Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Month-long Technology Boycott

@Librarianbyday Bobbie Newman tweeted that danah boyd, the digital ethnographer, is forsaking all electronic forms of communication during her upcoming vacation.  Essentially, all emails will be bounced back to the server, and no feeds will be waiting for her when she returns from vacation. She will return to work a month later with a clean inbox, a clean feed, and a refreshed mind. Newman comments that she wished she possessed the nerve to do the same. I doubt I could do this.  I don't know that I would want to.

I have learned so much by being plugged in 24/7.  I feel a sense of connectedness with my PLN and my social circle. I learn about trends and best practices in the library world and education. I learn what is relevant in the lives of my Facebook friends. I stay in tune with current events in my community and throughout the world.  It is through my feeds on Google Reader and through Twitter that I learn about new technology and it's applications and about online learning opportunities.  If I disconnected from all this for a month, I would feel like one would if he were in total isolation, solitary confinement.

So, I don't think I could abandon social media for a month, even though I did cut down on Facebook last winter. (Too many complaints about weather were bringing my down, so I chose not to look at status updates, except those of family.)  I think I would be fine for a day or two, but then anxiety would get the better of me, and I would reconnect.

Still, I think there is something very romantic about being alone with your own thoughts.  My writing would be clearer, if without as many references.  I would feel an inner peace and calm without the white noise of media and the dings of email alerts and TweetDeck notifications.  I might even be able to clear my environment of all noise by unplugging everything in my bedroom and truly getting some rest.  It sounds very peaceful and inviting.  I may try it someday, for a short period of time.

But not now!  Too much to do, even on vacation!

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