Posts in Social Media
How to Go Deeper

Summer is the perfect time for extended reading.  For some reason, we feel as if we have "permission" to read when we are on vacation or have a more relaxed schedule at work.   

My summer reading list includes Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport.  It reminds me of Essentialism by Greg McEown.   Deep Work is resonating with me on, no pun intended here, a deep level.  

His point is this: to do work of significance, you must strip away the trivial tasks that our world loves.   These are the shallow tasks that are probably not that important.  

These shallow tasks can include filling your day with email, social media, gossip, cubicle chatter, unnecessary phone calls, and anything else that's taking you away from what's essential.  Did I mention interruptions?  In place of these, it's vital to carve out prolonged periods of focused work, "deep work", where you can be alone with your thoughts and have permission to do the most important tasks.

I'm going back to my reading... What about you?  What are you reading this summer that is striking a chord with your life? 

An Introvert's Guide to Navigating Social Media

Many introverts excel when it comes to social media.  I'm often surprised (although I shouldn't be at this point) when I see someone on Facebook or Twitter who is outspoken but then in "real life" is more reserved.

Social media, for introverts, is a level playing field.  Twitter gives a voice to those that might be hesitant to express themselves.  Instagram enables introverts to connect with followers, all via photos and video.  

Introverts, not necessarily shy, crave connection but not via big crowds.  They appreciate relationships but prefer to form them thoughtfully, with depth and on their own terms.  

But, and here is the problem- social media, with all of its benefits, can be overwhelming.  Take me as an example.  On an average day, I can check and update Facebook but I find that I can't keep up with Twitter and Instagram.  LinkedIN?  Forget about it.  It's just too much.

So how can an introvert navigate social media without the process becoming overwhelming?  Here are three suggestions that will help:

  1. Choose one network to post.  For the rest, just check.  This is my best piece of advice.  Post to one and then check the others.
  2. Don't feel as if you have to be everywhere online.  Seriously, it's ok if you don't enjoy Twitter.  It's not as if we're talking about world peace.  Go where you want online and make it fun.  
  3. Take a day off from all social media.  So that introverts don't feel pulled in all sorts of directions, pace yourself by taking one day off each week from social media.  Trust me, this works wonders.

Social media doesn't have to suck the life out of you, as many introverts are finding.  Still, some self-pacing and moderation can keep social media fun and a great way to make meaningful connections with others.  

An Inside Look at my Social Media Fast

Fasting is not something I particularly enjoy.  When Lent (a period of fasting prior to Easter) began a few weeks ago, I wasn't really sure what to "give up" or fast from and then it hit me- social media.   

Again, to reiterate, I don't love giving things up- who does?   

Still, I decided to craft a few guidelines that I would explore in the weeks leading up to Easter.  They included:

  • No Facebook browsing
  • No Twitter browsing
  • No Instagram browsing
  • If I had to post something to one of those networks, I would use the share sheet in iOS to do so but not log into the network and putter around. 

I'm not the only one either giving up social networks for a period of time or paying attention to what's got my attention.  I really like Cal Newport's idea of an Attention Charter.  Maybe he's on to something. 

So how's it going?  I've noticed some really surprising results just a few weeks in: 

  1. I have more time.  I didn't realize that Facebook and Twitter were taking up so much of my attention and time. 
  2. My blog traffic hasn't suffered at all. 
  3. While I'm "less social", I also don't feel so pulled in so many different directions.  This is nice. 

You might try this yourself.  Especially if you feel like you have to be checking your social networks all the time...that's a sure sign that you might be giving them more attention than they really deserve.   

Will I go back to Facebook (et. All) after Lent?  I'm not sure but for now, the extra time it's providing is really fantastic.