It’s time for digital de-tox

Smoky Mountains National Park — The site of my digital de-toxification!

Yesterday I commented on the increasing time commitments and frustrations of social media maintenance. To get released from the daily digital tornado, I went cold turkey — escape to the mountains without wireless service, computer or cell phone.
It was tough to get out of town. Calls, deadlines, and commitments to “get to it Monday.” Finally I headed to the mountains … with the cell phone in my suitcase.
For the entire first day I was tired, irritable and twitchy. I’m used to filling every available minute with email and Internet updates and I nervously reached for an iPhone that wasn’t there. Instead, I pulled out a book. Napped. Took a hike. Sat quietly by a pristine mountain lake.
By day two I was markedly more relaxed (isn’t “markedly” a grand word for somebody named “Mark?”). It was begnning to sink in just how much I needed to get away. I found myself regretting that I would soon be back in civilization. It was a relief to break away from the pummeling emails, alerts and requests.
I have a lot to think about. By filling spare time with constant digital stimulus/response, am I efficient or am I a junkie?
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on how rapid-fire stimulation is re-wiring our youth. How is it affecting me? Am I built for this? Isn’t our DNA wired for hunting and gathering more than continuous text messaging?
In the past six months, time in front of the computer screen has doubled as I attend to my “regular job” AND new demands from social media … which is now PART of my regular job as a marketer, business leader and teacher. How do I adjust to this fact of life and still maintain balance?
Is anybody else starting to feel consumed by the opportunities, commitments and frustrations of social media? How are you dealing with it? What tools are you using to automate, simplify and cope?
There is almost no discussion on this topic on the airwaves. We should talk about it. And by the way, I’m glad you’re here. : )

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  • Steven House

    Yeah, I'm getting a little tired of it, and I'm also in the Social Media business. The tools I'm considering is Ping.FM and for FB + Twitter. For videos, – pretty awesome for multi-video site submission and stats tracking.

    How to bring ease and simplicity to social media? As a Computer Science major, I'm looking at building an interface for clients to be able to manage their social life easier, but don't want to be 'just another' service. Facebook has a secret way to update your status via cURL that I'm investigating. Twitter is easy to do so. Question I'm having is how to provide value with this. How do you want to post, recieve and what other features would be beneficial?

    BTW, Great Blog Here! I have you as a RSS feed, another great way to cut down on page visits and increase time. Your blog waranted a comment though!

  • John Bottom


    And relax.

    Take it easy Mark.

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