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Just how contactable do we need to be?

April 25, 2010

Ok I love social media and modern technology, but there are some times when it is just too much for me and I wish that I could hide away from it for a few days without my friends thinking I’ve been kidnapped or have passed out into an intoxicated coma for days on end…

It used to be that you weren’t contactable unless someone had your mobile phone number. Now people don’t even need that to get in touch with you – I’ve had people who purposely do not have my phone number contact me by sending through Facebook messages and tweets – if I don’t respond to them am I the one who is being rude?

Work email is another frustrating mode of contact. I often receive personal emails via this account and then when I don’t respond within a few days I’m accused of ignoring them. Well actually, usually this is my mum so there could be some truth in that, but generally it’s because I’m a work… and I’m busy!

About a year ago I was on annual leave for a couple of weeks and my boss at the time didn’t have my personal mobile phone number. He wanted to contact me so used Facebook as a mechanism for doing so. There are many advantages to being able to be so easily contactable but this was not one of them. I was on holidays and my boss was one of the last people I wanted to hear from!

I have a home phone number, two mobile numbers (personal and work), a work landline, four email addresses, a blog, a Facebook account, a Twitter account, a mailbox (what’s that?)… is all this fantastic and the way of the future or is it starting to be too much? I feel disconnected when I don’t use a computer for a few days – is this really healthy?

I’ve decided to do an experiment – next weekend from Friday 30 April until Monday 3 May 9am I will not check my email, Facebook or Twitter. I will still blog and see how I am going with the withdrawal from the  online social scene.

Will I find it utterly frustrating or deliciously refreshing?

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