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Social Networking Abstinence Week

20 Jul

I’ve dubbed this week my Social Networking Abstinence Week. Why? Because much like taking a shower or brushing my teeth, it’s become something that is among the long list of things I feel I’m to do in the day. At times I feel like being on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+ is like a second job. It can be quite exhausting and I just needed a break. I assure you that it’s not forever.

Over the past few weeks as I’ve sat in my office at work juggling my many browser tabs between work and social purposes it dawned on me, I needed to spend less time networking and more time working. While I was getting things done, it wasn’t at the same calibre or quality as I’m accustomed to. Being an HR professional I can actually appreciate and see the benefits of including social networking into one’s workday. The fact is, most people tend to be more productive when given the opportunity to have some on the clock down time. The issue, as I recently discovered, is when it becomes another thing on my list to do or when the time spent on it unnecessarily takes away from other tasks.

I’m a bit of a poker person actually, and considering the fact that Facebook has also become a gaming destination it is quite easy to have 30 to 45 minutes pass you by as you try to win back the chips you just lost. Add to that the general time spent reading what friends post, watching shared videos, looking at uploaded pictures, and also posting, it can be more than a little overwhelming when you realize that much of the day has passed you by. It was just time to take a step back and put everything into perspective. It was time to take stock of what it is that I have to gain in spending so much of my time on social networks. Considering the fact that I’m not a very social person, it makes me wonder if I do this merely as a substitute for face-to-face interaction. It’s certainly not because I don’t have other things to do.

On Sunday I updated my status on all my social networks to alert my ‘friends’ of my break and as usual it was only my best friend to comment on it. He was curious why I was on hiatus and then was dismissive saying that it was ridiculous. I know how I am and a break is what I needed. However, I do miss it already. It’s only Tuesday and there are many things that I’ve thought to myself, ‘I should post this.’ From my commentary on noisy kids in a doctor’s waiting (definitely a Facebook post) to what I’m watching on television (aTwitter post), I’ve been more than tempted to grab my iPhone or iPad to share. But considering how few of my hundreds of my Facebook friends who comment on my posts, I’m sure keeping it to myself produces the same results.

Social networking can become too addicting and I don’t ever want for it to get too out of hand. I feel that way about being on the computer. Generally the weekend is my time to be unplugged from it. I usually don’t power up the computer and if I do post to Facebook or Twitter, I try not to read other posts. We are in the era of information overload and like everything else, sometimes we have to take a few steps back. I hope that by week’s end I will be able to have better willpower and self-control over my social networking addiction. That is, I don’t want for it to become an addiction and so being proactive and taking some time off from it all can serve us all some good.

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