Social media: The time cruncher

Everybody’s pet peeve is the same. I can almost guarantee you.

While one person might think their’s to be traffic jams, another person finds people who take more than the designated 12 items through the express checkout simply unbearable, or still another feels ridiculously slow internet upload speed is the worse thing they can bare. All these frustrations have one thing in common.

Time.

None of us like to have our time wasted. And almost anything that really annoys us has to do with this.

I’d say this has a lot to do with being largely impatient people, living in an instantaneous world. But it also has to do with the intrinsic value placed on our time.

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When I started working full time I valued my time far more highly than I had before, because I suddenly had much less of it. Most of the hours from Monday to Friday had been written off for work and so now I found myself with precious few hours each night and on weekends that were mine to decide what to do with.

These hours are quickly filled however, with other commitments, simple necessities such as cleaning and organising meals, exercise and training, and the remainder dedicated to catch ups with friends and some time for myself to read and relax.

Whenever something unexpected comes up, I can be fully aware of it cutting into my quickly disappearing free time. Making the most of my time is the main reason I switched from driving to work every day, and consequently wasting almost 10 hours a week in traffic, to catching public transport and fitting in an hour of reading or listening to a podcast on the way to work and then another hour on the way home. My commute is now often the highlight of my day.

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Several days ago I made a list of all the things I spend my time on, in an effort to find places where I can declutter my life and spend more time on the things I really care about.

I was slightly disappointed to find there was really hardly any wiggle room to cut anything at all, deeming it all too important.

Although, one small but significant user of my time could be amended and that was social media.

I wrote down the use of social media platforms on my list as it’s something I use every day so I know full well they must take up a fair amount of my time. I’m also the type of person who will recheck my newsfeeds within several minutes of closing the application for no good reason at all.

I’ve had intentions about changing this for a while now. While I still want a social media presence, I would like to shake the hold it’s got over me where I fear missing out on something significant if I haven’t read my newsfeed all the way back to the point I finished last time.

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It’s funny how protective of our time we can be and how easily frustrated we get with things that demand our time and really give us nothing in return, such as waiting in queues or having to refill out an application, when we willing chose to engage with the thing that’s crunching away at huge portions of every day and leaving nothing of lasting benefit in our lives. More often than not it actually makes us lose any bit of contentment and joy we do have about our own lives, because of what we see in our feeds of what other people have. It’s something that would not have bothered us at all if we hadn’t decided to mindlessly scroll down the newsfeed for 15 minutes before heading to work.

So if you’re like me and feel like there’s never enough time to do the things you enjoy. Can I encourage you not to waste the time when you get it just checking how everybody else is spending there’s and whether yours measures up.

Disclaimer: If I’m being completely honest I was scrolling through my social media while writing this post. It probably meant I spent twice as long writing this.

 

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Let’s put travel in perspective

Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed – like any typical Friday (or Monday or Tuesday or any day for that matter) – I came across an article titled Why Not Quitting Your Job to Travel is a Waste of Your Life.

Wow!

Now I don’t know if your first thoughts upon reading that were at all like mine, but I was fairly taken aback.

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First, let me put it out in the open that yes, I am a full time worker who has evidently not quit their job to travel. But, anyone who knows me knows that I love travelling. In fact, I have done more than many people’s fair share of travelling for my age. I owned a passport before the age of 4, have spent extended periods of time abroad, flown on multiple solo trips from 16 to countries where I didn’t speak the language and I have loved and treasured those experiences.

I truly believe that travel is far more than a money-can-buy-experience and teaches us many things… BUT, and I want people to understand this, travel is not the be all and end all and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having not been anywhere, nor having little desire to venture beyond one’s own shores.

Back in my grandparent’s days very few people could afford the luxury of holiday adventures. The concept of backpacking through Europe in your 20s, family holidays to Disneyland, snow adventures in Japan or exotic South American treks are relatively recent and have gained momentum fast.

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People who have travelled little, or not at all, often receive a bizarre look as if they are from somewhere completely foreign (‘scuse the pun). There is nothing wrong with these people and I think we have a very valuable lesson we can learn from them – the importance of finding contentment wherever you find yourself and for however long you may be there.

When having seen as many places as possible on Earth as you can is highly regarded among our friends. It’s almost as if travel has become a bit of a competition, who’s been to the most remote place?  Who’s been to the most countries, airports included/excluded? Who’s climbed all 669 steps of the Eiffel tower? (For the record I have done that and never again!)

So, why do I have such a problem with the title of this article?

It’s simply this. The implication that those who have not travelled are wasting their life is quite frankly nonsense. Ask them what they’ve been doing with all the time they’ve had while you’ve been away and you’ll likely discover something pretty extraordinary. Maybe they’re creative and they’ve spent time writing a book or making music, maybe they’ve hung out with their friends and built fantastic relationships… or maybe they have followed ‘convention’ and ‘stereotypes’ *gasp* *scream* (the horror!) and got themselves a job. A job they’ve worked hard to get, a job they rock up to every day, some days joyfully others a little reluctantly but either way they’ve committed, they’ve pushed through the long days, the busy schedules, the mundane tasks, the irritable co-workers to bring home a wage for their family, or for their saving plan, or to work their way to their goal position.

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Quitting a job to roam our beautiful earth can take courage, but more often the real courage is overlooked, of the people who choose to stay and find contentment in their lot.

By no means do I mean to kill your dream of seeing wild elephants in Africa or make you feel selfish for your wonderful adventures. For those of us who have travel consider yourself blessed, treasure your memories and continue to plan your next trip if that excites you and you are able, but may we consider there is far more important things than how many places we can tick off our bucket list.

For the record I do hope to continue to post travel articles to all the exciting places I visit because it’s something I love to do!