Social Media

Life Without Lag: The Social Media Effect

August 16, 2009

life without lag

Google maps says it takes 10 minutes to get from point A to point B. Unfortunately, 10 minutes ends up being more like 13 minutes. Although it’s just 3 minutes off, that’s 3 minutes lost. As the day continues, the minutes add up. How many minutes have you wasted? Whether it’s the time wasted in traffic or the time spent waiting in lines, it makes one wonder what life without lag would be like.

While no one would say they enjoy waiting in long lines or sitting in traffic, it has become a part of life. Just how brushing your teeth and tying your shoelaces have become second nature, so has living with ‘lag.’ We complain about it, but with no solution. The delays that we experience every day in our lives also occur because of uncontrollable events. From the snow storm that delays a flight home on the holidays to the rain that makes traffic seem twice as slow, we have accepted delay and lag as part of our lives.

Is It Possible To Live Without Lag?

When I think of the question if it is possible to live without lag, I am reminded of the cliche “where there is a will, there is a way.” As technology continues to improve so does the chance of living without lag. Thanks to human ingenuity, we have been able to improve not only the quality of life, but also our efficiency.

Because of lag we are unable to accomplish certain things. While we may not be able to see it directly, lag affects our daily lives in all aspects. The minutes lost equals the tasks not started/finished. While there is little chance for us to eliminate lag completely, we are making strides to find ways to cope with it.

Social Media Increasing Efficiency

While many may see social media as a way for people to interact and share information, it is so much more than that. Thanks to social media, our lives have become easier in many different ways.

Twitter Effect

Thanks to Twitter we no longer think in paragraphs, but rather in 140 characters. While at first many despised the limit, many now realize that 140 is plenty. Twitters 140 character limit is a reflection of society and its ever shortening attention span. The best way to describe it is life in fast forward. If what you have to say is longer than a couple sentences, people don’t want to wait to hear it. No one likes to watch a movie with a bunch of talking and a couple minutes of excitement. People want 100% excitement. Twitter is shaping the way people interact while at the same time increasing efficiency which helps to eliminate ‘lag.’

Also, thanks to Twitter everything is moving toward automation. With the arrival of Twitter so came the arrival of API limits and Twitter applications. As Twitter continues to grow, people continue to think of new ways to make things easier. As mentioned, lag prevents us from starting/finishing tasks. Twitter has countered this indirectly by being part of the ‘I can make it easier‘ mentality.

Networking Made Easier

If you wanted to network with others within your career field this meant going to mixer events and trying to setup lunch/dinner with them. Gone are the days of exchanging business cards and waiting for the next networking event and in are Facebook Requests and LinkedIn Invites.

While you may have never met them in person, that doesn’t mean you can’t consider them part of your ‘network.’ What was once considered a difficult and long process as far as building relationships are concerned, social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn have helped to eliminate the ‘lag’ time involved in meeting people and have helped transform networking into a one click process. Aside from the time saved, networks have become infinitely stronger as networks can now span the globe.

Making It Work For You

As social media plays a bigger role in not only marketing and branding campaigns, but as a multi-faceted tool, we are moving further away from the ‘deal with it’ mentality and closer to the ‘I can make it easier’ mindset. No longer will we feel at the mercy of ‘lag,’ but rather find new ways to deal with it. Whether it is by using Twitter to manage your network of friends and contacts or LinkedIn to find someone to help out on a project, hours of delays are turning into minutes and hopefully very soon seconds.

Photo by Jerry Knies

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1 Comment

  • Reply eddie August 16, 2009 at 7:58 am

    joseph, lag time is only wasted time if you see it as such… not everyone agrees. as you mentioned, people need to learn to live with lag, but not eliminate it. lag time is a *necessary* component of life. Or do you believe that constantly jumping from one task to the next is going to make us richer, happier or life on the planet better?

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