I’m paid to understand social media as a integral part of marketing. Truth be told, I love social media. I love what it represents and how it has empowered people all over the globe to connect and exchange. I love the feeling of being part of a global community.
I have to be honest though. I don’t love social media, as a lifestyle.
Tweeting my every move, checking into the cleaners with Foursquare and checking into the gas station on Facebook- it doesn’t appeal to me. Sure, using these tools to allow friends/followers to see “business” moves- I get that. Maybe occasionally letting them get a peak into what I do in my down time- I get that too. However, people, like technology, need down time or time to reset.
Here is something that tends to shock people- I do not use a cell phone for business. Yup, you read that correctly- all of my business calls come through a land line. Here’s another- I have not connected my email to my cell phone. Sure, I know HOW to do it, I just don’t WANT to do it. Something about giving others the ability to contact me at all times of the day or night does not appeal to me. I’ve also learned that when people have a cell number, they expect an immediate call back, unlike the expectations with a land line. By now you’re probably wondering how I receive texts from clients. Simple answer- I don’t. I’ve found that client communication is less efficient via text because texts are more likely to be cryptic.
As someone who studies Zen Meditation techniques, I appreciate silence and down time. I love the fact that disconnecting from technology helps me connect more spiritually with my fellow humans. I find that creativity and peace lives in silence. At least once a month, I choose a day when I will not use the computer, watch television, listen to the radio or talk on the phone (with the exception of answering my husband’s calls, of course). I always come out of this time rejuvenated and full of solutions. At least once a quarter, I spend the day in a meditation class at the Chung Tai Zen Center or observing a day of silence at the Ruah Center, maintained by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word.
Too much of any good thing can be harmful. When I look at some of my peers who have accepted social media as a lifestyle, without embracing balance in the form of down time- I wonder if we are using technology, or if technology is using us.