Posted in Social Media, Writing

COS (Content Overload Syndrome)

The last few weeks I have read two books (old-school style, written on paper – just how I like them) and a million-gazillion Facebook posts. Not to mention school newsletters, netball notices, soccer notices, Civil Defence notices, the local paper and stories to my children.

books

I’ve also been networking like a ninja – attending face-to-face meet-ups and joining not one, not two, but three new networking groups on Facebook.

And to be honest … my brain is fried! Way too much content in and not enough out. Now, I’m like that over-stimulated baby that won’t sleep (hence writing this at 11pm).

And the worst part is that it’s totally my own doing. Nobody forced me to digest so much content in a short amount of time. I did it to myself.

And the even worst part is that I’ve realised how much we all rely on staying “connected” but are losing real connections.

This afternoon our WiFi was down for a couple of hours – OMG!! Everybody was freaking out like it was the ‘end of the world as we know it.’ The kids were panicked.

“You Tube doesn’t work, Netflix is down and even my tablet won’t go!” they hollered.

I wasn’t much better myself … “What if there’s a really important email  I need to see? How do I check my bank accounts? Do I have to watch normal TV?!”

Lame. Extremely lame.

There is just so MUCH content out there now.

Every man and his dog has a blog and now there are so many outlets for people to express their opinion (no matter how ugly or un-educated they may be).

And so I’ve had a bit of a revelation … I’m pretty much over it. I’m going to wean myself of consuming so much content (particularly the on-line variety). I’m also going to re-address what content I put out, which will involve a bit of soul-searching to figure out exactly what and for whom I will be writing.

The truth is, I actually love writing these rambles. It’s so therapeutic to type away and release what’s been plaguing my mind. It provides me with some clarity and I love the fact that some of you out there enjoy reading it too (just be careful you don’t get COS, LOL!!)

The other truth is that when I started my freelance writing business I was worried that writing for a living might suck the enjoyment right out of it. And in some ways this is right. So, I need to concentrate on exactly what sort of writing I love and follow that path.

I am determined to plunge myself into the areas I’m passionate about and not take second best or settle for run-of-the-mill.

So there you have it … my random thoughts spewed onto the page for your pleasure.

If this post strikes you as a bit strange compared to normal, blame it on the full moon!

moon and girl

If anyone else out there is a fellow COS sufferer my thoughts are with you and I would suggest you log off social media (not soon – NOW).

Also, well done to all of you that are following your passions – I salute you.

Well, before I ramble on all night I better try to get this overstimulated brain to log off.

Keep smiling,

Kat : 🙂

P.S. Although I just made up the term COS, I do know that content overload or information overload is a topic that has been written about a lot in recent times. 

Advertisements
Posted in Social Media

Facebook Rehab: Have you checked in yet?

Facebook is like that bad boy you meet as a teenager. The one who you know is bad for you; The one your mother tells you to stay away from as it “will only end in tears;” The one you just can’t seem to get enough of.

You keep going back even though you often end up jealous, anxious or dissatisfied by the experience. You think about cutting him off and never looking back but you just can’t take the step for fear of “missing out” on something.

facebook addict

According to a study carried out in the US: “Vacation photos caused the highest level of resentment among Facebook users who reported to experience a high amount of envy”. Read more of the study here.

I myself have toyed with the idea of deleting my Facebook account. However, although some aspects of it are annoying I personally still enjoy the experience and find it beneficial to interact with a large amount of people quickly.

Having said that I did conduct a little experiment recently. I went on a week-long holiday to Fiji and left my phone at home – meaning no social media or any online activity for the whole week!

I have to admit it was a little weird at first and took some getting used to:

When I took a great holiday selfie with cocktail in hand, it was strange not posting it on Facebook with the tag: “Life is sweet” and when I shot a video of the kids “cannon-balling” into the pool, I once again automatically went to reach for my phone to share it with the world.

cocktail

I also am embarrassed to admit that although I was having a great holiday there where definitely times I felt the urge to jump into the social media world and find out what everybody else was up to.

So, when we arrived back in Australia, at midnight, the first thing I did was locate my phone and hungrily race to log in to my Facebook account.

And this is what I missed:

– A handful of pictures of my friends’ children receiving awards at school
– You Tube videos of a dad dancing with his daughter when returning from work and a dog who can supposedly talk
– At least 20 videos of people completing their “Ice Challenge”

And this is what I gained:

– Being totally present in the moment. Experiencing something and just letting it be that – an experience. Not something to broadcast to everybody else but something special just for me.

– Actual real interaction. Remember that? Talking and laughing with friends and family instead of liking and commenting on their life from behind a screen.

– Memories. Ones that are stored in my mind not on my news feed.

Looking back I am so glad that I made the decision to take a holiday from social media.

As with everything in life I believe there has to be a balance and I worry about the people who are out of balance with the impact social media is having on them: Those who feel lonely, worthless and envious after the Facebook experience; Those who are losing the ability to have real experiences and proper conversations; Those who believe that the one-sided story of a person’s life displayed on Facebook is actual reality.

I think we need to keep discussing this issue and I highly recommend that everybody takes a holiday from social media once in a while.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you deleted your Facebook account? Are you concerned people are becoming addicted to social media? Do you have positive or negative experiences with Facebook?

Image credits: designtaxi.com and Steve Corey via photopin cc

Posted in Social Media

Facebook: I Think I Want A Divorce

divorce

A few years back when I joined Facebook, it was a nice place where I could go and catch up with what my friends were doing and check out the latest photos of their children, dogs, embarrassing moments etc.

Now, however, Facebook is big business and in order to see what my friends have posted I now have to scroll through the posts of the many pages I have LIKED (note: those which actually make it through), but also have to deal with all the SPONSORED POSTS by companies or people who have paid to get their entry into my newsfeed.

Don’t get me wrong, I can understand how Facebook is valuable, if not essential, to businesses today and I am not exempt, as I also have a Facebook page for this blog – but quite frankly I am losing my love for Facebook at a rapid pace as it is becoming more of a chore than a pleasure.

facebook

I am not only losing interest from a personal standpoint (for the reasons I mentioned above), but also from a business point of view. You see, as a small business owner, blogger etc you work hard to get those LIKES for your page, which are worth their weight in gold. However, then you find out that although people have LIKED your page this no longer guarantees your posts will even appear in their newsfeeds. In fact, the reach on my own page has mysteriously dropped by 45.5% according to my facebook insights and I have seen others complain that only one tenth of their content is getting through to their fans.

But don’t worry … Facebook has the solution: All you need to do to remedy this dilemma is to boost your posts. In other words, pay Facebook to promote your posts to ensure they reach your audience. Excuse me, but WTF!!

I complained to my husband about this the other day and he replied, “Facebook is a business after all, of course they want to make money!”

Well, I’m sorry Facebook but I would have thought with the 1.11 billion people using the site every month, that your advertising revenue would be rather healthy.

So, for me personally I think my love affair with Facebook is coming to an end and I am starting to wonder if there is an attractive new kid on the block waiting in the wings.

So, throw the ol’ gal a bone here and tell me I’m not alone in this?

Do you think Facebook’s days are numbered and a sparkly, new, attractive replacement is on the way?

I have my fingers crossed.

photo credit: SalFalko via photopin cc

Posted in Social Media

I Do Not Understand; But I Do Hope

I know that sensationalism wins over heroism in the beast we call the media; however I DO NOT UNDERSTAND it. Let me give you some examples:

As much as it pains me to write this name, she has been all over the world’s media platforms and therefore has to be mentioned – yes, you guessed it – Miley Cyrus.

Miley Cyrus
Photo credit: http://www.mamamia.com

I do understand that Miley is growing up and wants to put the Hannah Montana days behind her. However, what I DO NOT UNDERSTAND is how a pop princess shoving her derriere into a married man’s crotch is considered entertainment – this I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!

Then we have an over-opinionated woman by the name of Katie Hopkins who makes outrageous statements such as calling working mums ‘slackers’ to gain her spot in the limelight (read more here)

Katie Hopkins
Photo credit: http://www.mamamia.com

I do understand how comments as ridiculous as these generate some discussion in social media, however I DO NOT UNDERSTAND how these women get slots on prime time television and generate so much media attention. Obviously the more outrageous, offensive and hurtful the statement is the bigger the spotlight becomes – this I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!

We also have women like Isabella Dutton, who wrote a piece for the Daily Mail expressing an opinion so hurtful to her children that, in my opinion, verges on child abuse. In this article (which you can read here) she says how having children was the ‘biggest mistake of her life’ and explains how much ‘better’ her life would have been without them.

Isabella-Dutton
Photo credit: http://www.mamamia.com

I do understand that some people do not want to have children. That is absolutely fine with me. What I DO NOT UNDERSTAND is how somebody, who knows they do not want children goes ahead and has them anyway and then proceeds to broadcast to the world how unwanted they are and how miserable they have made her life – this I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!

Instead of the likes of Miley Cyrus, Katie Hopkins and Isabella Dutton – I would rather the spotlight be aimed at heroic women such as Irena Sendler.
Heard of her? Neither had I until recently.

SendlerAP_228x350
Photo credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Mrs Sendler was serving as a social worker with the city’s welfare department during World War II when she masterminded the risky rescue operations of Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. Records show that her team of some 20 people saved nearly 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto between October 1940 and April 1943, when the Nazis burned the ghetto, shooting the residents or sending them to death camps.” – Daily Mail UK. (read more here)

So, although in the eyes of the media, sensationalism is king and heroism is not – I DO HOPE in real life we can, collectively as parents, share stories to our daughters about the Joan of Arc’s, Mother Teresa’s and Irene Sendler’s of the world. I ALSO HOPE that we can teach them good enough judgement to realise that the media serves a purpose but is in no way a reliable source of exemplary role models or a moral compass by which to conduct one’s behaviour.

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND; BUT I DO HOPE!

Posted in Social Media

Lets take the ‘Scenic Route’

Nobby's Beach 29/01/13

Our modern life is like driving on a voyeuristic highway:

We expect everything instantly and are very uncomfortable with waiting.

We are available all the time and spend a large portion of this time in an entirely different reality – Cyperspace.

Popularity is King and has replaced hard work and good behaviour as the criteria for reward. This is evident with more and more posts appearing featuring kids holding messages such as ‘My mummy said she would buy us a puppy if we get 1 million likes on facebook.”

Bullying is no longer limited to the schoolyard and relationships are started and finished on the web or by text message.

Well, I for one am getting tired and am desperately seeking a rest area or perhaps even an alternate route.

So, how about getting off this highway and taking the scenic route?

It might take longer and be off the beaten track; It may not be the most popular or status quo – but I bet it’s beautiful, enriching and definitely more of an adventure!

We could meet some fascinating people, have real conversations and authentic experiences.

We won’t be tagged, liked or commented on but instead smiled at, hugged and spoken to.

Let’s take a chance, try new things and most importantly stop, breathe and take it all in!