Unplugging for the circles that truly matter…

I’ve been rather hip and popular lately. I got the G+ circles with folks whose names or faces I don’t recognize sharing stuff with me on Google Plus, I’ve got FB friends and fans, twitter followers (although I hardly ever tweet), LinkedIn invites and all sorts of other nifty things that ought to make one feel popular, liked, admired or whatever the emotion of the moment we are supposed to feel. Just a few years ago, the only distractions from my work and my life came in via my Outlook, and if I didn’t have it opened, I could spend all day creating something, researching, browsing or doing whatever it is my life or my work demanded of me. Now, I get notices of updates and changes to anything out there popping up in my browsers, pinging my phone and in other ways entering my days at the rate I can no longer keep up with, nor do I want to. I find far too many of these updates and notices to be of the noisy variety, which quite possibly is my own damn fault. I accepted far too many friend requests and I always feel the need to reciprocate in kind to any social interaction…. And so as I sit here working, I find myself overwhelmed by far too much information, far too many names, requests, likes, pings and I am finding myself wanting to disconnect completely.

 

This past Friday, my youngest turned 11, and all the kiddo wanted was to spend some time hanging out with his family. There was bowling and horseback riding and skim-boarding and all sorts of other little adventures. And for the most part, there were no virtual distractions, and I didn’t miss any of my circles or FB friends or the latest and greatest from Inman or TechCrunch et. al. The only thing I realized I missed, viscerally, were the wide eyes of my little one, and the hope buried deep in those brown lakes that this weekend would not be the last until next year; that he was much more important than the work we do if only because he is one of two reasons we do it (the other reason being in college). And because he is certainly much more important than anything in my G+circles, short of an actual apocalypse.

So from here on out, the folks at hamedia group are disconnecting for the weekends, from everything. The weekends are for the truly important stuff, and while our clients will always be able to reach us via our phones should they ever have a problem, if it can wait till Monday, we’d be grateful if you cut us some slack and wait till then. If it can’t, call us.

For everyone else, if I don’t respond to something you tweeted or FB’ed or G+’ed – nothing personal. I simply chose to go out to movie with my boys or went for a bike ride or played with my dogs. I did something non-virtual so that I could give you my full attention when you need it most and do so generously and without grudges.

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10 Responses to Unplugging for the circles that truly matter…
  1. Teri Ellis
    July 13, 2011 | 11:55 am

    Great idea Inna! I’ve been “disconnecting” for quite awhile now, but to spend more time with my husband. My kids are grown now, but the time with him is special. It is easy to fill my day with nonsensical “stuff,” so I choose to stay on the down low except for occasionally checking in with friends on FB and now Google+. I’ve always made it a policy to never do business on Sunday, and have saved that day. My clients always understand that I have a life, and other appointments except for them. I need one “down” day….and that’s it – along with another day or two as I see fit. 😉

    • Inna Hardison
      July 13, 2011 | 12:08 pm

      Hi Teri, and thanks for the encouragement:-) It is easy to fill the days with all sorts of noise and convince ourselves that we are doing something that matters… I’m trying to cut down on that before both kiddos are grown. They (and the hubby) deserve uninterrupted time.

  2. Lara Scott
    July 12, 2011 | 10:16 pm

    Inna, welcome to a new reality. It is a great place to be on the weekend.

    • Inna Hardison
      July 12, 2011 | 10:29 pm

      Hi Lara:-) I think i might enjoy that place…very, very much…

  3. Lisa Heindel
    July 12, 2011 | 9:50 pm

    I would love to do this. Our industry pushes us to be available all of the time, to answer every ring of the phone (no matter what time), to respond to every inquiry within seconds before we lose a lead….those are hard, hard habits to break. Kudos to you for doing it.

    • Inna Hardison
      July 12, 2011 | 9:56 pm

      I know, Lisa…. I feel like I’m always expected to be around as well, and more importantly, i feel that I must be available to everybody at all times, and so we make plans with the boys and they get pushed to the next available slot, and I just can’t do that any more. Even if we do absolutely nothing on some of these weekends, it’ll be the deliberate do nothing together sort of thing:-) We need it. We all do. xoxo

  4. Petra Norris
    July 12, 2011 | 9:16 pm

    You go girl 🙂 It is hard to disconnect, but truly family comes first. I remember when my kids were young, we spent time on the weekends going to parks, driving to parks, and more. There was no internet. Now we are so consumed by the internet, lives revolves around internet. I’m wondering who will the folks be that start to disconnect.

    Have I disconnected? No, although Sunday’s seems to work for me to disconnect a bit. If my husband had a say, he would say that I need to disconnect every day in the evening.

    • Inna Hardison
      July 12, 2011 | 9:20 pm

      Hi Petra- I figure most people who work their 9-5s have a bit of this luxury of coming home to their families in the evenings and figuring out what to do on the weekends. I lack the discipline for this whole self-employed thing, but I am learning. This should be a small start in the right direction.:) So yeah, count me in with Jeff Turner and hopefully a few others who choose to disconnect. I don’t think I’ll regret it.

  5. Jeff Turner
    July 12, 2011 | 6:40 pm

    I’ve been disconnecting on Sundays for several years now. You won’t EVER regret this decision.

    🙂

    • Inna Hardison
      July 12, 2011 | 6:46 pm

      I know, Jeff- I think your disconnecting is giving me the courage to do the same, only I think my neglected kiddos and puppies and my hubby demand at least two full days of each others undivided attention. I’ll answer my phones at midnight on any other day if i have to, but the weekends are all family.
      🙂

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