Actually, the social media “lifestyle” lacks sustainability.

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.


6 Responses

  1. A few years ago, I HAD to simplify things and go from my Blackberry to a regular phone. The constant emails and texts were overwhelming. Along with the fact that some people thought that if they called and didn’t leave a message, I should still call them back?!?! Life is much better now. I enjoy your articles and the segment on Crossroads!

  2. Crystal,
    I appreciate your post and love your wisdom. I do agree with the need for balance
    I do silent retreats at the Cenacle periodically. We are so busy we
    can’t hear ourselves.
    Since taking on our Mastermind group 30days of blogging
    I have spent more time than ever on Facebook. This weekend while
    working to honor my commitment I decided that I have an option. I could
    use social media to serve me and my business or social media could ” have” me.
    It’s a choice.

  3. You are absolutely right. I’ve often wondered if social media is actually stunting society. As a pastor I am very concerned that people are losing touch with their need for actual interaction with people. We need real face-to-face fellowship and it is not about finding “friends” on facebook or “followers” on twitter. I agree, we need a disconnect with technology and a reconnect with people – in real time and in real, not virtual, life.

    1. Hello Rev. Michael! It’s all about balance. Social media has completely changed my life! I have met amazingly inspiring people and new “real-in-person” friends. In fact, I would have never been hired to speak in Ghana had it not been for them finding me via social media. I feel that everyone should embrace social media- I see far too many baby boomers resisting and becoming less and less relevant in a business world that is changing with technology. Ageism is on the rise and I have a strong suspicion that technology has a great deal to do with it.

      At the same time, we have to know when to unplug. 🙂