Are You Setting Your Online & Offline Priorities?

Would golfing here with my buddies be my priority?

When I examine my own behaviors with the use of social media and online activity, I’m often struck by how immersed I need to be in order to gain Twitter “followers,” keep my blog pageviews and RSS reader numbers high and, most importantly, to truly develop real or meaningful relationships that are augmented with all of this virtual stuff.

Lately I’ve been finding myself doing an “A” “B” comparison between time invested in anything online and time invested in my relationships. In some ways, I can’t have it both ways and am working much harder at setting priorities.

This morning, I related this story about priority setting to a buddy about why I so strongly support his decision to skip a really cool and fun event this coming Friday evening, MinneDemo, in order to be there for events his kids are in that same night.

I was in a fraternity in college (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) and when my “brothers” and I entered the working world, a few guys started a yearly golf outing at Madden‘s resort in Brainerd every May (Jim Madden was an SAE in the 1940’s so the crew up there really helped us and we got special treatment too).

A few of the guys were married and starting families, and we single ones used to give them crap since many often wouldn’t attend the golf outing due to some “family event” of one type or another. Then my daughter was born on the typical golf outing May weekend and *I* became one of those guys torn between heading up to Madden’s or sticking around for my daughter’s “birthday weekend”. Fortunately I could usually do both, but then….

….came a dance recital when my little girl was five years old. For weeks prior, I prepped her that I couldn’t make it since “Daddy will be out of town” and she was seemingly OK with that since I was in a job then where I traveled about 85% of the time.

Then came the day before the recital and she said, “Daddy. Are you really going to be gone?” My wife looked at me, I gulped and said, “Well yes honey. I’ve made a commitment to these guys.” She (and my bride) looked disappointed, but I consoled myself with the knowledge I’d be back Sunday afternoon in plenty of time for her birthday celebration and party.

Friday morning, when I was supposed to pick up one buddy to carpool up north, I called him and said, “Murph…I can’t go” and told him why. Surprisingly, he gave me little crap and was mostly supportive.

Elizabeth didn’t know I would actually be showing up to her recital

My daughter didn’t know I was coming to her recital and I met the family over there (both sets of grandparents, my sisters, my wife’s sister and brother-in-law, my wife) and sat right in the front row with my camcorder.

A train of little girls in their tutu’s walked out and when my little doll saw me, she abruptly stopped and all the kids behind her bumped into one
another (which was pretty funny and I’ve got it on video). She then broke into a big grin and waved like mad and kept smiling at me during the whole dance recital. Later, she kept telling me how excited she was that I was there and hugged my leg…twice…as I stood there talking with the other tall people.

I didn’t go to a Madden’s golf outing again for 16 years and she was off on her own at college.


  1. Mike Korner on February 3, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Thanks for the reminder about the truly important stuff Steve

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.