A few weeks ago I was thinking of slitting my wrists because I was so far behind on everything – my job, my personal life, updating information on this site, reading books, writing reviews – I could go on but you get the drift. This led me to ask the question – how many of you are in a similar situation? Do you find yourself so overwhelmed that you’re literally paralyzed? Do you write lists and then they start having a life of their own because they multiply and you find that all you’re doing is writing lists? I did a quick check on the ‘net today and according to a few posts, over 80% of those surveyed are overwhelmed by life.
I think that technology is the biggest culprit that contributes to a stressed-out life because, in addition to the pressures of our real lives, our online friends communicate through these networks and expect us to respond in a similar fashion – Facebook, Twitter, Livejournal, Yahoo Groups, MySpace, Library Thing, Goodreads (and similar library sites) etc. I am just as guilty as anyone else because I use Twitter and Livejournal, although I haven’t posted regularly on Lj in weeks. How on earth are we supposed to find the time to have a real life? Every day I get emails asking me to “friend” someone on Facebook and when I don’t respond I get reminders, because surely I must have missed the initial request. 😀 Some people use Twitter to tell us what they had for breakfast, how their daughter is doing in ballet, what they are doing every moment of the day, what time they go to bed, etc. Does someone in Dubai care? How do they find the time to list most of their daily activities on the internet?
I did a post almost a year ago on my old blog about social networking here and asked you (authors and readers alike) how you coped with all of the demands on your time. I can’t imagine how those of you with small children manage! Many of you responded and talked about the pressures you faced coping with social networks. Now, instead of getting better it’s worse. I’m finding that I can’t cope effectively with all of the demands on my time and my personal relationships are suffering. My real life friends complain that I have no time to spend doing activities with them like going out to dinner, watching movies together, going to the gym with them, having sex (I thought I would slip that one in) 🙂 or something simple like chatting on the phone.
Are you missing out on important areas of life because you’re totally overwhelmed and can’t prioritize? Do you spend a lot of time on Twitter instead of actually having a life? If you have found a way to live in the real world without going crazy trying to keep up with technology, perhaps you could share some of your strategies with the rest of us who are suffering from burnout.
I have deliberately not joined groups like Library Thing, Goodreads, Facebook and MySpace because they are a huge timesuck and in addition they duplicate other online social networking groups. I think that social networking groups are like a drug, and while for some of us it’s our drug of choice, what’s the cost in terms of our relationships?
If any of you have practical solutions that you can share with the rest of us (other than suggesting that we all become hermits) you will be doing a service to the millions who are just trying to cope.
Suggestions anyone? I know I need help. I get probably 3 hours sleep every night and sometimes less than that, and I’m sure there are others worse off than me. Help us before we get sucked into the quagmire called “doing everything because we think we should.” 🙂