Monday, June 10, 2013

Learn When to Disconnect from Social Media

According to the Social Media Report 2012 by Nielsen, American's spend over 520 billion minutes online, either through their mobile device or computers.

This has increased 21% in one year. Mobile app usage alone increased 120% in one year. These numbers are staggering considering we probably look like drones over our technology usage day in and day out.
The Social Media Report 2012 by Nielsen

While I love the benefits and opportunities that social media offers, such as networking and marketing, it is incredibly important to know when you just have to shut it off.

Finding a healthy balance between using social media and disconnecting is important for family life, personal life and simply living life.

1. Firstly, a place to learn to disconnect from social media is at Home.  
For those that live alone and don't have family, social media may be a respite from quietness and loneliness; but even so, it's important for you to have time for yourself and self-reflection without peering into other people's lives or waiting for them to comment on yours.  
For those with family, be with them! Spend time with your spouse and children (if you have them). Those relationships are the most valuable in the world. Just because you take a picture of them and post them on Facebook, doesn't mean you're spending time with them. You're actually spending more time with your phone. 
2. Finally, the third place that it may be good to disconnect every once and awhile is at Work
Unless you're paid to be on social media all day long for work purposes, try to only get on twice a day, in the beginning of the day and maybe an hour or so before leaving work. Take the time to actually do what you get paid to do, rather than peer into the black hole that social media lure you into. 
3. We'll end with an obvious place to disconnect from social media: Vacation
With the exception of the camera feature from my phone, I try my hardest to disconnect when I'm on vacation. Since that's not always possible, it's nice to go overseas or on a cruise where Internet isn't quite so accessible. It makes vacation wonderful and stress free, especially for those with you.

 On all three points mentioned above, there may be times where you absolutely need to get on (this is probably more out of addiction than true need), so do it for short spurts and not for lengthy periods of time.

At the end of the day, if you're getting on social media while on vacation, you really need to learn to disconnect or you're going to forget how to enjoy life. Not even a decade ago, you were doing just fine without it, learn to do without it every second of your life.

If you're on social media predominantly for work and think my recommendations for disconnecting from social media are unreasonable, consider the article by Elizabeth Grace Saunders, titled Overcome Social Media.  It is an incredibly valuable article about asking yourself certain questions regarding social media before posting.
If you learn how to balance your time and setup select hours for using social media; this can help you discipline yourself on your usage time.

Whatever you do, don't compromise time with human interaction and those closest to you for time in a virtual world that ultimately is not important.

Utilize social media for its benefits, but use wisely and in moderation.

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