Tuning In To Life Outside of Your Bubble

Ways to Stay Informed and Connected in Today's World

In our 24/7, global world of information overload, it’s sort of ironic that we can still find ourselves living in our own little bubbles. I find that there is so much going on with work and life, that I sometimes lose touch with what’s going on outside of my work-at-home-mom-world. Sure, I have LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook – but that’s still my world of work, HR related content and friends. It takes a concerted effort on my part to stay in tune with what’s really going on outside of my bubble.


  1. Set up news alerts.  Many online news sources allow you to create a profile and receive news alerts to your inbox. Most of us don’t have the ability to watch the news throughout the day, getting breaking news via email is a good alternative. @BreakingNews on Twitter is a good handle to follow or search #BreakingNews.
  2. Listen to podcasts. Recently, I have found a renewed love for podcasts! TEDTalks Audio, HBR Ideacast, The Accidental Creative and Here’s the Thing are all worth listening to. I particularly enjoyed Bono’s TEDTalk, Alec Baldwin’s chat with Brian Williams, and Sheryl Sandberg’s Ideadcast.
  3. Tune into news. I’ve often joked that I think Nick Jr. should have a news ticker along the bottom of the screen. Those of you with young kids can probably relate. It’s hard for me to watch the news with little ones, so I try to read what I can in the morning or during lunch online.
  4. Have offline conversations. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to talk to at least one new person each week. I’ve had the great fortune to speak with people outside of my immediate circle and expand by network tremendously. I’ve connected with HR pros at other companies, met with industry thought leaders and been offered opportunities to speak at events. This is a step outside of many peoples’ comfort zones, but pick up the phone and talk to someone you’ve never met before. You might just learn something new!
  5. Meet in real life. As someone who telecommutes and doesn’t “do the conference circuit,” I am in my house 90% of the time. (Once the weather warms up, that percentage should drop, but I digress.) Going out and meeting people face-to-face is necessary in our online world. As a virtual worker, even I agree with the value of face time when it comes to building real relationships, in life and business. It takes planning and effort, but is worth it.

What about you? Do you ever feel like you’re living in your own little world of work?  What do you to expand your network and experience life outside your four walls?

Posted in , ,

Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Reader Interactions


  1. Francesco says

    I am totally addicted to podcasts! It is like listening Radio, but there are no time limits or censorship. My list is pretty long but I will put the ones I love the most (Warning, if you are susceptible to profanities just skip the Joe Rogan podcast, but you will lose a lot) :
    Joe Rogan Experience
    Latest in Paleo
    99% Invisible
    Tangentially Speaking
    Dan Carlin’s Hardcore history

    • Shannon says

      Hi Francesco – Thank you for the recommendations! I’ll be sure to check these out. Have a great day. – Shannon


Pin It on Pinterest