Sometimes I almost feel too connected. Posts by my Facebook “close friends” appear in my gmail inbox. I am also alerted when someone posts to the School Librarian’s Workshop Facebook page as well as those on pages to which I belong. I am on Linkedin and am connected to several groups there so I am notified about new postings. Then there is @hildakw, my Twitter account (#slworkshop), and Google+. Four different email accounts, one of which is the inbox for three electronic discussion lists to which I am subscribed, afford more connections.
I need all these sources to stay current with developments in the field….and yet these connections require a huge investment of time. Trying to balance being productive—as in writing articles for School Librarian’s Workshop—with building my knowledge base is a daily feat. Time management seems to be the most vital skill we all need to develop in our frequently overly “participatory culture.” Some days I am better at than others. How are you managing?
The great irony of time saving technologies is that they end up consuming more of our time, particularly if we have a curious and enquiring mind. Worse still, if we are at least mildly obsessive when it comes to being informed and are 24/7 connected to the internet. To contain the prospect of information overload, I have found that it is absolutely essential to become very discriminating in the online knowledge that I wish to pursue.
There most certainly is! The danger of “information overload” is ever present and very real. Neurological studies on the impact of communication technology on the human brain is showing that prolonged use of such devices is actually beginning to rewire the neural pathways in our brains. One implication already discovered is a significant reduction in the ability to read for deep meaning. Clever entrepreneurs are already marketing holiday destinations that are devoid of mobile reception so that guests are forced to “unplug” for a day or so. The human brain and psyche is designed in such a way that regular “time out” is necessary to stay healthy, mentally and emotionally. The perceived need to stay “in touch” 24/7 must be challenged at every turn… for our own wellbeing.
Staying in touch” is often an excuse for computer addiction and it also encourages your short attention span. Select only the vital online sources to accomplish your work and to develop effective PR.. As for Social Media, select a vehicle to allow you to tell your complete message. Ideally your Social Media vehicle would also number, date and total the number of replies to your comments but I do not know if such a vehicle exists