Getting Perspective on Social Media

A colleague and I were talking about fundraising operations in non-profit organizations recently.  The question was whether fundraising should be incorporated into a department with other responsibilities such as public relations and advertising or exist separately.  There are good reasons to integrate fundraising with other activities, but I argued for the standalone approach.  My logic was that raising money is harder (and engenders more psychic resistance) than just about any other activity.  Thus, almost any other activity will be more attractive than fundraising.  Because of that dynamic I would expect to see everyone in the area that includes fundraising engaging in the many other activities that present less resistance.  

As we discussed the matter, I spotted a window into my own life.  Rather than alternatives to fundraising, I saw social media.  The more I have allowed facebook and twitter into my life (both of which I use extensively) the less time and attention I give to activities that are more difficult.  I read less good books.  I probably write less.  I spend less time taking care of irritating items on my to-do list.  I even BLOG less.  The reason is that social media is the lowest resistance activity available to me.  With very little thought or effort, I can reach out and interact with others.  Mentally, it is the equivalent of hanging out by the water cooler and shooting the breeze rather than doing work.  (In terms of effect, it obviously has much greater potential than the water cooler.  Indeed, there are people who make their living in social media.  But I do not.  And neither, probably, do you!)

As a result, I am going to attempt what I think many others have recommended.  I am going to restrict social media to scheduled times during the day.  And bedtime will not be one of those times.  I have noticed the slide toward scanning facebook in bed.  It is taking up space where reading the Bible and other books used to have a monopoly.  No more.  (I hope.)