Today, being known – to the world or even your peers – means having an online presence. People think being online empowers them with presence. But is this presence real?
I remember being interviewed once and praised by my online presence.
I also remember a friend being severely criticized in his Ph.D. discussion for not being found on Google Scholar. He wasn’t present online.
Building a presence online implies aligning yourself with all the constant demands of social media interactions. However, this kind of presence requires a limited resource: time.
The time you take to build your digital life is the time retrieved from your real life.
I left social media and wondered how could I build a presence online. I invested in writing every day in this blog and the number of visits – which were already low – became even lower. In fact, if you find yourself reading this post, you are almost one of a kind. This makes your presence online reading my post special to me.
But when I look at people who keep constantly checking their online feed, instead of presence, I feel a profound absence. And when I became absent online, my presence at home, work and among friends increased and improved.
Eventually, the true power of presence is online absence. And the ultimate outcome of online presence is true absence.