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Being there — and not there — with your use of social media

Those of you who are apt to do a lot of Twittering and Facebook around loved ones would do well to read Katherine Rosman’s column of last week in Wall Street Journal.  

When Twittering Gets in the Way of Real Life‘ by Rosman, who writes about pop culture and technology for The Journal, is a wake up call for me — as if I should need to read an article to remind me to be there for my wife, Jill, and the kids.

Rosman’s story of a recent conversation with her husband, reminds me of some recent conversations I’ve had with my wife, Jill, while dining alone at our favorite restaurant.

One evening this week, my husband and I had a discussion that mirrors others we’ve had over the past few years. “Sometimes, it’s like you’re here and you’re not here,” Joe said to me. “Your mind and soul are in cyberspace, and all we’re left with is the husk.”

I’m not alone. Per Rosman:

Whether it’s a dad joining conference calls by cellphone during the family vacation, teenagers texting under the table or moms checking Facebook from the soccer sidelines, technology intrudes upon family life in most American homes. And it’s only going to get worse as technology becomes even more accessible.

Like Rosman, I’m online way an awful lot. Checking, email, Facebook, and Twitter. This is in addition to the time I dedicate to outreach for relationship building and business development. For that I’m on my RSS reader, tweeting, blogging, managing my LinkedIn Legal Blogging Group, posting to this blog’s Facebook page and networking via a combination of email, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Also like Rosman I can attempt to blame my addiction on work. Social media, whether blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or what have you has enabled me to meet some wonderful people. It’s enabled my company to grow and build a brand like nothing else could have.

But at what price if I’m not around for my wife and kids — even when I think I’m spending time with them.

Social media’s great, but we can take it too far.