Page 21

2016 Linfield Magazine Winter

discussions of a hobby? Better contact with your favorite people? A personalized news feed? • Consider whether you know other people on the site. For photo sharing or chatting, you’ll want to know at least a few other users online, if not IRL (“in real life”). For discussions of a hobby or interest, your shared curiosity can fuel interactions and connections. • If you’re still not sure, give the new social service a brief trial, then decide if it’s a useful part of your digital life. Watch how others make the most of it. Many people check out Twitter for a few minutes and then quit – but Twitter’s value isn’t always obvious so quickly. After a fair test, if you decide a social medium really isn’t for you, delete the app or close your account. Attention management: How do I keep social media from taking over my life? Do you have “text neck?” It’s supposedly a new diagnosis for pain caused by staring downward too long at our digital gadgets. Social media contribute to our digital immersion, but you’re in control and can set limits. • Your social media accounts will pester you with emails and alerts for every interaction – if you let them. Get to know these settings. You can change almost everything, restricting how often and why social media sites email or send notifications to your devices. Your social media can wait until you’re ready to check them. • Minimize distractions within your browser. On Facebook, close chat and the constant “ticker” of friends’ activity. Shut down browser tabs that display the number of notifications on a site. Even those tiny numbers interfere with work and relaxation. • To get perspective on your device use, try a time-tracking app like Moment (iOS) or QualityTime (Android). These apps reveal how long you actually stare at your phone or tablet. Be forewarned: The results may be shocking. Making life easier: Can social media also save time? Social media can be a huge waste of time, if not carefully managed. But you can use them proactively to save time. • Setting up a Facebook event is a free, quick and easy way to invite any number of people to an activity and to collect RSVPs. You can include a map, event details and a list of attendees, plus updates if anything comes up. Afterward, attendees can share photos and comments. • A Facebook group or a group chat on a service like WhatsApp can keep people with shared experiences or interests in touch over time. I belong to alumni groups for high school and college, groups related to my hobbies and several local groups. Pretty soon, my high school class will use our Facebook group to plan another reunion. • Some services you might use for work collaboration are handy at home, too. Google Calendar and Google Documents make household planning much easier. Share calendars, budgets and travel plans with a couple of clicks. Services like Trello and Asana can coordinate bigger projects, like an anniversary party or remodeling plans, through shared tasks, links and checklists. – Susan Currie Sivek The Sivek File Associate Professor of Mass Communication B.A., English, Trinity University Ph.D. and M.A., University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism Freelance writer, copy editor for magazines and websites, magazine industry correspondent for MediaShift Academic Interests Journalism and technology, magazine journalism, media sociology, political communication Winter 2016 l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e - 2 1


2016 Linfield Magazine Winter
To see the actual publication please follow the link above