Are We Too Busy Tweeting To Care

[This post originally appeared on Antonia’s Blog at Social Glitz. Normally we don’t repost materials, but this particular piece merited an exception. — Ed.]

There’s something I’m increasingly starting to notice about myself and before you ask, no, I do not like what I’m noticing. Like not at all. I have issues. Serious issues. Not *that* kind of issues but issues nonetheless. I tweet a lot. I facebook a lot. I spend a lot of time reading blogs. I take pictures of my smoothie to then put them on Facebook and Twitter because I’m so excited about drinking a smoothie. That, my friends, I call a serious issue. Not to mention, the nature of my job fosters this bad habit. But hell, I enjoy my job! Now what?

Thanks to the digital age, I often miss the point of the simple things right in front of me. Enjoy the moment, Antonia. Oh and whilst you are at it, grasp the period of solitude with both hands and hold onto it as long as possible. Trouble is my hands are too busy tweeting about the moment I’m apparently enjoying right now to start thinking about holding onto any moment of solitude. (Issues!!)

Technology has made so many strides in the past decade and has had such a tremendous impact on our lives that remembering a time when a simple postcard was considered a sufficient means of communication seems impossible. The benefits of these new communication technologies, which btw have almost become as important as breathing, are indisputable. We tap into Twitter, Facebook & FriendFeed wherever we are only to guarantee that we have our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the lives of our families, friends and also, let’s not forget, the world. We don’t want to miss the news. And when I say we, I mean me.

And this stresses me. A lot. My mind is running on full speed 24/7. Every single day. Things that are being said online make me laugh, make me sad, make me want to hug or punch people. They evoke every possible emotion in my body that offline life does. Nice. But also annoying because sometimes it takes too big of an effect on how I enjoy the life that I’m supposed to be living instead of tweeting.

I clearly don’t know how to unplug. Also, my concentration span has developed to the one of a fish. I crave constant stimulation. Or I get bored. At first, technology and the Internet felt like an amazing opportunity to expand my horizons, in effect it’s made me a slave to its power.

The life we are living online is so fast-paced that our offline life, that’s just as fast-paced, takes a back seat. It goes without saying that massive positives come out of technology. It allows us to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world and it really is a huge privilege to have such a wealth of information on our fingertips. But where will it end? Can we even learn to truly unplug?  Those are the questions we should be asking ourselves while enjoying the ride.

At the end of the day, the Internet was invented to be our servant not our master.

How about you? Are you too busy tweeting to care & live the life right in front of you? Or have you found a way to truly unplug and leave your online life behind to truly enjoy your offline one?

Antonia work at Paratus Communications in London. Yah, that’s right, she’s the girl who got a job through a blog post. This just proves her awesomeness.

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  • April Olsen

    There are many types of addictions, perhaps you are realizing this one yourself. Whenever I am with close friends, family, in work meetings, my phone is not on or put away in my purse. Yes i could be relentlessly connected, but no it is not necessary 24-7. At least, you, unlike many others, recognize the problem. Isn’t that the first step in the right direction?

    • April, I’d hope that it is. I also realize that it’s not so much the technology consuming me but me letting it consume me. I’ve started to switch all the devices off and catch some offline time. Let’s see how long that will last? However, I’ve always been a strong believer of not overdoing it when in the presence of others. When out with others, my phone’s on silent and I will check on it afterwards. I guess it all comes down to trying. I know, I sure will 🙂

  • Anonymous

    This is a great, heart-felt post. I, too, feel the ill effects of staying plugged in. That’s not to say there are not plus sides to it. It’s really a matter of priority, and let’s get real for a second/stir some pots: Do we care more about posting about a conversation with a cool friend of ours and linking up that friend’s handle on Twitter, than just enjoying the conversation? Do we prefer to play “Angry Birds” on our android than to talk to our spouse at dinner time? What we choose in terms of real examples like these indicates whether or not we should cool it with technology for a while.

    The best way I’ve learned how to manage my personal and social media life is by picking a select group of individuals that I’d like to get to know, read their blogs that are of interest, and see if we actually match in terms of building a relationship. Also, be natural when perusing the web, especially when it comes to developing in your field. Don’t do what everyone else is doing, because in that, you’ll likely get buried. Make it work for you.

    • Tim, great comment. I agree. I tend to not be on my phone when I’m in the presence of others, however, I don’t always manage. I’m starting to get a lot better at it because really it’s not necessary. I don’t need to be online 24/7 and surely, I don’t need to feel guilty for not being online. It’s my life after all and I realize that the guilt I feel is the guilt that I feel I have to feel (not sure if that makes any sense 🙂 rather than “real” guilt. That’s why I’m putting a stop to it. A few hours a day are going to be spent unplugged.

  • Lynette

    great writing. very funny. thank you.

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  • Micaeh “MJ” Johnson

    i feel your pain….and happiness sister.

  • This is a great post. Technology has as much power to bring us together as it has to separate us! There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to engage with someone on a personal level while they are constantly checking their texts, their facebook, or whatever other media upon which they happen to be most dependent. Technologies like these can be monumentally important in reaching our friends and customers, but ultimately, we have to be the ones using the technology. It cannot use us.