playing youtube tnyThe generational divide when it comes to online or social media is astounding. Apparently, gone are the days where kids just play in the street and have an attention span longer than 2 minutes. Am I outing myself as one of those grumpy ones who say "when I was young, things were much better"?

Yeah... kind of. Seeing a toddler at a friend's house trying to get the magazine page to move as if it was a touchscreen tablet did send shivers down my spine. Still, as an expat I love and appreciate all the social media connections - they can make life much better. When handled with discretion.

The following is just my pithy opinion - if you're interested in actually learning something about Digital Cultures, check out this coursera course.

1. Health first: Don't forget to blink

If you're spending more than 8 hours in front of your screen, your eye-sight will be shot in no time. Blink, remember to look out the window, give your eye-muscles some exercise peering into the distance. And hey - if that view looks inviting, go take yourself closer and breathe some fresh air, frolicking through the neighborhood.

2. Old friends are great, but you need local ones, too

Ladies, are you with me on this one? Nothing like a face-to-face chat fest. And while you wouldn't want to miss once a week Skype with the hometown girlies, they're simply not just a quick walk or car ride away. Time zone differences can make a crisis seem worse, so finding a local back-up bestie is recommended. Not to mention they'll help you understand the culture and acclamate.

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3. I love Pinterest as much as the next person (have you seen my boards?), but it is true that I look much more than I actually take away and try in real life. Which reminds me of Billy Connolly's joke where he explains how useless reality TV is, where people are sitting on a couch watching people sitting on a couch. And I don't want to be disagreeing with Billy.

How about you? What would it take to get you away from the computer and back into dealing more with real-life people in your communities?

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