Multi-tasking, Mindfulness and Video Twitter

This morning I read a blurb on a study about mindfulness that intrigued me. Meanwhile, I found out that the new Twitter allows video to be embedded directly in the interface. This is a nice addition that will help people get their videos out to more people and allow videoblogs and other video content to become viral with greater ease.

How are these two issues related? Here’s a blurb from the article on the study:

Youth today are bombarded by information due to the technical advancements of our time…Research on multi-tasking has shown that the more we multi-task, the worse we are at it (Schmid, 2009), and that learning while multi-tasking is not as effective as learning one thing at a time (eSchool News staff and wire service reports, 2006).

One-mindfully attending to the moment helps us get the most out of that moment…While we can feel good about doing many things in a day, or striving to multi-task every moment of every day, it is truly those of us who can appreciate one thing fully that benefit the most.

Adding video to twitter is another opportunity to multi-task but it is also another opportunity to be mindful. Sometimes the reaction people have to twitter, social networking and rapid tech advance is to close it out of their lives, get back to nature, turn off the computer. I love nature and turning off technology and taking dedicated ‘tech breaks’ is a great way to decompress BUT it’s not always realistic. Taken to an extreme it disconnects us from the world. And the world is a good place to be. Until we colonize another planet it’s all we got.

As you go about your day, as you venture out into the social media landscape or the everyday world, stop, take a breath and become present every so often. It’s all we’ve got. Yes, there are distractions, but mindfulness can be an anchor in a sea of competing interests. Then, it no longer matters whether we are tweeting a videoblog or eating a pear because we are fully present, we are truly there. (note: I had a pear for breakfast-the fact that it rhymes and sounds like Dr. Seuss is coincidental).:)

Mindfulness buddha

Mindfulness can be an anchor

Vlogging through fears

Heights are not my favorite thing. I’d stop well short of describing it as a phobia in the clinical sense, but they certainly can get my knees a knockin’!

Recently I was in Quito and had the chance to visit a cathedral with a series of catwalks and (at least to my mind) precarious ladders leading to a bell tower hundreds of feet above the ground. Video camera in hand I vlogged the entire experience.

Camera in hand I eventually made it to the top. I was in Quito on my own and for some reason there were NO other tourists at this location. Without my video blog as motivation I’m not sure I would have made it to the top!

Yet in the act of vlogging I gained some insight into the irrational nature of my fears and once again learned that I CAN push through the feelings…and do it anyway. I’m going to consider other areas of life where a vlog or journal could be used as a witness and a motivator. Maybe if I video blogged about my pile of laundry it will actually be a fun activity? Nah.:)

Are there areas of life you might put your video blog or journal to work? Here are some initial thoughts – please add some of your own. Remember to use your camera as a grounding force that brings you into the moment – don’t allow it to become a distraction.

– making a phone call to someone you are nervous to speak with

– committing to an exercise routine (make a video blog showing other people how to do your workout/take us on a tour of your walk, etc.)

– overcoming a phobia (water, dogs, spiders, clowns – whatever!)

– learning a new skill (probably best with something visual but could be just about anything – maybe I’ll dust off those juggling balls I got for Xmas last year).

If you incorporate any of these ideas into your vlogs, please let me know!

Video Blog Moments

A video blog doesn’t necessarily mean speaking directly to your camera or video blogging about an event. This site recently posted on the Yahoo! video blogging group has a number of really wonderful videos and a gorgeous site design. One of my favorites is the video of the clouds moving across the sky. Below are my thoughts. Check out the video and see if you agree.

It’s true, there isn’t much happening. Maybe this will test the limits of patience of those who watch some of the more frenetic video blogs on YouTube, but I love it. I love it because the simplicity of the video forces my mind to work and activates my imagination.

  • With the absence of the visual, sound becomes very prominent. (What kind of insects are there in the background? Who do the voices in the background belong to? What are the voices saying? What type of machine drives by?)
  • Because we don’t see the person holding the camera, this makes us curious. (Who is holding the video camera. Is the person alone?)
  • The clouds move, though the camera is stationary. Because the shot is held for a relatively long time (the duration of the video, about one minute) we realize that this moment was important to the person who shot it. What was the person thinking? Feeling?

We have all sunk down into the warm, green grass on a lazy summer day and gazed up at the clouds. Though the person behind the camera is visually absent, they ironically become very present as we are united through this universal, shared human moment.

This is an example of one person’s expression. Were there other blog videos you liked on this site?

Look to your own life with an eye to capturing a moment for the sake of the moment. This is a great way to weave video into the fabric of your life and perhaps see the moments that make up your day a little bit differently.

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