Limited Connectivity Week – Lessons Learnt

Last week was a week’s holiday for me, and I used it as an opportunity to limit my connectedness for a week.

This meant that I turned my BlackBerry off, completely.

Twitter was not updated or consulted

Facebook was ignored, apart from the updates my family gave me as part of the week’s conversations.

It couldn’t be a completely disconnected week because I had some thing I needed to do that required online access (buying beds), and I checked my personal email a couple of times, partly to get updates on the things I had ordered.

By Friday it felt good, but I was surprised by the withdrawal experience that I went through.

I have a basic mobile phone on pay-as-you-go for personal use, so that I can turn the BlackBerry off, but still be contactable by the family.

At the beginning of the week I found myself repeatedly checking this phone even though I knew that there wasn’t anything on it, and I knew there was nothing on it because I was with everyone who had the number of that phone.

When I started the laptop up I found myself going through an inbuilt routine which included checking Facebook and Twitter. I had to consciously choose not to go there.

I also found myself worrying about whether I was missing something ‘important’ on my BlackBerry. Now I’m back in the office it’s time to see whether anything was really that ‘important’ or whether it’s all blown over while I’ve been away. The two important phone calls that I’ve already had this morning would lead me to believe that things have survived just fine without me.

Going forward it’s definitely time to place some clear limits around the levels of connectedness. Prior to my holiday I was already limiting the number of updates on twitter, and I was consciously limiting the updates in my Facebook News Feed to ones that I might actually be interested in.

On the flip side, I’ve decided that there are a few places where I’m not being as vocal as I should be, and this blog is one of them.

I don’t often quote the Bible on this blog, but my Proverb for the day seems very apt:

The more talk, the less truth;
the wise measure their words.

Proverbs 10:19

The need for exposure

You can find me on twitter, facebook, external blogs, internal blogs, search engines, commenting on other people’s blogs and posts. I’m on linkedin, delicious, and flickr.


The Road to InverarayI update my status via twitter, and let it update facebook, and linkedin.


Well as an information addict, one of the reasons is exposure. I want people to know that I know something.

In my last post I talked about the quest for useful information and how it wasn’t enough just to have information, the information had to be useful to someone. By extending the number of people who know that I know something I broaden my net of usefulness.

The joy of getting responses is very powerful.

If I post something and someone responds then I’ve been useful to them. if I post a comment and someone follows on, then I’ve been useful.

So here I am, doing it again, exposing something to see if it’s useful to someone and hoping for a response.

All addiction has an element of risk and reward to it. If I risk something I may, or may not, get the reward. If I gamble then I risk some money on the hope that occasionally I might get a reward. If I reveal some information I might get a rewarding response, but it’s a gamble. If I look at my email I may or may not be rewarded with an email.

I’ve written in a bit more detail on this before using the term Infomania.

I’m currently trying a new experiment to reduce the impacts of these feelings. I’ve set up the auto on/off feature on my Blackberry and have taken to leaving it at home if I go out in an evening. On the first few occasions I had the Blackberry twitch, wanting to check whether I had anything to check, but these are steadily reducing as I train my brain to realise that there are no rewards available.

As I look around I see many people experiencing what I’m experiencing, but not realising that it’s an issue. One of the reasons I’m writing is to see whether my experiences resonate with anyone else, so I hope it’s helping. There is a danger in doing this though, and that is that I just end up feeding the addiction that I am seeking to understand. It’s a journey that I’m heading on.

My Tools: WordPress for BlackBerry

It’s not often that I write blog posts while I’m mobile. If I’m going to write anything I’ll normally twitter. But there are times when a thought comes to me that is more than a tweet and is worth writing there and then rather than waiting until I am home.
It’s not always a good thing to be too immediate about things, but there is a time and place for it. It’s at those times that I turn to WordPress for Blackberry, and to prove the point I’m using it right now.
If I got more comments I’d probably also use it for keeping up to speed with the stream.
We have only just started the mobile revolution even. We’ve been working at it for some time now. In years to come we will do things while we are mobile that we can only imagine today. The devices that we have today are going to change radically as the computing power, storage and connectivity capabilities accelerate.
Writing a few words into a simple app might not be that radical, but it’s a signpost of the things that are to come.

Trying out Wordress for BlackBerry

This post isn’t going to say anything of any real value other than to say that I’m trying out the WordPress Client Beta for BlackBerry.

It looks like it will be a really tidy little application for blogging those ideas that are on my mind and need to be written there and then.

The problem with those ideas is that they aren’t, on consideration, normally that good.

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