Mindful Social Media (via Beth Kanter)

Came across this, this morning courtesy of a Google+ share from George Brett, a person who I’ve kept in contact with since the early twitter days and I’ve been following Beth Kanter off and on for a while too. I’m including this Slideshare from Beth’s Blog and then will make a few comments afterwards.

Mindful Social Media

View more presentations from Beth Kanter

The message is simple – or so it seems to me; don’t let technology drive your life. We all know that is good advice, but increasingly find it hard to resist or avoid. The cases of how disruptive technology can really disrupt relationships and real-life are plentiful, So, we need assistance in getting back to real and meaningful engagement with social media, and with life itself, and also the place our work time effects that relationship with both our friends and colleagues.

So … we grab for our mobile devices at any time we don’t appear to be doing anything else, on the bus, on the loo, before we go to sleep; but the act of doing this is a replacement for doing something else – observing, reflecting, relaxing! Take the test that Beth sets you and you may be upset, or disturbed. I certainly didn’t end-up at the Mindful end of the scale! In addressing this (if you perceive you then have a problem) I particularly like Howard Rheingold’s Mindfulness cartoon, reproduced in this slideset. I was introduced to the idea of nine calming breaths by my sister and certainly the awareness of one’s breathing could be a useful antidote to anxiety-raising constant connectivity, having objectives and re-viewing and re-prioritising them, and re-focusing are things we know we should always be doing, but sometimes the social media trap gets in the way and drags us down into doing things just because they’re presented to us. The lesson again – don’t get driven by the technology.

The penultimate slide is both instructional and frightening. Ponder for a moment and consider the coping mechansims that you could put in place; and then finally, the feedback loop to enhance attention and hopefully to improve both state of mind and productivity is both simple and achievable – you can change behaviour!

Finally, and a personal comment with absolutely no rigorous scientific basis … could there be a link to Learned helplessness here. Is our coping mechanism to bombardment from social media streams an introduced self-imposed control, a process we put in place to protect us – “I do, therefore I am, and therefore I am in touch”. Just a thought!