When you work at a home office it is easy to fall into a rut, where daily activities that just suck up time and energy and give nothing back intrude on quality of life. I am doing a personal audit of late and have noticed for me at least, a disturbing reality that my online life has overtaken my offline world. With Blackberry in hand, Email, IM, Twitter, Facebook and LInkedin  the number of disconnected interactions has only grown over the last year.

I totally get the stay connected thing but looking at the results of the being connected through these sites, I cannot see a distinctive benefit that has arisen. Whats worse for me is reflecting back and seeing that the amount of personal growth and family time has actually gotten smaller, and the times when I am away from the computer(s) I have found it difficult, feeling that I needed to be working or connected, as I might be needed or missing something important. There are things that are truly important such as this Blog, and my work email, however I am starting to understand that Facebook and Twitter have become for me at least a destroyer of what little extra time I have. Twitter, is like being a fly on the wall, listening into someone’s conversation and if you are lucky being able to inject yourself in and get a response. Facebook, while it is nice to be connected with old friends, family, co-workers and the like in a central place, the amount of visual ‘shit’ is overwhelming. Honestly each day that I log in I see changes, I get bombarded with play this, do that, take this survey, check out your IQ … Its this kind of white noise, over the top crap that just sucks the life out of me. Facebook has become a central aggregator or everything that is bad on the net. For the good parts of the site (stay connected) there (for me) is a lot of bad. I can understand the reasoning that the fine people at Facebook are throwing the stuff at the audience since they are still determining a business model, but Yuck! Some days it feels like a boot to the head.

So for me, Twitter is gone, not going to waist anymore time on it. I rather take the time that was committed to it and read, or get off my Ass and go for a walk. I say good bye to the constant notification that someone, somewhere posted something up. I say good bye to the need to verify that indeed what was posted had no meaning to me and I say good bye to the morning ritual of trying to catch-up to hundreds of non-contextual messages.

I spoke with a friend last week, and she had noted my status’s  in Facebook had/are pretty dull (I am here, or there, gonna watch a movie, or out with the family having desert). I reflected on that and looked over the status’s of my friends and noticed that they were in line. What I noticed more, what what has become news worthy which are the mundane actions, and lifestyles that many of us lead. If you dig, and not too deep forsure what we do from day to day is little more then getting up and putting in time. Its a sad state of affairs where the highlight is going out for a coffee, or a piece of cake is the highlight of ones days. Given the fact that I rarely have anything exciting to post I have decided to not post, to also reduce my ‘Facebook’ time to 15 minutes per week for managing my relationships.

I am hoping to further reduce my ‘computer social time’ to get out of this rut I have been in, spending more time with the computers then real people.

Do you find your time being negatively effected by these technological ways of staying connected.

Mark

2 Comments

  1. Whilst I’ve subscribed just out of interest to several social sites – I have yet to find them to be anything other than idle curiosity that eats into time best spent doing something else.

    Maybe I miss the point, maybe I’m just not that “into” it – but, frankly, I’d rather be doing something else than listening to the noise of others!

    Mike

  2. For me it isn’t noise, I actually enjoy it. However, you cannot approach twitter, facebook, etc like e-mail. Don’t try to keep up with everything, of the thousands of tweets that pass through twhirl on any given day I catch maybe .5% of it – you have to be OK with that or else you’ll get yourself stressed out and feeling like you have to much to catch up on.

    However, in that .5% of what passes through my stream, I do keep up to date on a lot of things I might not have known about otherwise. Plus, I like the idea of being a part of a global conversation that I can take part in as much or as little as I like.

    Maybe the key for you is to follow less people, and even then only those that really matter to you. Or drop it (not trying to talk you into using twitter or anything). For me, I like that I get some “conversation” every now and then since I do work at home and don’t get to talk as much to other devs. KWIM?

    Ryan

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