That one time I gave a TED talk!

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(whoever chose THIS as the cover image of the youtube video – you are dead to me)

So about a month ago, I did the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.

No, it wasn’t bungee jumping. Nope, not diving out of a plane. And definitely not riding another camel. Won’t catch me doing that again in this lifetime.

I gave a TED talk! 


So first things first, I have been a fan of TED talks for years, ever since my friend Inga at Tiny Iceland sent me the link to Liz Gilbert’s amazing talk about Your Elusive Creative Genius – seriously, if you are a creative person and haven’t seen it, go watch it right now.

I am absolutely addicted to these videos, and I even had TEDx marathons sometimes, or rewatch my favorites when I need a kick in the ass and some motivation.

tedx talk smartphone addictions

So if you haven’t heard of TED or TEDx, no worries! The premise behind the platform is simple – ideas worth sharing. A nonprofit conference, that gets speakers to give an 18 minute talk on anything and everything that they believe is an idea to be shared.

While I’m no scientist or physiologist or any trained specialist unless you count coffee addict and blogging freak as a specialist, which I suppose I do, that doesn’t mean I don’t have some deep and profound thoughts. Sometimes. It’s been known to happen, ok?!

So when I found out there was going to be a TEDx conference in Wanaka, I was excited I flipped my shit. At first I asked to be involved volunteering and help set up the event, thinking it would be a great way to get involved with the community here and make new friends.

Also, we can talk about how freaking serendipitous that of ALL the places in New Zealand to have a TEDx talk, they were setting it up in my new home of Wanaka? Talk about fate and meant to be and all that crap.

tedx talk smartphone addictions

But then I started thinking (uh-oh), hey wait a minute, it’s always been a dream of mine to GIVE a TEDx talk. Why shouldn’t I try and submit some proposals? In an effort to value myself more, something I’ve always struggled with, I decided to put my name forth.

As we all know, I have plenty of ideas that are worth sharing (in my humble opinion). Cough cough, hence this BLOG and my Get Inspired section.

After harassing the awesome crew who were putting on the event, and refusing to take no for an answer, I was in!

While I feel like half my blog posts could be TED talks in and of themselves, something that has been stuck in the back of my mind and been bothering me for over a year is the topic of smartphone addictions and how we both manage and recognize them.

Hello, I am basically the world’s biggest iPhone addict. No, no. Don’t even try to argue.

So TED is a big deal. Like a really big deal, and it’s a huge community to become a part of and it can lead to great things. So no pressure right?

If you’ve watched TED talks before then you know how they work. 18 minutes. No notes. No text-y slides. No screen. Just you and your ideas.

Now for a minute, try to imagine just how terrifying that is? To get up there in front of hundreds of people and video cameras with nothing but yourself and your thoughts that you *hope* are worthwhile. Oh, and I hate public speaking. I even stammer my coffee order if there are more than 2 people in line behind me!

So I’d love to say I kept it cool as a cucumber and real and fresh, but the morning before my talk not only could I not eat anything I also refused to talk to anyone, and it was all I could do not to barf on myself. But afterwards, man, what a RELIEF! Best feeling in the world! It’s like I conquered something deep inside myself I didn’t even know was there.

I don’t want to give too much away (go watch my talk here).

Now please, let me know how I did! I haven’t even been able to watch the whole video yet – is that really what my voice sounds like?!

Are you a fan of TED talks? Could you relate to my message? Do you struggle with managing your smartphones? How did I do?

tedx talk smartphone addictions

Photo sources here.

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84 Comments on “That one time I gave a TED talk!

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  1. That’s so awesome that everything worked out and you were able to give a TED talk! What a great/slightly scary/totally awesome experience!

    The family I’m currently staying with in Spain doesn’t like to keep the WiFi on during the day and over the last month I’ve cut waaaay down on how often I’m on my laptop/phone. I generally leave it off during the morning before I sit down to get my daily stuff done online and then keep it turned off until later on in the evening, when I’m getting some work done. It’s so very freeing and relaxing and in turn means I’ve been doing other things more and not worrying about what I’m missing out on online.

  2. This topic haunts me lately. I’ve come to realize I’m much more happy once I’m able to switch off my phone – which is *not easy at all*, but I’m trying to force myself anyways. I’ve noticed that most radical solutions are the best ones: I no longer use any e-mail app (I mean, how is it possible that we would deem staying at work late at night crazy, but we check our e-mail every five minutes? Are these order, promotion and social updates *really* that important?) and I’m also considering getting rid of the social apps – I can use all these on my laptop, with an added bonus of not being able to fool myself into thinking that I’m actually doing something else (again, going to sleep every night with a large group of your friends sitting in the same room and chatting seems like a grotesque concept, and yet it’s so easy to justify using Facebook in same circumstances).

    Additionally, once a week I try to switch off EVERYTHING after 8 pm. What a bliss!

    Funnily, this leaves me thinking: apart from phone calls, messaging and google maps, do I need a smartphone at all?
    Well, I don’t think so. And still, I do think I am in some way addicted to having it, even though I’m feeling best with it switched off. How twisted is that?

    I think this is very important topic to discuss, and your talk was great!

    (And no, your voice probably sounds a bit different – unless you’re using a top-grade microphone (think radio, tv shows etc.) you’re gonna get metallic sounds in your voice that usually aren’t there.)

    1. Hey Liz,

      I am sorry I don’t understand the question.

      I don’t mean to be rude.

      It is just really hard to get rid of the computer when you have nothing to do.

      Just imaging what is going on before it.

      I still think we shouldn’t be in front of the screen for so long.

  3. Hey, I just watched your talk, congratulations! That’s scary shit. Not just the speaking, but the smartphone addiction too. I wound up in a house without internet for a month in Ecuador and as much as it was really hard, it was actually very freeing. I’ve stopped checking my email as I wake up in the morning and it’s one step forward.

    My friend used to make everyone put their smartphones in tower in the middle of the table at restaurants and whoever touched their phone first had to buy a round of drinks. I think it’s a great idea, you don’t have to tell your friends to pay attention to you or be offended when they don’t.

    You did a really great job! It’s a bit annoying how they cut the video, I’d prefer to watch the full 18 minutes. Also, I’m dying to know, did you find the phone in Iceland??

    1. I really want to know what you are doing without the phone.

      If you are disconnect to the world and have nothing to do, how can you stay motivated?

      1. @shaz, that’s great, I’ve done the same thing with friends too! I did find the phone haha thank god!

        @binh you’re being a bit rude, what’s up? How is it any of your business what she does without a phone?

  4. Hey! I watched your TEDx talk the other day when you tweeted the YouTube link to it and really liked it. I’ve been thinking a lot about it every night as I check social media crap in bed in the dark…oops. Really good recommendations to keep away from the Internet 30 min after waking up & 30 min before going to sleep. Are you planning on blogging about your off-the-grid/no-internet trips (or have you already done so and I didn’t realize it)?

    1. “good recommendations to keep away from the Internet 30 min after waking up & 30 min before going to sleep”

      I don’t think so.

      What are you going to do?

      I totally agree that you should get off the internet but only 30 minutes is too little.

      I think we really need more cool things to do if we really want to get off the internet.

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