It’s been just over a week since I decided to start my communications sabbatical and yesterday was the day I officially ended it! It’s been a real eye opener for me and I’ve come to understand a great deal through the process. Before I move any further I would just like to say to all my close friends who doubted me; ‘thank you for giving me even greater resolve to complete the challenge!’ 😉
Lets get straight down to it!
Time & Focus
I wouldn’t necessarily say that I found I had more time. What I did discover was that because I had much less distraction my focus and concentration increased a heck of a lot! There was still always plenty for me to do and so rather than putting things off and letting an IM or FB message distract me, I just got on with it!
I feel that so many people do things because they feel like they’re ‘missing out’ on something. I personally don’t think that’s the best reason to do it. Do it because it’s something you really want to do and serves a purpose for you. Learn to understand what a specific tool can do for you and utilise it. If it doesn’t serve a purpose you don’t have to keep using it just because other people are.
I love Facebook as it is a very powerful tool but equally, unless treated with respect, it can the object of your undoing. I wish I’d thought more carefully how I set up my Facebook account in the initial stages but it’s never too late to change the settings. Facebook isn’t a competition to see who has the most friends. Remember that you are in control of the people you add and who can see your activities
It can be a very simple social tool or a very powerful marketing implement. You can choose to have just your 50 closest friends on there or you can build a following of thousands of fans. Either way just know that it’s open to the whole world and so if you don’t want everything to be public make sure you setup groups and adjust your privacy settings.
It allows me to interact with listeners while on the radio and send out bulletins to the groups with all our followers. I also use it a great deal while doing backchat and update my status with my debate topic of the hour. It’s a great way of getting instant interaction and for the listeners, of course, it’s free!
The same goes for Twitter. It’s not a competition of followers for me but if I do get people following me who genuinely want to hear what I’ve got to say, then great; it’s served it’s purpose for me. I have my blog linked to my Twitter which in turn is linked to my Facebook account and so when put up a post it automatically updates both. That makes it all so convenient but I probably won’t use Twitter much for direct interactions. I’ll continue to use Facebook for that and one medium for me, is enough!
I can totally understand the popularity of Twitter. It’s creators are geniuses beyond measure and it’s no wonder it’s exploded the way it has! It gives people the opportunity to share little thoughts they have during the day that wish they could share with people and until recently had no means to do so! Everyone wishes someone was around to see something cool and even minute events that occur during the course of the day.
I’ve lost all desire to use IM’s. I don’t know why but I’m not really a fan of communicating that way. I much prefer email. I’ve decided to turn off all my IM’s and just use Facebook chat occasionally while I’m on air at the studio. I’ve started to find it a little bit too intrusive. That’s not to say I’ve never use them again but right now I’m enjoying the break from them.
Being free from all those communication tools was a really liberating experience. I definitely will take a day out each month and switch off my phone and have a full day away from the computer. I will also not respond to messages instantly on the phone.
From the first day I gave it up I didn’t miss it at all but it’s not easy giving everything up cold turkey in a world where we depend on those tools so much. So I’m not quite ready to give up my blackberry just yet but I’m sure going to not worry as much the next time I accidentally leave it at home.