How lovely to find this review of my book Fully Connected #socialhealth

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A finalist for the 2018 Business Book Awards, “Fully Connected” (“the book”) by the Honorary Visiting Professor at Cass Business School and at the University of Suffolk, Ms. Julia Hobsbawm, “Fully Connected” lends a desperately needed perspective to a world immersed, enmeshed and entangled in a plethora of networks. As Ms. Hobsbawm painstakingly, albeit eruditely explains, the very fact that we are all inextricably connected to an uncompromising and unforgiving world turns out to be both our boon and bane! In an age where fitness regimens, dietary revolutions and mindfulness techniques rule the roost aggressively competing for both our time and money (the concepts of fitness, nutrition and health are all being purveyed and plied by multi-billion dollar conglomerates), one aspect that has been undeservedly neglected as per the author is that of “Social Health”. A pioneer of this concept, Ms. Hobsbawm defines Social Health to mean, “the productive, functional…

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LONDON, 21 April 2018

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I feel as if I have been half way around the world and back again since I last blogged on WordPress and, in a way, I have.

This week it was a year since my book Fully Connected was published in hardback and now paperback. It has been 365 days in which I have done over 365 talks, interviews, articles, special posts about the book. I have been to cities in the UK, US, Europe. It’s been wonderful, exhausting, exhilarating.

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Of course because of how the world is now connected, I have been in a sense, everywhere. The world is not just connected 24/7, or 24 nanosecond, but the history of what we connect to and communicate with is tracked and monitored in minute data detail so that the consequences will rebound on us indefinitely. Read this brilliant piece by Jamie Bartlett to see the scale of it.

GLOBALLY DEFINING CONNECTION

The photo you see at the top is of me aged six, in 1970 in Peru. I went around the world abit as a child, but all my life I have lived mostly in a bubble of one kind of socioeconomy, middle class, midde European, and one which is increasingly growing disaffected with full connection, and beginning to see problems of overload, of fake news, of trolling, as the definition of what a quarter of a century of the internet has brought about.

But the world is bigger than a single demographic bubble of affluence. For all the real problems of connectedness, the internet and social networks offer vital freedom and democracy too: I was reminded of this when attending the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards in London this week.

WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE

I came across this stunning painting below at The Museum of Modern Art in New York recently. Painted by the Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral in the 1920s it depicts workers, in all their diversity and in all their gloomy entrapment to the grind of work itself.

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This for me is what analysing the world of full connection has to be about. Are we productive and if not, why not? Are we creative and if so, do we define creativity in all workplaces, ie shopfloors and factories, or just groovy workspaces filled with hydroponic plants and hip furniture? The idea of wellbeing at work is one which I am not alone in exploring. I most recently discussed it with Arianna Huffington, who has started an excellent platform and corporate learning programme which I have begun to contribute to, called Thrive Global.

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BACK TO YOU.

Another reason why I feel nostalgia being back on the blog is that I had the equivalent of an affair with another social medium. I strayed from the predictable, the safe, and I fell in love – didn’t everyone – with email newsletters, which were so glamorous and reached so many people, so directly…so tempting.

Except, actually, so much so that this format of emailing everyone regardless of whether they have opted into receive information is shortly going to be outlawed, via the GDPR European legislation which comes into final effect in five weeks’ time.

I realise that it is far more valuable to communicaton with people who already have interest in what you are saying and writing and who will spread word organically and naturally, than trying to cram more into people’s inboxes when our attention is already fragmented to hell and back.

So. Fully Connected. Fully back on WordPress. Fully happy to be here again.

Email me any comments: julia@thefullyconnected.com

 

 

Do not worry about overdoing the mince pies. Chances are you are doing something very healthy this month-long celebration of Christmas, a “festive Season” in which most of us get to come off social media more than usual and are forced to be actually social. Call it face-to-face in a Facebook Age. 

In April my new book about what I call Social Health will be published. Fully Connected: Surviving & Thriving in the Age of Overload looks at the whole business of connection and its discontents in modern society. In organisations, in culture, in everyday life.

Fully Connected takes as a starting point the idea that people, be they wearing professional, personal (or indeed party) hats in their lives, have far more coping strategies and tactics around physical and mental health than around anything to do with their connected health. We need a system, and that system I’ll be publishing, is Social Health.

But you can steal a march. Start by making an early 2017 New Year’s Resolution to treat your diary as your body and aim to control 80% or more of what goes in it….start to notice over Christmas who you see because you love them, or who you reconnect with because you like them, or who you meet who tells you something interesting and who you feel you trust. Start to think about what you do and don’t read, watch, hear, because you are overloaded. Start to think about ways you can bring some order to your department or organisation just like you do with any other kind of New Year’s Resolution.
And start, whatever you do, to get off Facebook, or ay social media you overly rely on as your main way of connecting to other people with for a bit. Never mind the echo chamber, the reinforcing of stereotypical ideas, the algorithm-chosen messages and advertisements. There is no substitute – and I mean no substitute, even if Skype is an adequate proxy when needs must – for face-to-face contact.

Using your 5 senses to smell, see, touch, taste, hear in the company of another person, other people, to experience them fully and not in 140 characters or in carefully edited picture postings, or any other kind of ‘sharing’. That is one aspect of Social Health.

Hexagon Thinking….coming soon in my book Fully Connected

This Christmas, this party season, whoever you hang out with, be yourself with them, not an off duty avatar. Bring yourself to the party and don’t overshare the pictures afterwards. In other words, be Fully Connected.

In the new year you can see where I will be speaking about the book on @juliaconnects on Twiter.

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