The Benefits of Being Disconnected




Dsc_0071 I started posting to this blog in January of 2005.  Today, with this post, I’ve posted 189 times.  In the interim, I’ve also become a podcaster on VC-InsideOut, and I am active on the Facebook and Linked-In social networks.  In some respects I am a power-user of the web because I am a venture capitalist specializing in information technology investing, but I also enjoy the medium of expression afforded by these tools that have truly created the endless open-ended conversation with the world that defines the social Internet. 

But there is such a thing as being over-connected on the web.  A symptom:  the gnawing sense of obligation that you might feel to keep your content fresh– especially the little things, like changing your blog and Facebook pictures, or endlessly thinking of something pithy to say on your Facebook status bar (or on Twitter).

I usually post more actively when I am on vacation, but this past week, I unplugged totally for the first time in too long. 

No email, no phone, no blogs, no keyboards, no laptop–  but I did have my digital camera.

Being in Fiji was a key ingredient to the mix, as were several good books and plenty of great conversations with fellow travellers.  One of the more unusual recurring themes on this trip was meeting a number of people from all over the world who had quit their jobs and were in various stages of taking a year off from the working world– having visited many countries and experienced life from a completely different perspective.  Most of these people were between 22 and 32 years old, and many had IT backgrounds.  Fiji can be very attractive if you are on a limited budget; maybe this concentration of checked-out global travelers was a function of the attractive and cost effective environment, but it still surprised me.

My week of electronic abstinence evolved into a mini-course in restoring perspective, in slowing down response time, and in generally re-charging my batteries for 2008.  I recommend periodic disconnection from the web for everyone.

Speaking of connectivity, I’m looking forward to CES!

Happy New Year!

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