Monday, July 13, 2009

The Metaphor of Social Networks

The reason why Visioning® works (or not) has to do with our ability to trust intuition and metaphor. These are right brain processes. Once the collage is created, the next step is to consistently be with our vision each day. We need to journal our insights. We need to celebrate the steps to our dream.

Metaphor empowers us to participate in our lives. Being an aware and active participant is the difference between creative joy and being overwhelmed with tasks and to do lists.

Metaphor is the way to manage and put a container on our ‘doing’ energy. This brings balance and focus to everday tasks.

One area that is easy to feel overloaded is social networking and email correspondence. My friend and writing mentor, the novelist Anne Allen (her Blog is listed in the sidebar) and I were talking about our process for keeping up with our own writing projects, much less regular email, Tweets and Facebook. The metaphor that I bring to these virtual conversations is to act as if each social network is a real-time social setting.

Tweeting is like voice mail from my friends. I don’t call or hear from my friends on a daily basis, but I do listen to messages at least once a day. So with Twitter, I’m either picking up my voice mail messages or leaving a voicemail message. This way, I can keep up with my friends and they can keep up with me in 140 characters or less.

If someone on my Twitter message board is leaving too many posts and clogging up my Inbox – I simply screen the calls. I do this by adding their website to my computer Bookmarks (in a Twitter folder) and stop following their posts. I don’t cut off the friendship. I’m just screening their calls until I have time to ‘call them back’ by going to their website.

This is like having dinner with friends and family all at the same time. I tune into a conversation by clicking commenting or clicking on the posts. I can also delete specific news feeds from my Inbox without cutting off the friendship. Again, I can catch up by simply clicking on my friend’s photo and reading their posts. I love Facebook because it’s easy to stay in touch with, find old friends and have them find me. Plus – I have TONS of relatives. As my sister-in-law Kim pointed out, the Segovia clan et al will soon take over the world – if not Facebook.

Blogs & Email
Reading blogs and blogging is like visiting one on one. I can visit at my convenience. Usually I read several blog posts from each person in one sitting. This way, I can get into the topic and truly listen to my friend.

Email is for business, setting appointments and staying in touch with long distance friends. I am extremely organized with my email and generally do not have more than 10-15 items in my main email Inbox. I sort and respond to each email as quickly as possible. (Like many people, I have more than one email for specific purposes.)

If I didn’t have use metaphor of real time social settings for virtual conversations, then the technology would be using me rather than the other way around.

Remembering these metaphors creates an embodied computer experience. After all, these networks are for socializing and staying in touch – not for becoming overwhelmed. We are missing the point if we are in our heads and going numb at the computer. Going numb at the computer is like staying at the party toooo long. At some point, you’ve got to go home.

May all of your conversations be blessed,


Your comments on how you keep up with your virtual correspondence would be greatly appreciated!


Anne R. Allen said...

Great post, Dot. I'm going to start working on some of these tips right away. At the moment, I'm feeling way overwhelmed by all the social networking stuff. (Do you really only have 10 emails in your inbox? I'm so impressed. I feel organized when I'm down to a hundred.)

Really helpful info. And many thanks for the plug for my blog. (Any writers out there? Come on by. I have great tips about the process of getting published.)

Dorothy Ann Segovia said...

Thanks Anne!

Yes I really have only 10 emails in my Inbox. I have a TO DO folder where most sutff lives in after I read it.

I also have folders for lots of topics which really helps a lot. Otherwide - it would be overwhelming!

Love your Blog! Very inspiring.

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