I must admit I resent the Internet and its brilliant bastard children, social media. I resent their time wasting omnipresence. I resent their unfocusing distraction. I resent their inescapable intrusions. I resent their vitiation of the rich and fecund experience of a truly lived business life. And I resent erasing 100 emails a day. Keeping up with it all often makes me feel like a husk of myself.
But let me not descend into the emotionally satisfying, but not terribly useful, maw of a Luddite screed. Suffice it to say that, pro or con, our manic connectivity and our cyber hyperactivity have major implications for the creative entrepreneur. They are a grace and a damnation. My struggle is how to get more of the former and less of the latter.
What’s a girl to do, my brothers and sisters?
I was intrigued to read one entrepreneur’s partial answer in Crains’ OnLine last month. (Feb. 29, 2012) Jessica Rovello, President and Co-Founder of Arkadium, a ten year old game developer states, “Email gives people a form of business attention disorder so that whatever comes into your inbox trumps anything else you’re working on.” Her answer? Only look at emails four times a day for 15 or 30 minutes and take one of four actions:
- Reply to anything needing immediate response.
- Forward messages that can be handled by someone else.
- Quickly delete irrelevant email.
- Postpone for future consideration when appropriate.
Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone, wouldn’t have a telephone in his office. Said it was too distracting. Though I didn’t invent the Internet (Al Gore did that), I find Mr. Bell’s reaction to his own revolutionary and disruptive invention somehow comforting.
Thank you, Alexander.