Today I was struggling for things to write about.  When it comes to customer service, I can wax poetic about almost anything.  Finding stories about good, bad, or interesting customer service experiences is my M.O., and there is a shortage of them at the moment.  Today I found a story that has nothing to do with customer service, but I found it so fascinating that I had to share it.

The story begins with “The Verge” writer, Paul Miller, coming to a point in his life where he believed he needed a break from modern life.  He believed the internet was hurting his productivity and wanted to see what it was like to live without it.  Mr. Miller decides to cut himself off completely for a year and document the process while he works on his novel.  As a millennial, this is almost unthinkable.  This means no smartphone, no email, no online meetings, no video conferencing, and finally (possibly most important) no online cat videos.

I know many of our readers are thinking, “Well you whippersnappers with your smartphones and your internet have it easy. Back in my day I walked uphill 4 miles in the snow to use a rotary phone, and we liked it!” But, honestly, think about how much you rely on the internet and smart devices.  Would you be able to go back to being without this technology easily? Would it affect your business or personal life negatively?

At first glance, I agree with Mr. Miller’s thesis that the internet can make you unproductive.  There are so many distractions it is very easy to bounce around from one task to another because everything is at your fingertips.  But you end up completing next to nothing.  At the same time, you can accomplish a lot more than you used to in mere seconds.  The world moves faster now than ever before and with that speed technology is required to keep up.

What I think Mr. Miller took away from his year without the internet is that focus is still the most important thing regardless of all the distractions the Internet and other online services provide.  He didn’t accomplish much of anything that he set out to, but he learned a lot about how the world is now.  It isn’t about the internet making you unproductive, but you making yourself unproductive.  I am not saying Mr. Miller wasn’t productive; it seems like he did a lot, just not what he meant to.  Regardless of the internet, distractions abound and keeping focus will always be a difficult task.

Many thanks to “The Verge” and Paul Miller.  Follow the link to read or watch the video:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/1/4279674/im-still-here-back-online-after-a-year-without-the-internet

So does the internet make you unproductive? What do you think?

Max Daniel
Business Development Manager

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