Social Media: Friend or Foe?

I spend a lot of time online. In fact I rarely watch TV! Instead I spend over an hour each night surfing around the web – jumping from social media site to social media site:

social_networking_sitesTwitter
Facebook
MySpace
LinkedIn
Friendfeed
NING Communities ie: TwitterMoms
Skype
MSN
Vox
Flickr
YouTube
Entrecard
And of course blogs!

I’m sure there are even more sites that I’ve forgotten!

Recently I looked around my insanely messy house and wondered – are all of these social media sites truly a friend, or a foe?

FRIEND?
Am I getting more out of it, than I’m losing? What am I getting out of it? Is it merely a boost to my fragile ego to have all of these “friends” and “followers”? Why do I care about all of the “noise” people are making on the web? To be honest, I’m having a hard time figuring out any true personal benefits of social media. So, like the internet addict that I am, I did a quick, informal Twitter Survey to find out what people think are benefits:

twitterquestion

” Twitter Survey – what are the benefits of social networking? And I don’t mean on a marketing level, but on a personal level. ”

twitterresponse

mammaloves: @momontherun I have made good IRL friends w/ppl I initially met online. And networks like Twitter serve as one-stop info. source.
edhammerbeck: Social nw: I’m still trying to figure out the value. Ideas from people? Like running advice. I’m not a social guy IRL tho’.
tamsul: @momontherun U get to meet people with similar interests as u that u won’t normally get to meet due to locations.
san_dyego: @momontherun Well having 100 followers sure makes me feel loved!
chaoticchitchat: @momontherun personal entertainment lol

So there ya have it: Friends, camaraderie, information, ego, entertainment etc…

But can’t I get all of that elsewhere? Can’t I just PHONE my friends? Watch the news on TV? Spend time with family? Join clubs, read a book etc… ? You bet! ANd I do – occasionally…

FOE?
Now, on the other side of the fence, what am I LOSING as a result of my infatuation with social media? That my dear friends, is a lot easier for me to brainstorm. Here’s my list:

  • Quality time with my children – in a rush for “me time” and “down time” my hubby and I take turns putting the kids to bed. I wonder, am I really in a rush for “me time” or am I in a rush for computer time?
  • A clean organized house – it’s kind of hard to fold laundry and surf the ‘net at the same time. My house is an absolute disaster!
  • Health – I bet if I wasn’t so darned addicted to the internet I’d have more time to workout, choose healthier snacks, prepare better meals for my family etc… I could be the fit fabulous mommy I want to be!
  • Friends – true, (IRL) in real-life friends, the ones who’ll be there for me in a crisis. I’m ignoring them as a result of my addiction, and I fear the same reason why I don’t call them is the reason why they don’t call me.

CONCLUSION?
Now that I’ve brainstormed the pros and cons of social media, I have to decide which is more important to me, the pros or cons? Truthfully the cons are more important, so I think my new year’s resolution will be to find a better BALANCE between social media and IRL (real-life). If I’m not around as much as I usually am, you’ll know that I’ve doing a better job of spending time with the most important people in my life, my family:

sisters-001

7 thoughts on “Social Media: Friend or Foe?

  1. Awww, there’s that cute photo again! Balance is good (though really you should add Drop.io to your list ;))

    I have to admit that this is the first evening in two/ three week that I have the energy to blog, read blogs etc. My balance needs more “me” time. Blogging helps me to straighten my thoughts, to keep my head clear.

    Nadines last blog post..My favorite photos

  2. I read this on another blog – Balance is a bitch.

    I LOVED it.

    Great post and sorry if I messed up your G rating with the B word. :)

    Great picture of your girls too!

    Leannes last blog post..Another note

  3. I’m not so much into the social media stuff, even though I probably have an account for all of them. Those are the things that I find useless, but then I’m used to having a website for over 10 years.

    I guess I don’t mind little snippets of information – here’s what I’m doing this very moment, but half the ones I read, I don’t know what those snippets pertain to so it didn’t help me to read them.

    Every now and then I’ll go to my facebook account, and the only reason I even remember my twitter thingie is because it’s right on my site now.

    Since I’m not a big TV watcher, I can’t imagine doing anything other than being on the computer – it’s just not usually to post what I’m doing every 10 minutes.

    I’d like to have balance too, but I suppose I allow myself my obsessions because I don’t feel guilty about having them, and as far as I know, nobody in my household is suffering from them (probably because we all have the same addictions) :)

    jafers last blog post..Forgetting Sarah Marshall

  4. I have never heard of most of the sites you have listed. I guess that’s a good thing. I know I spend too much time on-line!

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