Seems like the first 10 years of my “career” I was plugging things in. Email addresses, web apps, feeds, subscriptions etc etc etc. Every month I was plugging more things in – more things that were suppose to add value to my life. Technology was coming out every month that was enabling me to connect in new ways and with thousands around the world. My life was starting to feel like that outlet behind Clark Griswold’s Christmas tree. It was one web app away – or one connection away from short circuiting. It was way too many plugs.
Bottom line, I was losing focus on what really mattered. I started admiring my friends who had never posted anything on the internet rather the ones who bombarded it with info about themselves and their business every single day. I began to notice that most of the connections I made on the web did not add much value at the end of the day. They ended up becoming distractions. They were not natural seeming. The social web I had created was filled with strangers. It was cold seeming, yet I kept adding more strangers to it. The real connections that add real value to my life were still happening naturally – off the web. They happened at church, not on Linkedin. They happened at the neighborhood picnic, not on Twitter. I also noticed they usually happened somewhere outside, not behind the laptop. Weird.
I also found myself looking forward to taking my son (Joel) to the park at 9am on Tuesday or going for a walk at 3pm on a Thursday – rather than sitting at the computer checking 21 different sites, apps, feeds, blogs etc. I found myself asking my wife if I could take Joel to school in the morning or if there were any errands she needed me to run first thing Monday morning instead of spending 45 minutes posting info about our business or photos of myself to streams of thousands. I actually enjoyed doing laundry more than checking my Twitter page. Anything to keep me away from the computer. Laundry. Hilarious. I’d rather get beat up than do laundry.
So sometime over the summer I unplugged everything (except this blog and email of course). I was losing focus and creating a life I did not want. The blogging will likely go next – but for now it is fun to keep a journal. Everything is so much calmer now and I still see photos I want to see, make connections that I should be making and getting new business every single day. It is awesome. I highly recommend unplugging just to see what happens.
Off to fold some shirts,