By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
For the first time in several years, I know of people taking a summer break or vacation and actually going “off line.” They don’t take their Blackberry, iPad or laptop or, if they do, they don’t check in more often than once a day. The amazing thing is, when they return, they’ve all remarked “it was the best (most refreshing, most fun, take your pick) time off I’ve had in a long time.” The world didn’t end, their deals didn’t fall through and their co-workers stepped up to help out. They actually had a break and it was a good thing.
We have all become instant communication addicts (me included) and we’re hooked on knowing everything and answering everything RIGHT NOW. We laugh about being “addicted” to technology, but there is some truth in that word. It begins to take over your life. Raise your hand if you’ve had lunch or dinner with a good friend, only to do a quick check of your messages / Facebook / Twitter and then return a call, email or post in the middle of a one hour lunch? Think about that. Was it necessary? Really? (And I’m a guilty party.)
I’ve come to realize that you don’t have to be connected every single day or even every single hour. In fact, there are some big advantages to disconnecting. What are we missing by not paying attention to the world around us? Are you really listening to what your friend is saying? Are you enjoying the sunset in front of you? Are you learning from what that conference speaker has to say? You certainly won’t have that refreshed feeling after returning from a few days off if you’ve spent most of the time checking in.
So, how and when do you disconnect? Or don’t you. Love to hear your thoughts on the topic.