First, and just because I wanted to, I've taken a 2-week hiatus from online connectivism. I've had family in town for the holidays and I wanted to give my loved ones my full attention. But it was more than that. As an educational technologist, my job IS technology. I have a lot of screentime in a given day, and I am constantly toggling between different applications, websites, and devices. I wanted to truly disconnect, turn off, and power down. I deleted most apps from my phone, including signing out of all email accounts. I used my phone to text if needed, look up locations of places we were visiting, find the nearest Metro stop, and -- shocker -- to make phone calls, but that was it. I didn't use it in bed. I didn't check it when I had a few spare minutes. I likely missed a few important emails. I didn't see anyone's holiday photos or status updates. And I found it incredibly liberating.
Instead, I read in bed. I breathed in the few quiet, calm moments as they came. I talked to fellow shoppers in line. I people-watched. I relaxed.
- we send and receive 110 messages
- check our phones 34 times
- visit Facebook at least 5 times
Now, I'm not suggesting, nor (I believe) is Mr. Pang, that we live in a bubble and revert to a pre-Internet era. Quite the contrary. Rather than shy away from it all or get completely overwhelmed, we should be more intentional in our digital lives.
Reading Mr. Pang's book has encouraged me to make a few goals for this new year. I won't share my specifics here, but these are the greater themes:
- I will be deliberate in my use of technology.
- I am in control of my use of technology.
- I will honor a weekly digital sabbath.
- I will focus on what is most important.
- I will never, and I mean never, use my phone while driving.
- I will minimize multi-tasking unless my various tasks work together towards a greater whole
I'm not done thinking about this. And I'm certainly not done trying to figure out how to help my children and students be more deliberate in their digital lives. This is such an interesting issue and one I hope to continue to study and discuss.
Happy New Year!