Living a balanced life is awesome! Sometimes when too much is on our plate, we feel the need for balance even more. With the growth of social media and dominance of the Internet, another layer of balancing issue has now emerged where the balance between our lives online and offline are causing some concerns as well.
The Distraction Problem With Online Life
A recent research study showed that the urge to check and update the Facebook and Twitter is stronger and more frequent than that of sex, smoking and alcohol. Isn't it facinating to discover such a research report?
I must admit, many times I find myself checking email and status updates when there is no need. It is a temptation that I need to guard myself against many times and I am now in better control than a few months ago. However, it is amazing how distracting it can be. Sometimes we end up spending an entire day on the Internet without really accomplishing anything of significance.
The Proposed Solution To Simplify Our Lives
But is the solution to this problem disconnecting the Internet and social networking sites? Is it a good idea to shut off the notifications, uninstall the smart phone apps for Facebook and Twitter, or have a short pre-allocated daily time slot for our online activities?
In an ideal world, it really seems like a great idea and people who recommend this, get a lot of appreciation too. But the question is, in the real world, is this method really effective and practical?
There are many online experts teaching this approach of simplifying our online lives. However, in most cases, the same people who teach not to read too many emails and blogs, actually want you to read their emails, browse their websites, read their articles and buy their products online. Therefore, I feel a disconnect between what they teach and what they really do.
From my perspective, asking people to not use Internet, Twitter and Facebook has a similar effect as asking people to stop smoking or drinking. It seems like a great advice, but it hardly works!
Why Do We Get Online?
In my experience, we use the Internet and social media mainly for one of these reasons:
- To get something done online (paying bills, buying stuff, reading something etc.)
- For business purposes (marketing, selling stuff online, blogging, job search etc.)
- For pleasure (Watching videos, movies, chatting with friends and families etc.)
Nobody feels there is anything wrong about getting online for the first and second categories. However, much of the cry is about the third type of online time. However, there is a thin line between wasting time and having fun while still being effective.
If you know that you know that you get online to waste your time, then you need to stop doing that to be productive, there is no question. However, if you are having fun building your network, developing relationships online for productive purposes, that is a great use of your online presence.
Why Not Teach Productivity?
Therefore, I think there is something fundamentally wrong with the idea of going backwards. I will rather focus on how we can use that online time for a productive purpose to enhance our lives than trying to stop using the Internet and social media.
Some Internet experts think that interacting with people, responding to the messages on social media is time- consuming or unnecessary. But they do not realize, they lose so much of their credibility and perhaps business just because they do not engage with their audience.
In today's world, the biggest mistake a business can do is, to not engage with their audience, their customers. If you are business with a presence on Facebook and Twitter, can you engage with anybody by shutting down the notifications and responding to the messages after they have gone cold?
I have not found a better example of being on top of things on social media and still lead an effective influencial life than the bestselling author, a great friend and an incredible human being, Bob Burg. No matter who you are, no matter what corner of the world you belong, if you send an email, a Twitter message to Bob, you are almost guaranteed to get a personal response from him in a timely manner. He teaches businesses the success principles, networking and he lives those principles everyday – effectively!
If you think your online life is that difficult to handle, you need some help. Maybe you should seek some advice from people who are successful in their personal and professional lives with a strong presence on social media and the Internet. You can't solve your problems by running away from them. You need to prioritize your goals and manage your activities.
Questions For You
Please share your thoughts in the comments section. I look forward to your response.