Earlier this week I contemplated an internet sabbatical. It didn’t take long to realise that I would have to quit my job to take a real internet sabbatical so I just did something else for a while. Do you ever have those moments when your internet world seems to be more hot air than substance? When even a well-researched article on a war somewhere is just another well-researched article on a war and it all turns into a fog of information you should be taking in but aren’t. I think it means I need to turn off the computer and go outside.
I was planning on going to the MarketingNow conference on Tuesday which seemed like an event showcasing the people that epitomised my internet fog – ProBloggers and the like talking about social media. Turns out I was too sick on Tuesday to go anyway, so Rowan reported back. By her accounts, it was an informative, energising day. Following the Twitter tags from home made it sound like inane, vapid dross. It was like Christmas day for all the Twitter haters – not even a social media conference could survive being mauled by social media. I visualised rows and rows of people standing on a platform all yelling a single out-of-context quote at the same time.
I was healthier on Wednesday so I went to day two of the conference. Ro was right, it was interesting. I didn’t taint my enjoyment of the day by following the Twitter feed. I watched people around the room as they tweeted, facebooked, blogged, tweaked their new websites and read the news headlines while arguably some of the world’s most accomplished people in their field presented visually engaging and targeted presentations in front of them. It’s not to say they weren’t interested or engaged, it’s just how so many of us operate now. The day I realised that multi-tasking is not a positive skill was one of the happiest days of my life, but I still struggle to sit with a page as it slowly loads. I imagine that I can check my facebook feed in the 10 seconds I have to wait .
Anyway, the conference was good because the people who spoke are people who are using the fog to get stuff done. I think it requires incredible skills in logic and an ordered brain to use social media to its full potential without getting lost along the way. It seemed comforting somehow. Like those moments when you hear about someone who is an expert on archiving old newspapers, it’s a relief to know that it’s being taken care of. It’s a relief to know that these guys are all over social media, willing to keep up with it and report back.
I still went away thinking that an internet sabbatical wouldn’t hurt.
Overheard: a woman to her friend as they returned to their seats on opposite sides of the auditorium, “see you in the Twitter feed”.
Anyway, I wrote this post to share the Heirarchy of Digital Distraction with you. Cool, huh?