This Monday night I have class. Not even a year ago this wouldn’t have been a problem. Of course I always tried to avoid working, taking classes or having social obligations on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, from September through May. Because that’s when the soccer, and more specific, the Champions League season runs. But since I moved to the United States I’ve become a big football fan. Not the English version, but the real, American Football. And now the San Francisco 49ers are my new AFC Ajax.
So when I recently signed up for my class at Berkeley, I was quite relieved that the lessons would take place on Tuesdays, because there’re no NFL games on Tuesdays. Furthermore, the baseball season is over and I’m not addicted to basketball yet. But now the unexpected occurred: one lesson had to be rescheduled and the makeup class will take place on a Monday. And not just any given Monday, but the night when the Niners play the Chicago Bears.
Thanks to the various social media I will be able to follow the game during class. For example, I’m in a Fantasy Football league (and winning by the way) and through their app I can see the development of the game. And of course I follow the Niners on Twitter, so I will get updates through that platform. And most likely my friends will post any play worth mentioning on Facebook. And maybe I’m even in luck: if the game ends up in over time again, I will still be able to see this live on the more traditional media, television.
So, despite the fact that I will not be in the position to watch the game in my favorite bar with my friends, I can still support my team through social media. And I’m a woman, and scientists have proven that in general we’re better at multitasking than men. But the question is to what extend will this class be effective if I’m constantly distracted by my phone? Do I really want to be focusing on my phone instead of my professor?
This is not a standalone situation: Every day, hour, minute even second we’re distracted by social media and what’s happening in the digital world. And as a result we sometimes tend to miss whatever is going on in the real world. On the other hand social media has brought us many incredible things, like the unlimited access to content and approachability to connect with people.
However, the key for me is moderation. And as Alicia Herczeg from Edelman Digital put it, social media should “enhance, not distract our lives”. So maybe I should apply this to my Monday night dilemma. The fact that social media exists, makes it easy for me to stay up to date on the game, which enhances my life. But I don’t have to follow it minute by minute and let it distract me from my class. Therefore I will try to moderate: check the score during the break and for the remainder of the class I will focus on my professor. And just maybe I’ll give myself 1 time-out, in the first and second half of class. . . . . .