Contemplating Social Networks
I have taken some time out from social networking to contemplate life and existence. Don’t worry I am not going religious or start delivering edicts, rants, or sermons. I just concentrated on being an observer and I asked myself the question, why do people tweet, write blogs, and push content on Facebook, or Google+? Is it to become an alter ego? Is it make their voice heard? Is it to show others or, perhaps, themselves that they is some sort of existence?
I am divided personally by publishing tweets, or blogs, or any content that is not truly meaningful. The issue here is what exactly characterises meaningful or meaningless. Well it depends on who you think is going to listen otherwise what is the purpose. Social networks are a modern form communication there are ground rules for being successful in the traditional sense.
In the first couple of months of this year 2012, I have been practising my listening and observation skills. I found that with soul searching they are better and worse producers of content on the Internet. Those, which are in my opinion are in the poor category, I get rid off. I switch it off by unsubscribing, blocking, or by disabling feeds. I do think there is a capacity for the brain to fully engage efficiently and economically all the data that it absorbs. By turning off the loud and the verbose, helps me to concentrate on the important.
I have in no way been a perfect or good listener in the past. In fact, I readily admit that sometimes I showed disgraceful platitudes, during dinner, pretend-listening, which may have meant that I lost potential opportunities like connecting with good friends, building relationships, and being more approachable. It is hard to being hard on yourself. I am being that here, because it is the path of contemplation I am willing take to improve myself, skills and be approaching 100% effective in whatever I want to do with the rest of my life.
The world bombards us every day with information and with infinite time we could process it all. However we do not have time. This luxury of infinite time is unattainable by anyone, and our bodies age everyday and then we die eventually. Eliminating the waste is the most important discovery that I have had so far, because it allows me to finally listen to my soul, and start asking questions about that one fundamental journey that we all have in common. Life.
At the same time, I could go to the other extreme, filter out exactly everything. I do not think that is great idea either. Nor would I advise you to do so. I believe a balance of forces in the key to the social networking quagmire. I am going to ask myself three questions, namely: is this content valuable? Have I evaluated the collection of my content recently? How can I seek out better content that is pragmatically, informed and educational than those controls that I already have? Let me paraphrase
- Avoid waste – Decide on the content there and then – it is something that I will serious listen to a week, a month or a year? Will I forget that I actually bought in to it? Is this an impulse buy that I could do without? Am I being confidently distracted by somebody else’s reality distortion field? – On the other hand, some distractions and diversion are valid. If you get a laugh, positive emotional involvement, like music, poetry or art then it is probably a good thing. Sport can be that way too. The main thing is mental capacity to process all the feeder items. If it is too much then it is a waste.
- Check your existing collection for waste items that can be discarded – our brains can take a certain work capacity. My brain also works like that too. If the content can be shuffled to a memo, a diary, a bookmark, a document reference or stored later then prefer to do that, rather than putting up an endless twitter feed. I am also allow to change my mind, evolve a new attitude. Here I get in the process of periodically evaluating the content.
- Always seek better quality – I miss many ideas and concepts, because I do not follow or read every single tweet or blog entry. It is impossible to do this. I do search for people who have something to say of high quality and when they do it tends to be infrequently so. If I find that inspiration then I add it to the pile of mental consciousness and knowing that some other content is now waste.
The bottom line is about treating social networks as products that you can change, rather than have them control you and your life. Having the control means that you ultimately manage the time and are responsible for it. It is certainly the deliberate way I am going to treat them going forward.
One pragmatic way to eliminate waste in social networking is to exercise self-control, discipline, and quality control whatever you tweet out, blog or produce. Treat this new media as a very public conversation that is going to be remembered by electrons in different hard disks, computer systems, and future storage technologies for a long time. By long time, I mean this could be decades.