Thursday, November 27, 2008

Social Media - Good for your Health?

Doctors first gauge mental health by the ability to look after yourself.

So when I popped over to mine this morning for a routine test, while sitting in the waiting room, I thought I must remember to mention my shower's broken and the plumber failed to show yesterday which is why my hair looks less than fragrant and also that the holes in these jeans are deliberate.

Anyway, he didn't notice, or was too polite to say, while scraping my cervix. Phew, got away with it...

Then when I got home, and even though I hadn't been out that long I got the classic 'return from holiday' view of my place, and it's a monumental tip.

Now mess doesn't normally bother me. I like piles of books and papers, manuscripts strewn all over the place, things I'm working on left out half done waiting for inspiration or a couple of quiet hours to finish but this was heaps of washing up and clothes on the floor, everywhere.

How did that happen? What have I been doing differently these past few weeks?

It has to be Twitter, Facebook and now FriendFeed. It's not just the time spent reading and responding, keeping up with the flow, but reading the great articles posted and trying out the cool resources too.

Still, don't get freaked out, if it's important it's obviously getting done. I must be eating, look at the piles of dirty plates in the kitchen and the cheques are still arriving on time.

But is this healthy? A near addiction to staying in touch online?

We all want to belong, isolation can be soul destroying though I personally love being alone, in my opinion a mother can never be alone enough, but does being drawn into this community give you a false sense of intimacy? A safer, cleaner less messy experience? A place where if someone upsets you you just hit unfollow with no confrontations or repercussions?

On the other hand I've met a load of great people, picked up some interesting ideas and it's refreshing to be in such stimulating company. That has to be good for me surely?

Hmm, I'm still not sure and will have to monitor the effects on my hard relationships and bank balance closely.

Meanwhile I really must update a sales page and phone the plumber but only after I've checked out 10 Challenging but Awesome CSS Techniques...


  1. I resemble this blog post (apart from the doctor/cervix stuff ;-) )

    Like most things Nicola, it's about striking the right balance or..

    Outsource your housekeeping!

  2. I agree with John- Striking the right balance.
    I have found that if I have something that has to get done, I will enforce the "no email/internet" rule on myself for a couple days. It works wonders for those piles of laundry.. or a "laundry day", where all you do is laundry and folding and putting the stuff away. Mine is Friday. Can't afford to outsource housekeeping anymore, but one day a week is not so bad. I use it to listen to great music while folding... kind of relaxing.

  3. John, Colleen, thanks for your comments.

    Will have to consider outsourcing again I think.

    At the moment I use the idea of "ad break cleaning" getting up for a stretch now and then and picking something up or washing a couple of dishes while the coffee machine is delivering or on the way to the loo.

    I might try a morning off to start with Colleen, think a whole day is a bit of a stretch just now.

    Thanks guys :)

  4. I used to live in a dump, but fortunately now my apartment is neat.
    Cleaning is the one thing I don't like, so I have somebody coming every other week.
    First time she came, a few years ago, it took a couple of visits to get to the bottom of the dirt...

    I find it interesting how most people regard Internet relationships as not being "real".

  5. Eolake,

    Re online relationships, there is a greater ability to tap into common areas of interest, both intellectually and emotionally, which often make them more real and far longer lasting than ones based on mere physical attraction.