26 Oct 2011

Social Media/Work/Life Balance

It used to be those that work had the goal of having "work/life balance."  Meaning we all strive to have a job and also be able to have a life outside that job.  Just when I think I get a handle on this concept and have a pretty good balance going on, in comes social media and all its distractions and interesting things to read, comment and blog on.

I have been pretty in tune with computers, Internet and the ins and outs, fads and changes of social media since the early days of Internet useage.  I have had the pleasure of working for two very well known computer software and telecommunications companies, giving me even more opportunity to learn about the emerging technologies, all the while being paid to do it.

I remember getting excited when Windows 95 came out and getting a new computer with it installed.  I remember getting dial up and my very first email address.  I remember my first hotmail account, which still exists and is used often.  I remember ICQ and all the chats that stemmed from it and the ability to start conversations, drop them and return to them days later like it was nothing.  I had Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, AIM (AOL,) and ICQ running pretty much simultaneously and it was becoming the norm to chat online rather than chat on the phone.  These were all a sign of many things to come.

I started using Facebook in 2007 and I think I was a pretty late bloomer on that.  I tried to put it off and "rebel" against the latest thing, but eventually I began using it to communicate with close friends and family about upcoming wedding plans, and then plans for baby, and so on.  It quickly became the quickest and easiest way to connect with a number of  people, rather than have to make numerous phone calls or emails and hope that the message would be recieved.

This year I have created a blog, setup google +, started perusing Pinterest, created a Facebook Page (but haven't done anything with it yet,) and signed up on Twitter.  Can you say, "information overload?"  Yet this is the new norm.  It's a little bit crazy when you think of it and it can become overwhelming to some.

For me, information is power.  I enjoy taking on these challenges and learning as much as possible and then moving on to the next interesting thing.  The downfall is that there are so many new, cool things going on, it's hard to keep up!  That's when it can become overwhelming.

This is where social media/work/life balance come in.  I began my blog while off on mat leave and able to take a few minutes to write during quiet time during the day when babies were sleeping or after they'd gone to bed in the evening.  I could post 2-3 blogs per week if I felt like it.

I have been back to work almost 2 months, and let me tell you, opportunities to blog have become very difficult to find during my hectic day.

Monday to Friday look like this:
Wake around 5:45 or 6.
Get all 3 kids out the door by 7:45 (Hubby and I might have eaten, but probably not!)
Drop off at two different daycares by 8--One car goes one way, the other car another way.
Get to work by 8:30.
Work till 5:00.
Pick up kids by 5:30.
Get home, make dinner, eat dinner by 6:30 or 7:00.
Play with kids 7:00-8:00.
Get kids in bed 8:00-8:30.
Maybe login to FB and check out what's up in my social world 8:30ish
Around 8:32 realize I can't sit down because there are at least 6 bottles/sippy cups to wash, dishes to be cleared from table and thrown in dishwasher, etc., etc.
Around 9:15 the above might be done.  My back may be killing me.  This is when I may get myself back onto Facebook or set myself up here infront of my blog.  Or maybe I will actually try to watch one tv show in full, without interruption...but probably not!

Right now I can see that there is a serious imbalance between social media, life and work. 

I'm working on it!  I've been able to attend two workshops in the past week on the topic of blogging and Facebook for business.  The facilitators suggest at least 2 blogs per week to maintain a blog.  I would have to agree.  It seems like it might be hard to do this every week, but the bottom line is I am answering to myself and a blog for me is something to be enjoyed and not felt as though it's another "job."  I met a lady this week who said she had a "mommy blog" for four years and finally decided to give it up because it was taking her away from other things, especially family, and she became overwhelmed.

I don't want to get to feeling like she did.  I am now thinking forward about how I would like to see these three great parts of my life balance out and each part be something I can enjoy and bend and flex with, as times and needs change.

To be continued...


  1. I am totally in the throws with you on this one! My typical weekday is nearly identical to yours. But I like my blog and I've made friends through blogging that I don't want to lose. So I did push my blog to the side for the first few months at a new job, but I'm coming back around now and it feels good. I wish you well in finding your balance and peace in this age of social media, work, and mommyhood!