With all the different types of media out there, it has been said we are constantly bombarded with information.
It has even been referenced that zombie culture is so popular because we feel like mindless automatons always feeding on information and forgetting how to live.
And while it may seem a bit odd, since I am in the digital communication business, I strongly believe in two things when it comes to digital media.
No. 1: Every now and again it is good to just shut it off.
Get out from in front of the TV; stay away from the computer, laptop or tablet; and leave your phone in the house or perhaps in the other room or anywhere you can’t hear it.
It is true, the convenience of the phone as a multi-tool of communication is pretty great. I personally use mine now as an MP3 player while mowing the lawn, a phone, a social media updater, a news source and much more.
Imagine what MacGyver could do if he had any of the Android market phones or even an iPhone at his disposal.
Alas, I’m horrible about putting my phone down for extended periods of time. I often find myself looking at Facebook, Reuters, CNN, AP, the Washington Post, Netflix, Youtube and other digital media while in the most private of places — sitting on the loo. My guess is that I am not alone in this one.
Despite that, I still find time to put it down and step away from it all. My favorite times to do so are late at night when the sky is clear. I like to stand there or sit there and take a long stare upward to reflect and dream.
A long drive is a good time to stay away from media. The phone stays put up because it is not safe, but keeping the radio off and the windows closed leaves me with just my thoughts.
While it may not seem like I am accomplishing a lot by just thinking about things, the process has led to finishing projects twice as fast by taking in these media-free moments.
I have worked out problems in my head that I could put into practice as soon as I make it back to my social/digital connection.
So, I was making a list, right?
No. 2: When it comes to media and contacting people through media, you should always know the person’s preferred way of communication.
Maybe because I am a nerd, I have categorized and ranked my response priority for most forms of communication. I know mine are a little old-fashioned, as several people in the office ranked them differently.
My pecking order of importance is as follows:
Phone call — answer it almost right away unless it is a common caller, telemarketer or if I am in the most private of places.
Email — almost as important as a phone call, because I can respond at length and when the time is appropriate because the subject matter is somehow important to me.
Text message — holds third place, because the platform is brief. However, I feel like you are contacting me directly for a reason and deserve a somewhat hasty response. Because it isn’t a phone call, it can wait for an answer. If it was supposed to be an emergency, then you probably should have called. Sorry.
Social media direct message — checking these are a daily routine, but don’t take up a lot of my time. In my experience, these are sent when someone wants me to respond before an event a week away or when something is almost timeless.
Social media post — yeah... this is the lowest rung because these are often directed toward a large group of people. If you really wanted my opinion or answers, you would have used one of the previous four.