Managing Social Media Attention

The title of this article really caught my attention. Social media has become such a huge part of our everyday lives and I think it is very important to know how to manage it. The article reports that the average American consumes 34 GB worth of content a day, including 100,000 words of information. This is unbelievable! The amount of information we access everyday can have numerous benefits, but it is easy to get caught up in Facebook and Twitter and realize half your day is gone and you got nothing accomplished. I know I’m guilty of this!

Consider these four tips to help manage social media:

1. “Know the external reflects the internal”: This means that we need to balance our internal (our bodies) such as taking a walk or visiting the gym before taking action in the external (the online social media world).

2. “Do one thing at a time”: Contrary to what you may have heard, research shows that multi tasking is detrimental. It is important to put all your attention on whatever you are doing at any given time to make sure the task gets done more efficiently.

3. “Invite instead of force”: Trying too hard on anything whether it be a school paper or finding friends on Facebook creates tension. “We cannot force these things, but we can invite them through a balanced, steady effort.”

4. “Know where you attention is most needed”: This means that it is important to stay mindful and ask yourself where your attention is most needed and then directing it there.

The article concludes by saying the amount of information available to us will likely increase. “The challenge of our time is to live connected and use all the great social media available to us, while at the same time harness and direct attention where it is most needed at any given time. After all, where we decide to put our attention is, essentially how we choose to spend our life.” I think this is a great reminder to us that it is important to sit back and assess how you live your daily life and what changes you can make to improve it. What do you think about these suggestions?

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2 Responses to Managing Social Media Attention

  1. aguido says:

    I think these are all important suggestions. Many people get caught up in the world of Facebook and Twitter to a detriment. They even made a Southpark episode recently about how you can actually get “stuck” in the computer/virtual world of Facebook, though that was obviously a huge exaggeration, but it gets the point across. Generally when I see someone using his or her laptop at any given time, they are checking their Facebook. I’ve noticed that I click on it instantaneously every time I open up my browser-it is just my first instinct now. When I work on school work on my computer, I always check on Facebook or some form of social media in between as a quick “break” but it really does cut off my pattern of thought. I can easily get caught up in some conversation or game on Facebook and know it is taking away from what I SHOULD be doing.

    I think “doing one thing at a time” is a huge part of this. I just shouldn’t let myself click on Facebook on my toolbar, it is that easy. Yet I repeatedly do it. I feel like it has led me to believe I need more breaks from my task at hand than I actually do. Sure, if you’ve been studying the same thing for three hours, you need a break, but after ten minutes you shouldn’t need to check on anything else. Yet people still do, all the time. Whether it be during class, or out at a cafe, people are constantly cutting off some other task to check their Facebook.

  2. tmoore says:

    I really like the advice that this article provides, for both social media habits as well as life advice in general. Taking into account the vast amount of information that we do indeed encounter and retain on a daily basis is shocking when you actually take the time to think about it. As Americans, I think it safe to say that the majority of us spend the majority of our time on the computer, on our phones, watching television, listening to the radio, and we are even exposed to social media/networking and advertising throughout the day without even noticing it!

    Although I have heard each of these four tips at some point throughout my life, I have to admit that I have personally forgot to implement them in my daily habitual routine more often than not. “Know the external reflects the internal” is great advice because although we are constantly interacting with other people and we tend to keep ourselves busy one way or another through the duration of the day, we need to remember to balance real life with social media instead of concentrating and relying so much on technology.
    “Do one thing at a time” is something that I am extremely guilty of… I consistanly am attempting to multitask in order to get as much done as possible as fast as possible. I think this is the most beneficial tip that I took from this article because it is impoortant to remember that sometimes your full concentration should be dedicated to one thing at a time in order to do your best. “Invite instead of force” I find sort of humorous yet a vastly beneficial piece of advice. I know that I, for one, could relieve a lot of tension and stress by acknowledging that I cannot control everything and sometimes you must let things play out as they will, naturally. Finally, “know where your attention is need,” is a great tip in my opinion because it is easy to get side-tracked from the things that we should really be focusing our attention to and this reminds me that I should stay mindful and ask myself what is important and then follow through by actually directly my attention to that.

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