It’s not news that digital is becoming a way of life. Social networks, smart phones, apps, tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, and text messages are becoming embedded in our digital life. 90% of mobile users keep their device within arms reach 100% of the time.
“Turning off digital” really isn’t possible as the social web never shuts off. You can shut off your computer, tablet or smart phone but the social web always seems to call your name. It’s usually whispering things like “turn me on, push that button, scroll me, don’t leave me off for so long.”
Yes, I am joking here. I know that the social web isn’t really talking to you. If you are hearing such voices, you should not read the rest of this blog post. Instead you should turn off your device from which you are reading this article and head to the nearest beach, coffee shop, gym, park or venue of choice!
We know there is a conversation happening every moment of every day. There isn’t a moment of the day or week that I can’t find many of my friends, colleagues, employees, partners and clients online. They are there, ready to tweet, like, comment, and talk at a moment’s notice.
We hop on Facebook to “check-in” and quickly find that one post can easily spin us into a 20 minute online conversation or an hour spent (or wasted) surfing, chatting, reading, learning and talking to friends.
Think about this…
- Why do you spend so much time online?
- Why do you have a hard time turning off Facebook?
- Why do you like one social network over the other?
- What are you actually doing when you are engaged on the social web?
- What are your goals? Do you have goals?
- Do your actions on the social web support your life and/or business goals?
- Is the amount of time you spend on the social web really needed to help you meet your business and life goals?
- Do you spend more time on the social networks than you wish you did? If you answer yes to this question, are you willing to do something about it?
- What are you seeking?
- Are you seeking to nurture relationships?
- Are you seeking human connection?
- Are you seeking justification?
- Are you seeking validation?
- Are you seeking education, learning?
- Are you seeking inspiration?
- Do you need to stroke the ego a bit?
With each update, we look for something in return and each represent a shifting balance between…
1) Vision (I learn something, I’m inspired);
2) Validation (I’m accepted or justified);
3) Vindication (I’m right, cleared);
4) Vulnerability (I’m open); and
5) Vanity (Not egotism, but accidental narcissism. I’m important),
These 5 V’s coalesce differently with each update and produce distinct emotional results based on the measure we apply to our own actions, reactions and inactions.
My concern is that as we all grow accustomed to the digital life we risk losing focus on how we got here to begin with. We must continually be certain that we are giving and receiving value from our time and efforts.
Is it time to revisit our goals?
We must keep our goals and objectives as a solid foundation to determine how and where we invest our time both on and offline. This includes business goals and life goals. Our digital life is a journey, not a destination.
WHY do you do what you do? Do you need to revisit how you spend your time online? Is it providing value to your business and your life? Or are you getting distracted by vanity metrics, following competition or increasing influence scores? Are you seeking validation in the form of likes, tweets, retweets, repins, +1 ‘s and the list goes on?
This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I revisit both my business and life goals often. When I feel that I am spinning into a digital crazy cyclone cycle, I turn off. I take a weekend, afternoon or day to reconnect in a big way with my family, friends and myself.
The last couple weeks I have been doing exactly this. I have been re-examining how I spend my time online. I’m doing a sanity check on my business and life goals so that I can ensure my time spent both on and offline is providing the most value to my life, my business, my family, my passions, clients, partners, community, and friends.
I have been re-evaluating my “friend” policy on Facebook and removing people who requested my online friendship but haven’t talked to me in months. I’m re-evaluating how and where I spend my time online. I’m working to better leverage and use my time so I can create more value for everything and everyone that is a priority in my life. I don’t know all the answers yet, but I do know that many of you need to do the same thing.
The “In Real Life” Digital Life…
Our digital lives are not separate from our real life. For most of us, digital is a way of life. It’s how we wake up and it’s how we go to bed. No, it doesn’t mean we’re addicted. It just means it’s embedded into our DNA.
However, we can still have control. It is our value system and life goals that must serve as a foundation to how we spend our time. Life is short. We shouldn’t let it be monopolized by social networks, vanity metrics, and wasted efforts and time that are not providing value.
WHY… the most important question in your digital life.
As I have always said, WHY is the most important question to ask in social media. WHY is the most important question to ask in life. Why is the most important question to ask in your digital life.
I can’t answer the question for you. You must dig deep into your purpose, passions, goals and objectives. You must find your WHY and ensure that your digital lifestyle supports all of the above.
You are going to get out of your digital life what you put into it. Make sure you are investing your time in the right things.
“The value we take away from this digital lifestyle must only be surpassed by what we invest in it.” ~Brian Solis
What are your thoughts?