Social Media – Do We Need It?

Social media – do we need it?

Do we need to connect socially online for personal and business reasons?  Millions of people seem to think so or do they?  Is it the “herd” mentality that is fueling the latest and greatest or is there some purpose, some real purpose to connecting through social media sites?  Are we connecting – really?

The internet, is, even today, the modern “wild, wild West”. People uncomfortable with chaos find the internet a mystery and, often, find using the internet more time consuming than helpful.  They find a lot of junk on the internet and have to wade through massive amounts of sites before actually finding the answer to their question – most times it’s easier just to call someone you know might have the information.

500,000,000 people have flocked to Facebook.  The irony here is that only half that number are regular users. (think how small 250 million is  since our world population today is approximately 7 billion people – that’s only really 3.5% ).

It’s the same for other social media sites – so many people have signed up because “it was the thing to do” and also discovered “the thing do do” was a maze to get around and very time consuming. For instance, there is an expression on Facebook, “fan page”.  People would go to Facebook and want to set up a “fan page”, but they couldn’t find it.  To get to a fan page, you’d have to get out of your account and go to the sign up page of Facebook and find the link there – for most people, how would they know to do that?  Would it have made sense for Facebook to put it in your profile as an option or on the menu along with Wall and other menu items?  That would be too simple!

Another person I know was urged to start a group on LinkedIn.  After the experience of setting one up which she was told would only take a few minutes, she doesn’t want anything to do with setting up another group anywhere – it consumed so much time because the steps simply were not clear to her.  The group is set up and working but to her it was not worth the effort. It has provided no real benefit to her business but regularly eats up her time.

Many small business people have given up – it’s just way too time consuming to learn, figure out and keep up with all these social media sites.  There are major differences in how they operate and the lack of clear menus, clear instructions and lack of help in most cases makes it an exercise in futility often.

Why are social media sites so confusing? In my opinion, it’s because all these sites are being set up by young “techies” with no life experience outside the technological world, no understanding of how to relate to non-techies.    As the popularity grows because it’s discovered to be the latest and greatest, so does their staff but they are still all technologically focused not consumer focused.  What makes sense to them simply doesn’t to the rest of the world – it’s an insular world.  Even Google, a milestone in internet research, merely reflects a numbers game today which can be manipulated.  Often, the worst sites get top ranking not because of their great content but their owners know how to manipulate the factors involved in getting ranked.

There’s a huge reliance on forums as a help alternative.  It doesn’t work because it’s a big waste of time too. Search for the forums – then search within the forums – and read post after post which simply doesn’t give you the answer you want.  Why?  Because you didn’t use the right word!!!  Oh, yes, a person needs to have exactly the right “word”, otherwise, it’s a maze of finding one simple answer.  Time consumed on forums can be enormous.

And the FAQ syndrome – there are few which are helpful.  It’s another maze of a few questions with a few answers which generally doesn’t give you what you want.

People give up on social media. They have an account but never, ever use it.  The refrain is always the same:  “I’ve got an account but I don’t use it.  It’s so confusing.  I don’t see the point and I’m doing fine without it.”

Do we need social media?

Obviously, the answer is not really. People are still conducting business quite successfully without social media as there are many businesses who successfully promote their business.

For most, it’s still much easier to put an ad in the paper to put one on Facebook or Adwords or any other medium and a lot less stressful.  I find a lot of businesses advertising on Craigslist and Kijiji as well as other classified sites – it’s easy for the advertiser to put up an ad and easy for potential customers to find you based on a search – they don’t have to be your “friend”.   And big business is still advertising in magazines – have you noticed how large some popular magazines are – loaded with advertising.  Why?  Because it reaches a vast audience of people interested in that particular sphere, not just people who have chosen to sign up or not.  It could very well be that newspapers will see a revival for that reason alone – ease of use and the ability to reach far more customers for their particular type of business.

People still meet with one another, text, email one another  and talk on the phone because people have found it easier to communicate using those basic, useful down-to-earth, easy-to-use mediums for connecting.

Personally, I like parts of social media and I do believe it has a place in promoting business.  It also has a place for personally to share pictures or stories.  Social media mediums have a long way to go in simplicity of use and simplicity of connecting.

Some have said that these mediums are for those who have grown up with it.  That’s not true either. A couple of teenagers I know went with the crowd using Facebook but found their cell phones were much more useful in connecting with their friends – it’s immediate!  They’ve abandoned their Facebook except for sharing pictures, invitations or general stories; they meet friends at the mall or talk on the phone for hours – as it has always been.  They text too and that’s it.  They don’t have to login hoping someone is online too – they text and the other party is immediately notified of the message.

Social media is a useful tool but it has a long way to go before it becomes the norm either personally or in business.   Is it for you?  Ask yourself:

Is there a return on the time invested?  Is that return make enough of a difference to warrant the time required?

It may be.  Could a simple website do the same thing?  Perhaps.  Would offline promotion work as well?  Perhaps.  Today, likely the answer:  a combination online and offline promotion.  Networking, face-to-face remains the best connection of all, bar none as it is connecting personally – face-to-face is always best!

Do any of us really need social media?  Only you can answer that question. If you want to discover the possibilities, I would suggest getting some help to get started because the time consumed learning it on your own far exceeds its usefulness especially for a small business person.

Start with YouTube for video training – it’s the best place and it doesn’t cost a thing. Beware of people who want to charge you a lot to teach you or to take on your social media “involvement”; one university wanted $450 for a course on LinkedIn – ridiculous!

Go to Youtube, follow along with the video and use the social media for a while to see if it’s for you.  YouTube has videos containing information from how to sign up to advance uses.  If you try to get the help on the social media sites themselves, you might end up pulling out your hair!

If you have questions, please contact me at moc.emiteziwnull@ofni.

Lorraine Arams

Why is it a Good Idea to Use Time Management on Week-ends?

It’s Friday!  The week-end has arrived!

Freedom for two whole days!

Why would you use time management on week-ends?

Why?  Can you think of any reason to constrain the little time that you have to be free?

I use to think, “I’ll do what I want when I want”.  I love to be spontaneous.  However, I soon found that spontaneity has a downside too – sometimes, I would spend the week-end doing what I want only to be left with an unsatisfying feeling on Sunday night because “things didn’t work out” as I had imagined!

When you’re working, “staying alive” keeps you hopping along all week long — getting ready for work, getting to work, working and attending to personal needs and responsibilities such as exercise, family matters, finance, eating properly, etc.  We even add a little socializing in there!  No wonder that we look forward to Fridays!

Week-ends should give you more of what you want – right?  Right! It’s possible with your friend, time management!

Answer this:


Do you want to spend time with your friends?  Do you want to sleep in Sunday morning?  Do you want to play some sport?  Do you want to visit relatives?  Do you want to entertain?  Do you want to work on your hobbies?  Do you want to sit on the beach?

What is it you want to do?  And they ask yourself why. When you know the why, you’ll understand the reason you want to do these things and it’ll become very easy to “choose”.  Did you find some things are related to what people expect of you?  Is that satisfying?

If you use time management, it’s actually possible to combine the many things you want to do!  For instance, say you want to see your friends and you want to spend the afternoon at the beach too.  Plan to do both together – you could even invite a relative or two!  Why plan?  If you don’t, others likely have filled their time and simply are not available to be with you.  Make sense?

Fit in everything into your week-end that you want without going crazy, though. Some people try to cram so much into a week-end, they’re exhausted at the end of it and still haven’t really done what they wanted to do!  Each and every week-end is a special time to do what you want to do – use it wisely!

Why should you use time management on week-ends?  To nourish and satisfy yourself, your soul, your being – the fabulous you! And when Monday morning arrives, you want to feel great about how you spent your week-end!

Lorraine Arams

Are Time Management and Knowledge Connected?

Are Time Management and Knowledge Connected?  Have you ever thought about that question?

I present a workshop to would-be entrepreneurs on time management and organization.  If you’ve ever had a business of your own, you’ll know that how you spend your time as “your own boss” is much, much different than the way you spend your time as an employee.

As an employee, there’s a job description and everyone else working in the same environment has theirs.  You all work together towards generating positive results for the enterprise for which you are employed.  Within the context of that job description, time is spent doing what you’re suppose to be doing and connecting with others as needed.  Each of you manages their time according to the work which needs to be accomplished in your own area, your own job description.

As “your own boss”, especially if you have never been your own boss before, you simply don’t have a clue.  Why?  Because much of the knowledge you need to run your own business is knowledge you simply don’t have!  Simple!

If you’re an engineer, you know how to do the job of engineering but how about the job of promotion, accounting, setting fees, contracting, sales, web sites, social media and a host of other areas which the entrepreneur needs to master in their own business.  Creating a budget and reading financial statements are often overwhelming to new entrepreneurs because everything is so new to them – how can they predict the future of a business they’ve never owned before when there’s no history on which to substantiate numbers?  Most people, even if they have had to deal with financial statements before in their jobs, have only a micro understanding of what the numbers mean especially if someone else was responsible for the budget.  In your own business, you need to understand thoroughly what the numbers mean and the story being told.

How can someone possibly manage their time when they don’t know what they’re suppose to be doing?  They cannot.  It’s impossible.

For instance, if someone said “make a chicken soup from scratch” and you don’t know how to cook, how would you know what to do to make a chicken soup from scratch.  You’d have to ask someone who knows or you’d have to find a recipe to follow.  Either way, you’d need the knowledge.

Knowledge is paramount – know-how – if you know what to do and how to do it, it’s much easier to manage your time – step 1, step 2, step 3 and when the steps don’t quite follow, you know what to do about that too because your knowledge and experience will give your brain the ability to come up with a solution.

Next time you see hours passing by and you still haven’t produced anything worthwhile, knowledge is likely the missing link.  The same happens with new employees.  Often managers are bewildered why a new employee isn’t performing.  Good training is likely the answer because once a person knows how to do a job, generally, they can organize themselves to get it done.

If you’re having problems with your time management at work, sometimes it’s useful to determine whether or not you have the knowledge required to do the work efficiently. If so, find the knowledge or the people to help you.

Time management is intricately connected to what you know, to knowledge and to experience. That’s why experience is so valuable – experience is knowledge gained outside of the book learning – the creative side of learning.

Lorraine Arams

How Do You Put the “You” in Time Management

Last week, I promised I would begin a series on the “foundational” pieces to time management.  This will be the first of those blogs.

This series will come to you on Mondays.  Wednesdays and Friday blogs will dedicated to time management tips, articles, events, news events and guest blogs.

I have a radio show on Blog Talk Radio too now.  It’s a new medium for me and quite interesting.  I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.  You might want to tune in to the programs sometimes.

Let’s get started on the foundational processes in time management.  I have coined the phrase, “you-centered time management”. Why would I call it that?  Because I’ve come to realize that if we don’t change our approach to how we use our time, we won’t achieve what we want in our lives.   But if we don’t know what we truly want in the first place, we can’t use our time wisely and therefore all attempts to change how we manage our time will result in a hodgepodge of tried and failed attempts at constructing the life we want.  Makes sense, doesn’t it, therefore to “dig up” from a psyche what we truly want in the first place.

Since only 3% of the population is said to achieve their goals, that leaves a whopping 97% of the people in this world who could but are not attaining the life they want.  We can change that and, if you’re interested, come along for the trip.

I would truly love to have your feedback – do keep me posted on your progress, ask me questions and let me know the discoveries you make along the way –

How Do You Put the “You” in Time Management?

It sound very easy at first glance.  It’s not.  Why?  Because we have been conditioned to:

  • take advice
  • do what others want us to do
  • recreate other people’s successes in order to achieve our own
  • want to please others’ and meet their expectations of us
  • want others to like us
  • and a host of other reasons why we have never really thought of time as our own – it’s been a calendar of things to do for a variety of purposes.  We have failed to first identify what we really want

What do you really, really, really want?  You likely know what it is but perhaps it’s buried so deep, it’s difficult to bring it forward.

For instance, when you were a child, you really loved to paint pictures – animals were your favorite subjects.  But then as you were growing up, adults told you that being a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher was the way to go because you could make a good living doing those jobs and, in some cases, the benefits were excellent.  When you graduated high school, you took the “safe route” and dropped your love of painting though you’ve always been drawn to art classes, art exhibitions, and wherever else you could look at paintings.    Eventually, you got a job, created a family and your favorite thing to do became more and more buried.  It’s the past.  We can’t do anything about it now.  However, we can now start the process of looking for what you want.

I’ll help you through this process by asking a lot of questions and eventually, at some point, you’ll have a picture of what you want.  We’ll start with money since it is one of the more serious aspects of your life.

Here are 3 questions to get this process underway.

I would suggest getting a wire-bound notebook – small or large – doesn’t matter but something you like – the color, the paper, the texture – and begin writing down your answers.  Believe me, it’ll all come together even if at first it seems it’s going nowhere and you’ve done this so many times without success.   If you put in the work, it’ll come because what we are striving for here is our innate, personal understanding of our foundational core – “who am I”.

The only point we are trying to get to here is you understanding you thoroughly. Once you understand yourself thoroughly, managing your time will become a flow like a river.  You’ll know exactly what to say yes to and what to say no to – because you’ll know where you’re heading – much like the pioneers who headed West – they didn’t know the name of the place where they would land but they knew what they wanted – to own their own land and build a life in which their children would get an education, they would be free to practice whatever religion they chose and they would have a chance at a better life.  All they knew was land was available in the West – where exactly, no one really knew.

Money – understand what money means in your life – what does money mean to you?

1.  What does money mean to you?

2.  How do you treat your money?

3.  What is your relationship with money – how much of it do you really, truly need to feel satisfied?

Think hard on these questions – your first answer might be a little “flippant”. I want you to get to a point inside yourself where you have that gut feeling you now understand money for yourself – not dollars and cents – not investments – not savings – what is money to you?  From these 3 questions, I would like for you to write a 60-word paragraph to answer these questions until you completely understand internally how you feel about money.  You likely have to write and rewrite this 60-word paragraph over and over and over again to get the paragraph to contain 60 words.  If you know something really well, you can express it in 60 words and remember it because it becomes internalized as you write and rewrite it.  You’ll change your answers to the questions often and you’ll reword your paragraph many times until there is a point where the paragraph feels right – it is the picture of money to you.  Keep these thoughts and ideas very private because everyone will have an opinion of what you’re writing down – you’re not interested in their opinion!

You have a week to do this – work on it a little every day – the point here is to get to understanding -putting the “you” in time management – putting the “you” into your own life!

Lorraine Arams

Are You Managing your Time to Make your Life Magical?

Are you managing your time in such a way that often you think, “This is magic!”

When we were children, everything was magic – a bud on a tree, a flower petal, a caterpillar, “shapes” in the clouds, a popsicle, a birthday party, a kiss, holding hands, cooking a meal, washing dishes with a sibling, hanging out with friends and nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon.  It seemed that often we had magic in our lives.  What happened?  How did we lose that ability?

Actually, we have never lost the ability, we have simply chosen not to look at the magic life presents to us every day because we are too busy.  Are we?  Actually, truly, we’re not – we fill our days with a lot of nonsense – some we make up, some we subject ourselves to and some which arrive into our consciousness whether we want it or not.

Would you like to get back some of that “old magic”? You’ll be amazed what it does for you – how it relaxes and let’s you breath deeply and fully. This morning, I took my coffee outside.  The temperature was warm with a little cool breeze and the ocean water calm.  I opened my mind to the morning.  A man was on a paddle board, paddling near the beach – how awesome is that – 6 am and he’s out there on the calm ocean floating on the water!  A couple were just ‘playing’ by the water – laughing, running, sitting – just having a good time.  The trees were still and green.  Little birds were fluttering around.  An ambulance rushed by with its siren blaring.  The garbage took off with its load from containers.  A few cars passed by.  It was all magic!  So much going on in one little space in a big world!  It felt “refreshing” and calming – it was magical!  Ordinary, every day events, people and activities – yet, just a few minutes of paying attention brought forward the magic of every day living.

Try it – you might like it – it helps the brain disengage and relax.  The body, accordingly, relaxes and, for a brief moment, you’re transported to another plane.  How about bringing back your magic? 

Lorraine Arams

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