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Is Social Media controlling your Time & Life?

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Is social media controlling your time and life

 

Sometime back I read an article in the newspaper that said that youngsters spent too much time in the virtual world and especially on social media sites which made it difficult to interact with others in the real world.

I even read about a young girl who took her own life because her parents banned her from spending time on Facebook. It got me thinking about how much social media has become a part of our lives and possibly control of us.

Way back in 2008 when 3 of my closest friends invited me to join them on Facebook, I discovered a tool that helped me to keep in touch with friends despite my hectic work schedule. I also found old school friends right from my primary school days and it was great. I felt reconnected.

Then one of my friend’s posted that she was going into Facebook hibernation. Another said she was closing her account, which she ultimately didn’t because we all raised a hue and cry. Their reason was that they were spending too much time on Facebook and it was affecting their productivity and life balance.

Some of my friends had become so obsessed with Facebook that they were updating it by the minute and expecting comments. I wasn’t seeing them anymore in person but seemed to know everything about them, the minutest detail about their mood swings and in one case even when they were entering the building or leaving it thanks to mobile application.

Of course I was online. I commented, I viewed and sometimes didn’t comment. But I was online. After all, I didn’t want to miss anything. If there was a group called Facebook Anonymous, quite a few of us most probably could have been sponsored!

 

Was it Fear of Missing Out or Facebook Addiction? 

 

It was not just Facebook. If I got a message that I had a new follower, I felt the compulsion to log in and say thank you. Was I being tweeted or retweeted? One message and I was running to Twitter to engage. Ditto for LinkedIn.

The number of times I felt the need to check on Facebook, LinkedIn discussions and Twitter for that matter was unbelievable; such was the lure of social media. My moment of clarity was the turning point for me.

I realized that if I didn’t do something fast, Social Media would take control of my life.

 

FOMO or Facebook Addiction?

 

In all fairness, Twitter, Facebook , LinkedIn and Skype have made it possible for us to have discussions and online interactions with dozens or even more people every day.

Used wisely, social media can be a tool which helps us to connect on both professional network sites like LinkedIn and social sites like Facebook. If you are blogging, it facilitates reaching out to a wider audience.

 

Secret to fitting social media into your offline life

 

 

How to fit Social Media into your real world Life

The dark side is that social media can also take up a lot of your time. In time management lingo, I would classify it as busy time or wasted time depending upon how one uses social media.

From a time management and balance perspective to ensure focus and time for high priority matters, I suggest allocating specific time to social media on a daily or weekly basis. It goes without saying that the time allocation should be when you are actually relaxing or non-productive.

If the self-discipline is a problem, then consider going cold turkey. You will experience withdrawal symptoms depending upon the level of your addiction but you will live.  In either case, it would be good to disable features in your social sites so that notices and messages do not land up in your email inbox prompting a mad scramble to log in and checkout news or post comments.

If you are managing a Facebook or LinkedIn Page or Group, then perhaps timing may be a challenge. Work out a system that will ensure that you are present to engage but not an excuse to loiter around.

A few timely actions and you might find yourself having more phone chats, writing emails and letters or even meeting up with friends a lot more. In any case, real-life relationships are always better than real time ones.

What about you? Have you ever felt that the internet and social media in particular had taken control over your time and life? How did you get out of it? Please do share!

 

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Written By: Vatsala Shukla

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12 Responses to “Is Social Media controlling your Time & Life?”

  1. I usually take a total break and unplug for at least a few days. It usually works with vacation time, when I completely stay out of the online world.Feels so good afterwards. Thanks for the great read, Vatsala!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      An unplug from social media every now and then is actually quite healthy, Delia. I love the idea of doing it while on vacation – focusing on loved ones and getting some rest. I do know of some people who, while on vacation will go out of their way to find a cyber cafe to post photos of their holiday on Facebook. That is a sign that the internet and particularly social media has a very strong hold over them. Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Zoey says:

    I have deactivated my Facebook a lot. I check it every couple months. But don’t need to since I have grown apart from all my friends.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I take a Facebook hibernation too every now and then Zoey, but never a complete deactivation. When it comes to friends, we all develop at our own pace and often we lose touch but when there is a crisis, we rally around each other. Perhaps it is time to find new friends whom you can meet in person rather than only on Facebook?

  3. I know so many people who live for social media and while I can see how it happens, it’s never been an issue for me. My niece has a very active group on Facebook and all day she is posting, commenting and sharing. She’s done if from the doctor’s office, from the road, restaurants, her living room, you name it.

    I read an article yesterday that quoted some pretty amazing statistics about how many people get their news from Facebook. I find this astonishing, especially in light of the amount of questionable information that is in social media. I do see the benefits and value the friendships I’ve made online but wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep if Facebook (Twitter, etc.,) shut down tomorrow.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I noticed the news feature in Facebook too and found it useful but I agree with you about the fake news part, Marquita. Fortunately since I follow the news on tv, I only read up on those items that I know are true. I’ve got friends who will first upload their meal on social media before eating it and I do believe that is taking it too far. 🙂

      It seems Facebook is the place to start groups for business nowadays but with so many of them, I wonder if they add any real value to the member or a good ROI to the Group owner?

  4. Great article. Social media, like any new toy, can rule your life. Some people with addictive personalities can become mentally and emotionally addicted to social media. I use social media more for my business and less for actual socializing. However, I do “unplug on the weekends” and focus on face-to-face interactions. Balance is the key.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Balance IS the key, Kathleen, spot on! I unplug on the weekends too and might drop by in the morning to check if there are any birthdays or to follow up. Having experienced FOMO once – never again. I’m more disciplined now. 🙂

  5. Suzie Cheel says:

    Oh Yes I know this one especially Facebook and know I am limiting the groups I belong to and as i focus more on my own work I spend less time on FB . Often hard when you love FB and the interaction xxx

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Same here, Suzie. It’s what I call culling. 🙂 I have a few Groups where I am active and I’ve built in a schedule to visit them by rotation every week during the 30 minutes I have allocated to Facebook per day. This includes checking in on friends and managing my Business Page. It keeps me productive without missing out.

  6. Joyce Hansen says:

    As the old saying goes – “there’s a time and place for everything.” Part of it is how our world is changing with technology and the other is how we let it become an addictive behavior. I think it has its place as an advertising option when you have a business. It’s a greater communication device. But, it also violates your privacy forever. You may delete your account, but you’re still out there on the Facebook posts of others. It’s something you’ll have to live with, and you can’t complain when it comes back to haunt you. We all have to come to a point and decide what’s most important in our lives and how much time we want to spend on Facebook.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks for sharing your wise guidance, Joyce. Facebook can become an addiction and the onus to control a social activity from spiraling into an addiction rests upon us. The point about privacy has always been a concern for me and I monitor what I post with care and yet, I see friends posting tons of stuff that can become a source of embarrassment to them in the years to come or may affect them if they are job hunting and befriend a headhunter who can see their private activities. Checking settings and who can see a post partially helps to solve the problem. At the end of the day, discretion and as you pointed out determining what’s important in our lives is the key to using social media while living a normal life.

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I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that work.

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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