On Wednesday evening when I got home our Virgin Media internet had stopped working. Thus, I had no internet access on my laptop or mobile phone and no television. There were a fraught few hours where we wondered what to do. Perhaps the radio, some music or god forbid a conversation???
I know I am a social media addict. I am well known for it and I don’t pretend I am not. A lot of my time is spent both directly and indirectly on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Yahoo Mail and a whole list of free free hosting websites such as Model Mayhem and Purple Port with which I am able to effectively run my business at minimal cost.
It is a distraction at times and I am sure I would work far more efficiently without them ticking away in the background. I try to have ‘down time‘ days where I don’t even switch on the computer or the phone but it is difficult since I am not only keeping up with friends scattered across the world but managing business admin, organising shoots and building my networks through these sites.
I think that once I am working for myself full time and have a more structured week (ie hopefully not 7 days a week) I will try and keep Sunday’s as social media free day and have some quality time with real people in real places. This would be liberating and preferential.
It occurred to me, as I instead began writing the next week’s blog updates, that we are so tuned in to social media and so emotionally attached to it that we would have trouble functioning if everything as we know it stopped tomorrow. I remember having pen pals that you wrote letters to with a pen and paper, stuck a stamp on an envelope with a postal address written on it and walked down the road to a quaint little red box and stuck it in.
I didn’t discover the internet until I went to work in offices in London and it wasn’t until I was able to afford my first laptop that I really embraced it. Before that, you tended to use whatever free access you could get at the office. Even so, Yahoo Mail, Ebay and Myspace were still the centre of my internet world back then.
Social media has moved on in leaps and bounds since then and so has the technology providing it. I am often astounded by what they can do these days and generally in awre of expensive tecnology like ipads and remote CCTV – things I just don’t have access to but secretly hanker over.
There is no doubt I wouldn’t be anywhere near as far ahead in my business if it weren’t for social media. But as for my real life, I’m not so sure. It has opened me up to all sorts of opportunities but you can’t beat meeting real people in real places and having real conversations. Has it turned me into a social recluse? Perhaps a little but then its free status has enabled me to be more ‘social’ whilst funds have been tight and that has been a definite advantage.