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  • Writer's pictureChris Strub

Redefining my "everyday" life

What makes social media so addicting?

In my mind, it is the ability to tell the story.

But we’ll get back to me in a minute. More broadly appealing, perhaps, is the ability to sit back and consume everyone ELSE’s stories.

We’ve all been there. For so many of us, our day begins and ends by opening up Facebook and checking the News Feed. Or our Twitter feed. Or BuzzFeed.

What’s with all the “Feeds?”

We’re hungry. We’re hungry for information; we want to be FED, figuratively, emotionally, even sometimes literally … to me, that hunger ties in to our human nature. Imagine a caveman, taking one final peek out of his cave to make sure no one will attack him and his family before retiring to sleep.

All these “feeds,” to me, are a natural extension of that hunger to know what is happening in our surroundings. Admit it: for every fun photo of your old college roommate enjoying her vacation with her fiancée -- where you might even press ‘like’ -- there’s a humiliating status about some classmate’s baby daddy drama. And don’t try and tell me you don’t ‘like’ seeing that sort of public meltdown, too … even if you don’t dare display it.

Trust me, it’s OK! It’s common, and perfectly natural, to sit back as a consumer and watch your News Feed breeze by. Just like you, I have done it eleven trillion times.

Unfortunately, this addiction to consumption was not what our social media forefathers had in mind. Viral videos like THIS one -- watch it when you’re done reading, please -- illuminate the obvious problems of social overconsumption, which really wreck the whole intention of social media, which, in my mind, is this:

To provide a window into the excitement of our “everyday” lives.

Heavy statement there, I know. Let’s break it down for a minute.

To provide a window” - that is, give an opportunity to see what is going on, hopefully as clearly as possible …

into the excitement” - Pause here and read carefully. The EXCITEMENT! Not the DOLDRUMS of your I-hate-everything 9-to-5! Not your puppy-eyed face at your desk at 9:01 a.m. Monday morning! Not the turkey sandwich that sits between you and the end of your lunch break! THE EXCITEMENT! Anyway …

of our ‘everyday’ lives.” - What IS your everyday life, anyway? Are you making a difference today? Are you changing the world? Did you wake up today hoping to make a positive change, be it in your personal and/or professional life? Or is your ‘everyday life’ just built to get you into the next day?

To provide a window into the excitement of our “everyday” lives.

This summer, through the #TeamStrub journey, I’m going to use social media to provide a window into the excitement of my new “everyday” life.

I’m going to make that window as translucent as possible through the use of various social mediums -- primarily Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat (@ChrisStrub), Untappd (@ChrisStrub) and Foursquare. (OK, I’ll be on Facebook a bit, too.)

I’m going to maximize the EXCITEMENT by traveling from city to city, state to state, to experience new and incredible things that I could’ve never imagined. I’m going to meet people, taste foods and see sights that I never would’ve thought possible.

And my “everyday” life? Well, my goal -- starting TODAY; heck, starting three weeks ago -- is to make a positive change on the life of every person I come in contact with. My goal is to inspire people to imagine THEIR dreams, THEIR passion, THEIR objective in life -- and, damnit, to go for it. (Credit Chuck Schumer for that line.)

My “everyday” life will be to live these amazing new experiences, and use social media to tell the stories of those I encounter along the way.

Some of these faces will be familiar to me: Matt Sobin in San Francisco. My Aunt & Uncle in Pittsburgh. Lisa DiVirgilio in Nashville. And a lot more (trust me, everyone welcoming me to their city will get their due on this blog [oh, and a free shirt]). Some of these faces will be unfamiliar to me: the farmer sitting at a bar in Omaha. The to-the-nines bellhop at the hotel in Charlotte. The coffee shop employee in Portland. The hostel owner in Burlington. The waitress with the twinkle in her eye in Pensacola.

I will use this blog, and social media, to tell THEIR stories -- and how the intersection of our respective journeys, be it a reunion with an old high school friend, our first and only encounter that day -- changed both of our lives. I will use the gifts taught to me by Mary Haupt and others to hopefully make these pieces worth the time to read them. And I will use Twitter and the other aforementioned channels to involve YOU: even if I don’t end up visiting your city, ask questions! Make suggestions! Social media is about interactivity, and the power is in YOUR hands: the more we interact, the better the experience will be for you and for me.

So don't get it twisted: this is not a vacation. This is a life-changing event; a redefinition of my “everyday” life; a summer of happiness, excitement and love that will undoubtedly change my life and, hopefully, change yours -- or, at the least, change the way you look at your Feeds every night and day.

More soon.

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