Facebook and Dissertations

On February 4, 2014, Mark Zuckerberg launched The Facebook for students at Harvard University. Now, over 1 in every 4 people on the planet use Facebook on a monthly basis. Is Facebook keeping you from getting your dissertation done?…

A few months ago, I spoke with Stacey, a mother of four high-school and college-aged children. She was frantic in her need for someone, anyone, to help her. You see, she was very busy, what with her family and work and her church commitments. And, it seemed like she could never set aside a significant block of time to work on her dissertation.

Now, that’s not very surprising. Most of the students with whom I speak list time management as the primary challenge they face in completing their dissertations. But, what came next was the real surprise…

Stacey said, “I was sitting down last night to work on my study. It was a pretty typical night. I was pouring over source material for my lit review. Not may favorite activity, but I was forging ahead. At least, I thought so. Until about a half hour had passed, and I found myself cleaning the toilet!”

“I’m not the kind of person who has to have everything just so. I’ve got four kids for gosh sakes!” Stacey lamented. “And, that’s when I figured out  that it’s not about the time; I just don’t know what I’m doing!”

Seldom, do I encounter a student who reaches this conclusion on their own, but much more often than not, it is the case. Although you may complain that you’re simply too busy, that you can’t find the time to work on your dissertation, the real problem is that working on your dissertation can be a frustrating experience that you simply prefer to avoid.

You may not suddenly find yourself scrubbing a toilet when you were supposed to be working on your dissertation. But how often do you check your email, or Twitter, or Facebook when you’re supposed to be working on your dissertation?

Recent studies have demonstrated that when adults engage in social media services, like Facebook, their attention spans are virtually nonexistent. Although we may laugh at the goldfish’s 9-second attention span, research shows that adults on social media can only hold focus for 8 seconds!

And, yet, you probably allow yourself to be distracted with Facebook, with Twitter, with email. Perhaps with television, perhaps with phone calls. Don’t allow distractions to stall your efforts.

When you remove all those wonderful distractions, you may find that you’re faced with a sobering reality about your dissertation — that you don’t know what to do!

The fact of the matter is that few dissertation chairs and even fewer universities provide the guidance and structure students need to feel confident and focused and ready to succeed in the dissertation process.

If you want to develop a crystal-clear sense of clarity about your dissertation, so that you can confidently execute your project rather than constantly deflect with diversions like Facebook, or cleaning the toilet, click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good fit for our Fast Track Your Dissertation Coaching Program. If you are, then I’ll invite you to join the fastest group of dissertation students out there and help you to reach graduation a good year or two faster than you would on your own.

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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