I have been on vacation the past week or so and am currently on personal leave to finish writing my dissertation proposal (which, as you can see, I am procrastinating!) During my vacation, I swore I would take a break from blogging, Twitter, email, and all things electronic.
I admit - I did honestly make the attempt and in fact, did not turn on my computer one time. However, the iPad is a constant companion, especially since the books I am reading (currently, the Game of Thrones series) are on there, so I had the iPad with me a lot - even on the beach. It was very easy to check if I had emails, to check out my Facebook or to send a Twitter or two. Long story short, I failed miserably at the disconnecting aspect.
|View from chair and under canopy!|
However, while in same beach chair under same canopy, I also checked my email because, gosh darnit, I just can't help myself! This was a BAD impact on my personal life because clearly, I was NOT escaping my work and truly enjoying the vacation. Granted, I did mostly just read or delete the emails versus responding, but the fact that I was constantly connected to work is an aspect of social media that interferes with personal life. Obviously, I could turn off the email, but I don't, and I would imagine there are many others like me who can't turn off as well.
|Canopy Life at the beach w/iPad|
My conclusion - social media definitely impacts personal life. How much is up to the individual person. And whether it's a good impact or bad impact depends on the situation, the time, and the reason. Social media and the folks you connect with via social media channels do become part of your personal life, so it's a matter of balancing the live experiences with the virtual experiences and knowing when to disconnect. Balance is the key and clearly I need to work on my balancing act!