Media Slave? ReShaping Habits For More Summer Fun

July 27, 2010 “Why aren’t you posting on Shaping Youth every day like you used to, Amy? Are you on summer hiatus like the networks?” Um, I guess that’s what you’d call it.

Frankly, it never occurred to me that I needed to ‘inform’ people that I was trying to eke out some ‘white space’ and life balance in the name of healthy media consumption, because it seemed like an obvious extension of our Shaping Youth nonprofit philosophy: “Don’t let media define you.”

True, there’s plenty of exciting media action that will impact youth, educators and ALL consumers of media, from mixes, music, mashups and mobile with the new Fair Use and DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) rulings.

Today’s  online privacy hearings in D.C. with Q&A of industry media pros from Facebook, Google, Apple and all the media giants are watchworthy for anyone and everyone. (especially those of us with high school teens quoting 1984 and freshly minted mind games after seeing Christopher Nolan’s Inception last week planting the seed for me pondering where privacy starts and stops in the ol’ noggin!)

Truth be told, if I kept on top of every single way that media and marketing is impacting kids 24/7, my office white board would like a subway map and my to-do list would be circular ‘To infinity and beyond!’

As a primarily self-funded nonprofit I guess I’m guilty of lobbing a monetary mentality into the mix…That being:

“Sheesh, no one’s paying me to do this, so if I want to Captain the waterski boat for the teen tribe instead of crusading at the keyboard, I’m entitled to reduce the chances of ‘founder flameout’ by deploying first strike summer self care.”

Am I right? It’s not like I’m one of those book touring blog experts and social media speaker bigwigs sticking to a slated schedule, editorial calendar,  and posting frequency.

When digital duties take precedence over real life commitments many of us get that edgy feeling that it’s time to step back, re-prioritize and receive a bracer or two to make sure our strategic goals match our tactics when it comes to mission, methods and messaging.

For me, in the summer time, it’s even rather predictable. Long time readers might remember our ‘Summer of Link Love’ last season? (“friends don’t let friends waste good content”)

I’ve actually received comments in both directions, paraphrasing:

‘It’s okay, take the time…Your posts are so long and link laden it takes me a week just to get through them!’

Then I get notes like, ‘You’re posting a lot in “short form” (aka tweets and microblogging) I hope you’re not going to abandon “long form” blogging like so many others have.”

Not a chance. Besides, I’m a strong believer in ‘depth as well as breadth’ so posts will no doubt shift across platforms ‘in addition to’ not ‘in place of’…

So stay tuned, scan the daily Shaping Youth short form stream for top of mind ‘tweets’ in the interim ’til we get back to ‘regularly scheduled programming.’

Upcoming? Cool interviews ‘in the queue’ with media startups like AmebaTV, MappyFriends (mobile app coming soon!) and Janet Lansbury on modeling/child star status, media, and now motherhood…An update analysis of the summer hit Huge and previews of what’s new for fall (pbskids The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That and whether the new platform for Social TV will take hold…

Meanwhile, I’m revving up the skiboat for a teen tribe of fab femme wakeboarders; some seasoned, some starters. GLTR girls one and all!

Happy Summer! Hope you can get outside and enjoy!

Related posts on Shaping Youth about play:

Spring Break Sanctuary Away from Digital Dramas

If Kids Could Be Dolphins: The Power of Creative Play

Generation Digital MIT Review &  Six Degrees of Susan Linn

Nature Rocks! Reconnecting Families with Nature (& a boost from digital media!)

The Value of Unstructured Play

The Case for Make-Believe Part One

Defending Pretending: The Need for Prominent Play: Part 2

Seeding Green With Richard Louv

Shaping Youth Through Nature, Media Unplugged

Media Savvy Kids and Nature Deficit Disorder

The Nature of Tweens: Wired Worlds & Outdoor Ed

Can Somethin’ Be Done About All This Consumption?

p.s. Seems I’m CLEARLY not the only one taking assessment of healthy life balances as of late, as noted edublogger Vicki Davis of “Coolcat Teacher” aptly describes in this post Healthy Habits to Grow Your Online Presence and Keep Balance Your Life.

She starts out by saying “It’s like I’m living someone else’s life” and dives head first into a pool of introspection and self-analysis pondering her role in her own digital deluge as a Type A style ‘infovore’ (which I cop to as well.)

It’s not only a worthy read, it’s a pragmatic pointer piece with a dozen dos  for maintaining a digital presence without losing yourself in the process.

She also shares some classic ‘musts’ like checking the ego at the door, knowing the world won’t end without your wit and wisdom and kicking your own keister off the keyboard and into the universe.

Naturally, I’m up for breaking the shackles and freeing the spirit, in summer and beyond.

Carpe diem digital pals!

Reposting this cool NCLI video to think about before the school year, LOVE it.)

Visual Credits: Sunshine critter:The Pattern Box



  1. Hear hear! The content currently here is enough for plenty of us to chew on while you relax and take a breather and enjoy life, Amy. I always tell folks in this situation – you’ve shown your value, now we just need you to be around for the long haul.

  2. As always, you rock, Andre.

    As you know well, much of this is my own passion catching up to me, as there are certain time sensitive issues that I want to give some weight to, in the name of positive action…but you’re right, I need to step back now and then and ‘walk the walk’ to model media mgmt. for my OWN youth.

    If she sees me up at all hours under the glow of a computer monitor working my tail off to meet a self-driven deadline, it sends a ‘lack of boundary’ message no matter HOW great the cause or call to action is! 😉

    Thanks for the support dear friend.

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