How Important is Social Networking?

If you were to take time completely away from the Internet, would you really miss out on anything? The mere thought of not keeping a constant eye on your Twitter stream or Facebook wall may give you the shakes, but what exactly is it that might go unnoticed? The world isn’t going to end if you aren’t checking in every moment of the day, my friends. You may even be shocked to know that you’re not going to miss a damn thing, because nothing ever really changes.

Author and speaker CC Chapman recently had some emergency surgery. Upon his return home, he noted that he didn’t really miss much of anything during the week he had been offline. I read the Tweet right after it was sent out, and it’s been in the back of mind since then. His words kept poking at me, gnawing at some part of my brain with the simple honesty behind them.

The people you are following today will still be there a week from now – even if you happen to be offline. Sure, they may say something profound or inspiring. Someone will release a book while another person is hired for a great position at a hot new startup. You’ll find out that a small group is putting together a fundraiser and that a bunch of your friends ate something at some point every day. Are these the things you’re terrified not to read the moment they happen?

Step back and think about what’s truly essential for you to know at the end of the day. The things said within your social communities have some level of importance, yes. The people you are connecting with are definitely worthy of your attention. But if you are building your life or – even worse – your business around what is being said and done on Twitter and Facebook then something needs to change.

While these platforms can be crucial to your brand, they aren’t the be-all and end-all of success. With so many “experts” and “gurus” out there telling you that you have to carry a presence on these sites, it can end up being confusing. Yes, you need to be there. No, your business will not go bankrupt if you are not there every moment of your day. You need to find a balance and remember that you aren’t going to be left in the dust if you happen to take a day – or a week – off.