Well, the new year is here already. With it comes contemplation over the year behind us and preparation for the year ahead of us. As is our custom, many of us make new year's resolutions and verbalize them in hopes of a sense of accountability. Others (either more self-motivated or simply more pessimistic) make the same resolutions but keep them to ourselves. Still others (like myself) instead set new goals for ourselves, though these have the same force and effect as resolutions. What is the desired effect? A better year. A year with more happiness than the year before it. Interestingly enough, the lists generally look the same through the years.
Common New Year's Resolutions:
- Lose Weight
- Drink Less
- Volunteer More
- Grow Closer to Family
But, there is an interesting resolution that has crept up the list in recent years:
- Spend Less Time on Social Networks
It's Just Too Good
This tells me a great deal about social networks and their sway over people's time. We are a pleasure-seeking society. We are, as a people, really nice hedonists. We seek our own enjoyment and our own pleasure more than anything else. Everything we seek is subject to this sway. We seek money, power, success and fame to the degree that we believe they will bring us pleasure. From time to time we see the folly in this, and we make resolutions to abandon such pursuits. However, we become resolved against them year after year. Year after year we fall prey to them yet again.
That is shocking when you think about social networks. We receive pleasure from social networks and thus spend time on them to such a degree that we actually say to ourselves, "Woe, now that is just too much." We say to ourselves, "I have got to stop this." We say, "Oh, I wish I weren't on Facebook." But (and here's the great part) we keep going back for more. We don't stop. In fact, we close our Facebook app and say, "Oh, I wish I weren't on Facebook." Then upon hearing ourselves utter the word Facebook we think, "Oh, Facebook. Yeah, I'll take a hit of that," and then open up our Facebook app!
Here's my point:
People are making new year's resolutions to spend less time on social networks BECAUSE they spend a lot of time on social networks. Despite their resolutions people will spend MORE time on social networks. Now, ask yourself this question: "Should my business spend more or less time on social networks this coming year?" Social networks are Time Square. They are the Wall Street Journal. They are the last episode of M*A*S*H*. If you don't have a presence there, you are missing a great opportunity. So, your business's new year's resolutions should look something like this:
Business New Year's Resolutions:
- Lose the Phone Book
- Procrastinate Less
- Blog More
- Grow Closer to Clients
- Spend More Time on Social Networks