Social Media: An Annotated Life

Anyone actively using social media runs into the balance issue. Mike Rupert, a communications pro for DC local government, brought this up as one of the topics for his LocalGovChat tonight on Twitter:
We check Twitter on the train, read through blog comments in our cars, adjust code in restaurants and study analytics in bed, he wrote (paraphrased).
I'm regularly asked about my prolific online activity, how I keep it up (although people usually don't want to hear the long answer) and how it impacts my family. Tonight, I simple wanted to hit at the balance issue.
Of course I regularly have to examine boundaries to ensure I'm respecting my family. I often force myself to leave the phone in the car, because the pull of checking various digital inboxes is great. I make sure I have friends who let me know when I'm thinking so globally that I'm ignoring the local.
But, because of social media, I produce a well-known international Gov 2.0 podcast - I run it in a Sunday afternoon from my home office in a corner of a condo bedroom.
I'm connected to thousands of media and government professionals throughout the world, and I travel less than almost all of the traditional businesspeople I know.
Because of social media, I dip into scores of industry conversations each week from my living room, the train and the park. I go to cities for the first time and already have friends and professional contacts there.
I could go on and on with examples of the value of social media to my professional and intellectual life; and the trade-off for this activity is that I stay home more, I eat dinner with my family more, I go to the park more with my kids, I rarely miss a chance to put them to bed.
Is social media distracting, is balance a challenge? Sure. But I'm not sure I'd make the trade-off for what people go through for offline business and networking.

Reference:

LocalGovChat: To Have and To Hold, 'Til Twitter Do Us Part

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  • published this page in Blog 2010-06-03 02:03:09 -0400

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