A Social Media Sanity Check: Six Ways to Slow Down

I’ve had to take things a little slower lately, which for me
means going from working about 70 hours a week to only 60 hours.

Nevertheless, there’s great value in slow. Going slower
makes you think faster. Slowing down can make you more productive. Slow works
but doesn’t get enough credit.

My colleague Steve Rubel reminded me about being slow when
he wrote about favoring “old school technology like
newsletters in an age of too much.” And this from a guy who consumes more
information in a week than all of humanity produced from Year Zero to 1900.

If Steve Rubel can slow down, then so can I. Here are six
ways to help you put on the mental brakes:

  • Stop following people who update Twitter with
    banal observations about the music they’re listening to “
    right now,” or with where they checked in, or with “inside tweets”
    to fellow ego-driven douchebags of the socal mediasphere. Not that I feel
    strongly about this or anything…
  • E-mail is not a medium designed for urgency, so
    stop checking your Blackberry every nanosecond. If something is truly urgent,
    go to your mobile device of choice and try out the “phone” App.
  • Do as Steve suggests and subscribe to newsletter
    “digest” versions of your favorite blogs. An earthquake in Haiti is important
    and necessitates real-time coverage – Google Buzz or the latest eMarketer chart
    does not.
  • Read a newspaper while you still can. In fact,
    take a day, turn off your feeds and consume news only from print and radio.
    Then see if you feel less informed or more aware of actual news that matters.
  • Write something longer than 140 characters or
    even a few paragraphs. Give it a premise and a beginning, middle and end. And
    when you’re done put it aside and come back to it a day or so later, and then
    edit the hell out of it. Finally, don’t post it anywhere. Not everything needs
    to be shared.
  • Most of all, don’t believe blindly in the
    future. Believe in the past and trust your experience to make the future
    manageable, tolerable and, hopefully, more worthwhile.

7 thoughts on “A Social Media Sanity Check: Six Ways to Slow Down

  1. Good one. I’m as guilty as the next man for over checking the iPhone however try this for size: over Christmas or while you are on holiday. Don’t check an electronic device EVER. Just like the old days. I dare you. I double dare you.

  2. “Not everything needs to be shared.” Sort of the antithesis of social media, but a worthwhile concept – one more people need to adopt.

    I’ll add one more–go “old school” while driving. No need to talk on the phone or text–just drive. You know, like the olden days. Use the time to think, or listen to the radio. Or just enjoy the silence.
    Added bonus: you’ll be a safer driver.

  4. The problem (crazy overload) is real. I’m not sure that I agree with the solutions you are proposing though.
    Given the amount of information available, only software (search engines, filtering, personalization) can help you find the gems you need and hide the rest of the noise.
    Most of content is of low quality, be it on the web or on social media.
    Search engines solved this pretty well for the “normal” web. For the stream/social it does not exist yet.

  5. Amen Brother. From a Sister who may buy an iPad, but would never read a book from it…at least I say that now.
    Here’s the question I have, do people under 40 think this way too…or just us. Discuss.

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