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Are Presence Indicators Really Being Present?

angry monkey

A recent article by Web Worker Daily really got me thinking. The article talks about Twitter as a presence indicator.

With all the distractions that these programs and services provide, are we really being present? Are we being mindful, in touch equally with our rational and emotional minds?

I don’t see how.

I think Twitter kills productivity. I know that I’m more productive when I’m not blasting my presence to the world. And I think I’m more in touch with myself.

There’s a reason people typically withdraw from the world to meditate, pray, or find themselves. If we’re busy being present to the rest of the world, we’re not really present to ourselves. At least that’s my opinion. I find the terminology ironic.

By the way, I’m not really an angry monkey, like my friend up there. I just thought the picture was awesome!

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4 Responses to “Are Presence Indicators Really Being Present?”

  1. Eric S. Mueller
    September 13th, 2008

    Andrew, I’m not sure whether Twitter kills productivity or not. Like any service or tool, it can be put to good use or abused. I’m still trying to see where Twitter fits in for me, but I follow a few people and it helps me keep track of what they’re doing. In the case of influential people, it can be a great sense of how they apply principles and concepts to their lives, or how they react to certain situations. I follow Michael Hyatt, the CEO of thomas Nelson. His blog was a great influence in my life a few years ago when I was trying to sort a few things out. The fact that a sucessful man would open up some of his thoughts and actions really impresses me.

  2. Andrew Flusche
    September 13th, 2008

    @Eric – I agree that Twitter can be interesting and insightful. I guess the main question is how to leverage it for good and minimize the distraction. To me, it too easily lends itself to information overload and constant interruption. It’s much easier to subscribe to a blog and read at your leisure. Twitter seems to require a bigger commitment.

  3. Jim
    September 21st, 2008

    Twitter does add to the digital noise we are bombarded with constantly. I have outlook alerts, instant messaging, cell phone texting, inter-office instant messaging, two phone lines and now Twitter. I swear that one of these confounded systems chimes off before i can get five minutes of work done. So I definitely need to turn these off to concentrate on important tasks. But, I have found twitter to be highly useful and fun. So i recommend everyone give it a shot and keep in mind that everything should be done moderation

  4. Andrew Flusche
    September 22nd, 2008

    @Jim – Whew! I’m glad I’m not in your office every day. 🙂 I don’t know how you can stand all those possible distractions. But I’m glad you do turn things off when it’s important to concentrate.

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