I remember a time when I would come home from work, turn on the television and relax all evening watching some of my favorite shows. My home phone might ring with a personal call. It was my choice to answer or not. I remember going to bed and waking up, having a nice cup of coffee before starting my drive to work. On the way to work, I listened to my music as loud as I wanted, uninterrupted. When I arrived at my office, I would check the little light on my phone to see if there were any voice messages. Then my day began. My goal was to answer my phone and take care of callers’ needs. If voice mails backed up, it was my goal to have them handled before the five o’clock whistle blew. I would drive home, listening to my same music (loud as ever) until arriving home to start my relaxing evening.
Today, I wake up first thing in the morning and check my Blackberry, which also lets me know what the weather is going to be like, how heavy the traffic is, if there has been any breaking news, if someone wrote on my wall on Facebook, tweeted me or is now following me on Twitter, if someone blogged to a site I subscribe to, or if someone texted me, emailed or called me. And, my day begins. Throughout my day, I am tweeting, updating my status, sending messages through Facebook, texting, emailing, IM’ing, calling, checking voice mails, blogging and at the end of the work day, it all follows me to my car. My music is turned down really low so I can hear all the pings and rings my blackberry makes as it records messages from all my elected sources. As I prepare dinner for my family, I keep that blackberry by my side and stay up-to-date with friends, co-workers, news and weather updates. And the last thing I do before I go to bed is check it all again. Sounds overwhelming! Check out this scene from the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You” where Drew Barrymore’s character Mary has grown frustrated with all the technologies she has to manage in order to maintain dating relationships.
I believe it is by choice to be overwhelmed or fascinated by today’s technologies. Personally, I am fascinated! Just last night, I was blogging, texting and emailing with groups about American Idol as I watched the show! It enhanced the entire experience!
If you are ready to choose fascination, let me give you a few suggestions that have worked for me on how to organize your world of technology .
Use a start page to organize your social media. I personally use iGoogle as my home page and have widgets for the social media sites I use most. Ben Parr, Co-Editor of Mashables, lists 7 ways to create your own social start page. See his blog at http://mashable.com/2009/05/03/social-start-pages/. Some of his top 7 include, iGoogle, SuprGlu and FriendFeed.
Return texts the second you receive them. So many times I’ve lost text messages among emails. I have them set to have a different ring on my blackberry so that when I hear that ring, I know to react immediately or it will be lost in a sea of emails, im’s, and missed calls.
Set a reminder in your Outlook to check your platforms. I not only have reminders, I block time in my day to blog and read blogs.
Narrow down your social media platforms to three, in the beginning. Master those and then venture into others. Starting out, I suggest Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Search for sites where experts are sharing ideas on how to simplify and organize your social media.
I found an interesting blog by Muhammad Saleem, a social media consultant and a top-ranked community member on multiple social news sites, titled “Social Media and Simplicity, Part 2: Organize”. He stresses the importance of setting parameters for your social sites on how they are able to share content with you. He states, “Choose what groups you want to be a part of on a social networking site, what content others are allowed to share with you (and what content from you is visible to them), and decide under what circumstances these sites (or the users of these sites) can contact you.” He ends by saying, “How you organize your life can make the difference between utilizing 10 tools and reaching 40,000 people or utilizing 5 tools and reaching 100,000 people.” Here is a link to his blog, http://freelanceswitch.com/freelancing-essentials/social-media-and-simplicity-part-2-organize/
These are just a few suggestions. I’m sure there are a million more. If you have some suggestions to share that work for you, please feel free to share them by commenting on this post.