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.
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.
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.