According to a 2011 Nielsen study, Americans spent 53.5 billion total minutes on Facebook last May. Collectively, that factors out to roughly 101,720 years - in a month.Â On a per user level, that means each user spent about 6.5 hours (roughly a full work day) of their life each month scrolling through status updates. Our newest Brains on Fire client hails from the DIY world. As we have delved into their universe, it has given me pause to consider the ways in which I use my hands. Along the way, I have come to the conclusion that I spend entirely too much time typing, scrolling and clicking, and not nearly enough time creating, exploring and doing.
A few months ago, I blogged about my predictions for the future of Word of Mouth Marketing: The Art of We. As we continue to put increased value on personal time, real life and real time, I expect we will also begin to consider the things we do (or don't do) with our time and our hands, and how those choices add to or detract from our quality of life.
You often hear people wish for "an extra hour in the day." We could do a lot with 6.5 extra hours per week. Meet a friend for coffee. Write and mail a real letter. Take the dog for a walk. Opt for the scenic route. Go on a picnic. Visit a library.
I am willing to bet there has never been a person in history who reached to the end of their life and wished they had taken fewer picnics. I doubt any of us will wish we had spent more time tweeting.
My Klout score is about to take a big hit, because this year I am making a commitment to spend less personal time online - and start making better use of my minutes and my hands. I want to create more and click less. I want to experience things as they happen - instead of retrospectively through the social media lens. I want to document my life in precious memories and present moments, not scrolling backwards through a virtual timeline.
Your turn to chime in: How do you find balance between your real life and social media life? Do you feel your use of social media hinders your ability to enjoy your real life to the fullest? What would you like to do with your time and hands in 2012?