One of the characteristics of the modern media age — at least for anyone who uses the web and social media a lot — is that we are surrounded by vast clouds of rapidly changing information, whether it’s blog posts or news stories or Twitter and Facebook updates. That’s great if you like real-time content, but there is a not-so-hidden flaw — namely, that you can’t step into the same stream twice, as Heraclitus put it. In other words, much of that information may (and probably will) disappear as new information replaces it, and small pieces of history wind up getting lost. According to a recent study, which looked at links shared through Twitter about news events like the Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East, this could be turning into a substantial problem.
Every time we don’t say sorry first and end the stalemate, we are losing time. Every time we focus on our regrets, we lose time. Whenever you look in the mirror and judge yourself a failure, you are losing time. Strangely, this made me think of golf balls.
There is not one golf ball in the world that judges itself a failure. Sometimes they land in the hole. Other times, they get lost in the woods. But they are still primarily the same object. The same is true for you. Failure is something about a moment. Failure is a great thief of time. Learn. Embrace your learning. Move. Time only goes in one direction, and that’s away from you.
“‘Control your exit?’” I asked blankly. “What exactly does that mean?”
“It means, always be able to leave when you want. Drive yourself to a party instead of getting a ride, so you can leave when you’re ready. Try to go to someone else’s house, or a public place, instead of having people over to your house, because there’s nothing worse than seeing someone lean back and cross their legs when you’re ready to go to bed. Or else have people over to your house before some event – before a dinner reservation or a movie – so you have to leave by a certain time.”This resolution struck me as a slightly anti-social resolution, but I could see the sense of it. […]
This is absolutely good advice. Anyone considering having a social media presence for business/publicity purposes needs to weigh all the pros and cons before starting up an account.
…But it’s not just about time - social media work also takes diligence. One negative comment or potentially offensive post can make a business look unprofessional or disconnected from its customer base.So if you’re not ready to monitor your Facebook page at least a few times a day - and use a good chunk of your work day doing it - think long about whether the benefits of social media-marketing outweigh the downside.
I sometimes teach classes on writing, during which I tell my students every single thing I know about the craft and habit. This takes approximately 45 minutes. I begin with my core belief—and the foundation of almost all wisdom traditions—that there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.
Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this.