I hear folks are overwhelmed by technology today. Too much of this, too much of that, cringing when they hear, "There's an app for that!"
Information overload, in the form of technology that is always on, is ruining our lives. When everyone at the bus stop, the airport, the grocery store, the stoplight (in cars and not in cars) is glued to their cell phone, it's a clear indication that we, as human beings, are tuning out the wrong things in a misguided effort to tune in the 'right' things.
Let's decide what the wrong things are, up front.
Your Facebook page. It's fun to be on Facebook and share. I learn a lot about my family and friends on Facebook; where they are today, how they feel today, what they've got planned for the weekend, and more. I discover new videos and infographics, on Facebook.
But, when Facebook becomes my mode of conversation, as if getting face-to-face is just 'too hard'... it's a bad thing. A very bad thing.
Your cell phone. We need cell phones. I can't image not having a cell phone. Without a cell phone I wouldn't be in easy touch with my pregnant daughter, who lives a thousand miles away. Without a cell phone I wouldn't be able to call for pizza on the fly when I'm just too exhausted to cook (we no longer have a landline). Without a cell phone I wouldn't be able to text my granddaughter, which is the only way to get her attention.
When cell phones become the most important part of your daily attire ( as if you'd ever leave the house without your shoes, pants, jacket if it's raining and your cell phone), that's a problem. When you sweat because you accidently set the phone down and walked out the door without it... and you are in a panic at not having it for a whole day...that's a problem. Because, being without your cell phone is NOT the end of the world. Really. Seriously.
Your blog or website. I know you check it several times a day. Or, if you have a tool that alerts you when folks comment on your blog, or when folks visit your website, and you check it hour after hour, hoping for better results, that's a problem. Because, regardless of how often you look at your blog or your website, it will perform as you designed it to perform.
One should be creating online property with careful thought to allowing it to perform and run without you. Let it do the work you created it to do, and check it routinely, but not that often.
Your laptop. Oh yeah, your laptop. I have a laptop...it sits on a rolling desk by my bed. I take it out once a week when I'm not so tired and look at Twitter. I also take it on trips. Otherwise, it sits there and... hums. Because, it's a tool. It's not who I am nor is it what I am. It's for my convenience... not the other way around. It doesn't run my life, any more than my cell phone or Facebook page or blog.
All of these things are bad, bad, bad if you allow them to dictate your life and who you connect with. All of these things are good if you put them in their place and use them appropriately.
Here are the right things, the things that really matter:
Your family. You can connect with them without a cell phone or laptop or Facebook page. It's call a picnic or a cup of coffee.
Your pets. Oh, those poor pets. They are there, at your elbow, begging for a walk or a cuddle, and you're blowing them fake kisses or patting them on the head, while you eagerly turn back to some tool or mechanical device, clicking the Like button on a new shelter post... Really? Take care of what's there in front of you. They were shelter pets once, too, I bet.
Your friends. Where are your friends? Oh, I hear you... on social media. On Twitter. On Instagram. On Pinterest. LOL You see them there, you like them there, you comment on them there... but, you don't SEE them, HUG them, COMMUNICATE with them as friends, by being on those online sites. Be a friend. Have coffee. Go on a shopping trip to a REAL store... stop and smell the roses.
Oh, I could go on. I could remind everyone who feels overwhelmed that the truth is, you're not managing your time or your tools correctly.
Step away from the computer. I'll see you at BlogHer, this week, or WIPIN, next month. Yes, IRL.