Follow Me

The power of the follow.  The impact that one person’s message can have on another by following, liking, sharing, or commenting on something written by another.  The sudden explosion of awareness that occurs when someone with many followers “likes” what you have to say.  It is an amazing responsibility.

I sometimes wonder how much thought is put into that responsibility.  How those that are in the spotlight decide on what to like.  How closely they need to keep in check everything they do and say.  Do they realize the power that they hold?

Yes, even if a message is ignored, it is still communication.  It sends a message that what you have to say is not important.

Communication is a funny thing.  It happens constantly.  Sometimes it is subtle and sometimes it is in your face obnoxious.  Sometimes the communication is the simple ignoring of a message by another.  Yes, even if a message is ignored, it is still communication.  It sends a message that what you have to say is not important.  The simple seeing that someone has viewed your message as shown by the technology identifying your little picture, the word “Seen”, “Read” or the fateful “Delivered” but then never “Read” is woven into many applications we use today.  It is almost a mocking of “yes, I saw what you had to say, but it isn’t important to me” without that person ever having to say a word.

Of course with the increase in followers, the increase in types of social media available, the increase in everything that we can do to put our message out there, is it any surprise that it has become increasingly more difficult to communicate effectively?  Not only is it hard to weed through all the messages, tweets, articles, posts but how does one determine the validity and truths within the messages that barrage us daily? In many ways, we are getting better at throwing messages out there but we are not very good at reading them, listening to them, trying to understand them, analyzing them for their true meaning.

With the “big data” buzz we have overwhelmed our senses.  Is it any wonder that we are now trying to hide out in our homes?  Order what we need through Amazon.  Place orders online to be picked up in parking lots.

Do we even care about interacting with others or do we just want to spew messages everywhere? Is it any wonder our thoughts race and everyone seems to suffer from some form of attention deficit? 

With the perpetual message barrage, how does one figure out how to focus on any one thing, any two things, any number of things put in front of us via technology every single day.  How in the world does one determine who to follow, who to allow into the feeds that will affect the messages seen, the truths to be believed based on the enormous amount of information shared by those we follow.

Then there are the famous “algorithms” that allow for the technology to further streamline what they believe one should see.  What messages are being excluded because of some “algorithm”?  Do we start to feel that we are under a microscope because we see advertisements based on what a friend might be thinking of buying?  Does it not offend us that we are being manipulated by the ever watching “big brother” that is social media?

So what is the message that I have?  Set down the technology and go out into the world.  Meet someone new.  Have a conversation.  Look into their eyes and see the soul that is deep within.  Lean in and really listen.  Do not think of how to respond until the person is done sharing their message.  Ask questions to clarify that you understand.  Pause, listen and learn.   Then, let me know how it turns out.


Raissa Urdiales
Raissa Urdiales
Raissa lived most of her life along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. She currently lives in the quiet city of Tega Cay, South Carolina, just across the border from the very active art community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Raissa has not always considered herself as an artist. She spent a great portion of her adult life staring into computer screens and managing computer system implementations and upgrades in the traditional corporate setting. It was through a chance paint night that she discovered her passion for painting. On her 51st birthday, she treated herself to some acrylic paints and brushes and has not stopped painting since. She balances her passion for creating with her day job as a systems analyst. In the wee hours of the morning, you will find her painting before she immerses herself in the technology that is consuming the world today. Although Raissa does not have formal training in the arts she is very conscious of the benefits it has on the human psyche. She holds a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Psychology where she focused her studies on Organizational Psychology. Through her corporate career, she has learned how to strike a balance between that which provides monetary reward and that which fulfills us as humans. For her, this balance is obtained through painting, writing, and exercise. She is currently a member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists where she exhibits select pieces during the quarterly art shows in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. She has also submitted and is featured regularly in the Light Space & Time online gallery. When she is not painting or working with computer systems, she is writing. She currently has a column with BIZCATALYST 360° named “Artful Being” where she writes on topics both in and out of her corporate life to help others gain balance on what it is to be human.

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  1. More and more school, work, leisure are confined within virtual spaces, non-places, entities almost bleak abstraction: web sites, shopping malls, anonymous office towers. However, continues to be important the social need to get back together physically. The Mediterranean Countries, first the Greece, had invented the Agorà, which was the heart of the polis, where was facilitated the integration between classes, races and generations, where lived together public and private, secular and religious, gossip and denunciation, joy and mourning. In a nutshell, at the Agorà, outdoors, man is part of civilization. In social networks the square becomes global, computer networks and social networks play, on a planetary scale, relational networks that the Agorà allowed only locally. The Agorà undergoes a metamorphosis that was unimaginable just 20 years ago, has become a pseudo-square that day by day becomes more intimate and universal, more flexible and comfortable, but also more subtle, pathological, aggressive, elusive. However, it remains the need for physical places of meeting. Our body continues to require physical contact, smells, tastes, looks, gestures. Continues to need to meet and clash the bodies, of large groups, movie theaters, classrooms student. That does not contradict but complement the virtuality.

  2. Raissa, the power of your words in this article is undeniable. You raised a myriad of very thought-provoking questions/points. Face to face communication is still by far the most effective method to convey your ideas or thoughts to another person while taking in their ideas and thoughts.

  3. Riassa your article is a powerful message. In honor of it, I am going to a Sports Bar on Cape Cod today with my husband to watch the Patriots play football and I am going to make a real effort to speak to and hold a conversation with at least 3 total stranger. Of course, if they are Pats Fans it will be much easier. Great article.

  4. Great message Raissa. I totally agree with you. I feel more people need to get out “people watch,” interact, and just appreciate the beauty around them. Social media has a way of sucking you in. I’ve placed myself on a schedule if I don’t follow it; then I find myself spending hours when I could’ve been outside. Turning off the notifications on my phone and enjoying life.

    • I love watching people. The art of observation is being done through mini screens. There is a huge wide world out there to explore. Setting down our technology is a first step in reconnecting as humans. Just watching others use the technology creating bubbles around themselves is one observation that I find intriguing.

    • The funny thing is sometimes finding those that aren’t like minded can open your mind more to possibilities never thought of. Just a thought to ponder.

  5. Well said, Raissa. Over the years I’ve been online, I’ve become less attached to the likes and comments. Yes, I’m grateful when several people like and comment on what I post on various social media platforms. And it’s great social proof. However, I’ve also discovered that there are dozens of people who see and like updates but never give a like or comment. Yet, they’ll share their thoughts in person, or let me know they read it.

    Just last week someone messaged me through Facebook and wanted to read more of my blog posts because of something she read. She has never commented on anything I published. Your final reminder to go out and meet people face to face is priceless because that’s where true connections can be made.

    • Exactly! The world needs the face to face interactions. Sometimes just the looking into a person’s eyes says more than any words that could be uttered.

  6. I think putting who I am out there is hard. I am an introvert by nature and in my younger years I travel alone. I was content to absorb the people and places I went. My job requires me in be an extrovert. So my message would be to be yourself. I love meeting new people but I am content to be alone. Great article my friend. I always look forward to read what you write.

    • I am an introvert as well. My confidence has been tested throughout my life. Being an extrovert will never be who I am. I’m not even sure I can fake it anymore. I have finally decided being myself is my best avenue to follow. Thank you fo your kind words. I enjoy your writing as well.