The Anti-E-Social Tester

(To Rob, because a promise is a promise!)

Back when I was growing up social life was simple.

You defined your friends as the bunch of kids you played ball with or climb on trees in the park in front of your house. To be social meant to sit in the table and carry a nice face-to-face conversation with someone. Your pals were the guys and galls you went out for a beer once a week (or twice a week on a good week!). And the biggest social challenge you faced was how to fill your ego with the positive energy needed in order to ask the girl you liked to go out on a date.

Be My Valentine Charlie Brown

Be My Valentine Charlie Brown

But today, Oh-Boy!

Being social is practically a full-time job!!!  No wonder people don’t have time for much else these days.

We have blogs, tweeter, professional networks, professional forums, social networks, Linked-In, Plaxo, multiple email accounts, multiple messengers, and the list of important media channels goes on and on and on…

If you want to be socially up-to-date you need to spend at least a couple of hours a day just checking all the information updated in these places, not to mention adding some information of your own in order not to be a silent listener (we all remember the Reebok commercial – Because Life is not an Spectator Sport!)

reebok_logo_2550

So here I am part of this new reality where.

–  I have MANY friends (not colleagues but friends!) I’ve never meet and live in places I haven’t ever visited.  We talk about work challenges and help each other in tasks; we are even up to date on all sorts of personal events and milestones.

– I am part of a great project to launch a testing magazine online with people I haven’t ever meet.

– I communicate with my best childhood friend using the BBN (this is the BlackBerry Network, for all you iPhone users out there), sending information and picts daily back and forward, and realizing we haven’t actually talked in close to 2 months!

– I talk to my parents using mails and messenger, and foward you-tube links to my brother to remember about stuff we used to see and do (and fight!) when were growing up.

– I go to conferences where all of a sudden someone comes to me and says “Are you JMG from QAForums? Well, I am <add username here>, we have been interacting for years!

– My computer literally drives me nuts with all the tweet-tweet sounds once every 15 seconds or so.

– And on top of that, people get mad at me because they sent me a fish and a hug on facebook and I didn’t correspond by buying them a virtual drink (or something like that I don’t really understand)

fishworld

Here’s the truth, I feel I am drowning under a surge of social media!!!

This stuff is like water, the right quantity is good for you and necessary to live and prosper, but once you get too much of it you are in danger of drowning (too much of a good thing?)

So this week I took a small first correcting step to take charge of my life once again.
I deactivated my facebook account. To tell the truth I hadn’t logged into my account in close to a year so it didn’t really make a concrete difference, but it actually felt good…

After I did that I talked to a friend considered by many (including myself) as a great example of a Social Tester, and he made realize this may be a case of becoming a kind of “Anti-Social” tester.

You know what…?
He might be on to something, and I think I like that direction!

So here’s my early New Year’s resolution:
From now and until the end of January I will closely examine all the social media networks, communities, sites, etc I belong to.
I will make sure only to be part of the limited number of communities that provide me with value (and where I fell I can add value too), and I will do my best to manage these channels and not to let these channels manage me.

anti-e-social

Hello, My name is Joel and I am an Anti-E-Social Tester…

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3 Responses to The Anti-E-Social Tester

  1. Yvette Francino December 15, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    I love this post, Joel. Helping people with Social Media is one of the things I do on the side. (Funny to call it “on the side” when I don’t have anything “not on the side” right now, but… that’s another story. You are right in limiting your social stuff to what’s valuable. Just like in “real life” we don’t have time to befriend every person we meet or join every group that sounds interesting, we have to limit ourselves or we’re spread to thin. I’m on my way out right now, but I hope to write a response blog post on my own blog later today. 🙂

  2. Joel Montvelisky December 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    Thanks Yvette.

    That was my point, I think many people (at least that I know) need to make a stop and think how much of this stuff is really productive and what needs to be left aside for the sake of sanity…

    I’m looking forward to your response post.

  3. Rob Lambert December 16, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    Joel,

    Great post. I love it. I’m with you on this though. Information overload causes stress and annoyance. you are right, there is a limit to how much information you can take on board.

    I took the same steps a while ago to whittle out the networks I no longer got value from. I ditched a load of Linkedin groups and stopped following a lot of people on twitter too. Makes you feel good.

    Just don’t go too far….lol

    Rob..

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