What's The Real Price Of Technology?


What's The Real Price Of Technology? | Social Media TodayI’ll never forget it.

The story that my friend told me about her daughter who came to her crying, disappointed after she’d found out that Santa Claus is not real. “She Googled it,” my friend said.

It’s inevitable, you might say, they’ll find out eventually. And that’s true, but how about other feelings that we – both children and adults – experience because of our introduction to the Internet a bit early, or because of our addiction to it? Anxiety, anger, depression…

We all, men, women, and children, spend huge amounts of time online every day. And if that’s not enough, according to a 2014 study by HR firm Randstad US, 42% of adults admit to checking their work emails while on holiday – a time that they should be spending disconnecting and relaxing.

Why is it so hard to switch off? Is it because it’s addictive? Is it because we don’t want to miss out on anything? Is it because we use social networks as a place to stroke our own egos?

Whatever the reason, there are repercussions to be aware of. Smartphone and computer use can cause a number of psychological issues:

There’s also the risk of a range of physical health issues such as:

Not to mention the sheer amount of time that could be spent doing something more productive or enjoyable. And the possible future regret and embarrassment of having shared those unflattering photos of yourself while drunk on holiday when, a few years later, you’re applying for jobs.

On our honeymoons and vacations, in an attempt to usurp the random posts of unflattering wedding shots or bragging about our trip to the beach, we spend hours of our precious time away from our spouses and children, choosing and posting our preferred photos into an online album.

There is a fashionable trend on the rise – to go “offline” altogether. Disconnect. Spend time with nature or in absolute quiet, thinking, creating, exercising.

Why is that?

Because we want our lives back. Because relationships need effort and time to make them work. Any relationship. Without exception. Those brought up on social networking can too easily become accustomed to the “disposable” attitudes of online dating and the modern consumer world, with potentially horrific implications for the future of families and partnerships, with terrible implications for the long-term health of our society. Implications to:

  • Creativity and imagination
  • Productivity
  • Innovation
  • Relationships
  • Mental and physical health of both adults and kids.

We need to take charge. We need to be present when our families are talking to us. We need to take time to go outside and explore with our children. We need to disconnect so that we could allow for our thoughts to flow freely and creatively, and so that we could come back to work with the renewed vigor and passion rather than indifference.

Let’s not allow our work consume us. To do that, we need to become more productive during our work hours, minimize the distractions. There are apps that can help us do just that, such as Anti-Social.

Let’s keep our children safe. Technology can be a source of great learning. But organizations like SafeSurf® andOnGuardOnline provide tools and information to help parents in their quest for their kids’ safety. But we ourselves need to be mindful about what information we post about our kids.

The FBI has a worrying list of the types of cyber-attacks on users of social networking sites, plus some helpful tips on how to not become a victim.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I am a technology addict. I am a social media marketer, it kinda’ comes with territory. I am also a workaholic, because I love what I do. It’s a consistent struggle to find the right balance. But over the past 5 years, while juggling projects, networks, friends and communities, I noticed that I’d developed a slight ADD. I’d gained weight. My sleep patterns were off. I’d somewhat neglected my daughter.

So I started to make changes, such as:

  • Family dinner together every night with our child (even if one of us is traveling)
  • No tech or toys at the dinner table (if the phone rings during dinner, we don’t pick it up)
  • No work between the hours of 6-8pm when my daughter is back from school and before her bed time
  • Giving my family an undivided attention during our family time
  • On the weekends spend time outside without technology (yes, without even a cell phone)
  • Play more board games
  • No technology in your bedroom (no cell, laptop, TV, nothing), it vastly improves sleep patterns

And that’s just basics. I’m still working on the right amount of time I spend with and without technology. And today I invite all of you to take the pledge to be mindful. To go screenless every now and then. To reclaim your lives. To keep us all sane and our relationships thriving.

Because it’s worth it

Because, when it’s all said and done, none of us will ever say on our deathbeds: “I wish I spent more time with my beloved technology.”

This post originally appeared on Ekaterina Walter’s blog

Social Media Today RSS


What's the Worst That Could Happen? See for Yourself


Picture this:


It’s Monday morning. A new social media hire tweets out a tasteless joke from your company handle. Maybe it’s a little sexist, maybe it’s a little racist, maybe it’s a little homophobic. (Heaven help you if it’s all three.) You delete it immediately, knowing you might be breaking a cardinal rule of social media but not sure what else to do. After all, it was only up for a few minutes.


What’s the worst that could happen?


By 9:30AM, an influencer has retweeted a screenshot of the joke to a million followers, adding, “This is NOT okay, @yourcompany.” Amongst that influencer’s million followers are dozens more influencers, celebrities, and journalists, many of whom glom onto this outrage bait and spread it among their own followers.


Then the bloggers come for you. Oh, the humanity!


By noon, the hashtag you were dreading is born, and 15 minutes later it’s trending nationally: #YourCompanySnafu. By dinner time, you’re on the evening news…but not in a good way. By 10PM, CNN’s treating you to the whole Don Lemon experience. But the day’s not over yet: late night means it’s time for Jimmies Fallon and Kimmel to pile on.


If that scenario made your palms sweat and your pulse race, you can’t miss the workshop we’re running in Atlanta this June: Rehearsing a Crisis Breaking over Social Media. (You can register for it here.)


Using Polpeo, a state-of-the-art social media simulator, you’ll get to manage a social media crisis for a fictional company while an experienced team behind the scenes mimics the public reaction to the crisis, making the session incredibly realistic. As the crisis spreads over social media like wildfire, your job is to neutralize it: devise your strategy, post to Polpeo’s simulated social media channels, and respond to the public, all while the clock is ticking. Afterwards, get feedback on how you did and ask questions about best practices.


This is your chance:

  • To experience the terrifying speed at which a crisis breaks and spreads on social media

  • To test different ways of responding to the public and seeing how they respond

  • To gain insight into current best practices in crisis management and learn how to prepare your organization for the worst


No one can afford to be without a game plan when it comes to managing a social media crisis. In fact, even someone with a mere 170 followers can accidentally trigger a worldwide furor. So register today to join us for this workshop (it’s one of four we’re offering). Because who knows — maybe you won’t ever need to deal with a crisis of your own. But are you willing to bet your company’s reputation on it?


disaster / shutterstock

Social Media Today RSS