Social Media Sobriety

Today I found myself getting caught up in Facebook posts for almost an hour, which made me think of all of the time we must waste on social media. There are people in this world with the most creative minds and talents, yet social media has become such a distraction, they spend more time online than they do working on their craft or taking advantage of the opportunities. This very post is an example of putting off writing to waste non-value-add time looking through social media. For what? I did not find out anything interesting, nor did it advance my writing craft in any way. This post could have been completed 30 minutes ago if I had not been distracted by others’ photos, videos and posts. What a shame.

What makes social media so addicting? Sadly, it is mostly because it is mindless and gratifying activity. It is easy to do and results in high reward, often. We are thrilled to get new comments, likes and attention on our profile, and to do it, all we have to do is post a picture and a moderately-clever caption. It makes us feel like people like us! There are not many other things in life we can say has high reward and low effort or risk. Usually, high rewards come with a high investment of time, money and energy.

Conversely, we can be putting some energy into a skill we have a passionate for and EARN a return, not be handed one. Doesn’t that sounds more gratifying? …… I know, sounds tiring.

It has been proven that when we receive a notification or like on social media, it releases endorphins to our brains to make us feel good. This feel-good feeling is addicting, similar to that of a drug. We are a generation of social media-addictions and it is an epidemic. For myself, I went on a months-long hiatus of abstaining from social media. I literally feel like I was telling people about my lengthy sobriety journey when I would talk about it.

Recently, in joining the field of real estate, heavily set in social media, so I have been back on it. Ideally, social media is supposed to be a good resource for getting leads, networking, etc. but I have found it has broken my social media-sobriety (we will call it), making it more difficult not to get caught up in its antics.

Breaking the social media habit can only lead to us being more productive and more present in our world. I am going back to my social-media sobriety journey starting today. I encourage you to do the same! Let’s kick this habit and start doing the things worth spending that time on!

“You’re Interviewing Them As Much As They Are Interviewing You”

This quotation is one I have always carried with me throughout various job interviews over the years. It is a reminder of our worth as well as of the power we possess in making our own decisions.

Currently, I am interviewing with real estate brokerages to find a fit for me. When making the decision to decline or accept a new position, we are forced to reflect back on our values.

What do we consider to be most important to us? Do we believe this company aligns with what is important to us?

“You’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.” I would even slightly disagree with this statement and argue that we are interviewing them MORE than they are interviewing us. A company does not know what we, as an individual, value. How could they? They only know what THEY are looking for a candidate to possess to be qualified for the ROLE.

But do they know that you value a flexible schedule because your daughter has piano lessons every other Wednesday night at 4pm? Do they know that you value mentorship over online teaching because you are better at learning hands-on? Or do they know that you value having a positive working environment over any pay-increase they may offer to you?

No. They don’t. Only you know what your values are and, conversely, a company can only know what their own values are. Interviewing is an opportunity for you to find out whether or not you and a company’s values are aligned. So, back to my point. You are interviewing THEM, first and foremost.

As a pre-interview exercise, I would suggest writing out the values that are important to you. Though money is important, I do encourage you to think of values beyond the monetary. This will hopefully provide a clearer understanding about what you would be looking to hear, see and question for before going into the interview room. .

In considering my current options with this in mind, I have to trust my gut, to a degree, to cue as to whether or not my values are harmonious in this decision. I personally can physically feel angst in my gut when something is not agreeing with me (beyond the hot falafel sauce I had for lunch), so in making this decision, I trust it.

The values I consider most important in making this decision are the following:

  • Support
  • Responsiveness
  • Mentorship
  • Professionalism
  • Growth/ Learning
  • Personal-worth
  • Goal-setting/ ability to fulfill my personal goals

After this reflection, I believe I have made my decision.

The company will take you, but will you take them?


Introverted Networking

The angst that builds in anticipation of having to attend a networking event has yet to subside. Though, I don’t expect it ever will.

T-25’s Shawn T had once said, “You grow when you are pushed outside of your comfort zone.” Now, yes, he was referring to doing that 11th burpee when you thought you were only expected to do 10, but this holds true in all facets of life.

Today I have a real estate investor networking, which I attend every month. There is this sort of conflicting feeling I have before the event…. Usually the thought about whether or not I should go.

On one hand, I want to work out, and get home after a long day at work to hang with my family, EAT, read my book, write and maybe watch Moving Art on Netflix, if I’m feeling really wild (Yeah, I’m really that boring).

In addition, my personality as an introvert inhibits this combative thought, similar to one I imagine a prey have when in the face of their predator.

I just want to run when I am confronted with having to attend social events filled with strangers. I know many people have these same sort of feelings toward networking—feeling super awkward, insecure and out of place in the room—and that is normal.

The people I perceive to be not-normal are those who don’t feel that way. Yeah, you know them. Those weird people who thrive in a social environment… Yeah, quite the contrary.

Currently, I am already stressing my attendance at this event. I go every month, meet new people every time, yet somehow it never gets less awkward.

Still, as much as I want to cop out of going, I never regret attending once I am there. This is something I have to remind myself of every time I try to convince myself, “I can’t go this time, I… [Insert excuse here]”.

The first networking event I ever attended, I stayed in the back of the hall with my notebook scribing, “The, The, The” over and over again. Yup, I was essentially a procrastinating SpongeBob. (See below)


Luckily, my mentor had finally arrived and I stuck to him like white on rice.

I am not proud of such clinginess (Yes, boys, you’ve been warned), but it was like being at a party where the person you came with is the only one you know in the whole room.

Thankfully, he began to introduce me to other seasoned investors at the event as his assistant, and finally after 45 minutes of being a wallflower, my mouth had opened.

“Uhhh, yeah… I help Mark find deals,” I stuttered.

“Oh that’s great. What market do you focus in?”

“I look in North Jersey, Central Jersey, and Shore Points.”

They laughed jovially.

“So, all of New Jersey basically.”

I realize then my focus was probably too broad.

For a follow-up embarrassment, they asked, “How many deals have you done with Mark?”

Where of course, I shamefully answered, “None, but we almost had a one once.”

I could not get over the magnitude of humiliation I experienced talking to these experienced investors about almost-deals.

Still, after the event had concluded, I made some viable connections with people who I continue to see every month and make more and more connections every time.

These networking events are far outside of my comfort zone, but that is just the reason why I push myself to go.

Networking is scary and tiresome but so necessary because one connection can catapult your success.

You never know who you might meet.