Many people have been asking me where I’ve been hiding the last few months.
Unfortunately for me, in today’s high-tech connected world, one’s online presence is often as important, if not more important, than one’s physical presence.
The reason this is unfortunate is because after 6 months of hard core online connectedness I simply got burned out. I don’t think I’m cut out to be updating my status all the time, posting to other people’s walls, writing on my blog every day and checking in to every location I go to. It’s just not me.
Social Media’s Not For Everyone
That’s my advice. Try out social media (twittering, foursquaring, gowallaing, facebooking, blogging) and if it’s not for you don’t force it.
When I got into the startup tech scene here in Vancouver, it felt like all the cool people were on twitter & “connected.” I tried really hard to do the same and even tell others to but it never really felt natural to me. Talking to other people in less than 140 characters so that the whole world could see what you said just didn’t seem to help me build genuine relationships.
Don’t get me wrong, there was definitely value in it but for every great link, hot news item, or great 140 character conversation I had with someone I found I had to scroll through hundreds of irrelevant information & constantly keep checking throughout the day.
It became this self-imposed ritual where I cared more about my online presence, what my online tweets looked like, or that I checked in to the right place within the correct time intervals, then my actual genuine day-to-day life, relationships & interactions.
So What Now?
My two conclusions: Temperance & Authenticity.
Temperance basically means self-control or restraint. And since I’m quite passionate in everything I do, the next step is to learn temperance.
Authenticity. Instead of trying to make myself look as good as possible online, I’m just going to start being myself. I’m going to stop caring what other people think so much that it paralyzes me from just being me.
So I’m still going to use social media, just with authentic temperance. I like that. Authentic Temperance.
If you’re on twitter and you love it, that’s great. I’ve read many blog posts about how people use twitter effectively, how large companies are using twitter to engage & “listen” to people, and I’m sure much of that is true. Let me be clear: I am in no way putting down people who use and love social media.
Life After Twitter…
For me, I cannot tell you how freeing it is not to have to always have my iPhone in my hands so I can update my status, checkins or wall posts. It’s such a great feeling living real life, talking to real people, and not worrying so hard about making sure your “online presence” matches other people’s expectations.
I’m sure one of these days I’ll get back on twitter, foursquare, gowalla & facebook with a vengeance. Hopefully by then, I will have learned how to be genuine & authentic on it as well as this “temperance” thing. Until then, I’m going to stick to simple blog posts, more life away from my computer & phone & with Vicki, and look forward to hearing your thoughts or comments.
3 thoughts on “Life After Twitter: What I learned from taking a 6 month break from social media.”
It really comes down to balance. If there’s a benefit of sharing your findings or ideas to many people, social media would help a lot. Narrowing to a small number of contacts that you want to connect with under a tight deadline would also help strategize on actually achieving the goal. I’m not sure if you have come across “The 4 hour work week” book, but imo, it’s a must-read for entrepreneurs who want to succeed but not burn out easily at the same time.
Thanks for dropping by my blog and good to see you’ve graduated! Feels good hey? We should get together sometime and catch up!
And yes, i’ve definitely read the 4 hour work week! haha, good book too!
I agree with you about balance, but I guess my point was that too many people are so worried about their “personal brand” that they’re not free to be themselves and live a bunch of different persona’s online. In the end, authenticity and being genuine is a key part to this new social network revolution.
This is stated so well in Carlos’ blog: to hell with personal branding.
Great post, people have started to notice the same thing… Social media has grown so fast that some early-adopters are feeling a backlash and a reverse trend is taking place.
If you have time, take a read through this blog post.