Balancing Online Activity with Offline Company

Although I am deeply in the  social media space in my day-to-day the vast majority of my friends and family who I spend time with offline are not. This was all too apparent when I was back home in Sydney for ten days over the Christmas and New Year break. But for me there is no contest in this situation.

My full attention will always be given to those with whom I am directly sharing communication with at that moment. This means if I am in the physical company of people then they will have my full attention. But if I choose to login to one of my many social networks then my attention will turn to those people.

Most of my friends and family are understanding of my Foursquare check-ins and occasional tweets when out and about with them – sometimes things are just too good not to share.

I am always interested to see how my time spent on social networks is influenced by those around me. On Wednesday night I was at the Suzuki Night Markets with people who met each other on Twitter. So, when we all had our heads down and thumbs tapping away on our smartphones no-one batted an eyelid or even really noticed. But if I were to do this when in the company of people not as active in the online space I would be howled down!

Does the company you keep influence your time spent on social networks?








This stunning remote beach on the NSW central coast, and the company I was in had my full attention!


  1. I know what you mean. I’m sure everyone at sometime has done the covert check-in or the dunny tweet to protect from unwelcoming/technophobic eyes.

    My RL friends are deep adversed to social media (with only minimal interaction with Facebook). Explaining the interrelationship between online and offline lives is like talking about life on Mars. I remember my bucks turn when I felt the need to periodically update twitter on proceedings (no smut). They were convinced that I was only doing into to check in with my fiancee.

    Likewise I have found it hard till now to forge IRL relationships with online acquaintances becasue most meet-ups I’ve seen have not appealed (mainly due to being a non-drinker).

    There has to be a healthly medium there somewhere. In 2011 I’m hoping to break through my personal barriers to see if/how online & offline can truely interelate.

    • Hey Chris thanks for stopping by. Haha yes, the good old covert check-in! And yes, I’ve been guilty of the odd tweet when company is in the bathroom. I find it very interesting to hear others’ thoughts about social media, especially those who haven’t jumped in to participate but find it abhorrent! Although I’m finding more and more people are curious as to the value I get and how/why it works for me … finally, I think they’re seeing that it’s not a passing phase and, although the tools may come and go, communication has changed forever. And now some are even asking me to ‘teach’ them…I think I need to put a ‘no fighting’ clause together for these sessions with family and friends though!

      Agree many meet-ups are drinks based, something I’m not all that interested in as the basis for a meet-up but I do enjoy the @socialmelb Friday mornings and will try and get to one monthly.

      Best wishes as you seek to find a balance, particularly when in the company of so many anti-social media people. I guess it comes down to respect and some give and take. k

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