The Importance of Being Present

Silicon Valley is a tech hub, and that means most people you meet on any given day are busy out of their shoes. From meetings to phone calls, investor pitches to event demonstrations life social-media-crystal-ball-300-150x150here is as busy as it gets, save for your average New Yorker who probably has an even more insane life.

In the technology and social media era, being present is more important than ever.

To me, one of the most important things we can do for anyone is to be present. If we consider the situation, very few of us owe anything to anyone else, be that a job, giving our time, our money, our emotions, since our lives are already insanely busy. Therefore when we do commit ourselves and say “yes” to any one individual, we owe them the time of the day.

Unfortunately most are too buried in their cell phones or over committed to even bother.

In social media we frequently refer to the real-life version of being present as staying “engaged”. Engaged social media users are those who thank others for tweeting at them, respond to reasonable conversations, and get back to emails within a few days of receipt. Much like those who do not engage on social media get ignored or simply don’t gain a following, those in real life suffer similar fates: In my own life, if I fail to keep in touch with those around me, I fail to stay engaged as well, and contacts drop off the map.

So what can you do? Start by committing to the things you can do, both online and offline. Be true to your word and be on fire about what you commit to and how you engage with the environment around you. Owe it to yourself to be the most present person you can be — because it’s not just you that is at-bat: Your reputation and perception from others are riding on it.

Albert Qian
Albert Qian is a social media professional working, living and playing in Silicon Valley. He got his start in social media by working for Santa Clara University and jumping into Facebook pages in May 2009. Ever since, he has been engrossed in social media, marketing, program management and consulting for small businesses, Fortune 500 companies and individuals looking to learn more social media. On his free time, he enjoys hiking, bowling, eating out at new places and traveling. You can learn more about him on his blog.
Albert Qian

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