Keeping Up with Communication: Convenience vs. Control

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How do you keep up with social media?  How do you find the time?  I get asked some version of this question every day, and in fact I deliver trainings on the topic.  The tools you choose to use have a huge impact on how well you can keep up with the flood of communication caused by engaging in social media.  I don’t think I’d be as active (or at all active) on social media if it weren’t for my iPhone.  My iPhone gives me the ability to check in on Facebook & Twitter at random moments in the day, like waiting in the drive through for coffee, waiting in line at the supermarket, waiting for a meeting to start…any idle moment that comes along gives me the opportunity, if I so choose, to check my Tweet stream or my Facebook news with just the click of a button.  (I use Tweetie on my iPhone for Twitter and Facebook’s own app for Facebook).  I haven’t looked lately to see if these apps are as user-friendly on a Blackberry or other devices, but I can tell you that an iPhone makes it super-easy.

This convenience can have a downside, however, if I don’t control it.  First, I don’t have any alarms set on my iPhone to alert me when I have new Tweets or Facebook notifications.  That would be endlessly distracting.  But still, if I’m not careful, this “convenience” could rob me of any time for idle thought.  And we, as a society, already don’t take enough time for just thinking.  It’s nice to have those idle minutes to take a couple of deep breaths, look around, take in the scenery, and let my mind wander.  It’s important to allow time in your day for this, at least.  Even better if you can carve out some real thinking time in your day.  Ten minutes?  15?  How about 30 minutes to sit someplace quiet, without a phone or computer, and see where your mind takes you.

My iPhone adds a huge amount of convenience to my life, and allows me to keep up with things I find enjoyable.  No question.  But also be sure you’re in control of the technology, and that it’s not running your life.

I’ll leave you with a quote shared with me by my friend Connie Brubaker, which I love:

“A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually.
One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.”
– Rita Mae Brown

Thanks for reading!

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  1. […] media, and it’s a topic I get asked about a lot.  I’ve shared some information before, in this post and this post.  Certainly you can ask 10 different people questions about social media, and get 10 […]

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