Starting last Wednesday my schedule has been incredibly busy. Between work, family, and fitness – something had to push – and it was any online activities. The weekend hit and spent I most of it running errands, more time with the family, hobbies, etc. It was almost with dread that I opened my RSS Reader on Monday morning. There were 300+ new blog entries, news stories, infographics, etc. waiting for me. There was a sense of obligation about the whole thing. What if there was some post-worthy bit of information? What if there was some compelling story or factoid or funny meme I might miss? Going through my RSS feed felt like something I needed to do – it felt like work.
After about 30 seconds of consideration, I moved my cursor to “Mark All as Read” and clicked. Zero new entries. I fired up Tweetdeck (power user Twitter interface if you aren’t aware) and saw hundreds of Tweets I had missed. I promptly ignored them. I’d say something about Facebook but I don’t really check it that much anymore anyway.
With social media, blogging, etc. many people seem to think that a person needs to remain “engaged” and stay on top of things 24/7 in order to be doing it properly. Subscribe to this newsletter. Follow me on Twitter. Like us on Facebbok. +1 on Google. Add to your newsreader. More, more, more. Add more things to your digital life.
Sometimes it’s important to say “no.” Ignore Twitter for a week. Let your RSS reader fill itself up with hundreds of stories and then purge them all without reading. Go onto Facebook and de-friend a dozen people that you agreed to be friends with a year ago because you felt like you “had to.” Stay off Reddit. Don’t blog or go on forums. Ditch all email activity except for work and family.
Do it for more than week. Especially ignore it on the weekend. Go meet people, real people. Give 100% attention to your family and friends. Find a hobby. Exercise. Run. Join a group – start a group. Completely and utterly unplug, desync, and disconnect from the digital world. Sweat, laugh, cry, strain, fail, push, explore, and grow.
Will your life be diminished in some way? Will you lose business? Will some vital bit of information be missed that would have changed you life in some way?
What will you gain?