favorite. It's helped me stay in touch with friends & how they added Stories has also been fun.

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    1. Don't forget that you can limit the negativity you see on Facebook. You can't control what other people post, but you do have lots of control over what you're exposed to. Use your privacy settings carefully, and don't be afraid to block or unfollow pages that post content you'd rather not see.

      In the meantime, Instagram is definitely a great alternative - I love the visual aspect of it myself.

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  12. I love my blogging but i do find it challenging to handle the social media aspect. I currently have a FB page just for my blog so I try to stay with that one mostly. I am trying to go to Instagram more.

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    1. You will likely find lots more interaction there - I certainly have!

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  13. I like keeping in touch on some social media. Google is my preferred but I do use facebook as well.

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    1. You might be the first person to tell me that you prefer Google - that's new for me. Most of my social interaction (especially in a personal sense) is on Facebook or Instagram.

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  14. I love social media!! In my personal life I love thousands of miles away from my besties and family so I get to connect with them daily!!! In my blogging life, well that's where my readers are!

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    1. That's pretty much exactly why I love social media so much. I live in Tennessee and my best friend lives around an hour away. My other two besties are in Texas and Florida, and most of my other friends are spread all over the world. I'd be a lonely girl without social media.

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