Digital Detox is the Wrong Prescription

Some people are discouraged about social engagement as time is slipping. Learn how to use time as a critical production entity on the internet.

This happens when Idiots get a hold of Statistics

Twitter and Facebook are not my thing as a means to have people get a grip on my personal life. However engaging people in social media to create value for others and myself is very much my thing. It’s a passion that creates ever widening and rising platforms of ideas and commitments.

A couple of days ago I read this article in the Financial Times from a contributing writer who found himself “cured” from Twitter and Facebook. The title of the article I think was Digital Detox. The writer in the article stated that he would reach the end of a 10-hour day and felt he had achieved almost nothing except for chasing his tail around the internet. Classic case of a unorganized mind I thought. I hoped he did not aimlessly spend too many hours of his time searching on porn sites, the poor soul. He obviously went into the whole internet machinery without a clear plan. But rather than accepting that his approach was flawed, he borrowed a lame excuse from a piece of pseudo scientific research that was recently published by Lila Davachi, a New York University neuroscientist.

Ms. Davachi studied ‘no less’ than 16 men and women, aged 22 to 34, by scanning their brains while they looked at three different pictures: an object, a face and a mountain scene. After viewing the photos, and while their brains were still being scanned, the participants were asked to lie still, rest and let their minds wander. When they were shown the pictures again, they were better able to remember them than they were before they took a rest – the daydreaming had improved their recall. Duh?? Based on this piece of kindergarten science her conclusion was that if you are not giving yourself a break, you are hindering your brain’s ability to consolidate memories and experiences. Bravo. What a discovery!

The writer of the FT article could now blame his failure on the Internet and Social Media as “his gluttony for digital media came at a price: a severe impact on cognitive function, in particular memory”.

Are you overwhelmed by Facebook and Twitter?

Even though the title peaked my interest for a moment, because sometimes I too feel overwhelmed by the amount of time and effort it takes to stay up to date in Cyberspace, my next thought about him was “loser”. You copped out. You followed the popular “in your face” trend without realizing that there is a message behind the madness. You didn’t quite get the expanse of what was given to you with respect to creating value. And so instead of following the calling, you declared defeat and went back glorifying the “good old days”, which upon closer examination never turn out to be quite as good as we thought.
The reason why I bring this up is because here in our daily functioning on Amelia Island and in Nassau County we often invite people to free workshops about social media and networking. We often hear that people complain of not having the time to engage themselves in what really is going to define their business in the very near future. And that is dangerous for their business success.

Success comes with value creation

Success requires knowledge, discipline, preparation, perseverance and preferably a long term vision. And…success only comes as the result of value creation. Whatever you create needs to represent a value to someone in order to be successful. We cannot make you do your share of social engagement. We can only warn you that if you don’t get engaged, you will lose. We can also teach you how to do the bare minimum to get away with AND we can teach you how to outsource social engagement in a believable and affordable manner. But if none of that convinces you to get active, your current competitor will beat you to the customer or a not even formatted future competitor will recognize your weakness and take over your business.

The phenomenon of social media is just now being scratched on the surface, but let me ask you a question: Do you think the medieval Crusades would have happened if there would have been telephone and TV at the time? Do you think South African Apartheid and Mandela in prison would have lasted as long as it did, if the internet would have been around? Do you think Dubai would have the tallest building on earth and Disney World would have 30 million visitors a year? Do you think the Oil Spill coverage and movement would have been as forceful as it is? And the whopper you may or may not like: Do you think Obama would have become President of the United States without social media engagement?

What social media are doing is creating new dimensions of engagement, politically and commercially. I think the power of social media will also give a new dimension to the value of team work, local, national and global as we can now:

• Build a network of experts, from around the world if so needed, and make it available for hire or for free, depending on the cause.

• Build a network of researchers and generate tested information useful to others.

• Build a network of market leaders and/or communities and represent them to advertisers, marketers and markets or recruiters.

We recently suggested a number of Consignment Shops on Amelia Island to join forces in a Campaign called Consign Amelia. If done right and open for creativity, the network creates an impact that is more than the sum of the individuals. Bars, restaurants, shops, attractions, they can all do the same and build a network with special features.

As Search Amelia we are directly or indirectly involved in initiatives, charities and services such as Micah’s Place, Joy to the Children, Warrior Vacations, European American Business Cub, Muscular Dystrophy, the Family Nurturing Center of Florida, The Amelia Island Blues Festival, the PEG Channel and some that I’m undoubtedly forgetting. All these organizations and charities are looking for funding to generate awareness and opportunity and increasingly we witness their fundraisers to be disappointing because their are only so many people and so much funding. But as a network of charities and service clubs with an internet social media power there is another dimension added.

I have been told that there are some 370 real estate professionals here in Nassau County all selling the same supply to almost the same demand. A well defined network of these professionals can use social media to expand the demand into new areas, territories and social groups, generating sales in combination with exposure.

Getting people and organizations in sync is the main project of our times

We spent half a day, mostly seven days a week in the bastions of cyberspace where people from every corner of the globe contribute, test and exchange ideas, create partnerships and business  solutions.
We often say, don’t waste your time re-inventing the wheel, just figure out what else you can use it for.
Our advice is to use a Critical Production Mode as your daily guide to accomplish creativity and business objectives without getting lost in Cyberspace. If you have a plan, you have time to do what needs to be done, successfully. But saying No to social media will put an end to your business. Guaranteed. Digital Detoxification is absolutely the wrong prescription at this stage of the game.


On Monday June 28 we are organizing a Social Media Workshop for anyone who wants to learn and participate in tomorrow’s success. We will publish place and time later this week, but suggest you keep that evening open in your agenda. It is going to be worth it.

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