Tag Archives: creative mornings pittsburgh

Social Media and Imaginary Friendships

4 Feb

Does social media make you feel more connected or more isolated?

For me, it’s hard to tell.  I’ve made some in-real-life friendships that were started by social media.  I can even thank social media for my marriage– a mutual friend introduced Mr. Beez to my blog, and he got to know me well online before we met in person (single ladies, take note: if he’s interested in you, he should be reading what you write.  If he doesn’t care to read what you have to say, move on!)  I’ve learned about so many cool events and creative people online, without the internet I’d have a much quieter existence.

In contrast, there are times when social media makes me feel very alone.  When I see friends post fun events they’re at online, and I’m not there, I feel a twinge of exclusion (even despite the rational part of my brain saying that you can’t be invited to everything, all the time, by everybody).  Or sometimes, when I meet a blogger I’ve been reading for a while in real life, and assume they know as much about me as I know about them, only to learn they’ve never heard of my blog (how can I even expect to know that I’m there, if I’m not leaving a comment).  Although such minor occurrences, they’re a splash of cold water reminding me that there is a difference between life online and life out in life, and the interactions between the two aren’t the same.

The most surreal online/real life dichotomy I experienced was when I made the mistake of reading internet messageboards on pregnancy and parenting issues.  There is only one thing more absolutely insane than the comments sections on local news sites, and those are pregnancy/parenting messageboards.  The shrieking hysteria of those boards quickly convinced me that my family and friends were all judging me fiercely, were out to derail all of my best efforts about my child, and that if strayed from the learned advice of those messageboards and succumbed to the foolish persuasion of my family or those know-nothing doctors, then I wasn’t acting in my baby’s best interests (this is why now I offer my pregnant friends this sage advice: DO NOT READ THE INTERNET WHILE PREGNANT.)  To put it mildly, while pregnant, the internet made me crazy and at times drove a wedge between me and my not-as-crazy husband.  This, for sure, was isolating.

If yinz internet friends are up for some in-real-life hanging out, I’ve got these cool events on my calendar this week:

February’s DoughRaiser and TweetUp at Uno’s Chicago Grill, benefiting Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank  Grab a slice of pizza, chat with some tweeps, and raise some cash for the Food Bank.  What’s not to love?

After Hours @ the Library!  (this event has sold out, but there’s another one coming up in May)  Cocktails and snacks and music in the library? Sign me up!


Creative Mornings Pittsburgh’s breakfast talk with Mike Capsambelis of Awesome Pittsburgh This breakfast talk series has been a smashing success. The tickets go FAST, so you need to get to your computer quickly when they become available. It’s such a fantastic opportunity to chat with energetic and creative people, and is a bright way to kick off a Friday morning.

So where do you weigh in? Does social media make you feel more connected? Or does it make you feel isolated?

A Morning Full of Happiness with Creative Mornings .@Pittsburgh_cm

29 Jan

I don’t know what it is about today, but it’s starting out great!  I had a good workout last night, followed by a good glass of wine and a good sleep.  I woke up happy and well rested.  And even better– Baby Beez woke up in this amazingly happy and friendly mood!  She is so cheerful today, it’s awesome!  The day looks to be a great one– I’ve got lunch plans with a friend, a party tonight, and I’ve got a steady amount of work to do but not so much that I’m pulling my hair out and losing my mind.

Even though the event was a couple weeks ago, my happiness this morning made it a perfect day for my recap of the Creative Mornings Pittsburgh breakfast talk with David Newell aka Mr. McFeely from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.


The theme for the morning was “Happiness,” and it was clear that happiness is something that Mr. McFeely knows well (yes, I know that’s not his real name, but I can’t help calling him that, and I don’t think he’d mind anyway). Providence has smiled on Mr. McFeely, he found his way into his career with Mr. Rogers by a series of happy coincidences. In Mr. Rogers he then found a true inspiration, friend and mentor. Most of his talk was about Mr. McFeely’s path in life and his memories of working with Mr. Rogers. It was clear that his career and his life has been full to the brim with joy.

Mr. McFeely was wonderfully generous with his time.  He signed autographs and took pictures with everyone after his talk, and even offered to mail out autographs to anyone who wanted one but could not stay.  He was friendly and chatty and loved meeting everyone. 


In a world so often full of dead-end careers and disappointments, it is inspirational to hear people who have found genuine satisfaction in their paths.  The path to fulfillment is never a straight one– there are plenty of unexpected bumps and unaticipated tangents– but a positive attitude and a willingness to take a little risk here and there is a constant theme in such positive stories.

Hope you all have a happy day!

Making Learning a Party Party! with @assemblepgh and @Pittsburgh_CM

7 Jan

If there’s something you want to make happen, you can make it happen in Pittsburgh.

I love how Kate Stolzfus saw how awesome the CreativeMornings lecture series in, and said “Hey, I’m going to make this happen here!”

And I love how the inaugural CreativeMornings breakfast in Pittsburgh sold out well in advance of the date, and had a waiting list of people eager to participate.

And I love how excited everyone was to be there. Excited to meet new people. Excited to share ideas. Excited to create ideas. Excited to make things HAPPEN.


Nina Barbuto spoke at the December breakfast, about her project Assemble.  Assemble hosts learning parties in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  These learning parties bring together experts (also known as “big kids”) and kids from the neighborhood, and they explore and create all kinds of things.  Past topics have included robots, weather, technology, all KINDS of things.

The kids are learning. The big kids are learning. Everyone has an awesome time, because the learning is a PARTY PARTY, and not constricted by things like standardized testing or curriculum.  The kids and experts work together to explore new topics, and learn all about the world around them.


I look back on my childhood, my college years even, and I admonish myself for not recognizing how FUN and AMAZING all the learning opportunities I had were.  I grumbled that I had to read this book or that book in college, but in retrospect, reading those books taught me so many things that were pretty cool.  I have finally learned to appreciate opportunities to explore new things in the world around me (that’s why I love writing articles so darn much), but I have a tinge of regret about those years and years of school where I had the time to really dig in and learn about stuff.  I’m glad the kids participating in Assemble are getting an opportunity to learn for the sake of learning, and having an awesome time of it.

The next CreativeMornings breakfast is this Friday, January 11 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.  The theme is “Happiness”, and will feature David Newell, better known as Mr. McFeely from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood as the guest speaker.  Tickets are not yet sold out, so get yours at this link, and I’ll see you there!!