It was a beautiful Saturday night at the ballpark, my boy Sid next to me all smiles. We were having a “mom and Sid day,” what more do you want out of life? Seated directly in front of me was a dad, with a son about the same age as Sid, I’d guess around 7. The guy did not put down his crackberry the E-N-T-I-R-E game.
Every 5 seconds he was checking it, ignoring his son, hell-bent on reading some crap on various blogs and social sites. This was heartbreaking to me, but how many times have you witnessed the exact same thing; or perhaps you are that parent?
James Ramsey’s article in the NY Times On The Media: Overdosing on social networking” focuses on our obsession on social media and it tells the story of so many of us today.
Time for a quiz:
1) Do you sleep with your iPhone/BlackBerry on your night table?
2) Do you check your Facebook updates in the bathroom?
3) When you get a new Twitter follower, do you feel all numb and tingle inside?
If you answered YE S to any of the above, step back, step away from the smartphone, and get a grip on reality! But don’t feel too bad, you are hardly alone;
Julie Hahn, a 31-year-old from Boise, Idaho, echoed many others when she said it was not one technology but the conglomeration of “Twitter, Facebook, blogs, text messaging [and] constant access to e-mail” that began to overwhelm her. She said she needs to keep up with social media for her PR work, but “I have cut back. A lot. My focus now is on doing one thing at a time.”
Doing one thing at a time. Remember those days?
Incessant multi-tasking is no doubt a bad habit that has been spurred by social media (I actually find myself bragging about how many things I can juggle at given moment, like it’s some kind of rare talent or something). But when I really think about it, working in this mode of operation doesn’t make me happy. It makes me tense, nervous, like I am always running late or something. But yet, I continue, like some kind of junkie.
Hmmm. So what to do. Pack it up and quit?
Unrealistic, and really not a wise move, since social media is here to stay, and from a business perspective the value of a home-grown community is worth its weight in gold.
“We continue to fumble around for the right balance, says Ramsey, “but most aren’t quitting because of the annoyances. They’re regrouping and redeploying.”
I’d agree with that, it’s all about balance.
And, I’d say its a great word of advice, given at a time when most of us are spending more time with our virtual friends, than our real live ones.