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Is chatting a waste of time?

When I was younger, I used to spend hours just chatting on Yahoo or MSN chats with my friends. We could only do it at home because my previous company has banned the access to all the chatting software and social networking sites.  That’s why the employees are much more productive and focused- but I must admit, we were stressed too due to the job nature.

After a few years of being into chat (after office hours), I realise that to me at least, it was a great time waster. My concern is because chatting is very addictive- and before you know it, you may have spent hours typing away on your chatbox. If you chat at work,  it eats into your productive time- and your year-end bonus’s probably at stake if your boss discover your chatting habits. Even worse, if she finds out that you’ve been ranting your frustration about her to your chat friend. If at home, it distances relationships- after all, your chat friend knows more about your life than your sibling or your spouse. You neglect to do housework or pay the bills because of the addiction- and have a strained relationship with your mom because you think that she’s Cruella for asking you to shut down the PC. You may not realise it now- but years down the line, you may regret spending time on chat when you could have spend time face-to-face, explore a second income stream,  learn a new skill, etc. 

However, I do agree that chats and Skype have invaluable for loved ones staying in different countries to keep in touch.  Else, if it in the same country, I’ll just rather pick up the phone to call or email the person directly.

In life, it is important to priortise our relationships with others- after all, someone who is everyone’s hello friend may have no true friends at all. Who can he turn to when he is feeling sad or lonely? It’s a horrible, terrible feeling when you are in need and the reality dawned on you that there is no one out there for you. If you invest your money in shares, you need to be careful to ensure you pick be best shares to invest in. It’s the same when it comes to investing your time and in the choice of people that you choose to spend the bulk of your time with.

Therefore, instead of spending 2 hours a day on chats, investing just a fraction on your elderly parents would make their day.  Or just spend a little time to write an email or a snail mail to an old friend to keep in touch. At least you are not pressured to reply when the chat box blinks. You can reply at your own time. Or perhaps you can keep a record of your friend’s birthdays using Microsoft Outlook  and send them a short email or sms to wish them. These little gestures add up and usually means much more to people than ‘poking’ or playing online games via social network sites. 

I have been observing some of my ex-bosses and other people who have proper work-life balance- and noticed is that people who have a strong purpose in life and are focused on their goals rarely spend a lot of time in chats or social networking sites.

Nowadays, time is even a more precious commodity to me. Todate, I have a number of blogs (some which I maintain for other people). I plan to grow even more sites. At the same time, I also hold a full time job. Therefore, that leaves the bulk of my personal blogging time usually after working hours, aside from fulfilling other personal obligations. 

I genuinely enjoy building sites and blogging. I write my articles sincerely from my heart and it feels great to be able to utilize my knowledge and gift to benefit others. At the same time, I also value my day job- good boss, colleagues and working environment. The only way to be able to do both well is to have sufficient mental energy- to be fresh during work day and yet have enough energy to manage my blogs after work.

Similar for you, find something that genuinely interest you and you feel you would/or are good at, then develop it. 

Take it from someone who has been there- years down the line, you and your chat friends would move to separate paths in life. What that is talked and shared on, will be forgotten by both parties. And the more matured you may regret for making better use of all those hundreds of productive hours.

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2 comments




  • Karen December 17, 2009, 8:11 am

    You are right ! Many things can be done during those few hours while we’re chatting away ! Chatting endlessly, can yes, be a such a waste of time…..

    • Yin Teing December 19, 2009, 9:44 am

      Thanks friend. Took me sometime to turn off and uninstall all chatting software. Now, I just correspond with friends via email.

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