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Is Social Media Making You Tired?

I received the following message on 4.20.9 from a person I would consider a treasured mentor in my life;

Subject: So I'm worried about you

I would like you to read "The Mindful Brain" by a guy named Siegel.  I think you are dis-attuning yourself to a deeper level of awareness and consciousness with this twitter/30 second thought process/Facebook life.  These are cruise ship recipes, not intimate meals where the provenance of your food is known.  This must seem so contrary on my part to say and I surmise you think your are enjoying the height of a social media experience.  Maybe so but I say this only with concern for you.  Take stock, my friend, and when you do be sure you still have long walks and ample period for reflection.  If you can do that and do this, more power to you. [End]

My instant reaction - thank the one that governs all that is and ever will be as I have never been so tired at any span of my professional career.  Up at 5:00 and down at 1:00 or 2:00 every day of the week. The culprit? Social Media coupled with an addictive personality.

With some irony, the message above came to me two years to the day that I left Equity Residential. Sign? - Maybe a little far reaching but it quickly took my mind to two songs that stir my being every time that I hear them;

Down in a hole - Alice in Chains

Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd

I have long considered myself a mindful person - one who takes the time to be thoughtful of the world around me. One who cares about the origin of stuff and things and the deeper thoughts and feelings of people. That is until two years ago when I put work and social media before family and just two days ago I was heavily reminded of it. Until that time I've been down in a hole and comfortably numb - Tired. Dis-attuned as my friend so eloquently put it.

All that being said, I am under no illusion that I will walk away from the cherished relationships I've developed by participating during the height of social media - I will however, with no doubt, be more mindful of the time I spend participating.

And, to my friend, thank you for being mindful of my being. I will be taking stock.

To all, thank you in advance for allowing an occasional off topic message.

Your fellow - feeling a little Jerry McGuireish -  MFI'r

M

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Mike -
I think this is a fabulous post. I'm not in nearly as deep as many of you (use this site as an example), but am still consumed, and it's been pointed out.
It brings up another question I've been sitting on though... regardless of the social media aspect, how has your family life adapted and evolved to accomodate ? I'm asking being I have worked in other fields and still was not so consumed by the shop in my off time. Perfect example, it is almost 7:30 AM here - am I enjoying a coffee? taking the time to sleep in for a few minutes? making myself a great breakfast? nope! i couldn't wait to get onto mfinsiders to see!;)

  Tara Smiley
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Your question is the issue that faces everyone in the new world of content creation and consumption not just in the multifamily world but the world in general - my solution was to get up earlier so as not to take time away from family - the problem with that is that when I did spend time with my family it was left over time. Time that had little to no meaning.

The book that my friend recommended is fascinating [very deep reading].

I 100% believe there is a place for this new medium in our lives we just have to take care to fit it in appropriately.

M

  Mike Brewer
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Wow, Obi Wan, I need time to digest this one. It really resonates and is something that's been on my mind as well a lot lately. BTW, did you see the story on the Today Show yesterday about the narcissistic society we've become due to Social Media? We all think that tweeting or updating our every move is actually interesting to others out there. Message from the Today Show: It's Not.

Great post. Gotta read it a few more times.

Thanks for sharing.

  Lisa Trosien
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I think it is extremely important to remember WHY you do what you do. Why are you so entangled in the social media? Probably so that you can be better at your job. Why do you want to be good at your job? There are probably several reasons, but the most common and most basic reason is simply to be able to take care of your family. You are a husband/wife, you are a parent, you are a friend. Your job isn't who you are, it's simply what you do. If you let your job define you, then it's easy to get your priorities all messed up. I strive to be good at my job, but only between 8:30 & 5:30. My family is the most important thing to me and anything that takes time from them, or leaves them feeling neglected is NOT alright. I want to be good at my job, but I have to be good to my family. It is my responsibility to do so. If you achieve everything possilbe in your professional life, but your family falls apart, have you been successful? If you're the most respected individual in your field, but your kids go bad, was it worth it? Of course not. Everything must have balance. In your twilight years, your job will be gone. Your family & friends will be what you're left with, so you need to make sure that those relationships are nurtured properly. In my own life, I'm very aware of that. I make time throughout the day to talk to my husband (sometimes on facebook). Several times a week, we meet for lunch and several times a week I make it possible to have a lunch date with my kids. And once I get off work at night, the rest of my day is theirs. Sometimes, you must consider future regret. Will I ever regret not devoting more time to my job? Maybe. Will I ever regret spending that extra time with my child? NEVER. There's no do-overs, so I have to be there for them now. Unfortunately, all to often, our society scoffs at home life & family & pushes us to excel in superficial areas. That's why it is so important to remember what your reasons are. Best of...

I think it is extremely important to remember WHY you do what you do. Why are you so entangled in the social media? Probably so that you can be better at your job. Why do you want to be good at your job? There are probably several reasons, but the most common and most basic reason is simply to be able to take care of your family. You are a husband/wife, you are a parent, you are a friend. Your job isn't who you are, it's simply what you do. If you let your job define you, then it's easy to get your priorities all messed up. I strive to be good at my job, but only between 8:30 & 5:30. My family is the most important thing to me and anything that takes time from them, or leaves them feeling neglected is NOT alright. I want to be good at my job, but I have to be good to my family. It is my responsibility to do so. If you achieve everything possilbe in your professional life, but your family falls apart, have you been successful? If you're the most respected individual in your field, but your kids go bad, was it worth it? Of course not. Everything must have balance. In your twilight years, your job will be gone. Your family & friends will be what you're left with, so you need to make sure that those relationships are nurtured properly. In my own life, I'm very aware of that. I make time throughout the day to talk to my husband (sometimes on facebook). Several times a week, we meet for lunch and several times a week I make it possible to have a lunch date with my kids. And once I get off work at night, the rest of my day is theirs. Sometimes, you must consider future regret. Will I ever regret not devoting more time to my job? Maybe. Will I ever regret spending that extra time with my child? NEVER. There's no do-overs, so I have to be there for them now. Unfortunately, all to often, our society scoffs at home life & family & pushes us to excel in superficial areas. That's why it is so important to remember what your reasons are. Best of luck to you & your "new leaf".

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  kay conter
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Kay, I've got to meet you sometime. You take words out of my head and put them online in such a wonderful way! Great response.

Neither you nor I will have a tombstone that reads:
"She died with an empty inbox".

Life's too short, that's for sure.

  Lisa Trosien
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Ha! That's great!

  kay conter
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Kay -

I echo LT's thoughts on your thoughts - very well said. Thank you for taking the time.

LT - thank you for the tweet - you made my day. You are a class act.

M

  Mike Brewer
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I love this post! I've had to make a real effort at home to stay away from the computer at night. It is hard to be a mother, an employee, a girlfriend, and a friend ALL at the SAME time. So, I've been choosing to be a mother. I'm flattered when my children take the time to sit beside me and watch T.V. I put the phone down, the laptop away, and veg out.

It's so easy to become disconnected without realizing it. I feel guilty sometimes, and feel like I'm really missing out on the great conversations that take place at night (online). But, I have to choose, so I choose my family. All too soon they will be grown and gone and you all will be wondering "When will Charity shut up already?!"

Until then, I'll be on when I can!

  Charity Zierten
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Mike - I was describing this website and the concept of social media today to a friend/co-worker of mine and they said something that reminded me of your post. When i gave them the term social media, they asked "Don't you have to be social to begin with?" He was asking because he knows my life: work, home, kids, family, kids, sleep, work work work." Social isn't exactly the first word he would use to describe me. I love what i do, moreso in the last 2 months (thank you mfinsiders!), but we all need to take stock of the fruits of our efforts.
You do what you do because you're amazingly good at it (just throwing out a wild guess here). Your enthusiasm and drive are a part of who you are. The same qualities i would think are also visible and loved by your family and friends.
I guess the question i would pose is this - perhaps you are as good as you are and have the potential to be better still in the social media world as your life is tempered and given perspective. If the pieces of the pie are a bit more even, you are happier, your family is more fulfilled, and your efforts in social media are concentrated nuggets of "awesomeness".

  Tara Smiley

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