I’m on a flight returning from a business trip to London this last week. The week prior, I spent 5 days off the grid in Montana. When I got back on the grid and only had 1.5 days with the family before jetting off to London, I realized it’d been pretty nice to not use social media for those 5 days. So I decided to continue a self imposed social media ban on my biz trip.
Outside of a couple of tweets for LaunchUp, and logging into FaceBook to promote our event page, I have been completely off of social media for nearly two weeks. Haven’t read any tweets, read any FB updates: zilch, nada, zero.
And you know what? My life is better for it.
Coming across this post by Chris Brogan in the midst of my experiment called The Time We’re Losing by Chris Brogan was perfect timing. Chris talks about how everyone always says, I’m so busy, there’s not enough time. But we waste prodigious quantities of time on crap that doesn’t matter in the least bit.
I’m not going back. FaceBook, Twitter, FourSquare, PlanCast, TripIt, Yelp and their hundreds of compatriots that ask you for your “friends” when you signup or use the service just suck up my time, with arguably extremely dubious ROI of any sort. It’s a giant ass black hole sucking your time — i.e. your life — right away from you.
I don’t want to make it sound like I’m addicted to social media. FaceBook has never had much allure to me, I occasionally pop on to skim portions of my twitter feed (where I follow less than 400 people), and I don’t really do much if anything with all those other social services. I can tell by watching some folks that they spend 100 or even 1,000 times more time and energy on it than I do. I don’t know how they do it. A minute on this stuff just seems like 99/100 times is a minute I should have done something more productive: like watch paint dry, or the grass grow, or HEAVEN FORBID…..GOLF! Or in all seriousness: work on my company, spend time with my family, or get to the outdoors.
There are pieces of social media definitely germane to my role of an entrepreneur and executive. My new project is to find ways to work around the black hole and engage solely on my terms. Extract/provide the value I need to in a way there is an ROI. I need a way to put likely relevant things into one pipeline to worry about, and in a great twist of irony, I think that pipeline will will be email and I’ll make my email problem worse in the short run. I’ll set up twitter to email me when I get an @, email certain twitter feeds or searches, continue to use Summify (where I found Chris Brogan’s post) and similar services. But then I can focus on filtering signal from noise in one place. I currently do this by quickly skimming through several eCommerce newsletters I subscribe to, and I also do this by using NudgeMail extensively to manage email as tasks/reminders.
Anyway, I’m sure it will evolve. I just don’t have enough time in the day to worry about social interactions with hundreds or even thousands of people inside of services that are a serious stretch as to whether they deserve to exist in the world at all. (ENTREPRENEURS: if your idea/solution needs to use the word “friends” in any capacity, I’m talking to you!)
Don’t take this the wrong way, but most of what we all spew on the Interweb doesn’t matter to us or to others. Black Hole. So my social media disengagement continues on.
PS – more to come on my plans to nuke my iPhone in most instances (especially when with family), on disconnecting daily, filtering signal/noise, EMAIL, etc. Technology is going to suck our lives away unless we actively fight against it!