How Connected is Too Connected?

I have always been very proud of my ability to keep my work and home life relatively separate. I wasn't one of those people that brought a pile of file folders home every night or felt the need to constantly be on my Blackberry. I even shut off the email function on my Blackberry, so I wouldn't be constantly interrupted by urgent, but not important emails. This all ended when I got a magnificent, but productivity killing iPhone last month. My Blackberry unceremoniously died, leaving me with four months on my contract and a need to be reached while I was out and about. The iPhone promised to be my knight in shining armor, with GPS to help me from constantly getting lost when I was going to meetings, web access so I could update my blog and Twitter account while on the go, and email access so I could clear out my in-box while I was waiting for appointments. I love my Apple computer so much that getting an iPhone seemed like the next logical step in our relationship. I knew I had a problem when I was at my son's 5th birthday celebration at the Rainforest Cafe  (my least favorite place in the world to eat) and was checking my Twitter updates. There was a bountiful source of information about philanthropy just sitting in my hand waiting to be enjoyed and then I realized I had become one of THOSE parents. You know, the ones that listen to sports games during their kid's piano recital or talk on their cell phone while they are pushing Junior on the swing.

Sometimes convenience just makes you feel like you always have to be connected and that you always have to be up to date on everything that is happening in your world of interest.  When there is so much good information out there, how do you discipline yourself to only pay attention to the great information? How do you weed out the 225 mediocre tweets and really pay attention to the one that will make you change the ways that you do your work in the future or that will make you laugh out loud, or that will make you act for a cause that you care about. How do you ignore the din of too many people babbling and pay attention to the one whisper that will really make a difference?

How do you use technology to make your life more focused and purposeful?