Forget about the work / life balance. What about the social media / life balance?
It is an increasing trend for some people that their virtual selves are more interesting than their actual selves. Speaking personally, sadly enough, that may be the case….
To give some background: I am a Dad of two kids and spend all my time ferrying them here and there. Horse riding, street dance and hockey for my little boy, diving, yoga and theatre school for my little girl, not to mention going to visit various of their little mates. If you add to that walks on the beach, cycling in the woods, cinema trips and all sorts of games at home (not to mention getting seriously involved with their learning), then there is not so much time left in the day for socializing outside of my (amazing) family. When they have gone to bed, my wife gets my undivided attention…. Well, unless there is football on the television.
My life is no busier than most people out there. I thoroughly enjoy it, but I sometimes wonder if I could be a little more sociable.
You see in my busy life, I somehow don’t reach out and touch people in the real world as much as I should. Everyone has social needs, but increasingly these needs are being filled on social media. I have a few genuine “friends” on LinkedIn now. Some people whom I know reasonably well – I care about their wellbeing, and they care about mine. I get my daily fill of non-family human interaction here – making me feel like I am making a difference in the wider world….
Well, that’s great, right?
I’m not so sure. I might be waiting in the school playground messaging my LinkedIn friend Melanie who is on the brink of a new challenge in her career…. I might be sitting in the kiddie yoga waiting room reading some blogs rather than chatting to the other parents around me. I’m not the only one. Many of the other parents are immersed in their smartphones (although I do still talk to a few of them!). Many of the people in the waiting room are doing the same thing.
It makes me sad sometimes….
There is nothing like someone smiling at you, someone genuinely interacting with you. Seeing the gratitude in their eyes when you have done a good deed. Seeing them react to your story, and help bring it to life with their point of view…. Somehow, an online smiley doesn’t do it for me. That leaves too much to the imagination.
So, sitting at my desk, writing one of the many blogs that I will be writing this week, I have decided to do as much as I can in 2015 to live to the fullest in the real world. Having lots of strangers reading and commenting on my blogs is great, but a real smile is worth a hundred smileys.
“Social Media” is not going to be my raison d’etre in 2015.
“Social” will do fine on it’s own, thank you very much.
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