I bought this backpack sometime around 1973. Back then, we had to drive an hour to a specialty sporting goods store! Today, I could by a backpack at a dozen stores within 5 miles of my home. This pack is special. It may be difficult to discern the dimensions in a photo, but it is small! It has one large top-loaded area, a much smaller zippered pocket below, four zippered side pockets, and a bottom frame to attach a sleeping bag.

I’ve packed enough in this pack for backcountry hikes of up to eight days. When I moved to Colorado for a gap year in the fall of 1977, everything I needed came with me in this pack. When I moved back after college in 1981? Yup. This pack was all I needed to bring my stuff.

I’m moving again. But no, thirty-some years of accumulated stuff won’t fit in this pack. Matter of fact, though, my philosophy of travelling light remains. I’ve had to lighten my load over the past few years. It was difficult sometimes. We have attachments to ‘things’ that are hard to overcome. But once you get past it in your head, it’s a liberating feeling to let them go! So I’ve left (and am leaving) many things behind. I have come to this realization: Stuff is not the stuff of your life. Objects do not contain anything really important. What is really important is in your heart, and your mind recalls them with memory.

So, the backpack. I couldn’t bring myself to donate it to Goodwill. In direct contradiction to what I’ve just written, this object means enough that I will take it along. Plus, it’s still useful! I actually plan to do some hiking and camping again.

The philosophy of travelling light is transferable to other things in our personal (and professional) lives. It applies to our personal and brand efforts in social media, I think. A light touch is subtle. Many may miss it, perhaps, at first. It may just go past some unnoticed. But light does not imply lack of relevance. So one might contend that the light touch is the thoughtful, even deep approach. Because if you’re using social media to really make thoughtful connections and deep engagement, you will reach those that get what you have to say.

Q1) Do you think a lighter touch in using social media can pay off for biz and brands? Why/not? #SMXChat

Q2) How would you change what you see in social media if your intent was to lighten up? #SMXChat

Q3) Do you think a light touch implies a lack of substance? #SMXChat

Q4) Does travelling light mean you avoid controversial topics? Bumps and potholes, so to speak? #SMXChat

Q5) If you were to suggest or defend a light touch in communication, what would you recommend? #SMXChat

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