01 January 2011

seeking balance in the world of social media

Taking a Twitter/Facebook/social media “time out” between Christmas Eve and the New Year was the best thing I’ve done for myself in ages. I’m not one to wax poetic on sappy end-of-year round ups or make New Year’s resolutions, but stepping away from Tweetdeck helped put my cyber priorities into perspective.

There are so many things I love about social media – all of the new friends I’ve made – many of whom I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in real life (or “IRL” in Twitterspeak), being part of an interactive, international forum of writers, travelers, foodies and creative types (few things in my globetrotting world are as fun as Travelers’ Night In, a.k.a. #TNI), and the fact that I was able to use this tool to fund (and now share) The Global Citizen Project.

Twitter, Facebook, blogging and whatever other social media outlets you partake in are all about the give and take of ideas and information. I think people who post, but don’t participate are really missing out, and my brief hiatus made me think long and hard about how I can strike better balance in my personal life while still maintaining an active and fulfilling online presence.

Reality is I put far more value on real world interactions, and even my closest friends and loved  ones don’t know my every move in 140 characters or less like my followers on Twitter do. Sure, it’s been entirely my choice to put my personal life on cyber parade, but the past week has left me seriously rethinking what and how I’m going to use these tools to share in the future. 

Am I experiencing social media fatigue? Maybe. Or perhaps like anything in life, moderation is the key for successful living, especially now more than ever in our weird and wonderful, online world.

Here’s wishing you the best – and balance – in 2011!

Photo by Murray Barnes


Andrea said...

This is a tough one. I agree with everything you say here and I often find it very challenging to keep up with social media across the different platforms, especially now that we are travelling. I think it is just a matter of setting priorities and letting some things go. Some interactions will have more value than others.

Charyn Pfeuffer said...

Thanks for your comment, Andrea! I know I'm not alone in trying to strike balance and you make a good point that traveling makes keeping up with social media even trickier. I am more than happy to share my travel and volunteer experiences, but am growing more and more protective of my limited "me"/at home time. Agreed - setting priorities seems to be key and I'm (slowly) getting better at letting things go and learning to say "no." Here's to successfully navigating the cyber world in the new year (and still finding balance)!