We live in the connection economy, Web 2.0 as some call it, the participation of many people in any particular endeavor. This has always been the case. Things have always been done on the trust of a handshake or the reputation of the producer. It is simply that now trust is far more measurable, because instead of communicating verbally, we do so much more communication in writing. Writing has a permanence that verbal communication does not.
This past weekend I went to my aunt and uncle's 40th wedding anniversary. Forty years. It involved nearly five hours of driving for me Sunday and took up just about the whole day. All for a handful of minutes of talking to my relatives. When I put numbers to the time that I spend on such an activity I wonder, what is the purpose? The answer is, life is about relationships. I live for this stuff. Driving hours alone to see the smile on another person's face, it is hard to put a limit on that value. I would have driven farther.
Of course, I say that, but I don't return phone calls, I don't show up when I am supposed to, I don't work on increasing the depths of my relationships. I feel like a failure for the lack of respect that I give to my relationships. In part it is a fleeing from the constraints imposed by people asking for something from me. I like to be critical and important in a project, but when seven different groups want my presence I have to say no to some of them. It is hard to say no. For example, the aim is at least four blog posts per week. That is quite a few, so instead I will say, "no". I'll update it when I update it. If you don't like that, tough.
I learned when my best friend from high school acquired an eating disorder, that it was about control. Many people want control of something, but control is an illusion. For me, my email inbox or voicemail are both the two things that I "control". By not responding to them I can demonstrate that I have some "control" over something. It is so strange to want to have authority of something so much that I rarely read my personal email?
You should know that in person, when you talk to me, I am 100% there. I have learned the last few years that it is important to mentally be where you physically are. Otherwise, what is the point of physically being somewhere?