Depends on your purpose. Though I am hooked, what can hyper-connectivity do to add value to my life and, indeed, to the lives of mainstream America (and beyond) without making us a bunch of glow-y faced screen junkies? There’s no formula…at least I couldn’t work by one, but I find myself missing twitter, the web and my 12Seconds if I’m gone from it for more that 2 days. (ok, 2 hours!) And one basic rule I try to have is to be with the person in front of me…first. So I try not to answer my cell phone, tweet relentlessly, and browse online or through my Storm while having lunch with someone. Am I always successful…no. I am a notorious time-stacker/multi-tasker. But being with the person in front of me is important. In fact, that moment may be WHY social media is so valuable…to create MORE of those moments together, in person!
That’s me pictured twittering with my tweeples on New Year’s Eve. I may have sent a dozen tweets or less focusing on my San Francisco bar & grill crawl, and my amazing, sassy friend Cortney. But I was also missing sharing the New Year moment with all the tweeters I’ve developed a connection with over the past months. The people in the twitterverse have become my friends, business associates, information gatherers, readers, and general resource for all things tech, wine, life.
The enthusiasm, freshness and candor with which they communicate is, well, refreshing! So while we struggle with ROI, metrics, and the new world of online connectivity, what are we trading off? Are the interpersonal moments sacrificed? Is our culture heading further into short-attention-span-affliction? And will all depth in connection be lost?
It is another point to balance as we continue to seek the work-life balance, let’s add to that the online-offline balance.
Do you have rules about your connectivity? If you live by your phone/PDA as I do, have you noticed a decrease in quality when you hang out with your friends and family as they split their focus between you and their device? I always think it rude that another restaurant patron will let their cell ring on end in the restaurant…I don’t really want to hear whatever their ringtone of the month happens to be! I especially don’t want to hear 1/2 (or any) of their conversation. Does anyone else worry about tech ettiquette?
Photo courtesy of Cortney’s i-phone, Jan 31, 2008.