Being a professional who makes his living off figuring out new ways brands can engage customers online via social and mobile media, it might come as a shock that I enjoyed being “off the grid” while on vacation the past five days.
A recent story in the Wall Street Journal showcased some so-called social media stars and how they don’t disconnect from the network addiction during their vacation. While social/mobile become more and more our main means of communications, this doesn’t surprise me. I did use the social web the first day of my vacation to check in on Foursquare and Tweet a few updates. Yet I was sincerely looking forward to being disconnected since we were going on a cruise.
The time away from the social web helped me slow down and really think about how it has changed my life – professionally and personally. Some of those discoveries made me uncomfortable and some made me realize other things.
My wife and I enjoyed our 5 days away from our kids for the first time in 9 years. Yes, NINE years. During those conversations and more intimate moments we’ve been able to share in a long time, I had many moments of clarity. I realized, for me, the social web has gotten in the way on a personal level. Too much going on and too much time on a screen vs. being with my family. I need to find better balance and that’s what I will do.
Being disconnected felt good but yet once I was reconnected I felt comfort too. Perhaps many of us should start exploring the long-term effects these new revolutionary means of communications will have on us and our culture and interpersonal relationships. Maybe they already are.
Either way, I enjoyed my time away and discovered no matter what the new whiz-bang technology or social network these days, the same ‘ol things matter: love, family and face-to-face quality time.
Jobs, blogs, Facebook updates, Tweets – nothing matters if your priorities are out of whack.
Luckily for me, I’m back in balance. Watch out world.