Over-socialed? where does it stop?Posted: June 7, 2011 | |
I am relatively new to Twitter. I admit it.
But what started as an exploration, developed into a love affair…
It kept me awake at night,
Anticipating unexpected surprises,
Taking my undivided attention.
It was the first thing I woke up to and the last thing I kissed goodnight.
It made me happy.
It was love at first tweet.
Until few days back, we decided to take a long road trip to a base camp close to nowhere….
600km, 8 hours drive and 20 degrees away from Dubai.
the pleasantly cold 18 degrees,
the jacket and cap feeling in the middle of ‘Summer’,
the billion stars across the pitch dark sky,
the camel spiders elegantly crawling on the walls,
the camp fire,
the laughter of the kids,
the smiles of the misses,
the ‘Russian Standard’ flowing till 5:30 am,
the break of dawn in this beautifully deserted place…
…were all so amazing that we felt so disconnected from everything else on this planet.
We hanged on to those moments you almost forgot existed!
It was so overwhelming and so fulfilling that I lost contact with the world…and forgot all means of communication…Twitter included.
Same as when you’re having a great conversation with close friends at home and time flows, then you pleasantly realize that the TV has been off for few hours, and you’re so happy about it. That same exact feeling, only much more intense.
And then, like everything great in life, it ended. We had to come back, 2 days later, each one of us to his daily ‘to do’ list (or lists in most cases).
We arrived home late at night. I checked the Ipad. clicked the Twitter icon.
I was overwhelmed to see my timeline filled with a thousand unread tweets….
Have I been away too long?
What happened during my absence?
What do I do?
Do I have to read them all?…But I am so tired!
Should I really?
I closed the ipad…and thought for a moment.
One word kept recurring in my mind: ’Balance’
Then it hit me.
No matter what you do, you can never catch up with all your social networks – even if you’re facing your screens for 24 hours non-stop.
Same as you were never able to watch all TV channels 24 hrs a day, few years back.
So what would really happen if you let go of few tweets, posts, updates or comments?
Worst case scenario, you will get them again a day later or god forbid…2 days later!
Does it make you outdated?
Have yesterday’s news become obsolete…so ‘passé’?
Well, news is news and it will still be ‘news’ when it reaches you, no matter when or how.
In fact, it’s not about being the first to get the news and tweet it back. There is no pride in that.
It’s more about what you will be doing with this news, how is it relevant to you and how you will use it to make a difference or improve your life.
(To you, self-proclaimed ‘Social media experts’: the fear of not being the first to retweet news is a ‘Virtual’ fear…get over it. It doesn’t make you any less interesting to follow. But not having interesting things to add on these news or use the knowledge to create new stuff/ideas is what makes you irrelevant, redundant, boring and mediocre – but that’s the subject of my next post)
Tons of ideas, posts, updates, relevant and irrelevant, hit the social networks every minute. No matter what you do, you will never be able to keep up with what’s happening.
It’s therefore important to work out your balance.
Staying tuned to your social channels trying desperately to know everything will stress you…so chill, relax, discover, tweet, post, browse, update as you go and when you can. Don’t over do it.
Important things will come to you, eventually. If not the same minute, probably the same day or maybe the same week.
If not through social channels, probably though more conventional ones, like a chat with a friend or a colleague.
A physical live conversation is healthy and recommended from time to time…
Remember you still have your offline life…and this is where amazing stuff happens.
This is still the place for open and meaningful conversations with real smiles and beautiful winks and sometimes sad faces.
This is where the magic happens.
So next time you’re on top of a mountain, try to disconnect. It feels good.
I know I will…and next time, I’ll be leaving my phone behind.