There comes a time in your life when you need to reassess your priorities. At current I’m re-analysing mine in respect to social media / computer time.
Since 2010, it has taken up an increasing amount of my time BUT I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve loved blogging, getting to know Twitter, connecting with people on Facebook and LinkedIn. I’ve ‘met’ some great people, made friends, and learnt a lot.
And then came Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram…I know I’ve forgotten others I succumbed to. At one stage – and I’ve heard other bloggers say this – it becomes an automatic process to just sign-up to things…without even really thinking. And on top of that it was all of the groups – so many types, so many people, so many opportunities to share and connect…
Enough is enough.
It’s all well and good connecting in with all of these groups and social media platforms – which is especially tempting when you have a blog that you are wanting to publicise, but when you struggle to put quality time into the connections you’ve made, or any of the accounts you’ve created for some reason or another – than it’s certainly time to re-think what you are doing, why and where.
The first thing to go for me was Tumblr. I had started it to share photos, as I was really getting back into my photography and wanted to pursue it more. I was picking up some followers here and there, including other photographers liking my work…but when I sat down to think about the value it was bringing me, I had to admit that it lacked that whole social connection for me. There wasn’t really any ‘getting to know you’ going on. It was more just looking at others pictures, sharing your own – and hoping someone would share yours. Of course, I do appreciated pretty pictures, and I could have turned my Tumblr account into a blog, but I already have one blog, and that was enough – which was another decision I made a few months ago when considering whether I should start another blog in which I could ‘monetize’.
The second thing to go was my membership of certain Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Many of the LinkedIn groups had become as annoying as spam, so they were easy to cull. The Facebook groups – well – that was another story as I had to consider whether leaving the groups would sever my connection with people I had connected with whom I had gotten to know and admired. In the end I had to weigh them up according to my priorities, interests, what I had in common with the other members, and the direction I was moving in.
The third thing which pains me has been cutting back on my blogging. I love it, but I had to cut back. Working 2 jobs, maintaining a relationship, looking after kids every second weekend, volunteering, networking, maintaining social media accounts, physically catching up with friends in person, spending time with my family and dog, exercising, eating, trying to start a business, paying bills, food shopping, cleaning the house, mentoring others, designing ebooks, looking after myself, having down time…and blogging on top for this blog and others…well, it all culminated in me having a (minor) car accident a few weeks back, of which I will add to my list of wake up calls.
I’d actually already started to cut back on blogging before the accident, but have done more-so since. I’ve also cut back on driving in the evenings, going out in the evenings / on week nights, one of the two jobs, and so on.
As I sit here now, this is the first time I have sat down to write/blog for over a week and a half. I miss the feeling of writing. I miss how free it makes me feel, how it brings me clarity. I love the feeling of my fingers tapping away at the keys frantically, the words spilling out of me easily. It took me years to re-find this…and I don’t want to lose it again.
And so now I have clarity.
My priorities, of which some I already knew, are:
- My health
- My relationship
- My family and friends
- My dog
- My writing
- A holiday
- One special Facebook group
The rest will just have to fall into place – especially social media – until life re-balances out with time. Unfortunately that means my photography will be taking a bit of a back seat – until I go to China that is 🙂
How are you going with social media / computer time, and maintaining balance? I know I’m not the only one struggling to keep up!