#LiveUnfiltered: Social Media is not the Enemy

 

Unfiltered: Why Jessica Abo’s Book is the Perfect Galentine’s Day Pick

“Social media is not the enemy,” Jessica Abo said at a recent gathering of Jewish women in Los Angeles. “Loneliness is the enemy.” In that moment, I sat up straighter in my chair.

 

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Thank you to Jewish Federation for the wonderful 2018 Pritzker Series Event with Jessica Abo moderated by Julie B. Platt about philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and Jewish identity. “Affluence is not a requirement for influence.” “Great minds think unalike.” “Obstacles should be seen as opportunities.” “You don’t need to be the loudest person in the room to make an impact” “Social media not the enemy. Loneliness is the enemy” #LIVEUnfiltered Read Jessica’s book, Unfiltered: How To be As Happy As You Look on Social Media! Thank you Sylvia Weisz Women’s Philanthropy  #JFedLA #JFedLAimpact #JFedLAwomen #jewishfederationla⁣ @jfedla @jessicaabotv #female⁣ #jewish⁣ #community⁣ more photos on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.niver/posts/10155775386516722

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As women today celebrate friendship for “Galentine’s Day,” our social media feeds are undoubtedly full of picture-perfect couples and love stories—and Abo’s calls to action to all of us to stop perpetuating the social media cycle of “compare and despair” and make room to “care less about what everyone else is doing and more about what’s good in [our own] life” is as timely as ever.

Lisa Niver and Jessica Abo
Lisa Niver and Jessica Abo

Abo’s book Unfiltered: How To Be As Happy As You Look On Social Media, is a confessional and a revelation. “No one tells you staying positive is a mental exercise that should be classified as a marathon with its own medal,” she writes. “Have you ever noticed how quickly one negative thought can turn into a million? … The next thing you know, you’re on the express train to Negative City with no stops in sight.”

In Unfiltered, Abo opens up to readers about her career as an anchor, her experiences in philanthropy and her own quest to find love and offers worksheets and practical exercises to nudge us along on a journey toward fulfillment and happiness. Whether reader’s take Abo up on her advice to use the notokapp.com or partner with a friend to reach their goals; get inspired by her examples from Teachers Righting History, DreamJobbing.com or TED talks; her book will ultimately make you seek out the best next step for yourself.

One of my own a-ha moments came when Abo discussed her faith. When we met, she explained that she made sure a Menorah was included on the Five-Day forecast during Chanukah while she worked at one broadcast station. “He always had ghosts for Halloween, Santa for Christmas,” she said, “and I wanted to make sure Chanukah would be represented, too.” That small gesture led to a small shift in my own life: I have made an effort since our meeting to post about Shabbat each Friday. If I am in Los Angeles, I attend Shabbat services at temple, but it was not something I ever thought to mention on social media. Abo helped me realize how important it is for girls to see Jewish women in the media, and as adventurers and wanderers.

Abo’s perspective on rejection is also ripe for inspiration. “Sometimes being rejected from something good,” she writes in Unfiltered, “is directing you to something better.” I remembered then how disappointed I was last summer when I wasn’t selected for a three-month project on the East Coast—and that I was later invited on two bucket-list trips, which led to several great story opportunities, and which would eventually take me to the graces of Jane Goodall, Jean Michel Cousteau and Seth Godin. What I was available for by being rejected was much better for me. “Do your own thing on your own terms,” Abo urges readers. “It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get there. Just keep going.”

I often think that my own advancement—and progress for our culture-at-large—is taking too long, but we all have no idea what the “right” amount of time really is. Abo’s focus on happiness, resilience and empathy also collides with my own work and my own passions. I support the #SeeHer project to lift up women in the media and entertainment and The Female Quotient’s Gender Equity Measurement tool is helping to increase the number of women in advertisements, and Abo’s mission to inspire other people to embrace life’s messy moments and share more of them resonates with them.

“I launched #LiveUnfiltered as a way for people to join this movement,” she explained. “I would love to see more people post their real, unedited moments. Those are what remind all of us that we’re human and enable us to create more meaningful connections online and in real life.”

One mantra guides Abo and the readers through tales of her hopes, disappointments and successes: “We’re all a work in progress.” If you need a boost of you can do it, you need to buy yourself a copy of this book.

“Whenever you feel lost, remember this is temporary,” she writes. “Whenever you make a mistake, allow yourself to be upset but don’t let this setback consume you for too long. Whenever someone posts about their awesome office view, team, project or product remember you can have that sense of work pride too. Whenever you find yourself in a different place form your friends, remind yourself that outgrowing certain dynamics is part of growing up and life is not a race. Whenever you’re on the edge of breaking up with dating and everyone around you is getting engaged, married and having kids, stay in your lane. Whenever life crushes you with bad news or a new reality, honor your feelings. Whenever you see someone doing something inspiring, think about what keeps you up at night and look into what you can do around that issue.”

Unfiltered feels like a good talk with the one friend who can shake you out of a rut and get you back on track. This Galentine’s Day, I can’t think of a better book club read.

Read my article on Ms. Magazine

Unfiltered: Why Jessica Abo’s Book is the Perfect Galentine’s Day Pick

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.5 million views. After three months on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and YouTube Shorts, she had over 500,000 (1/2 million) views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers”

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