Tag Archives: social media

Allergic To Average 

Everybody is allergic to something. For some its food, for some its fragrances, some even animals or dust. Me? I’m allergic to penicillin. Or so my parents tell me. I don’t know exactly what happens to me if you give me PCN (I learned the medical abbreviation for it a long time ago – it’s something you have to know when you have to write it on EVERY form you ever complete during your entire life). I understand it was given it me as a toddler and the result wasn’t pretty, so doctors suggested I not have it again. So for 40+ years, I’ve been allergic to penicillin.allergic to average

But now, as an adult, I’ve determined I’m allergic to AVERAGE. I know, I know…no one WANTS to be average – whether its standardized tests, work, even how we speak, dress, write or appear in photographs. (Aren’t you glad there are digital cameras now and we can delete the “below average” pictures and only share the really good ones?) But I digress…

When you complete an online or telephone survey about a recent experience – maybe in a store or a restaurant – you’re often asked to rate the experience above or below average. Those of us who work in the public always strive to be above average. We’re also usually a little more disappointed than most when we don’t get above-average service from others.

So are you like me? Allergic to average? Do you embrace an opportunity to be ABOVE average every single day? Maybe it’s by returning phone calls or emails in a timely manner? (I admit, that’s a hard one for me!) Maybe it’s by going “above and beyond” or sending a hand-written thank you note? Or by “paying it forward” for a stranger or public servant?

Statistics show you’re ten times more likely to have a negative experience than a positive one. I challenge you to help me change that statistic. Have an “above average” experience lately? Tell someone! Write an online review. Mail a thank you note. Reward someone. Share it on social media. (Wouldn’t you prefer to see something positive go viral for a change?) Tell me – I’ll share it for you!

Join me in becoming #AllergicToAverage and seeking those businesses and individuals who always strive to be better today than yesterday.

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The season of Lent is among us and I’m reminded of all the many things I’ve tried “giving up” over the years. Some have been successful – some not so much. So this year, in talking with some friends & fellow Rotarians, we’ve decided to try something different. Maybe you’ll find it worthwhile and will choose to be a part of it too.

As a Rotarian, I try to live by the motto “Service Above Self.” Whether it’s volunteering with the local special needs sports program or delivering wheelchairs to spina bifida patients in South America, there are ample opportunities to give back as a Rotarian. But “giving back” certainly isn’t unique to Rotarians. I meet people everyday who inspire me through their giving hearts – whether it’s opening a door for an elderly person or allowing someone with less items to “cut in line” at the grocery store.

Many people look at Lent as their chance to “give up” something important to them for 40 days. This year, I’m choosing to “give back” for 40 consecutive days. I call it “intentional giving.” Let’s be clear – I won’t be writing any big checks to the non-profits I support (I wish I could). I’m talking more about small opportunities – even those that go unnoticed – to “Be A Gift To The World” over the next 40 days.

Each year, the Rotary be a giftInternational President selects a “theme” to represent his year of service. “Ravi” Ravindran, the RI President for 2015-16, chose “Be A Gift To The World” and on that note, I’m inviting all my Rotarian friends (and those of you who aren’t “yet” Rotarians) to join me in this small effort to “give back” rather than “give up.”

Over the next 40 days, look for ways you can “give back,” and if you so choose, share them on your social media using #40Gifts40Days. But for the record, sharing on social media & using this hashtag isn’t about recognition or publicity – it’s about sharing ideas of ways to give back and maybe encouraging others to do the same.  And maybe even filling up social media news feeds with positive news stories for a change!

Maybe it’s a short hand-written thank you note or paying for the meals in the car behind you in the drive-thru. Maybe it’s bringing candy bars to your co-workers or donating unused winter clothes to the homeless shelter. The possibilities are endless for your “intentional giving.”

So when Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, I invite you to join my friends and I in our #40Gifts40Days effort. You may not believe one person can make a difference in the world, but to one person, you may be the world. So be a gift these next 40 days of Lent. I’m certain you’ll be just as blessed as those who receive your gifts.

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What They’re Saying About You

Social media has become such an integral part of our lives that many times we don’t give a second thought to what we’re posting, liking or sharing. I am constantly telling young people to consider what they put on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages because future employers may be looking. But what about those of us already employed or active members of society? Does it not apply to us as well?

Take a few minutes to look through your social media pages. Go ahead. Do it right now. I’ll wait. Ok just kidding – do it after you finish reading this! Here’s your challenge… look at the pictures you’ve posted over the past few weeks. Now look at the pictures your friends have posted and tagged you in.

Are you always at a party or holding a drink in your hand? Are you smooching on your loved one? Complaining about your aches and pains?  Worse yet, venting about your boss or co-workers? Sharing “questionable” jokes or cartoons?

Even though these activities and events may not define you in real life, they may online. Is that the image you want to portray? Do you really need to share EVERYthing you do, say or think? It’s hard sometimes to decide what to share and what not to. And sometimes we get wrapped up in the moment & agree with a “friend” complaining about the DMV.

But would you be a part of that conversation in front of your boss, preacher or in-laws? Maybe you just were. Because whether they “follow” you or not, what is online is permanent. And that isn’t just a lesson for teenagers and college students. Us adults could stand to remember it every once in a while too.

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Famous Last Words

Have you ever thought about the last conversation you had with someone you loved? Did you gossip together? Did you argue? Did you rush through your conversation? Did you say “I love you?”

Unless you never had another chance to speak to that person, you may not remember the answers to these questions,. If you were fortunate enough to have a chance to say “goodbye” to a loved one, then you probably do remember your last talk. But if you lost someone suddenly, you may not.

It’s been almost 10 years since the sudden, unexpected death of my older sister. I barely remember our last conversation – it was “generic” at best. I’ve re-lived my conversations with her and others  who have passed suddenly, but it’s always the same… “What was the last thing we said?”

I was reminded of this last week when a friend died suddenly and I perused through her recent Facebook postings. There were no “re-post this if you agree…” or “my boss gets on my nerves” or “I have a headache” posts. Instead, there was a YouTube video of “How Great Thou Art” by Carrie Underwood and loving photos of her first grandchild, only a few months old.

Just as we should all pay more attention to our conversations with those we love, we should also think twice before we post on Facebook or Twitter…what if this is the last thing people hear from me? Is this how I want to be remembered?

What will YOUR “famous last words” be? They may not go down in history as a quote from someone famous, but they just might be something a loved one can hold on to for a lifetime.

With my sister, Cathy, the night I was crowned Miss Greenville)



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