Do your Internet habits hold you back, or help you succeed?
In theory, technology should increase both work flexibility and productivity, but it is also responsible for procrastination and a major threat to people’s work-life balance.
In fact, much of the recent debate about work-life imbalance is concerned with our relationship with technology, in particular our inability to disconnect or go offline.
For example, in the U.S. almost 50% of working adults report being “hooked” on email, which is estimated to cost the nation’s economy at least $900 billion a year in productivity loss. According to consulting firm McKinsey & Company, professionals spend 28% of their work time reading or answering emails. These statistics explain the international success of bestselling books like The Four Hour Work Week.
Furthermore, even people who manage to keep their email addiction in check are prone to getting hooked on other sites or apps, such as Facebook or Twitter, with a growing number of people trying social media sabbatical, where they detox from these sites for a couple of months or so. Needless to say, our digital excesses may harm not just our productivity but also our personal relationships with others, especially if they demand exclusive attention from the physical world.
So how can we better manage our web-life balance? Here are four practical suggestions you may want to consider:
“Basically [we’re] rejecting a lot of the techniques that we know do work in terms of getting people to click as much as possible, read as much as possible, stay as much as possible.”
Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and the rest of our social networks have trained us to respond to notifications like Pavlovian dogs. So we were surprised to hear Brian Bailey, creator of a new social network called Uncommon, isn’t out to get you addicted.
Test participants who had used Facebook for 20 minutes reported being in a worse mood than those in two other test groups (one browsed the Internet, one served as a control and did nothing); the Facebook participants also felt their time had been used in a less meaningful way.
Have you joined the Pinterest craze yet? Here’s everything you always wanted to know about the online pinboard site, but were afraid to ask.
A decade into the social media revolution, fatigue has set in. There are lots of ways to interact, but there are still only 24 hours in a day. What social media network is still worth your time?
For a growing number of brands, Pinterest is making the cut. According to Cincinnati-based marketing company Ahalogy, some 22% of Americans are now monthly visitors to the site, where people pin and share pictures and articles like you might pin magazine clippings on a bulletin board. While men are starting to join, the vast majority of Pinterest users are women, and they are generally younger women. If you’re marketing fishing equipment to retired gentlemen, then this is not your medium.
But if you’re trying to reach Pinterest’s core users of millennial moms, here’s how to stand out.