Monday, October 19, 2009

Data Device Detox

Zen Buddhist Temple in Ann Arbor, Michigan

How did we stay connected before the advent of emailing and texting? How would I break the ice at a networking function if I didn’t ask someone if they’re on Facebook or Twitter? And I know I’m not the only one who’s response to some unknown factoid is, “Let’s Google it!” But is all this technology really enhancing the quality of our lives?

Last week I attended Deb Davis’ discussion on social media. While I have already been using Facebook, Twitter, and Blogspot to connect with others and market my artistic endeavors, Deb taught me new tools and short cuts that I am optimistic will enhance my online presence and marketing efforts – assuming I make the time to use them.

How much time spent using online social networking tools is the right amount of time to promote one’s business or ideas? For all the hours I have spent online building my Fine Art America profile, adding enhancements to my Blogspot, connecting and reconnecting with friends on Facebook, and tweeting away on Twitter what do I have to show for it? Have I received a return on my investment? While it hasn’t cost me monetarily, it has been an enormous investment of time.

As I ponder these questions I am pleased report that after posting links on twitter of two new paintings I uploaded to Fine Art America today my profile received 60 visits in less than four hours. Not too shabby considering prior to using twitter my FAA profile only averaged 60 visitors per week!

I do think social networking works, but despite the seemingly endless advancements in communication technologies, nothing can replace connections to be made with face-to-face human contact. Like the glint in a friends eye as she tells you her cancer has gone into remission, squeezing a friends hand to let her know she’s not alone when she tells you she separated from her husband, or the sound of laughter as you share an inside joke.

So I’m challenging myself, and you, to turn off our cell phones, computers, and other data devices for just one day each week and to listen for a higher call. Who knows, we might actually receive the answers, solutions, or inspiration we’re looking for if we take a data device detox. I’ll start mine just as soon as I post this blog, RSVP to an invite on Facebook, tweet about tomorrow night’s plans, MapQuest directions, pay my bills online, catch up on my email correspondences…okay, maybe I’ll start my detox tomorrow.

Deb Davis is a marketing consultant and owner of 3D Communications. For more information about her services visit

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