My mind started to race. My heart skipped a beat and I think I lost my breath for a moment. This after my dear friend Tim McDonald of Huffington Post and My Community Manager.com put told me he was going on a “digital vacation/detox” last week. He gave me fair warning, but I went into “Tim withdrawal” before it had even begun. Before you knew it he was telling me as I hyperventilated, “Judy it’s going to be ok, I’ll be back on Monday.”
It became all about ME, as we are involved on some projects together for TalentCulture.com. Hey, I get it. In our sensory-overloaded environment how does one manage digital intake, stay ahead of the competition and still maintain important business relationships? I started challenging him, because I just couldn’t surrender to letting him leave my digital life for a week. Alas, not my game. I had to adjust along with the rest of the world.
Tim is an integral part of the Talent Culture Community which produces #Tchat on Twitter every week. And this experience with him was a great prelude to the topic this week: Digital Breaks: Rethinking Connectivity. You can also check out more on this week’s discussion by heading to Meghan M. Biro’s Forbes post: The Digital Realities Of Work Life Blending. But I digress, back to Tim.
I found myself in a conversation with Tim about digital vacations, digital detox and what I now refer to as digital redux, which I think is part of the answer to our digi-crazed world.
So what is a “redux?” It has an artistic flair to it. Probably the most famous example is the re-release of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. It included, as WideGeek.com describes, “materials that had been removed from the originally released version, as well as additional editing.”
Think of a redux as though you are a music producer remixing your album, or for our purposes, a stressed-out worker remixing ones digital exposure. It’s not that your divesting yourself of all your gadgets or info-strategies, instead your examining your experience, the devices you use, the way you communicate and the way you take in information. Thus, returning to a more calm state of being. The Digital Redux.
Here’s an excerpt from the WiseGeek folks to flesh out this perspective:
“The word redux comes from the Latin term reducere, which means bring back. In English, the term signifies that the noun it modifies has been revived, brought back, restored, or otherwise revisited. It is often implied that a work which is being revived has also been somehow changed, made more relevant, or given increased importance.”
How do we manifest a more balanced and serene work life that still includes gadget usage which doesn’t paralyze us into a state of overwhelm and ineffective behavior? The question then becomes, what is important when it comes to managing our digital life? The end game to contend with, as Queen Rania of Jordon said a few years back is that, “Real time is the new Prime Time.” So unless you want to live on a desert island we need to develop our own systems of riding the digital wave.
Real Time is the New Prime Time
If we are living in “real time” due to our devices and the speed of info-delivery, we can certainly take a break from time to time divesting ourselves of all devices, but we can’t turn off the wheels of commerce. That would be like taking cold medicine for an illness that needs antibiotics. The symptoms linger and one becomes weaker and weaker. Especially in a new world of work in which attention, performance and resilience are keys to survival and healthy competition as I wrote recently in my post Work, Stress Bliss Manifesto and the Third Metric, also citing Arianna Huffington’s mission to redefine success beyond money and power.
Our working and living experience are merging exponentially in our new world of work. A planned detox or digital vacation is a cleansing of the body, soul and mind. We desperately need to unplug.
Still, the degree of unplugging and the strategy that needs to develop is an individual choice based on work and family responsibilities, our appetite for adventure in taking on FOMA (Fear Of Missing Out), and our ability to be silent with ourselves. Can we just notice the signals above the noise of our work lives, pay attention to the items of more importance in our lives, so that we are living our lives fully, beautifully, productively - and not just Googling past it?
What do you think? Do we need to completely unplug, or change the way we are plugging in? Please share!
Please join us in the conversation at #Tchat at 7PM on Wednesdays, and also with me @JudyMartin8. And if you need to better manage your stress check out my CD: Practical Chaos: Reflections on Resilience.