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Glazed Stare? Try a Comfy Chair

I know when I’m spending too much time online. It’s when my eyes bug out and feel like they’re going to fall out of my head. Everything I see past three feet is blurry.

Intense work, nose to monitor, reviewing thousands of photographs looking for the perfect image, kerning the type for a perfect fit, aligning elements to the grid, creating color palettes, sliding a graphic element over so it “kisses” a hairline rule… the hours fly by.

While this happens, and well aware of the dangers of multitasking, I check emails and respond promptly. I may look at the news and see what the market is doing. Now throw in some Facebook updates and a lively Twitter chat or two: those never-ending updates and flickering streams of information. Scanning multiple columns in HootSuite — reading from bottom to top, left to right, up down, right left — Grand Blurry Station! I’m sure many of you can relate.

The antidote? My comfy chair

That’s right, my chair — that beautiful, big leather recliner out there in the family room. That’s where the really great things happen.

It’s where my online self ends and my offline one begins. It’s where I think things through, without the “help” of Google.

No alerts vie for my attention when I’m in my chair, telling me I’ve received another email or a new mention on Twitter or Facebook. No links are being pushed at me by well-meaning friends portending to have the answers for this or that (as long as I leave my iPhone behind, that is!). It’s when I get away from those things that the real answers come — the deeper answers to things I may be struggling with.

My best concepts and design ideas always seem to come from the chair. Admittedly, there are distractions there too: someone may switch on the television, a magazine beckons, sometimes I doze off… I know I eat far too many meals there and the mini-fridge is within arm’s reach.

But that’s fine — it’s all good. It’s still where great things happen.

Clout vs. Klout

There’s a social media metric called Klout that aims to measure our online influence. It can be a helpful gauge for one’s online activities, as long as it’s taken in context with all of one’s other endeavors.

Although flawed at measuring true influence on many levels, it scores one’s online stature with a number. Being flawed beings ourselves, it plays to our weaknesses and egos — even those who acknowledge its various shortcomings get caught up in the gaming aspect and become obsessed with their Klout scores. Mine stands at a respectable 62 (just checked it this morning!).

Now, as I sit in my chair (okay… lie in my chair), the ideas keep coming. The cat strolls by and meows. My youngest child jumps on my lap. I can practically hear my Klout score dropping… but so what? Everything is starting to make sense again. Clarity.

Klout be damned.

Below are links to other wonderful points of view about online vs. offline influence. All bloggers are part of an online Twitter community called #UsGuys.

Article by Paul Biedermann.

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