From Promoting Tech to Pausing It.
I entered college in 2005, the same year Facebook was released to campuses nationwide. Not only did social media become a part of my identity, it became my career. My first job was working as a social media specialist. For the next six years, I held various positions in the communications field and would regularly present about the importance of digital media in higher education. I sold it…
It wasn’t until my need for being constantly connected caught up with me. I found myself checking my phone, e-mail, the news, and social media for no apparent reason, other than to escape boredom, cope with anxiety and frankly...to avoid being alone with my own thoughts. I finally realized that my overuse of technology was fueling stress, insecurities, and even contributing to my anxiety.
So I began to disconnect and be more present. As I did this, I noticed how connected everyone else around me was. I started to worry about the how overusing technology was impacting our emotional and physical well-being. I became concerned about the next generation's ability to authentically connect and be themselves without the need of building their digital profiles.
I researched as much I could about this topic and, as I learned more, I became skeptical of the very thing I used to sell.
This ultimately led me to start Tech Break in an effort to help people be more authentic and find balance in a very unbalanced world.
During the fall of 2016, Ali worked with the nation's first technology addiction center, reSTART: Center for Technology Sustainability, where she developed a communications plan to help educate parents on the importance of moderate media use as part of her graduate program at Georgetown University. Previously, Ali served as a communications manager and international student advisor at Georgetown University. She also worked as a social media marketing specialist for an advertising agency in Wisconsin. Ali received her masters degree in public relations and corporate communications from Georgetown University and was a participant of the university’s Apprenticeship in Teaching Program.