Social networking, multi-tasking, and emotional intelligence
These days, the ability to multitask is a highly sought-after skill. People pride themselves on their ability to do ten different things at once. Working two or even three jobs has become the norm, and is often a necessary evil. But it’s also part of society’s unwavering obsession with productivity. This frenetic lifestyle, however, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
People stay afloat financially at the expense of their emotional and mental health while struggling to pay attention to the multiple tasks they must complete. But how does this tie in with social networking that forms part of SEO strategy, and what does your emotional intelligence have to do with it? In this post, we tie it all together and explain the important connection.
The basics of social networking
Social networking means using social media to engage with people. This can refer to personal interactions as well as business ones. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp—these digital platforms are tools that professionals use to connect with colleagues and their target market and strengthen their businesses.
Social media used for networking
The type of social media in use can differ depending on who you are (your business ethos, for example) and what you do. Someone working in the creative industry might gravitate towards Instagram, as it allows them to show off their work and interact with others who value the arts. Twitter, on the other hand, is great for communicating in a powerful, punchy way. It allows interaction in real-time and encourages engagement, all while potentially boosting your SEO rankings.
How does social networking relate to multitasking?
Despite the popularity of social networking sites, their effect on performance in college or the workplace is not as positive as you would hope. Studies have shown that using social media, even in small doses, has a detrimental effect on people’s ability to understand and retain information.
Having your phone or tablet close by to keep an eye on Twitter or LinkedIn might feel like productivity. But the reality is that it saps your mental energy and takes away from your ability to function optimally.
Can people multitask?
Most people probably understand multitasking as being able to do more than one thing at a time. Speaking on the phone while sending an email, packing a bag while you’re ordering an Uber, or trying to deal with work issues while you’re at the gym are just three examples of what the average person considers multitasking.
Delving a little deeper, however, you can see that multitasking is actually a little more complex. When you try to perform two tasks simultaneously, you can’t focus on either of them. If you’ve ever tried to carry on a WhatsApp conversation while watching TV, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
Another way of multitasking is to hop from one activity to another and back again. The vast majority of research supports the findings that multitasking drains attention, limits productivity, and results in sub-par performance. Many people think that they’re saving time by doing a little here and a little there, but studies have shown time and again that trying to focus on two things at once or trying to jump between them instantaneously makes you lose time overall.
Emotional intelligence (sometimes called EQ) is a new concept for many people. Most of us have heard of IQ—Intelligence Quotient—but the idea of quantifying an inherently subjective concept is hard to grasp.
Emotional intelligence refers to our ability to cope with our thoughts and feelings in a non-harmful or constructive way. Instead of swearing at the driver who just cut you off, you acknowledge your valid frustration and choose to react in a way that doesn’t hurt either you or the other motorist. That is a very basic example. But it does illustrate the need to be aware of our thoughts and feelings, and cultivate the ability to work with them rather than letting them be in control.
How emotional intelligence relates to multitasking
Lots of people would like to be able to multitask, but it is almost always unachievable. When you look at emotional intelligence, it is clear that our desire to be super-productive sometimes stems from an emotional need rather than a practical one.
People are rushed off their feet, of course, but the crux of the matter is their emotional response to that state. Sometimes we find ourselves having to multitask out of necessity. But when you’re actively using your emotional intelligence, you’ll realize that ploughing into three projects at once won’t actually save you time at all.
Social networking, multitasking and emotional intelligence – how do they fit together?
Social networking is a fundamental part of SEO. Making use of social media to extend your scope is a skill that not everyone has. The idea of multitasking can be very attractive when you’re facing a mountain of work but still need to connect with people online.
When it comes to social networking, however, doing it successfully requires your full attention. You might think you’re successfully completing some task while you’re also engaged in conversation with a potential client. But it’s more likely you’re blundering through your work and/or appearing distracted and disinterested in whatever conversation you’re having.
It’s clear that social networking and multitasking do not mix.
When you consider the role of emotional intelligence in business interactions, you can easily see how trying to multitask damages your interpersonal relationships—and therefore your ability to cultivate a social network. Social networking requires your presence. Relating to others and finding common ground to establish a productive, long-lasting relationship takes attention. It simply isn’t enough to coast your way through a conversation without actually engaging.
The only kind of multitasking that goes well with social networking is the inner process of being aware of your own thoughts and feelings, acknowledging them, listening to what is being said, and responding in an authentic and constructive manner. When you stop to consider the internal processes that social networking involves, it will be clear that giving it only half of your attention is inadequate. Achieving efficiency at work requires the capability to respond to demands with emotional intelligence; making it possible to connect with others on a deeper level and take care of business in a thorough manner.