By nature I am, “The Bling.” I love shiny objects. Jewelry, clothes, shoes, etc. I am drawn to them, and fanatical about them (In fact, in writing this blog, I wish I could surround the title with rhinestones and glitter).
By trade I am a children’s mystery book author, reading and writing advocate, creative writing instructor, technical writer, and blogger. Words are all around me, so it is no surprise that I love to read them in books, articles, white papers, blogs, – everything!
So naturally, the Internet and social media platforms play a huge part in helping me do my job well. But lately I’ve noticed that while I’m reading, I click on links (shiny objects) that jump out at me, beckoning me to go astray from what I am working on, and I follow them like a zombie…Ooooo…shiny objects! But clicking on all those shiny objects can keep me from doing my job. And they can keep you from doing yours as well.
It’s true. But it’s really not our fault. It’s those shiny object traps that inadvertently steer us away from what we’re originally searching to find. For example, let’s say that in researching for something on the web or your email, you see a link (shiny object) there and click on it. That leads to something else, and something else again, which creates a spillover effect, and you get nothing done.
I Must Admit It, I Do Click It!
When The Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS) was first introduced to folks who were out there on the Internet and social media every day, I didn’t think much about it at the time. But now that I have become obsessed with shiny objects, and wanting to have them around me in abundance all the time, it can only mean that I too, have contracted, The Shiny Object Syndrome.
What Are The Symptoms?
While browsing through all the social media platforms on the Internet, you have an inability to finish what you start because you’re trying to be everywhere at once. Actually, that’s how The Shiny Object Syndrome starts. Your thirst for knowledge and socializing lure you into the tangled web of shiny objects to click on all over the Internet, plummeting you into, “The Shiny Object Syndrome.” So what do you do? How do you cure yourself, and resist all those shiny objects?
Well, some social media experts suggest you ask yourself where your audience hangs out online, and then go spend your time and effort there instead of wasting time everywhere else at once.
Yeah, sure. With huge Internet platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter, (did you just click over to one of my pages?) being the biggies in the social media kingdom, there are new shiny objects of information out there every day that are almost impossible to resist. Besides, having Windows, makes it easy to be on all the major social medias, and your favorite niches all at the same time.
Social media is a great way to grow and nurture your business relationships, and to gather network and research information, right? So it is very easy to fall into the abyss of The Shiny Object Syndrome.
5 Ways to Determine if You Have The Shiny Object Syndrome:
1. PROCRASTINATION: Do you get an email from an interesting company, then in looking over what they offer, you get redirected to their website, and redirected again by links to somewhere else, and never get back to the original email because of the spillover effect?
2. NO FOCUS: Do you suffer a total lack of focus and productivity on what you are working on once you start to suffer from the spillover effect?
3. UNFINISHED PROJECTS: Do you use social media to track data on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter (did you just click to my pages, again?) and end up looking at “friend’s” profiles to see what they’re passionate about for the next hour instead?
4. SLOW DECISIONS: Do you make slower decisions because there are so many choices to read on a subject you are researching on social media platforms, that you are now anxious about choosing the wrong one, so you don’t choose any?
5. OVERLOAD: Do you end up totally overwhelmed with information overload, so you do nothing?
Did you answer yes to any of the questions above? Me, too! Because I’m a writer, I spend a great deal of my time reading emails, attending virtual webinars, going on social media to track data, and writing blogs on kidsmysterybooks.com, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Or, I’ll be writing about a particular subject for one of my books, go on the Internet to research it, and there they are: shiny objects.
While I was writing my book, “The Mystery of the Square Well.” I made up Uncle Joe, who is a Paranormal Expert. He has his own TV show called, Famous Ghosts as Hosts. He’s visiting The Deering Estate, in Miami, Florida – the historic home of wealthy Industrialist, Charles Deering, where ghosts and spirits are plentiful. As I sat down to write about him and his ghosts, I noticed that I was referring to these disembodied individuals first as ghosts and later as spirits. Was I using a parallel analogy? Are ghosts and spirits the same thing? OK, what are the differences between ghosts and spirits?
So onto the Internet I went. About a bazillion ghost and spirit sites popped up, and some very interesting looking YouTube sites. I stopped what I was writing to check out the YouTube, ghost sightings. An hour later, after I had quelled my thirst for knowledge, I returned to my writing. Still, it had been so easy to slip.
Like any “disease,” The Shiny Object Syndrome has side effects too, such as inability to follow-through on what you’re working on, spreading yourself too thin (Idiom) and fear of being left out, just to name a few.
A Tip to Beat The Shiny Object Syndrome:
One of the ways I have quelled, The Shiny Object Syndrome during my work day is when I see a link my hands fairly itch to click on while researching something else, I write it down in my anti-Shiny Object Syndrome notebook. At the end of my workday, I can go into the web and search for it. Call it a perk for getting through my day without giving in to, The Shiny Object Syndrome.
Social media is a great promotional tool, and quite frankly, I don’t know how we ever lived without it (Yes, there was life before the Internet. Oh, I should look that up). You see, the Internet was originally designed to help us get more done in less time.
Today, there are so many shiny objects scrolling across our social media platforms and emails, that I’m sure I have only touched the tip of the iceberg on The Shiny Object Syndrome (Hmmm…I wonder how icebergs got their name. File that away to research later).
The Shiny Object Syndrome is an alluring disease, and although its symptoms are generalized, your Achilles Heel on how you got it may just be different from mine (Achilles Heel, now where did that term come from? Something else to look up). I know, I know, it’s not easy. Temptation is around every corner (I like the word temptation; I’ll look that up later).
Rule of Thumb:
Focus on the things that really matter to you, and when it comes to your bottom line, see what benefits your business the best, and forget the rest.
Are you, or a member of your family, colleagues, or work pals, suffering from, The Shiny Object Syndrome? Please leave a comment on our Facebook page or Twitter page, or LinkedIn page.
First time reading my post? Thanks for taking the time to stop by! If you want to read more of what I’ve written, check out my blogs on kidsmysterybooks.com.
Tags: achilles heel, Books, charles deering, children's mystery books, creative writer instructor, Creative Writing, deering estate, kids mystery books, parallel analogy, paranormal expert, procrastination, shiny object syndrome, technical writer, writing advocate