Happy New Year; I hope you have enjoyed the celebrations and that you don’t start off 2009 with too much of a headache..!
At this time of year, of course, it is traditional to look towards the future and set your resolutions for the coming 12 months. Don’t. Resolutions are bad for your psychological health, according to one mental health charity. Perhaps someone ought to tell Gordon Brown about that.
However, forward planning is essential to your mental well being; failing to cope with a changing environment is at the root of stress. The business and Internet world is certainly in for big change in the next year, so if you don’t plan to cope with that you will doubtlessly suffer from stress and associated anxiety.
Consequently you need to think about the likely online changes for 2009. There are some fairly obvious things – social networking will continue to increase in prominence and importance, the numbers of people using the Internet will doubtlessly rise and the amount of content available will increase substantially.
Some of the other things you need to think about include the rise in importance of “mashups“, the increase in value of “geotagging” and that “reputation management” will also take on greater importance. If you are not planning how to exploit each of these areas during 2009, your stress levels may well increase…!
Of course, planning to handle the recession is going to be another certain way of reducing your psychological health problems over 2009. Today, we hear that in spite of millions of people rushing to the sales, less money is actually being spent. And in the business to business sector, people are not spending in a bid to save budgets and therefore keep their own jobs. Even though these executives know the sensible thing to do is to buy your particular service, they won’t because they are protecting Number One first.
So, can you look forward to a good 2009 with a positive frame of mind and safe in the knowledge that whatever you do online will work and therefore help reduce your stress levels? Sure you can – but you must plan in detail, right now. If you have nothing much else in the diary for January use the available time to plan ahead – in writing and in detail – and all will be well. Assuming, of course you take into account the important things online. And if you have never heard of mashups, geotagging or reputation management systems, now – right now – is the time to find out.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+