Tipsheet: Anti-social Networking

Anti-social Networking

Have you ever been in a business meeting where some people are focussing intently… on their BlackBerry’s? Or have you been on an airplane, where most people are listening carefully… to their iPods? Or perhaps with your family at the dinner table, with several people texting, checking Facebook, or doing something else with their network?

Ironically, the technology that connects us with other people can also disconnect us with those we are closest with: our colleagues, clients, suppliers, and even our families.

Social Media etiquette, when it comes down to it, is rooted in common sense. The challenge, however, is that the immediacy of connection that the mobile web provides, distracts us from the “important” activities that we are doing in the real world. And since many of us consider ourselves excellent multi-taskers, being in two places at once (in the meeting and in our mobile devices) the problem is compounded.

This week’s action plan: Social networking shouldn’t be anti-social. Choose to focus on the task at hand – and to be “with” the people who you are physically with. Don’t just turn your smartphone to vibrate, but when you are in a meeting, put it in your briefcase or purse. Not only will you get more out of your real-life interaction, you’ll send a message to those that you’re with: they matter.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to
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Randall Craig

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Randall Craig has founded several successful start-ups, held a long-time position at a “big-four” consulting firm, and was an executive at an American public company. He currently serves as the 108 ideaspace CEO and chief strategist. Randall has been advising on digital strategy since 1994: he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail’s GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations.

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