Reading Time: 3 minutes
I enjoy waking up with Twitter. It’s great to get a heads up on what’s new in the world and to plan for my day. I can also catch up on mentions and replies, particularly with tweets in other timezones.
This morning I woke up with Twitter of a different kind. We’ve just spent the weekend in a shack along the coast, and decided to do the Monday morning drive back into the city so that we could make the most of the time away.
This meant an early alarm, but I was woken before it by the sounds of many different types of birds tweeting away. I’m not an avid bird watcher, but I assume there were many different types of birds due to their many different types of bird calls, and I lay there listening to them all until the actual alarm went off.
It reminded me what great terms “twitter” and “tweet” are, as the collection of messages about different topics, in different styles are very much like the symphony of morning songbirds.
It also reminded me how important it is to take regular time out to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with the “real” world, particularly the natural aspects of it.
I hadn’t consciously decided to “disconnect” this past weekend, but my online habits had certainly reduced and changed. Rather than regularly reading my news feeds, industry-related articles, and making sure I regularly shared them, I focused more on taking and sharing photos with my friends and family so they could see where we were, sharing personal views, and checking in at the new locations we visited.
As a digital consultant, it’s easy to feel pressured into feeling as though I need to use all different platforms and be connected constantly. While a recent two week holiday allowed me some incredible “real life” experiences and provided some much-needed relaxation, it also caused me to lose a number of fairweather Twitter followers and dramatically reduced my Klout score (which I’m learning to not stress about).
While I do need to be aware of all of the different digital platforms, trends and advancements, so that I can best advise my clients, I don’t need to prove my knowledge and experience by being involved with all of them constantly.
Recently I either heard or read an insightful response to the concern about children not learning information because of the internet (or something along those lines*). The respondent explained how the focus of education should be on teaching discernment, and I couldn’t agree more.
We’ve always had information, whether it be from the books, microfiche, other people’s opinions or now the internet. We’ve always had the ability to locate, read and reproduce this information. The real ability lies in learning to discern what is relevant, what is not and to form our own opinions about it. This is especially true of the internet.
One of the greatest things about the internet is that anyone can put anything on it. One of the worst things about the internet is that anyone can put anything on it.
So while I choose to be in the digital industry and keep up to date, I can also choose when and where I interact with it.
That I’ve only managed three blog posts in three months is further evidence that I don’t have time to be everywhere, all the time (and be doing it well).
“Real life” activities are of great importance to me, and I also want to produce high-quality content and have high-quality interactions (both in real life and online) so I need to make choices, and thankfully I have the freedom to do so.
And every now and then, I choose to lie there and listen to the birds.
*If anyone knows the source of the information I badly referenced about the importance of teaching discernment, please let me know via a comment.
Image courtesy of Henry McLin via Flickr.