Lunch today provided a deeper glimpse into a world Jan Sparrow and I are just beginning to explore, the universe of social networking... online of course. A good friend, Meredith Gould, gave us a crash course on the use of these social sites to expand our social real estate and promote ourselves. It amazed me the various ways that I can link to our business website, www.asgmc.com, my publishing company, www.greatinsightspress.com, our passion for greatness, www.greatnessproject.com, and even our hope for our next venture, www.greatnessarchitects.com. Okay, so after the conversation today I joined Twitter. So far it's the most complicated networking site I've seen. But of course I'm also already on Facebook, LinkedIn and Ning and that is aside from my three email addresses. Our question to Meredith at the end of lunch was "who has time for all this?"
Supposedly this is the 21st century way to do business, and perhaps it is. But is this a way to live? Over the recent holiday I had an interesting experience in "unplugging." I left my laptop at a friend's house knowing I would be back the next day and I went home without it. For 24 hours I was without a computer. Of course I had my BlackBerry, but that is not the same. I found myself wandering into my study looking longingly at the table where I usually get online. It amazed me how seduced I've become to this electronic world.
In the time without emails (I turned my BlackBerry off), Facebook, Ning, LinkedIn, or surfing I rediscovered the joy of a good book. I sat for a while and just thought. I even played my guitar which I haven't touched for months. And all of a sudden it hit me. How can we accomplish great things if we are online all the time? What greatness can we aspire to if all we are doing is reading the accomplishments of others and satisfying ourself by making them our "friend?"
So for me, I'm limiting my time. Once in the morning and once at night. It's not easy because now I have time when I'm finished work. But maybe tonight I can use that time to think about changing the world. Or perhaps I'll just play my guitar again.