Is Social Media a 24/7 Commitment?

Remember many years ago when some people had to carry pagers as part of their job? These poor individuals were on call outside of work hours and were paid a little extra for the inconvenience. I felt sorry for my friends ‘on call’ as they had to stay sober and not allow the weekend to simply unfold.

Doing it 24/7
Doing it 24/7 – Photography by AirGap

So what’s the point of this post?

Now for some reason, people are staying ‘switched on’ to social media twenty-four/seven, and worse still, expect you to be as well. They’ve chosen to be slaves to the ‘latest notification’ – just as if they had a job that depended on it. They’re phones demand them to be.

So why am I winging about other people’s habits?

I had a normal morning. I dropped my husband at work, went for a swim, did some light shopping, and then came home and logged on to the web at about 11am. Two tweets were waiting for me from the same person. The first asked me about my view on politics here in Australia. The second was sent twenty minutes later, pondering why I didn’t respond to the first.

I sat wondering how to reply until I just simply wrote ‘I don’t live on the internet’.

A brief history of our use of our phone.

When my partner and I first entered the world of the mobile phone (or cell phone), it sat in the drawer and only came out when we needed it. We didn’t give out the number as it was rarely with us. In our view, we didn’t want to be disturbed when we were out enjoying ourselves.

Then we met a Gen Y who’s main way of contact was through our mobile. So it travelled with us when we were out. Still, our friends thought it was odd that we shared one phone between us. We’d reply that we both know the same people and, as we were joined at the hip, any contact for either myself or my partner was really for us both.

Is this a ‘thing’ now?

But still it’s a ‘do not disturb’ piece of hardware when we’re out socialising. The data is never kept on unless I actually want to read emails or catch up on social media. And as most of my cyber friends live in a totally different time zone, most of their status updates would wake us up in the middle of the night.

So why did this person believe it was my duty to respond instantly to his tweet? Go figure.

That’s one of the luxuries of the age we live in. When I’m living my life I’m there with the people around me. When I’m living my cyber life, I’m there with a wider world online. My two ‘lives’ have no reason to impact on each other. It’s totally of my choosing.

After all, responding to every notification twenty-four/seven is like living with Big Brother.

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