Social Media Top 5: The Present and Future of Disconnecting

Doug Haslam just posted about this 30 minutes ago over on his blog (I found his post via Twitter where I follow him).

Doug’s not a headhunter – he’s a technology PR guy. I follow him because he makes me think (I realize that stuns those of you who really know me).

Anyway, I’m intrigued with his ideas of “disconnecting.” Because I rarely do. I’d say this is a trait shared by many in my profession.


Even though I should, I rarely log completely off of my laptop. I mean, hey, if inspiration hits, I don’t want to waste time doing things like….logging in.

Mobile Phone:

I don’t turn off my mobile while it’s charging. Sure, I know I should. Whatever.

If an email hits my Blackberry, my ears stand up. Sure it’s an addiction. The future will be filled with reports detailing this addiction and how it shortened the life-span of my generation. Hey, it’ll give my grandkids something to read besides MySpace, eh? But I can’t run the risk of missing the email from the client who says, “I want to see that candidate at 8am Monday morning.” And, pray tell, I certainly don’t want to miss the email describing my perfect opportunity to pick up another fake Rolex watch for Mother’s Day. Right?!

Social Networks:

I’m not a freak about it, but I follow some 200+ people on Twitter. And, while I refrain from twitting about mundane topics (like what I’m having for lunch), I like to send up a few tweets a day from my mobile about what’s going on in wireless or about a post on my blog.


I post every day. Even on the weekends. I know. One day, they’ll have padded cells just for bloggers. Bring it on. One man’s sickness is another man’s padded cell pleasure.

Yep. We have a problem disconnecting. There are worse things in life.

But for some reason it makes me feel better when reading about people who have the same problem. Like Doug.

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So, here’s Doug’s take on the present and future of disconnecting with five of our addictions (okay, “my” addictions). If you don’t follow Social Media, you won’t get much of what he’s saying, or even care. Or, maybe you’re so disconnected you don’t need his advice! Either way, here’s the PR guy’s take on disconnecting (or not):

Doug Haslam
I just returned from a vacation in which I was somewhat successful staying offline—or, at least kept myself from being immersed in my personal Web 2.0 multimedia world at my usual ridiculous level.

Returning home, I got to thinking; how might different types of New Media makers disconnect on vacation, assuming they were capable of it? For my back-from-vacation edition of the Social Media Top 5, I took a stab at some guesses, as well as some possible future solutions (some of them admittedly extreme).

1. The Blogger:
* Current Method: Letting the blog lie idle while you vacation, perhaps letting a guest blogger fill in if your blog actually has regular readers
* The Future: “Idea Free” zones, where blog post-type thinking is discouraged, perhaps even punished. Want to relate Disney customer service to Web 2.0 marketing methods? Stop it!
* Choosing which rides to go on remind you of life-altering career changes? Cut it out!

2. The Flickr Fiend:
* Current Method: Self-discipline; waiting until you return home from vacation to post pictures online
* The Future: “Image free” vacation spots where there is absolutely nothing interesting to photograph, and your family is forced to wear drab clothes

3. The Twitterer:
* Current Method: Actually doing things, which tends to keep most of us too busy to tell other people about it—for the most part, anyway
* The Future: EMP resorts, in which focused electro-magnetic pulses are periodically unleashed to knock any Twitter-capable devices offline

4. The Video Seesmic/Qik/Ustream “Artist”
* Current Method: You know something, I can’t figure out anything that has kept people, especially Qik video streaming users, from live-streaming at the drop of a hat
* The Future: Hiring extremely ugly people to follow you around and remain within Webcam view at all times to discourage audiences, the fuel for any video artist

5. The Lifestreamer:
* Current Method: Disengages from social media by not doing anything; i.e., not having anything to stream. In all but the most extreme cases, breathing is allowed
* The Future: “Hypersleep” hibernation as vacation—with complete sensory deprivation and REM sleep (which may be deemed life-streamable) optional

Ok, so I wrote this blog post on the plane home. That doesn’t count towards “disconnecting,” does it?

Humble seeker of wireless executives and passionate community-builder behind the curtains of


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