This week the Wall Street Journal provided yet another article about moderating and/or flat out eliminating your usage of social media. As with many things in life, a little bit can be a positive, but too much is too much. So what’s the right balance for investors?
I’m on my way back from Florida today after singing with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus in Miami and Naples and speaking to the Tampa Chapter of the CMT Association. At the hotel in Fort Lauderdale, there was a group of people all queuing up to get on the elevator. When the elevator arrived and we all walked in, literally everyone in the group got out their phone. Every. One.
This, my friends, is the downside of social media. The mindless use of social media as an escape from what’s happening around you. A futile attempt to fill any spare moment of the day with just one more post, one more tweet, one more update.
Ravi Shandra provided some great guidance recently in Mindful magazine, writing, “Knowing how social media affects our relationships, we might limit social media interactions to those that support real-world relationships. Instead of lurking or passively scrolling through a never-ending bevy of posts, we can stop to ask ourselves important questions like, What are my intentions? and What is this online realm doing to me and my relationships?”
The key word there is “intention.” A mindless investor is flipping through a Twitter feed, seeing what random tickers and insights are being thrown around. A mindful investor is thoughtful about their use of social media, bringing up Twitter with a specific intention in mind and knowing where it fits into their investment process.
After my elevator experience in Fort Lauderdale, I went back to my room, pulled out my cellphone, and immediately deleted all social media apps.
Now when I use social media, it’s with intention. It’s for a specific purpose. It’s only during a time that I’ve specifically allocated for social media.
By removing the temptation of frequent social media usage, savvy investors create more time for the slow reading, deep thinking, and engaging conversations that will do much more to improve their investment process.
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice. Please see the Disclaimer page for full details.