It Is OK To Unplug From The Matrix

A shout out to our sponsors to start this post, as it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with CRM, Social CRM or anything even close. SugarCRM supports this venue so Martin and I can wax poetic about topics that folks who think about CRM for 90% of our business lives can offer a different opinion, perspective or worse. It is important to sometimes just let things happen.

Friend Heather Margolis forwarded a tweet along which caught my attention, it linked to a post “Social Media is an Extension of Real Life, not a Replacement” by Drew Hawkins. Now, the only remotely CRMish tie-in here is the phrase itself – “Social CRM is an extension of CRM not a replacement”, moving on…. What makes the post great, is it comes with a quote from one of my all-time favorite 80s movies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Along with a picture of Mathew Broderick as Ferris, complete with that cheeky smile. The simple point of the post can be summed up with one line: “It’s okay to put away the smartphone once in a while and talk to people. Mashable will be there when you get back.”

What are you missing? (or What will you miss)

I consider myself very lucky, I live in Vermont, though I do travel a fair amount. I am connected – by some peoples standards I am hyper-connected, by others not so much. There are lots of devices and applications made for these devices all whose sole purpose is to get you to look at your device. Forget the fact that you are sitting at a table with family and friends, they are right there, stop looking down at the device, I dare you! I do not get Four Square. Well, ok, I get it, I do not use it much anymore. Being the Mayor of the local airport is just depressing, not something I am looking to achieve. I was the Mayor of Sugarbush Ski Resort last winter for most of the season, which is cool, but it meant that I was using my iPhone while skiing – UNPLUG.

Mobile devices are like a yawn, they are contagious. Or, worse a virus… I talked to my brother about this a few times. He rides the commuter train outside of New York every morning. about a 40 minute ride. He related a story about picking up his BlackBerry en-route one morning to check his email. A woman across from him, followed suit, just a minute after he picked his up. He put it down and checked his email about 5 minutes later – yep, she did the same. He repeated this 3 times, until she caught on – a little embarrassed. Come on, you have done the same, you know you have. Maybe at a bar, a meeting, waiting for a pause, looking over at the device, wondering if it would be rude to pick it up and look. Come on, share your story, I know you have one.

Unplugging is really ok, really!

One of the themes of the post referenced above is to turn social connections into real world connections. It is a natural progression, one that I have written about and fully support. It is absolutely awesome, the world is really a small place, and I have learned a lot from my peers – not just about technology, CRM but life, culture, food (there are a lot or foodies in tech, just saying). OK, but after you make those connections, or decide to go out to dinner, a bar, a ball game, a BBQ whatever it is you do – Unplug From The Matrix, it will be there when you get back. Is there really anything more important going on than the world right there in front of you? Go ahead, ‘check-in’ if you must – Tweet a great picture of what you are doing (it is ok to share, I do it too) – as long as you do not lose sight of what is right there with you – commentary for a Tuesday morning – Cheers

What are your thoughts? Am I wrong, feel like adding something, sharing? (The phrase unplugging from the Matrix comes from the post referenced above)

8 thoughts on “It Is OK To Unplug From The Matrix

  1. Good stuff Mitch. This post reminds me of a lovely write up by Fred Wilson on Fathers Day about “being present”.
    Your Yawn metaphor is perfect – Unplugging also gives you time to think about how to most effectively engage online.

  2. Mitch,
    Yes, it definitely feels like the “Matrix” these days. Personally, I find it hard to disconnect sometimes. For right or wrong reasons, I have this desire to “want to know what’s going on”…. Have I received any new emails? Twitter mentions? LinkedIn Connection requests? a new comment on our company blog? Whew!! It was only 10 years ago when I was buying my first cell phone that only stored up to 100 contacts!! Now I have an Android phone that probably knows more about me than I know about me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all fun and exciting, but “unplugging” yourself is a must if you are living in these times to maintain your sanity.

    Thanks for the post!
    Brian

  3. Mobile can be a virus. I’ve been to a lot of social events that when the conversation hits that awkward lull, everyone in the circle whips out their phone. Many times the only way I can avoid this trap is to leave my phone at home (which is easier said than done).

    PS- Appreciate the nod in your post :)

  4. @Sameer, @Drew and @Brian – Thanks for stopping by, it is appreciated. Where I would normally reply and engage, this post was more about sharing. So, thanks for the comments, and for sharing. It is appreciated – Cheers, Mitch

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