My Love / Hate Relationship with Social Media
I don’t know about you, but some days I find keeping up with blogs, Twitter, and Facebook (not to mention Goodreads and Pinterest) to be quite … challenging.
A plethora of content is generated daily, even hourly. News is shared minute-by-minute. You get that terrible feeling of being “behind” if you ‘re out of touch for half an hour.
While there’s a lot of useless chatter out there, the real problem for me is that there’s so much that’s valuable. I can’t imagine how I’d know what’s going on in publishing, how I’d stay up on blogging techniques, how I’d get constant inspiration and business advice, without the relentless stream of blogs I read.
I’d rarely know when there was a TV show worth watching without Twitter. I’d certainly have no clue what my friends were up to or when their birthdays are, without Facebook.
But it’s a challenge, isn’t it, to balance attention to the persistent “incoming” with time spent doing everything else?
What kind of toll is this taking on us? I think we all struggle with a distracted focus. We can get easily sucked in to the useless chatter online and we have to take intentional steps to discipline ourselves. There can be anxiety because we never feel we can do enough, and we are forced to constantly filter and make judgments about what’s important and what isn’t. What deserves our attention, and what doesn’t. And there is the time lost—time taken from other valuable pursuits, or time taken from what used to be our down time.
And that’s not even taking into account the pressure to create content for blogs and social media. I’ll be honest, I absolutely love the way the Internet and social media have changed our social lives and businesses… right up to the point where I hate it and wish it would all go away.
What is the value of all this information? How much do we retain? How much does it actually inform our business, our decisions, and our lives?