As you begin the journey to discovering what is hot and cutting edge in your social media effort, stop and reflect on what is imperative to your personal life. You should throw yourself full-force into the online space, duh, right? Not necessarily. Though the platform of social media could prove beneficial to nearly every business, it doesn’t necessarily mean risking personal time and core values for a digital presence .
The addictive social media world, overflowing with desires, obsessions, and ensuing insecurities, takes no prisoners. The gates broke open long ago. Thus, the question remains, what path will you choose? Will you stop short and reconsider, tread cautiously? Or will you be one of the risk takers, sprinting feet first with no intention of ever going back?
For most of us, leaving the social media scene for a minute already spurs up feelings of anxiety that are hard to shake; believe me, I can relate. It is getting increasingly harder to separate the professional from the social; the social from the personal. Where has our ability gone to take a second for ourselves?
And greater still, who/what decides when it’s time to do so? If there’s a story worth sharing, we will follow the link to see it. With every random thought that comes to mind, we breathe a sigh of relief knowing the answer is one click away. Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blip.fm, PInterest, Friendfeed… Excuse me, I need a moment. I’m already breathless and I’m not even talking. Point being, though social media has changed forever how we communicate, it’s deciding how and to what capacity we use the tools that is the challenge.
Don’t get me wrong- the benefits of social media are undeniably exciting, some might even argue unparalleled. The marketing capabilities alone carry avenues of advertising and customer acquisition significantly unique to any advertising campaign ever conceptualized. Endless knowledge and insight from individual experts and consumers are free and encouraged to anyone with a simple thought and access to the web.
Online communication would most likely beat out direct, in-person contact nine times out of ten. In the winds of this social media frenzy, it grows increasingly difficult to maintain one’s core qualities as human beings. We cannot be afraid of simplicity. After all, how many Twitter accounts and Facebook statuses do we post before drowning in the unforgiving seas of social media?
The amount of time and effort you spend on social media sights is entirely up to you. If you somehow come up with a way to spend less time sleeping at night and more time awake online, please, share your secret.
However, for those more interested in finding a healthy balance, try limiting your tools, shortening email responses, or maybe answering the phone instead of waiting to text a second later. You might be surprised how your personal interaction will positively affect yourself and those around you. Social media is great. It’s fantastic. Life-changing. But come on, who wouldn’t take a sincere smile over a generic status update any day of the week?
Frank Anderson is a social media analyst and blogger. He also works with servers and virtual web hosting projects.