In A Lonely Place

by Matthew Stollak on Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When I attended the 2008 SHRM Annual Conference in Chicago, I had the opportunity to see Steve Gilliland. Very entertaining speaker with a lot of humorous, applicable anecdotes for the workplace. I decided to see him again at the 2009 SHRM Annual Conference in New Orleans (and I needed something to counteract the negative experience watching Dave Ramsey).

Once again, it was entertaining, but one thing resonated with me - he said to "cut the e-leash." He argued that individuals need to go out and meet people and read more.

On one hand, I agree with Mr. Gilliland. People should be socializing and networking. They should be spending less time on the computer and reading more novels. On the other hand, I have found sites like Facebook and Twitter has expanded the number of people I interact with on a daily basis. I have made a number of new contacts through the medium. Similarly, I probably read more now, reading blogs, web pages, etc., then if I had my computer shut off.
I still read novels, magazines and other non-fiction regularly.

With that in mind, do you agree with Mr. Gilliland? Has Social Media impacted your sociability and reading habits? Do we truly need to cut the e-leash?

One comment

I reject the dichotomy: if we surf less, we'll read more Moby Dick or run for City Council?

I share your experience that web-based networking complements, not contradicts, glad-handing and back-slapping. I watch my kids come home from an event where they have met new friends and add them via Facebook. I do the same with LinkedIn. Emily Post may tsk-tsk me for not handwriting a note expressing my thanks for having been introduced to them, but it is 2009 after all. (And, when appropriate, I will break out the Bic and processed wood-pulp and do it the old-fashioned way.)

Also, hand-helds in particular allow the "squeezing" in of web/ twitter/ facebook during lulls in the real-world action (Stop lights, car washes, pitching changes, time-outs, intermissions). Not much opportunity for deep thoughts in those spare moments, but plenty of time to get a quick e-update.

And do I take each of these opportunities to open the PDA, to the exclusion of conversing with those around me? 'Course not. Oft times, I gossip live and in-person with my neighbors instead of getting snarky on facebook. The actual looks on their faces are so much more rewarding than the visages I imagine on my online targets.

by David on July 14, 2009 at 3:01 PM. #

Leave your comment