Did you miss me?!

I’m back.  And, oh so happy about it.

One of the first things I said to my boyfriend this morning was, “Oooh, I’m so excited to get on Facebook today!”.  His response?  “That’s pathetic.”  I admit that it was a more than appropriate reply.  And, I also admit that I’m addicted to email and Facebook.  This past week’s “social media cleanse” was embarrassingly difficult, but I did learn a good deal about  how and why I use social media and how the different channels influence my non-digital life.  Below are my top three observations:

1.  No iPod?  No fun. Giving up my iPod during commutes was, without a doubt, the most painful part of my cleanse.  I’ve realized that listening to music going to and fro from work is part of my gearing up and winding down routine.  I really missed being able to zone out after work.  I read so much at the office that the last thing I want to do is read the paper on the tube.  I also don’t feel like listening to other people’s conversations, which to me sounded ridiculously stupid.  (Sorry if that’s harsh).  I also never realized how multicultural London is.  I think there were around 3 or 4 tube rides where I never heard a word of English.  On the up side, without my iPod in the mornings, I found that I actually read the stories in the paper, not just the headlines.  I acutally absorbed more because I wasn’t distracted by my tunes.  And, less distraction also meant less bumping into people on the sidewalks…less road rage…and  a slightly less pissed off Marge.  All good things, but not enough to make me give up my iPod during commutes for good.

2. Facebook > Twitter?!?! I can’t believe the breakfast Twitter fanatic (like, to a Justin Bieber level) of all fanatics is saying this, but I missed Facebook more than I missed Twitter.  I mainly use Twitter for news and updates from world politics to celebrity gossip, and I found that I could substitute this use of Twitter with news websites, papers, magazines, and blogs (I never said I couldn’t READ blogs, BTW!).  But, I keep up with my friends’ lives on Facebook, and for that, there was no obvious alternative.  I returned to Facebook to find a number of friend requests and messages from a number of people, who never emailed, texted, or called over the period of my cleanse.  For social events  and happenings or following up afterwards, Facebook was the obvious answer…at least for my generation anyway.  Take what you want from that when making your “the future of social media” predictions…

3. I want it, and I want it now. And, I’m a cheater.  I couldn’t go a week without using my iPhone for email.  For some stupid reason, I feel the need to answer (personal) emails as soon as humanly possible and delete spam as soon as it hits my inbox.  Do either of these things need to happen at the speed of a ninja?  No.  I’m just a crazy person, who still misses the red flashing light on my BlackBerry that told me when something “urgent” was happening.  This is something that I really need (and want!) to work on.  I don’t like that the majority of the time Ged and I are at dinner…we’re emailing other people.  Not a sign of our relationship, an unfortuante sign of the times.

Despite the fact that I don’t plan on keeping up any part of my social media cleanse, I definitely saw some positive effects.  Without the distraction of Facebook and Twitter, I found myself a bit more productive (if that’s possible), spending more time doing things that needed to get done rather than looking through a quasi-friend’s vacation photos.   I lived a bit more unedited and less in the Cliff Notes version…stories were read in-depth and tasks were completed with focus.  But, the advantages of Facebook, Twitter, etc. were also highlighted (as you can tell by this post).  Starting to think it’s all about moderation and trying to leverage the best of both worlds, digital and reality…

  1. Neil Chappell
    March 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Fascinating stuff from our very own (now legal) immigrant Marge. On behalf of social media, welcome back.

  2. March 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Great post! Saw this article today that may have something to do with your preference of Facebook over Twitter 🙂

    This is your brain on Facebook http://bit.ly/h43r5A via @fastcompany

  3. margetheintern
    March 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm
  4. March 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    cool! I’m liking oneminutenews.com…thanks!!

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