13 May 2010

Twitter-free diet ... almost

As I wrote in my last blog, I've been slack about writing recently; no doubt due to being sucked in by Twitter.

Not that I've got anything against Twitter. But it's all about priorities.

A PR person can't be all places in cyberspace at once, and that's what was happening. I was simply spending too much time on the computer, let alone on the computer and the Internet. Something had to give. So, I went Twitter-free for almost two weeks.

Interestingly, I read (online) on the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday about a detoxification program for social media addicts. Can't recall the details, but Susan Maushart's name was mentioned. I'd go and get the link, but it would mean more time spent on the Web. You go and do a search.

The point was that there is a big problem out there; in many ways similar to people being addicted to video games.

While Twitter has its place, it needs to be used with a specific purpose. Do you want to share information, learn or socialise? That, of course, is up to the user. However, the trick is to keep things in balance: much like diet, only in this case it's your consumption levels of social media that need to be kept in check.

If it's not Twitter, then it's LinkedIn, Facebook, or simply attending to emails. We've got a huge fare on the table (desk).

For me, I simply went "cold turkey" and didn't use Twitter. I might have missed something interesting, but certainly not life-shattering.

So do yourself a favour. Ask yourself how much do you really need to be connected, and are there other things you could spend your time doing – preferably outdoors?

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The PR Lab is a consultancy, specialising on research, reputation management, social media, media relations and the development of measurable strategies that produce results. It is run by Dr Greg Smith, a former journalist and PR professional. Greg worked on daily newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. He held senior PR positions in the Australian Defence Force, Sydney Olympics and national not-for-profits. He has also lectured in PR at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia.