Sometimes, You Just Gotta Boogie!

Kids Hoop Dance: Hoop Star Emma!Brace yourself, this might be an anti-social media post. I know. Crazy after my last one on engagement, right? Well, let’s just throw caution to the wind, shall we? Let’s boogie.

That’s right. Boogie. Like no one is looking, or even better, like they are.

You see, I recently had two things happen to me that made me sit up and take notice.  The first was the response to my post on engagement and the more than two weeks since that I have not posted.  The other sit up and take notice event was my trip to the Outlaw Roadshow – an outdoor concert featuring the Counting Crows and a host of other unfamiliar groups of rail thin young men in white t-shirts, skinny jeans and dirty hair.  I digress.

The Irony of the Engagement Post

That post on engagement was surprisingly strong as far as traffic goes, and the comments were flowing right in. Part of my irony? I almost didn’t publish it – I thought it had all been said before! As you know by now, I did publish it and much to my surprise, it was well received.  

The problem was that I suddenly got so slammed with work, on top of my already busy workload, that I couldn’t get back to chat like I wanted to, or more importantly, as one would who had just written a post on ENGAGEMENT.  To add insult to injury, it’s been a full two weeks or more since I have had the opportunity to write another. It’s not for lack of content, nor a lack of desire. Even the comedy club type heckling that my friend Jayme Soulati served up in the comments section didn’t get me to write.

The reason? I was in the midst of a big boogie. No, not that kind. The kind where you’re  going so fast and so hard, you forget that you need to eat lunch, go potty, or take care of the cat.  And you know what?

It’s ok. When it comes to business, the demands of running it and making it a success take center stage.  The blog, while a joy for me and a definite lead generation and brand building tool, does not.  Truth.  When the work is flowing, I better boogie or I’m in trouble.  And boogie I have.  Two new accounts were landed, with two more on the way (not that I EVER count an account until the ink dries…bad mojo).

The Outlaw Boogie

I have a serious affliction. I over-schedule my life to the point that what should be fun, can seem like a chore.  It always looks great on paper, but then when it comes to the activity hitting the proverbial road, a traffic jam can and does occur.  In the case of the Outlaw Roadshow and my second a-ha moment of late, I had won tickets to a concert (I’m lucky that way) and on the calendar it went. If you recall, work has been crazy, but hey, it fit on the calendar and didn’t bump right into another appointment, so we were good.

As we dragged our over forty tails down the road to the venue, I found myself talking up the event, reminding my husband and myself, that “we’re still young, we still got it and you only live once!”  The closer we got to the amphitheater, the fewer bars were left on my phone. Not having brought my charger, I decided to throw caution to the wind and leave the phone in the car.   Let that sink in.  The Outlaw Roadshow would not be live-tweeted, status-updated, or photo-opp’d. It would be…attended.

Remember when we used to to do that? I do. We went to a concert. We listened. We boogied. We people watched. We told our friends about it later.

No phone? No problem. I decided right then that I would be in the moment, soak it up and take it in. What I didn’t count on was the social MEdia case study I was about to witness.

A Social MEdia Situation

Ok, before I get all high and mighty, I’ll fess up that I am fully addicted to my smartphone, check emails with unheard of frequency, and love to share the moments of my life and my business. However, what I feel like is my saving grace is the ability to see that weakness in myself and work towards balancing it out.

The concert was a perfect opportunity to witness a growing trend in what appears to be a self-absorbed State of the Union.  Here’s what I noticed:

  • Faces were trained downward, focusing at little tiny screens, rather than at their dates, friends or my goodness, the people on stage.
  • Fish face poses were rampant. You know the one: arm held out in front, smartphone poised and ready, head tilt, heads touching, lips scrunched. Click. Save. Then painstakingly examine. If it’s not up to snuff. Shoot it all over again. As the one sitting behind you while you do it…shoot me, please.
  • There’s an apparent need to take numerous posed photos in order to get just the right one. We have an image to uphold.
  • We are unable to go to the bathroom, stand in line and chat with those around us. We must whip out the phone, check status, text or tweet about standing in line to use the bathroom.
Here’s what I noticed from my few weeks away from the blogosphere:
  • If we are not careful, we can become more concerned with our place in the social, VIRTUAL world around us than the one in which we inhabit. We will begin to make decisions based on that standing and place, rather than what is good for us, our business, or our relationships.
  • Don’t throw either one out with the bathwater. The blogosphere, social media and our online relationships are invaluable and worth feeding and growing. For those of us whose business is akin to a brick and mortar, our time online can indeed feed the success of that business. However, it should not take the place of the business or the work that we must do to stay in business.

I’m so glad I didn’t bring my phone. I danced. I laughed. I watched with delight the world around me. I even talked to strangers. (My husband considers that a strange affliction as well, but that’s another story).

The lesson for me? Sometimes, whether it’s work, fun, or life in general, you really do need to put down the phone, step away from the screen, refrain from the pressure to put something out into the world so that we can maintain a status within it, and just boogie.

Image via Flickr.

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