Keller @ Large: Give Facebook, Twitter, E-Mail A Rest For Memorial Day

BOSTON (CBS) – I hope you get a chance today to pay your respects to the men and women who gave their lives for our country. When I attend Memorial Day observances, I always see people there with their kids, a great way to bond with them and show them what sacrifice is all about.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

But even if you can’t make it to a local ceremony, I hope this long weekend gives you a chance to do something that’s becoming increasingly rare – unplugging from the constant avalanche of communication and information that often buries anyone with a smart phone.

According to USA Today, “People are drowning in a deluge of data. Corporate users received about 110 messages a day in 2010…. There are 110 million tweets a day, Twitter says. [One] researcher …has pegged business productivity losses due to the “cost of unnecessary interruptions” at $650 billion.”

And the problem isn’t confined to the business world.

Writes USA Today: “For millions of consumers, the communications overload can spill into work, with deep implications — lost productivity, mistakes, miscommunication and burnout.”

The overload is so acute, major social-media outlets like Facebook and Google offer services to help customers screen out or sort through all the stuff that’s coming their way.

This is yet another downside to the communications “revolution” that was supposed to enhance our lives by getting us connected as never before. Let’s be charitable and call it too much of a good thing, and that’s a bad thing.

Sometimes, we just need to be alone, or at least connecting exclusively with the people who are right there with us. And an occasional weekend of peace and quiet would seem like a minimum requirement of a healthy balance.

There’s a reason why your local Memorial Day observance will likely include a moment of silence. Such moments give us pause, prompt us to reflect, and seem special because they are a unique relief from the world’s constant howl.

Sorry Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail. Some of us are giving you a rest so we can have one, too.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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