when a hug isn't really a hug ....

I recently had a conversation about Facebook with my brother. He believes that Facebook represents the time we are living in and is not something a business person desiring 'personal' connections with people can just skip.

This is where my problem comes in becomes I can't totally silence the little voice in the back of my head

(the little voice that is often right)

that tells me something is not quite right about all of this.

I once read something like - you’re an introvert if you recharge your batteries while being alone and you’re an extrovert if you recharge in the company of others - and most people are somewhere in the middle and can do both.

When my daughter was little and I had a job in a place outside of my house, a place with other people, I definitely recharged from time spent alone.

Now, that I am alone alot - pretty much the opposite is true - I need the company of others more and more often to recharge.

Now, sometimes this 'company of others' takes place on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr or wherever ... and these things do fill us; for a little while - the feeling just doesn't last though.

(kind of like eating Chinese food)

There's a great deal of talk about the business value of social networking.

I can't help noticing that alot of this talk is circulated by people trying to make money from it. But taking advice about how the fish are biting from the girl selling you the bait is not the best idea.

(this advice is kind of like the sellers on Etsy with ebooks about how to make money selling on Etsy who have never sold anything other than ebooks about how to make money selling on Etsy - now if this person wants to tell me how to make money selling ebooks on Etsy, well then, I'm listening ... but otherwise not so much)

Anyhoo, back to Facebook. Yes, it is happening right now. Yes, I am a part of this world, right now. Yes, I do not want the world to pass me by ...

(well, except for maybe that honeysuckle color that is Pantone's color of the year - I am just not feeling it, that can pass me by, I think, and Charlie Sheen he can pass me by, too)

but maybe there are ways to raise our visibility without always raising our accessibility. I just don't think this is all sustainable.

For now, I continue to update my Facebook and tweet once in a while - I am not about to jump completely out of these fast moving waters because it may be very hard to find my stroke if I have to jump back in.

(did anyone see that guy on Dr. Phil who gets off work at 3 and then runs until 6, all the while photographing his run and then spends every night after dinner updating his Facebook or blog about his run ... while his wife goes crazy with the kids and his entire life falls away from him and he doesn't even notice)

But, I think it is time for me to challenge myself socially and get out there in the real world because I don't want those muscles - that were never exactly Linda Hamilton in Terminator II anyway - to weaken to the point where upon meeting new people I immediately become their 'friend', give them a hug and a friendly poke (not too friendly) and a great big thumbs up.

(so today it's back to the library and off my Nook - a little face to face time with other readers and I think our librarians have been missing us ... baby steps)

* print #17 from HappyTownUSA


akaCINDERS said...

Darlin' if we were closer I'd give you a hug. I must say that I have met a lot of great people like you in the virtual world, that I would not have met otherwise. But I do get it. We spend too much time in the virtual world. Now I have to go tweet and ignore those dishes in my sink :)

http://www.kjsbeadaciousbeads.blogspot.com/ said...

I just started a blog- but I love to read blogs, heck I love to read and always have.

Facebook and twitter are popular, but they are not for me. Tell me why I would want to "friend" a department store, coffee shop, or someone I don't even remember from high school? Will the coffee shop and department store respond to my postings about sales in my Etsy store? I can call or e-mail my friends who are not nearby and meet my other friends for coffee.

I don't like short form writing.

I don't trust facebook to maintain any privacy policy.

I don't see how facebook adds to my marketing, other than to point my "friends" to my blog.

I think that little voice in the back of your head is right. I think facebook will always be with us; but I also think its popularity will diminish.

Okay, now back to writing a new post for my blog.

Lynn Lunger said...

Oh woe.... I want to give you a real hug as well.

I am in the middle of an unplugging, and it hurts. Last July I dropped Twitter. I joined Tumblr last month and lasted maybe 2 weeks before I dropped that too. My FB page is woefully un-updated and I just dropped out of two teams and declined the invitation of another one. Treasury curating is sporadic and feels fruitless.

It felt like a crazy whirlwind of surfing and updating and tweeting, reading and posting and commenting, clicking and blogging and curating. And all of this doesn't even touch the parts of my love for my art that I need to do, like brainstorming and creating, recharging and innovating, reading and painting and thinking, making and photographing and listing. :^O Then comes home and family with... well I don't want to reduce that to a list, but quality family time was seriously lacking.

Do what works for you but don't get sucked down and out by the undertow.


Patty said...

Sounds like a very healthy approach to me! People can go so overboard with this stuff.

Sielukka Admin said...

(Heh, I just thought about this today. The only people who make money online are those who tell others how to make money online. The stuff that supply sellers and shop advisors sell is worth much more than what their clients ever make. Etc. There's just a certain imbalance in this whole online thing.)

Catherine Ivins said...

hugs back Cinders and yes, it does give us the absolute right to ignore household chores, definitely a plus...

agreed KJ and a blog feels different somehow ...

Lynn- I thought it was something like that when I noticed you stopped blogging- I knew you needed to focus on what was most important which is of course family and has to be or what is the point of our life anyway - I haven't made a treasury (except for 2 for a team) in about 18 months - I just lost the love for it and stopped - I think everything we do has a kind of shelf life and then it is time to move on or something happens and pushes us on - I am still on a couple teams but don't do much anymore for them - there are just only so many hours and the truth is my blog is the most creative outlet for me and since I do so much production work these days I need the outlet for that or I would go crazy - you can only do so much when everyone else is asleep before it becomes ridiculous...

Ginny Huber said...

Well, this post tells me why blogs, wherever they fit in the virtual universe have some value! Quite thought provoking for me, Cat, a person still struggling at my "vintage age" with visibility and its relatives! I have found ways to connect on-line, including via blogs-my own and reading others, that feel really heart connected to me . Like Cinders says, I've met a lot of lovely people via the "old treasuries" etc.. that i would never have met otherwise, etc. and some of those have translated into in=person meetings....But, all those words being said..it is a constant process for me to figure out who my on-line persona is..and where she has comfort and joy.. anyway..thanks for the post..

Karenladd said...

Recently read an article addressing the fact that people in general are spending much more time "socializing" online and by phone and less time face to face. As a person who also works from home I know exactly what you mean! I sometimes go weeks (no kidding) without seeing anyone besides my hubby and it's too easy to get lulled into thinking you have a normal life because you have lots of "friends" online. As with all things....moderation and balance!

Sherry said...

You will simply never find me on facebook.

What scares me, with all due respect to your brother, is that virtual interaction has become a mainstream substitute for REAL interaction and REAL relationships.

You already know how I feel about twitter.

I guess to anyone who says you can't run a business without them, I'd invite them to look at mine, and yours and dozens of others I know.

I like blogs. I like that you don't need a thumb to tell someone you like what they've written and you can have more than 140 characters.

In fact, I'm going to start my new blog up again soon. After I make some time in my REAL life.


Wear Your Wild said...

FaceWho? I never could get into FB and closed my account in Feb. Twitter? I'll tweet every now and then, but it's not for me either. I followed Sherry to both of those sites. Oh, let's not forget tumblr. :)
I'll try anything once, but if it doesn't fit, I'm gone.

Dar Presto said...

I've been meaning to gush about the articulate wisdom which you share with clever clever humor, and extensive use of asides. (Much vigorous nodding while reading 'look at me' as well.)

I'm trying to teach and to model balance for my kids. I'm insisting that my kid complete her next writing assignment with actual books, paper, and pencil. Old school, literally.

I've neglected my blog for nearly a year, even though I really appreciate those relationships. But I wasn't looking for business networking there. I have mixed feelings about the use of social network venues for business.
So, do I lose a point for posting the current giveaway to FB? Was it a test? ;)

Catherine Ivins said...

it's funny you ask if it is a test because I am posting a test tomorrow - ack! I love the idea of your child settling down with pencil and paper to write something ... when did we get so disconnected from our words that we don't needs to actually touch them after they leave our heads...


Aimee Jeffries said...

It all seems like a lot to keep up with, but the sparkle wears off soon and you'll stop checking to see what everyone is doing every 5 minutes LOL. It is fun to see what other artists are up to and have a support system of sorts. But the magic happens when you aren't trying to advertise and just honestly having fun. I followed a page, they asked a simple question, I gave my simple answer and ended up with a full page in their magazine. So if you get "Studios" mag, the one with cutie-pie Ty on the cover, I'm in there with my DIY organization tip! :)

Catherine Ivins said...

Is love Studios mag Aimee- I will look for you! I love that one- it is so inspiring - yes, it is a balance thing and a relationship thing- I guess I wish we just all lived closer....


Brenda said...

This is so interesting and thought provoking, Cat. I'm a textbook introvert - I'd be the happiest hermit on the planet living alone in the middle of nowhere.

As long as I had a computer and internet connection. :)

I have a "meh" "dislike" relationship with FB. I've enjoyed staying in touch with friends, but it sometimes feels mandatory. Which is when I hole up and recharge solo.

I find it moderately useful for my biz - it's 1000% about developing relationships with folks I'd never know without FB.

I have grown to dread Twitter for a variety of reasons, so only sporadically post something. I retweet more than anything.

Like Lynn, I'm consider an official unplugging for a week or two. Maybe I'll start with a weekend. :)

Ngan {eNVe Designs} said...

Hallelujah, Cat! Thank you for being the one sane voice that wasn't making me feel overwhelmed with everything that I'm NOT doing to stay connected and visible. I also tend to hole up when I feel overwhelmed and just keep to myself and my immediate circle of loved ones (oh man, did I just say "circle"?.. yet another networking tool that has me somewhat overwhelmed). I always have to remind myself that there's only so much I can do while my kids are napping/sleeping.. and those minutes are precious and shouldn't be squandered tweeting. :P

Unknown said...

I couldn't agree more, Cat. And this from a person who has spent a lot of time online in the past few years. I'm working on finding my balance because I do see the benefits of social media.

Thanks for writing this!