Twittered Out

Given my current research on the efficient use of social media as both a personal and professional tool, I spend far too much time monitoring and using social media tools. I am increasingly bothered by Twitter-like messages. I certainly believe that less is more, but is it really necessary to tell everyone you are waiting in a cue for ice cream? I must admit, I have been known to enter tidbits on my Facebook wall presenting the ”me” beyond my professional self. We are, after all multi-dimensional beings. But without turning all notifications off (which the average social media user never bothers to learn how to do) we are getting flooded with menial messages. Even though they are well meant, they borderline spam (albeit from a pre-approved source).

I am all for aggregating media and making things freely accessible. But we do need ways to simplify the filtering process and monitor our own behavior for efficiency. The Internet has been an endless source of information for the curious. Now we personify that beyond research. We learn more about our friends, our peers and our community. But do we get what we need or want? We need to feel connected. We want to be entertained and informed. Yet, when we lose ourselves in the curiosity factor, do we lose our piece of mind (or five minutes peace) with all the Twitter going on around us? It remains to be seen. But personally, I am learning to find my piece and my peace with more effective use of the Internet so that I can be off-line more.

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Offline experiment

This year for Christmas we gave each other peace. Television, Computers and Blackberries were forbidden for the holiday period. Once something is taken away, we realise how reliant we have become on it. The biggest lesson was not one of panic from disconnect from the world, but peace at reconnect with my family and self. We laughed, we skied, we built Legos, did puzzles, “solved the problems of the world” (or at least talked about them together face to face), we walked and we talked about our hopes and dreams (and listened un-distracted). It was bliss, peaceful and much needed.

Of course, now we are back at work and the in-box is full, the bills are piled high, the day is too short and the wheel still spins. I apologise to anyone that might have taken my silence as a personal shut-out. It was time to re-charge the batteries and allow the flame to kindle so that I may be full of fire and passion to achieve my goals for 2009. Time for reflection is critical for making educated and careful decisions. I am glad to have taken it. But that said, I am glad to be back. I have brought myself back to my personal balance. Now I am ready to roll.

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