Digital minimalism: the future of social media.

Published by Kitchener Today

There’s a new trend in town, one that promises engaging conversations – minus sneaky glimpses at phones. Digital minimalism is driven by a quest for tranquility and inner contentment – but what will this detachment mean to those who make a living online?

Local influencer, Azra Gregor – mindset coach, blogger and owner of Matrescend – says she “began as a mom blogger who wrote honest reflections of the many ups and downs of motherhood – something that wasn’t all too common back in 2015. That niche has exploded since then and I begin to feel a pull to expand on the topics I discussed online.”

Rather than measuring her personal success based on the number of followers she has she says, “it’s the one-on-one connections. I find that I’ve gathered many new friends and genuine connections, so it has never felt like a job to me.”

“It is a universal truth that less people will see your post in their feed than they did 2-3 years ago, however; which translates to a lesser amount of likes per post. I simply see it as change, not less success.”

How has/will Instagram’s removal of ‘likes’ change your business?

I think that there are a million factors at play when it comes to how well a business will do. That said, I’m not too concerned about “likes” being removed – it’s an artificial showing of how many people truly connected to your post. I know my message will still resonate with those it is meant to.

What does the future hold for online influencers?

There are so many people working with brands and writing blogs these days that it’s hard to keep up! I don’t think that will stop. But I do think that more people will get tired of the inauthenticity of sponsored posts and try to niche down to make more meaningful connections. At one point we all have to realize there’s a social responsibility we have to the public and our kids regarding what kind of content we produce.

What would you say to your followers who wish to take a break from social media?

Just do it! Start with a few days and lead up to a week. If it makes you terribly anxious, it’s probably a sign that you’re letting it affect you too much.

What do you love the most/dislike the most about social media?

What I love about social media is the potential it has to connect like-minded people so they feel less alone. What I dislike is the power it has to influence massive amounts of people and how it’s turning into a marketing platform.

Will you regulate your children’s access to social media?

In my world, the kids won’t have a phone until they’re at least 11. That means no tablets for my toddlers. We’ll see how realistic that is when the time comes! They’re still little.

What is online authenticity?

We don’t realize how much is a produced show with people as actors – which is fine for entertainment purposes. What I have an issue with is when people start jumping on bandwagons solely based on what someone has said or promoted – that doesn’t sit well with me. Meet these people in real life before going and changing your entire diet or wardrobe based on what one person eats or wears. The danger with following influencers and trends online is that critical thinking often goes out the window.

Azra is speaking, on this topic, on June 13 at The Causerie in Kitchener.

An open letter to my daughter

As your mother, I worry.

I grew up in a much different world than you will, one that allowed privacy and encouraged imagination.

You will be inundated by over-stimulation, and at times, intruding transparency.

My childhood was riddled with wardrobe faux pas and cosmetic malfunctions, that thankfully never saw the light of day.  You, on the other hand, will have access to editing and filters that will disillusion your self-image and derange your definition of beauty.

And as your mother, I worry.

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When I was growing up, I didn’t know what people thought about me unless they said it to my face.

You are being raised in a society that defines likability with social analytics, and the sentiments of online trolls who find courage behind a digital curtain.

And as your mother, I worry.

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Underneath the facades and the high expectations of a digital world I want you to be able to see the truth.

I loved you before I knew the colour of your hair or the length of your eyelashes.

I was rooting for you before you took your first step.

I have respected you since you uttered your first “no”.

Remember this, because this is what unconditional love is.  There weren’t any filters that made me feel this way about you.  My adoration has no price or limitation.

Long before #metoo daughters were conditioned to accept less, inundated with belittling mantras that said those who hurt you do it because they like you.

Find the ones that don’t use demeaning tactics to gain your affection.

Please don’t accept less.

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For now, you reside under my protective wing.  I have control over the direction of your life, but it won’t be long and this season will pass.

I will have to let you go.

And as your Mother, I will worry.

So, remember this –  strong women have brave ideas and purpose is not fulfilled while hiding behind filters.

You are not the words that others use to define you.

When you can, break the mold.

Seek unconditional love and create a life that makes you want to pinch yourself because this is what dreams are made of.

And as your mother, I will try not to worry…

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What is PR Anyway?

If PR was described using an emotion it would be empathy. Reputation, like trust, is earned and can easily be lost. A PR professional is there to help you define your demographic, understand their needs and build a relationship that mutually benefits both parties.

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Defining public relations.

The simplest way to define public relations is – the relationship between an organization and its publics. Publics can be defined as employees, clients, shareholders and the surrounding community.

PR is about building relationships. It’s a give and take between two parties while maintaining two-way communication.

If PR was described using an emotion it would be empathy. Reputation, like trust, is earned and can easily be lost. A PR professional is there to help you define your demographic, understand their needs and build a relationship that mutually benefits both parties.

No spin. No lies. No facades.

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Who needs PR?

  • Talent
  • Businesses
  • Charities/Nonprofit Organizations
  • Public figures
  • Hospitals
  • Cities
  • Everyone who has an audience, client, employee, community or following.

What does a PR professional do?

Quite simply we are expert communicators. Our avenues of communication include social media, media relations, internal and external speaking engagements, multimedia, events, blogs, and publications.

PR is strategic, persuasive and motivated. We are storytellers, self-producing content that encourages engagement and promotes a positive reputation.