I spent almost all of the weekend offline
... and it was a beautiful thing.
In fact, I need to remind myself to do it more often.
Now, part of my unplugging was by necessity. My wife and I went to a cousin's wedding Saturday evening down near Rhode Island and so had a combination of 3 hours driving and 6 hours at the wedding. Prior to that we had family arriving to watch our kids while we were away. While I did do a Facebook Places check-in from the country club where the event was held, I was otherwise offline for the most part (and was obviously not online while driving).
Here's what my weekend content creation turned out to be:
- 2 tweets
- 3 photos posted to Facebook
- 1 sharing of a link on Facebook
- 1 Facebook check-in (at the wedding)
- 1 FourSquare check-in (at the city dump ;-)
- 0 blog posts, videos, or anything else
That was it. (Well, I answered a couple of email messages, too.)
And yes, the 0 blog posts means that I really blew my "365 days of blog posts" goal for 2011 - but I'd already missed that goal back on March 5. I've become okay with that. So far in 2011 this will be my 310th blog post... and we've only had 122 days in the year... so even with missing 3 days I'm averaging 2.5 blog posts per day.
Instead of being online as much as I usually am, I had two wonderful evenings with my wife (one of which involved the wedding and seeing extended family), a great lunch with my parents who I don't get to see all that often, some good conversations with folks in our community and a great day outside with my family working in our yard and just enjoying the beautiful weather.
I've been working online now for over 25 years... starting back in the "online services" and BBS's that pre-dated the Internet back in mid-1980s... and then moving into BITNET and very early Internet... and on and on...
Being online is at this point in time part and parcel of who I am... I can't really think of NOT being online on a daily basis. It's just "what I do".
But every now and then it is good for the soul to step awayyy for the keyboard for a block of time and just revel in everything else around us that is NOT online. It's healthy and rejuvenating... and gives one perspective.
Sure, by being offline, I missed the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the President's speech last night... but in the grand scheme of things, did it really matter that I learned about the news 10 hours later when I woke up and went online this morning? (And in truth, I learned about it from my wife who checked Facebook before I did this morning!)
We who live so much of our lives online DO need to remember to unplug and disconnect ourselves now and then. It's a huge challenge for many folks... myself included. But I do believe we'll be better for it.
How about you? When was the last time you disconnected for more than a couple of hours?
Image credit: nige_mar on Flickr
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