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This Message Will Self-Destruct In 24 hours

The title of this blog isn’t a joke or parody of Mission Impossible; it’s actually a fact. You see, the world of communications is changing due to new entrants like social media. In this post, I’m going to explain the impact of these changes in communications and how you can address them.

The impact of new media communications

Have you noticed that everywhere on the cloud that you sign into, there’s a stream of information to read and digest? When life was simple, we only had emails to contend with. Now we have RSS feeds, alerts, Facebook streams, Tweets, Youtube videos, Slideshare presentations, Foursquare updates, LinkIn updates and so on.

Each of these pieces of information only lasts for 24 hours, before new information takes its place.

But what effect does this have?

This stream of constantly-changing information leads to:

1) A more rapid pace of life
2) Inefficient time management
3) Information overload

A more rapid pace of life

We have become conscious that so much is happening in a short space of time. What’s interesting, is that this amount of information was ALWAYS there. The issue is that what we see; we are compelled to take notice of. As we become aware of information constantly, we quicken our pace to match the pace of the information.

Inefficient time management

What should we take notice of when? What can we afford to miss? What’s priority? What do we miss as a result of noticing something unimportant? I want you to consider how much time you spend on Facebook, reading jokes, liking funny tails, clicking on ads for fashion or watching embedded music videos. If you are biting your lip, then you’re guilty of being inefficient with information.

Information overload

It takes time to absorb data at a resonable pace. Information at a rapid pace can result in information overload.Suddenly you realise just how much informationis pouring in and that you can’t interact with it all.

Information breeds and so do the number of platforms. Each one you sign upto is a source of even more information. It is a vivious circle as we strive for knowledge to read and  share on a continual basis

Addressing these new media changes

Some nice simple solutions:

  • Prioritize and concentrate on what is important for you to know and share immediately. Rid yourself of the rest.
  • Segment this information into groups or lists and use filters.
  • FB filering filters.
  • Twitter lists
  • Plan when you will interact and be strict with yourself on this.
  • Plan your own information updates (who do you want to interact, when is the best time) and be considerate of how much you are sharing.
  • Looks at ways of ‘ramping up’ your updates so that they reach as wide an audience as possible within 24 hours.
  • Save links etc in a notepad file and read when you get a chance. You don’t have to read everything all at once.

What tips do you have to share?

“Image from Jiri Vaclavek/Shutterstock.”

Christina is a complete geek, hence a perfect web + online marketing consultant. After ten years working with Premier Recruitment Group, LA Fitness, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Travel and a host of other companies, she now owns CG Online Marketing ( in Ireland and is an associate of the Ahain Group. She's qualified in most things online such as web server management, digital design, Google Analytics and SEO. Specialties: Social Media Marketing, SEO / PPC,Google analytics (qualified in GA IQ) Web trends + insights, Data segmentation and targeting, Customer Behavior analysis, Digital design, Writing, Ethical marketing Green marketing / Sustainable tourism and Hotel + travel online marketing

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  • Ketan

    To the list of effects of new media I would add impatience. I hardly use my home laptop nowadays as I cannot wait for it to start up and reach the desktop screen. Add to this, switching on the wireless modem, logging in to various applications/social media platforms etc. It just seems to take too much time. This makes me desire a smartphone or a tablet (maybe some day both!), which start up instantly and are more portable and ‘handle-able’ than a laptop. Devices seem to have kept pace with ever-increasing information. Not only do we have more information now, but we have more people who know how to tap available sources of information and add to it. That’s a result of human hunger to learn more.

  • Hi Ketan,

    Great point! I wonder if hardware and power can’t keep up. Newer devices use Lithium ion batteries for re-charge, but the cell life is terrible, hence you end up charging them almost every day. Communications has speeded up and yes, we are impatient to match that speed, but is hardware slowing things down?

    As a sedondary thought – knowledge actually increases our life-span….could these changes in comms and direct feeds mean we are prolonging our lives?

  • I admit I sometimes groan when I go to my google reader and see how many are there waiting for me. I often read a few folders and then mark the rest as read!  I also need to make better use of my twitter lists and would wholeheartedly recommend to people that they do this as they go along as it has now turned into a big job!

  • Hi Lorna,

    It’s tough to be selective isn’t it? I scan-read Mashable and Techcruch, then copy and paste the links into a notepad doc. When I’m having afternoon cuppa, I read then.

    You will always miss good news, but the best news tends to do the rounds, so you’ll never miss those bits.

    Yes, lists and groups do help you organise content. Also worthwhile editing the frequency of alerts etc to match your time. Sometimes it’s best to limit the feeds and read the worthwhile bits.

  • Hi Christina, love the title! I think We all need to be asking is where can go to filter the information into what’s relevant or who are the people and websites I can trust. Otherwise is information for the sake of and that has very little value, in my opinion.  

  • Life is already racing forward at the speed of sound.  There are pros and cons to this, but I do fear we are losing something.  Impatience is certainly much greater now than it once was.  I see it in myself.  I see it in others.

  • Hi David, We are losing the ability to seek out content and relax in the middle. We’re constantly on the go and fearful of missing something important. We’re clued into the ‘now’ mentality. I think we’ll all guilty to a more or lesser extent.

    Can you imagine what it was like before email? Or before telephones? What about when you couldn’t research on the internet? Things took much longer. Women used to spend a whole day washing, now we spend 5 mins loading and unloading a machine. We are at the stage where we are conscious of time and what we can cram into it. But is relaxation a waste of time?

  • Being selective is key and if you select the ‘bigger’ players with a surplus of info, then you can access what you need to see from as few sources as possible.

    Filtering by lists or searches by it’self, isn’t enough in my opinion. We need to manage our time better and be prepared to miss what we don’t actually need to see. Otherwise we’ll drive ourselves insane.

  • I never really experience information overload because I drop things as soon as they are no longer useful. Facebook = account canceled. If someone on twitter or rss or g+ isn’t saying anything useful they are gone. 

    The more information that is out there the tighter our inner circles become.

  • Hi Tyler,

    I tend to find that not every message is useful, but it’s worth following them for the gems….plus it also depends on what you deem not useful. Social media is rife with non-business related updates….that add to the humanisation of the platforms.

  • i like this one:
    “Save links etc in a notepad file and read when you get a chance. You don’t have to read everything all at once.”

    The thing about this information overload is that I find that quite alot of what I am hit with is high quality stuff that i would like to digest, and as you say, it will be gone! So thanks for that tip 🙂

  • Warren, I think your your advice with regards to point 1: “Developing an actionable business plan” is spot on. We’ve got to plan for short term goals and successes, plus you’ve got leave some room in there to adapt so long as it fits within your longer-term vision and strategy. Either too much short term or long term thinking is bad, one has always got to balance the other.   

  • Warren Rutherford

    Thanks Niall – you hit “actionable” on the head. 

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