Monday, August 4, 2008

Can Stanley Bing Unplug? Or Four Steps the Rest of Us Should Take to Prepare for Our Vacations

Interesting Stanley Bing column in the July 7th issue of Fortune.

Surprisingly, given Bing's blog and the fact that so much other Fortune content is searchable and available, I had trouble finding an electronic version of the article to point people too; unfortunately, the version I did find is not shareable. For example, the archive of Bing's columns in Fortune are listed through 2007; this being the middle of 2008, I think someone has fallen down on the job.

Nonetheless, for those who have already taken or have yet to take their summer vacation, here are some key thoughts:
  • First, Bing admitted to himself that he's "a digiholic. ... That I was powerless over the BlackBerry and, to a lesser extent in my case, the cellphone and laptop, and that as a result my life had become unbearable."
  • He then came to believe "there was a power that was greater than my own ambition," including silence. "Remember silence?" Bing asks.
  • Bing suggests being present as you walk though each day. "That's harder than it sounds," he observes. "Go by yourself to a diner. Order something you like. Sit and eat it without e-mailing, text-messaging, or calling anybody."
  • Bing also discussed the fact that he tried to reconnect with people he had lost touch with over the years but "didn't even know it" because of his 200 e-mails a day and "virtual" friends across many social networks. The problem (until now, he claims) is that he "twittered and texted and kept myself busy indeed, my mind occupied with junk."
After going through these four steps, Bing writes, he is at peace with himself.

Although he notes, "I just hope I don't miss any really important calls, you know? Did you hear if our merger went through?"

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