I spent the last weekend working mostly in the yard, finishing off the landscaping of a space for my kids’ playset area. I checked my email in the morning and again at night, yet found myself not missing it one bit throughout the day.
Chris Brogan twittered the question
If email went dark for you for 30 days, how would that impact you? What would you use instead for comms?
First – am I capable of unplugging? Sure, but it might hurt. I think it’s almost an addiction for me. I start the day with my computer before I start my day with breakfast. I’ve been a smoker and quit. I’ve been a coffee drinker and quit. I’ve been a habitual Dr. Pepper drinker (2 64oz Big Gulps a day)… and quit. Taking a break from the computer for 30 days I could do – quit all together, no. I’m sure I wouldn’t like it and I’m sure I would drive myself and everyone around me crazy. I don’t go anywhere without some kind of connection to the internet – after all, my business is built around the use of the internet.
However, we aren’t talking about completely unplugging.
Just email; This I could definitely survive. I’d hope I could anyway.
I chat via IM much more than I email throughout the day. I communicate all day long with a variety of people on multiple systems… AIM, Yahoo Messanger, MSN, etc. I rarely call my husband at work because he’s also on IM, so if I need anything, I just chat on the computer.
The challenge would come with those that don’t chat. I use email far more than I do the phone. I rarely hand out my phone number because my business does not require phone support. I work from home and don’t want a multitude of people calling my home. Some people I could send messages via Facebook or Twitter, or text messages via cell phones. Yet, there would still be a handful of people that I would need to pick up the phone and call, or not work with.
You’d think the easy answer would be “pick up the phone”.
For me this wouldn’t work well at all. I really don’t like using the phone too much. I am incapable of having a verbal conversation and doing anything else. Part of this is because I think it’s rude to be focusing on other things when we’re supposed to be literally listening. So instead, I walk laps in my living room or circle the kitchen while I talk on the phone. If I had to use the phone all day, I would either get noting else done, or I wouldn’t talk to anyone. If I communicate in text, I can be doing a variety of things at once and still pay attention. The advantage I have is, I work and network with mostly heavy use online business people so I don’t have to make the phone choice a reality. Most everyone is already plugged into a variety of communication outlets. If I were in a business with more casual internet users I imagine I’d have a problem on my hands, or I’d definitely have to rethink the phone use.
What I’d really like to know, could YOU unplug completely for 30 days?