It's far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

~ Judith S Marin ~

Are You Too Linked In?

October 26th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 24 secs

Linked in or sleeping in?

With life getting so busy, do you ever feel you are too linked in to find private time for yourself?

Thanks to the many benefits of the digital world, we now have an extra range of hats to wear. With our linked in keep in touch life, there’s the Facebook hat, the Twitter hat, the Google+ hat, the YouTube hat, and many more besides.

These days, you have efriends to think about, follow up on, and keep informed. In this linked in world, it’s no longer considered adequate to pop by for a visit, give people a call and chat, or write a personal letter. We’re expected to be “on call”. Which explains why it isn’t considered odd to get an SMS text at some strange hour in the night. Awake or not, you are somehow expected to “be there”.

Being too linked in happens when there’s no demarcation between public and private life. All those tacitly understood layers of intimacy between the front door and the bedroom are being forfeited in exchange for connectedness.

Trouble is, being so directly linked in with everything is something of a blunt instrument. You may be connected closely with your friends and loved ones. But you’re also a little too connected with the car dealers down the road, that persona who keeps pestering you, and the Telco with those indecipherable deals.

Our time is being hijacked in a linked in world of ringtones, vibrations, and computer program fanfares. Downtime is disappearing; swallowed by “connectedness”. Meaning, the pleasures of real experience are being lost.

Like hyperlinks on a Web page, quick links are punctuating the content of our life. Click here or there and within moments we’re neither here nor there. You know you are too linked in when you can never switch off. And that signals it’s time to rearrange priorities.

Sagely nodding, you probably know all too well the upshot of an overly connected life. You worked it out ages ago. Yet, it’s still hard to resist. Like underwear that keeps creeping up, being too linked gets awfully uncomfortable. But, thanks to habit and social obligations, we tend to just put up with it.

If you know someone who suffers from being overly linked in to the point of excess, consider offering them these suggestions:

  1. Switch off the phone at night so it’s only on when they are wide-awake.
  2. Wisely filter calls so that friends or work get center stage.
  3. Schedule online time, and stick to it with alarms or other pressing tasks to break the temptation of staying on too long.
  4. Prudently remove contacts that unduly time-consuming for no proper purpose (e.g. you probably don’t need daily updates on real estate so eliminate the white noise of incidental advertising wherever you can).
  5. Respect other people’s downtime too. Doing that will reinforce your own.
  6. Consider closing accounts with largely duplicate contacts. You only have one life, so prioritize your time in this area too.
  7. Continue online conversations in real life too. Somewhat oddly, a culture of “one life in Facebook” and another in face-to-face contact occurs. So, aim to pull the threads together to support real world relationships.

Can we live with all of these hats and still keep our quality of life high? Maybe. But the only way to avoid becoming too linked in is surely to think all of it through and be judicious.

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