With a job that requires me to be online what seems to be 24-7 (the emails usually begin around 5 am and end around 1 am), it’s become a necessity for me to take occasional “social media vacations.” Since my BlackBerry always keeps me connected to a constant flow of emails, sometimes this is way more difficult than it seems (sadly, a good twelve hours without logging on is an accomplishment for me lately).
For the last five days, I’ve taken a much-needed break from social media. When I say this, I really mean Twitter and Facebook specifically since it’s impossible to detach myself from the web as a whole when it’s my source of income. Just like the perfect job, social media is both a blessing and a curse…it’s fun and often times way too easy to overdo it.
If you’re on Twitter or Facebook you know what I mean and you’ve undoubtedly been logged on when you really shouldn’t have been. You know, either way, passed bedtime or perhaps when you’re supposed paying attention to something or someone else and you just can’t get yourself to log out. It’s interesting (read somewhat alarming) to me where our world is headed, especially for those that carry the heavy burden of a profession that resides in a public space like the internet.
My five-day break from social media made it apparent how much even though I’m not paid to tweet or post status updates, they are such an integral and important piece to the puzzle of being an “web professional.” It’s the instant feedback from my “personal marketing” that everyone craves in face-to-face relationships that is always there in social media. With a few hundred people watching, someone is going to respond and they usually do fairly quickly. Instantly our natural insatiable need for attention is quickly eradicated.
I’ve noticed, however, that the attention is about as satisfying as a dripping faucet after running a marathon.
If we’re moving more and more towards online everything and digital communications replacing good old fashioned handshakes and eye contact, I hope as humans we remember to distinguish what’s really satisfying to our soul from what’s not.
Although I’ve met incredible people through various forms of social media, nothing will ever beat sharing a laugh and a smile over coffee. Even if in the future it ends up being the people I met through online interactions.
Now if you’ll excuse me…I’ve got to get back on the hamster wheel of content producing. ;)