The trouble with email, Twitter, Skype and the phone is that they are all means of intrusion, to some extent. Well, at the moment, I have some articles that I really do need to finish. Yesterday I was thwarted in my attempts to do so because of various in-coming communications combined with an alarming lack of willpower on my part.
So, I have set my email to Offline mode (I need it running in order to access some information in it), turned my phone off, exited from Twitter and quit from Skype. Basically, I have done the electronic equivalent of the actions Joe Cocker describes in a song called “Dangerous Mood”:
I parked the car down the street
And I unplugged the phone
So it would look just like
Ain’t nobody home.
Mind you, his motives for doing so were somewhat different to mine, but I won’t go into that. You can listen for yourself, here:
I hope to be back online later today. In the meantime, here is something that might be worth thinking about: we keep hearing about the 24/7 society, and anywhere, anytime learning. But what starts out as a choice soon becomes an expectation, and even an obligation. For example, I actually feel guilty for going offline and not being able to be contacted! Perhaps we need to take steps to discourage expectations.
For instance, if a student sends you something to comment on at 2 am, should you respond as soon as you wake up (or right there and then if you happen to be online)? I think there is a case for not responding for a day, or at least for several hours, so as to not encourage a no-sleep approach to life.
I don’t care how “switched on” you are: everyone needs to “get off the grid” some time!
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