digital and social media | January 01, 2013

Alexandra Samuel's New Years Resolutions To Improve Your Digital Life

It's that time of year again: the time when you make a list of New Year's Resolutions that often involve joining a gym, eating better, or improving your financial health. Alexandra Samuel posted her own list of resolutions that are a little less traditional than most—but just as beneficial. While many of us focus on improving our lives in the "real world" at the start of each new year, our "digital lives" have now become just as important as our offline ones, and Samuel has dedicated her list of resolutions to living better in the online world. Since so much of what we do now takes place online, and a great deal of our lives revolve around digital technology, many of the changes she suggests may be just as hard to stick to as a new fitness regimen or budgeting plan—and will, consequentially, have just as big an impact if we can follow through on them.

For parents who are new to the world of social media and have not yet learned to avoid the dreaded "over-share", Samuel suggests that they avoid spamming the Internet with chain letters and embarrassing pictures of their kids. She also suggests that they ask permission before they post something about someone else—especially since an increasingly large part of a person's identity has become linked to what is floating around the Internet about them. On the other hand, she also suggests that those who are adverse to sharing anything online make a conscious effort to post more often and forge stronger relationships with their online friends and followers. Her resolutions, overall, urge you to strike a better balance between the time you spend online and offline, and give tips on how to be more productive in each space. Perhaps the most interesting resolution is her suggestion to not pull out your phone or tablet every time you have five minutes to spare. Instead, she says you should just "be", and embrace those five minutes without feeling like you need to be plugged in and engaged at all times.

Samuel has made a career out of helping others navigate the digital space and use new technologies more effectively. She frequently blogs for the Harvard Business Review, and the publication just released her new eBook where she gives advice on how to increase productivity using digital tools. Infectiously passionate about her work, Samuel provides insights that are both fascinating and directly applicable to everyone living in this new digital age.