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!

10 Billion tweets

The 10 billionth tweet was pushed out today. It was in Chinese and the Tweeter has a locked profile but, talking in billions is big. I was keeping an eye on the GigaTweet counter all morning. I turned away for a second when my boss returned from a meeting and said “oh look!”. So I turned to look at him and he was pointing at my screen, “ten billion tweets!”.

Yes, I missed the moment it clicked over but managed to capture a screen shot shortly after.

10 billion tweets

I am not one to keep watch of my follower numbers or tweet numbers but thought this would be a good opportunity to make a note of this day. My contribution to the 10 billion tweets stands at 11,035 tweets. I follow 1,524 people and 1,558 people follow me.

The value of Twitter for me has been one of surprising levels of greatness. Not only have I connected with many wonderful people and was recruited into my current job but it is where I keep in touch with friends and discover news from across the globe.

Twitter support group (21 days to a new habit)

As my Melbourne adventures continue, so does the wonderful support from the kind people of my new city. Feeling fairly settled, I have a set myself a new challenge: to form the habit of exercising in the morning before work. I am on day four of the 21 days it takes to form a habit, as advised by everyone on Twitter. Including weekends. As a fairly determined person, I am keen to see this happen but also being self-aware I know that my willpower to make it happen is not as good as I would like it to be. Enter the Twitter support network. The encouragement from my amazing network to see this through may just be enough to get me across the finish line.

And so, I continue to be overwhelmed by the sense of loyalty and sheer kindness of the beautiful people following @KimberleyL. Thank you.

The result on day 4 after 35 minutes

Nothing beats face-time (not even social media)

Last weekend I was blessed with the company of three of my closest friends who came from Sydney to visit me in Melbourne. We ate, drank, laughed, cried with laughter, exchanged glances and shared expressions that can only be relayed in their true form face-to-face. Of these three lovely ladies, there are none with whom I communicate frequently via social media – we don’t tweet daily or Facebook regularly. Some days we don’t even connect but we are closer than ever because the true connection lies in the time we have spent together. Nothing beats face-time. Not even social media.

Sure, you can make and maintain valuable relationships via social media (I sure have) but taking online offline, meeting someone (or even phone conversations) cements these connections; or can cut all ties depending on the motivation for connecting.  Getting to know a person’s facial expressions, tone of voice, intonations and mannerisms will, for me, win hands down as the preferred method of communication every time.

The dessert we indulged in at Nobu ... you can't capture the expressions of pure joy when these arrived better than being there face-to-face

The dessert we indulged in at Nobu ... you can't capture the expressions of pure joy when these arrived better than being there face-to-face

Operation Relocation complete – 1 month in Melbourne

My never fail super easy slice I bakedNever fail super easy slice I’ve baked a few times

A lot has happened over the past four weeks. I have packed, driven from Sydney to Melbourne, unpacked, met new people, made new friends, baked yummy things and cooked interesting dinners, been to a social media conference, visited new places, selected an AFL team and started my new job. Learning to use a coin laundry, driving with trams and avoiding riding on trams contribute to Operation Relocation. And, whilst there is still much to discover and learn about being a local, I feel content to say that Phase One of Operation Relocation is complete.

Phase Two involves learning to use trams with confidence, learning where places and suburbs are located, learning the rules of AFL now that I have a team, purchasing my own washing machine and wondering whether I’ll ever be able to call The Apartment ‘home’. There is much I would like to say but, for the most part, it’s probably only really interesting for me, so here are some starring points I would like to share:

  • parkyoung: being invited to join the affable and pragmatic masters of communication, David Park and Trevor Young (in that order), is an opportunity, honour and great compliment. Their ‘Fresh Experience’ approach and vast knowledge and experience of communications and PR has, at the risk of sounding sucky and gushy,  positioned them on the proverbial pedestal in a light reserved for the likes of Yota or Mr Miyagi. Needless to say, I am the grasshopper… (you can follow us on Twitter @parkyoung )
  • Twitter: yes I have mentioned it before but I can not stress how incredibly Twitter has proved the ‘build your networks before you need them’ theory. I have met amazing people, been to a magazine launch (Fluoro), dinners, coffees, drinks, tweet-ups. And there are still many more people I hope to sit and chat with. Being blown away by the supportive, friendly and kind people of Melbourne with whom I connected before arriving (some before I knew I was even moving) is not something I expected but something I am truly appreciative of and thankful for.
  • East Melbourne: I love ‘The Apartment’ I have moved into and the smell of cigarettes is almost gone. I have some furniture from home which has made it far more comfortable and comforting with the familiarity it also brings. Being able to do grocery shopping at farmers markets is incredible. Walking to the city and a $7 cab ride home is not something I would be doing now if still in Sydney, purely due  to finances. The close proximity of The Apartment to so many streets and hubs rich with culture, cuisine and the elusive ‘cool’ factor is something I am grateful for, particularly on the rare occasions I fill the car with petrol. As it is, I need to schedule in ‘driving days’ to turn over the engine each week.
  • Sydney: not a day goes by when I don’t think of, speak to or email my family (the best family in the whole wide world) and friends back home in Sydney. Having their love and support is priceless. As is their ability to now visit and stay in Melbourne for the small fee of bringing their own towel and sheets until I get a washing machine. Would not normally be required except I have every weekend in October when Club K is fully booked and I refuse to go to laundromat for a set of barely used linen each week.

I realise my Tweeting and blogging has lapsed recently but now that I have a routine I hope to bring you more interesting news and amusing thoughts. So thanks for sticking around…

Here are a few random pics I’ve taken in the last few weeks.

I had to ask a male to help me use the machine

On my MacDaddy at the coin laundry - I had to ask a male to help me use the machine

Photos of family and friends

Photos of family and friends

Ikea drawers I assembled with success (man not included)

Ikea drawers I assembled with success (man not included)

Drinks with Kimberley Santos (@missgiggly) at Tuscan Bar (Paul was there too @kollektor)

Drinks with Kimberley Santos (@missgiggly) at Tuscan Bar (Paul was there too @kollektor)