When Christian Met Randi


Last Monday I attended the latest SMLF (Social Media Leadership Forum) event with Randi Zuckerberg where she was talking about her new book Dot Complicated – I don’t think I need to add any introduction with a name like that!  I’ll admit I didn’t know a lot about her, and had assumed that she was simply riding on the coat tails of her brother.  How wrong I was!  She joked that unlike her brother, she did graduate from Harvard and worked for Ogilvy in NYC before moving out to silicon valley to work for Facebook.  After 6 years of tirelessly building the social giant, she has subsequently started her own media company – Zuckerberg Media.

My last post talked about living in an ‘always on’ society with technology replacing human relationships.  Taking it a step further, Zuckerberg called it ‘Electronic Cocaine’ – where we constantly need to get our daily digital fix!  When someone likes something on Facebook that you have personally posted – the brain receives a little burst of dopamine – the reason gadgets have become so addictive,

I’d personally witnessed this unhealthy obsession with my own smartphone, and it was so refreshing to listen to someone else talking in the same vein.  It was a little ironic that someone who had spent years working to build up a social network, was now voicing concerns around the unhealthy obsession we have with it.  But listening to her speak with genuine concern, I managed to look beyond that.  It was fascinating hearing story after story of working at Facebook: the Hackathons, visits from Barack Obama, tying up with media networks during election campaigns and helping to create what we have today.

One of the things that stuck with me the most was the concept of a ‘Digital Sabbath’ where each week she encouraged us to unplug technology for a period of time in order to think, be creative, work on an entrepreneurial project or simply have quality time with loved ones and friends and be in the moment.  It’s just what I need, and so I’m going to give it a try.

I managed to get a signed copy of her new book, Dot Complicated – I’ve read the first 50 pages and it’s a fascinating read and I highly recommend it.