Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Michael Bissell's Blog

Neglecting my Navel

2012-03-03 09:55:38
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I got a call from my mother a couple weeks back -- she was worried that I had dropped off the face of the Earth. My dad called last week for the same reason. It seems my postings on Facebook and my occasional blog aren't just my own narcissistic navel inspection, they're an occasional ping sent out into the chaotic sea of life.

Back in the Before Times when we didn't have Facebook, my family could go months, maybe even years, without receiving a direct ping from a family member. We'd work the gossip tree a little with the, "Have you heard from so and so?" and let conversation move on, filing that tidbit that the distant sibling is still alive and breathing. We would get vague ideas about what someone was doing even if they were a couple degrees of separation away, and we would survive on the drips and drabs that came to us in roundabout ways.

Now we have Timelines and mobile status updates... You not only know that someone is okay, you know exactly where they are... Right now. Far more than an, "I'm okay" ping, we can know what our far flung relatives had for breakfast this morning, where they had it and whom they had it with.

I'm not complaining, mind you. I've seen more of my family the past couple years because we're in closer touch through the random, and richer pings that we get through Facebook.

So, I shouldn't be surprised that when I fell off Facebook for a few months, people started to worry. Of course, I think of my random postings as personal introspection when they really are part of a conversation. And when I stop publishing the color of my navel lint, I've abandoned the conversation.

I've been involved in a huge project at Nike -- you can imagine with a Brand giant like Nike the enormity of the seal of secrecy... I'm contractually bound to not talk about what I'm doing (see My Private Life is Public, my Public Life is Private). While the project has now reached a point where I can admit I'm working with Nike, it's still better to avoid posting a check-in at the coffee shop in the building where I'm working. In the moving target of new secret projects I find snippets I could say about the project blur with the snippets I can't talk about, so I kind of have to avoid any reference to what I'm doing 12-13 hours out of the day.

And even if I was able to talk about it, I just don't have the energy at the end of the day. That 12-13 hours of intense problem solving leaves the contents of my skull resembling cold oatmeal. If I were to attempt to plumb the workings of my thought process and write a reflective blog it would come out along the lines of, "Uhhh.... that thing... yeah... wow... umm... 'night. {Thump}"

So, I fall off Facebook and Twitter. My company website falls into disarray, my emails go unanswered, and my voice mail is full. It gives every indication that I'm dead in a ditch somewhere. I have, indeed, disappeared from the usual modes of checking up on me.

I make no promises to get better about my communication, but I at least understand the impact of abandoning social media... Oh, and by the way, the new T-shirts I got at the Gap generate a huge amount of black cotton fuzz in the navel.

Hope that helps...

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