Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I went offline

On December 23, I decided to go "offline".

No iPhone.

No blogging.

No Twitter.

No RSS feeds.

No e-mail.

In part, this break was inspired by a tweet from a colleague, Phil McRae:

Phil's words reminded me of a thoughtful talk by Sherry Turkle where she talked about the need to moderate our "online" diet and be present with those who share our physical world.

But mostly this break was inspired by my wife and family. 

This break was a conscious decision in light of the coming holidays where I would be spending a lot of time with family. I didn't know when I would go back online, but I figured it would be sometime after my birthday (December 28). As it turns out, I didn't return "online" until December 30.

At first it was a little tough. Out of habit, I kept grabbing my phone in an effort to check something, but would then catch myself and return it to my pocket. I quickly realized I was better off if the phone wasn't even in my pocket, so I left it at home.

Here's what I learned:
I check my phone for e-mail and Twitter far too often.
The break from being online was liberating in a lot of ways and it's not something that should be reserved for a couple days in December.

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