Dawn Chorus » Mind Tools Blog

Dawn Chorus

September 30, 2014


What was the first thing you did this morning?

According to a recent IDC study, the first thing that 80 percent of 18- to 44-year-olds do each day is check their smartphone.

I like to exercise my dogs before breakfast, so the first time I checked my status update was at around 05:45 this morning.

The time I have with my dogs is precious. Otherwise, I’d spend practically my entire life gazing at a screen. As an editor, I tap away at my laptop for much of my working day. I’ll often catch up with friends on Facebook during my lunch hour, and then be online for a little while after dinner, before working on my own projects in the evening.

Social media is transforming the way that we communicate – both on a personal and a professional level. The speed and convenience of digital communications means that friends and family are never more than a click away.

But take care never to post anything on social media that you wouldn’t want your boss to see. There are numerous stories in the media about people who have been sacked from their jobs after indiscretions on Facebook and Twitter. Today, I read that even some banks now check their clients’ social media accounts before approving a loan!

If you’re worried about what your social media accounts say about you, see our article on Maintaining a Positive Online Reputation to learn how to create a good impression online.

In many ways, I’m fortunate. Social media is literally in my job description, so I can get my fix at work! Follow me @DrRuthMHill on Twitter, and if you’d like to learn more about making effective use of social media, check out our article on Using Twitter for Work.

Of course, it goes without saying that I wouldn’t dream of catching up with friends during office hours, but I still have to be aware of the way that social media can blur the divide between personal and professional life. More than that, for the sake of my sanity and that of my loved ones, I also draw a line between virtual and face-to-face interaction.

So, tomorrow when I wake, I’m going to take a moment, kiss my husband and daughter good morning, and then we’ll listen to the dawn chorus together – before I start tweeting myself.

Question: Do you separate your personal and professional connections in social media? I’d love to hear your thoughts, below.

2 thoughts on “Dawn Chorus

  1. OlgaZ wrote:

    So often I see people buried in their Smartphones more than enjoying the person in front of them or the actual event they are attending. And if they do put down the Smartphone, they have no clue how to have a conversation using the spoken word. This is very sad.
    I do think it is very important to separate your personal and professional connections in Social Media, but I no longer think that is possible. People do need to be more careful not to advertise their dirty laundry; as you are now judged by your choice of words and you often confirm it by the pictures posted as well.

    1. Ruth Hill wrote:

      That is so true, OlgaZ. There are certain times of day when I think smartphones should be banned. My biggest bugbear is texting at mealtimes – no, no, no!

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