I have a challenge for you.
Could you stay off social media for an entire month?
Before you start to twitch, let me ask you another question.
Would you really miss anything?
What most of us are doing on Facebook, Twitter, or any other flavor-of-the-month social media platform day-to-day contributes nothing to what we want out of our lives.
All we do is watch other people’s lives. People who are craving to be watched.
We’re rubbernecking to catch a glimpse of the traffic accident. It won’t change anything, but we feel compelled to look.
The same applies to reality TV. At some point, other people’s lives, other people’s problems, and other random bits of information take over our time and mental space.
They all crowd out the focus we should have on getting what we want.
We justify it by saying that everything is okay in moderation.
That’s fine. Until you start pecking at your phone looking for the next round of social media posts. Like a rat looking for a few extra pellets of food.
It’s not always easy to practice moderation, is it?
Whose Agenda Is It Anyway?
Think about how social media hampers your ability to see the big picture of your practice. Your long-term vision. Strategic things that matter. You start with every intention of posting something work related but then...
Ooh! Cat photos! And look at what Sally wore last night. My, isn’t that cute.
What we’re talking about here is their agenda versus your agenda.
Just like your email inbox is a giant to-do list that other people make for you, social media is an endless stream of time wasters and distractions. Other people, asking for your attention.
Other people try to suck you into the stream. Come, it's a nice happy ride down the river! We're all here! Don't miss out!
The reality is it keeps you from focusing on what makes you happy, what makes you productive, and what’s going to help you create a better future for yourself.
If these Facebook friends are so important, how about picking up the phone and actually getting together?
If they’re not important enough to speak with individually, what’s the point? A "Like" or retweet does not make a relationship.
Raj’s Phone Rule
When I get home from work, I have a rule. I leave my phone – with a Facebook feed full of cat photos and an email inbox that’s nothing but a to-do list created by other people – in the entryway.
That way, when I’m spending time with my family, I’m not mentally somewhere else.
Take the same approach with your practice. Step away from the distractions, from the endless stream of time wasters. Decide what really matters, and you'll find that a lot of what you're doing, including social media, isn't getting you there.
Start focusing on YOUR long term goals and the strategies you need to get there.
P.S. - Wondering, then, why I post articles on social media? Because I do it in a way that never distracts me. The articles are written in advance, and scheduled to be posted in a way where I won't get distracted with cat videos. I'm using it in a productive way - to introduce other people to our ideas. As a first step in a relationship with you, not as a substitute for a relationship with you. So you can absolutely use social media ... so long as you don't let it use you.