In recent years, sales and marketing professionals have been bombarded with pressure to utilize the internet and social media as sales and prospecting tools. There is no doubt that these technologies increase the ability to build one’s personal and professional networks exponentially. But just like most other things in life, too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing.
I recently came across a pair of articles a friend shared (fittingly enough, on LinkedIn) from a health and wellness blog. Instead of the typical “weight loss” or “nutrition” topics one may come to expect from this kind of blog, both discussed a new perspective. They described two individuals who had dis-engaged in some way from everyday technology in an effort to attain a better state of overall well-being.
The first author exalted the benefits of cutting down on hourly Facebook check-ins, which eventually led to an entire year break. This “Facebook detox,” she proclaimed, allowed her to live more fully in the present moment. She experienced a heightened awareness of real-time experiences and a better ability build new relationships. The second author proposed a similar argument; when we become too engrossed in the world of the touchscreen, a world that seemingly connects us to millions of others, we actually lose touch with reality – of which the cost can be our memories, our real awareness, and even our relationships.
It’s probably a poor decision for a sales or marketing professional to disengage with technology cold turkey, like the first author. Social media platforms are too valuable in terms of lead generation for one to break with completely, and still perform up to the expectations of today’s professional environment. Much like crash dieting; extreme courses of action often lead to negative results.
Each of us should, however, perform an audit of our overall socio-digital wellbeing. Is the time we spend online actually productive, or are the recurring Facebook or LinkedIn check-ins piling up into hours of wasted time? When online, are we actively prospecting new opportunities, or are we just voyeurs? Are we so over-engrossed in online prospecting that we are losing touch with our existing customers and contacts? What value might a good old-fashioned phone call or hand-written note add to an already established relationship?
Perhaps a little more time unplugged from the digital world is just what the doctor ordered.