Have you ever started out on a path going in one direction only to find yourself, hours later, mindlessly ending up somewhere else?

You planned to check your Facebook page but somehow you ended up on Twitter.

You intended to have a dialogue in one of your LinkedIn Groups, but two hours later you find yourself down a rabbit hole reviewing interesting but irrelevant information and you have no idea how you got there.

“What happened?” you ask yourself, as you emerge from your internet stupor. You were tricked, once again. You’ve been taken for a ride, sucked in, disgusted with yourself you tell yourself you will do better next time. It is the best kept secret in the world, this “compulsive dependence” of sorts that many of us can have, with social media.

Admit it. Your having an “affaire de ceour.” You didn’t mean for this relationship to happen. Social media lured you, enticed you, and crept up on you while you were totally unaware. “Beguiled!” You tell yourself, “I’ve been hoodwinked and tricked.” Very simply put, social media has seduced you.”

Accept as a matter of fact that one of the many roles and functions of social media is to engage, entice and connect with you.

Social media is a powerful marketing platform that allows us to connect and market our products, skills and services to people all over the world. If used correctly, it can catapult your business exponentially. Yet, if used incorrectly, it can be, as Darren Hardy aptly states, ” ……a weapon of mass distraction.”

For those of us who are entrepreneurs, time is our most precious commodity. We juggle many roles such as wives, husbands, parents and professionals. We can find ourselves spending a lot of time using social media, after all, we need to market ourselves, promote our services, and develop our internet presence, but are we really using our time judiciously?

You have insomnia, so you might as well do some work on your computer. You check your Twitter account repeatedly to see who tweeted you and who didn’t. You check to see who pinned you, who liked you, who is following you, and who is talking in your group. Without knowing it, you are busy spending an awful lot of time on the internet. What are you doing?

Unless you set your boundaries and limits as to what you will and won’t do, social media will hold you in its grip and take control of you.

Once we acknowledge that one of the roles of social media can be that of seduction, we can let go of the strong feelings of recrimination and reproach that we can develop about our attention span, lack of ability to focus, and begin to take control of the situation.

You can stop now with the self-doubt, the self diagnosing and self -recrimination. No, you don’t have Attention Deficit Disorder; after all, you successfully graduated from high school, maybe even college. Surely, someone would have noticed your distracting tendencies by now. So no, you don’t have attention difficulties. You do however, have organizational ones.

All it takes is some awareness and a little discipline which is something that we all have.

Before sitting down in front of your computer or lap top state your intention clearly as to what you are going to do.

I will spend 1 hour today, reviewing and responding to the LinkedIn groups that I am a member of.
I will spend 40 minutes on Facebook, reviewing and responding to my likes
I will review my Twitter account and send out 5 to 8 tweets.
1.State your intention clearly. Write it down on a sticky note and put it where you can see it and stick to it.

2. Set the amount of time you will spend on line and stick to it.

3. Finish your intended online task or project before indulging in the interesting tidbit of information.

Remember social media is a tool, an instrument, a device for us to use. We are in the driver’s seat. We are in control. Knowing that part of the social media game is to attract, entice and seduce you, you can learn to set limits and boundaries about how and what you spend your time doing while on the internet. Use your time constructively.

So, are you in control of your use of social media or is social media in control of you?

This has been a tongue in cheek blog written for entrepreneurs who perhaps are not aware that they need to develop some limits and boundaries regarding how they use the internet. If, however, you find your internet usage is interfering with your day to day life, you may have a problem. Take a look at the list below, which according to Toronto Family Counselling Services, are signs indicating the possibility that internet use has become problematic.

* Spending excessive amounts of time (6-8 hrs. per day) on Multi-User Dungeons, Newsgroups, Chats, two-way communications (i.e.: ICQ), Messenger Services etc.
Your social life depends on making acquaintances on the internet.
Your sex life depends on making acquaintances on the internet.
Spending less and less time on meals at home or at work, and eating in front of the monitor.
Denying time with your loved ones while spending too much time on the internet
Family members complaining about you spending too much time in front of the monitor
Checking on your mailbox too many times a day
Logging onto the Net while already busy at work
Sneaking online when spouse or family members are not at home, with a sense of relief
Increased anger, denial and anxiety when asked to stop
If you are not sure but suspect you, your partner, or child has a real and serious internet addiction problem, connect to your local addiction service provider in your community and ask for an assessment.

Author's Bio: 

Veronica's purpose in life has been to inspire, motivate and empower individuals and organizations to help them to find creative solutions in transforming their situation or circumstances. She has a demonstrated track record of making a difference in the lives of people and organizations. Her expertise includes services in the area of public speaking presentations, key note addresses; facilitation of seminars and workshops in the following areas: health, wellness, stress management, self esteem building, relationship building, emotional healing, empowerment strategies, personal motivation and growth with large and small organizations, as well as providing 1-1 counselling and coaching to individuals in these areas.
Veronica is a Life & Relationship Coach located in Brampton Ontario Canada http://www.empowered-solutions.ca