Last week’s vacation was an interesting exercise. Every summer, my family spends a week in that cabin in the woods. We do have a television antenna, so we pick up a couple of local stations, in high definition no less, but we don’t have a phone, there’s no internet, and you can’t get a cell signal. I’m well used to going the week without email, but this has really been the first year that I’ve been using social media heavily. Sure, I had Facebook and Twitter accounts last year, but I was barely using them. In the past year, I’ve been using Tweetdeck to follow a lot more streams much more regularly. In addition, due to my information visualization class last semester, I’ve been tracking my calories, my location, and using FourSquare. None of this stuff works, of course, without an internet connection. I went cold turkey for a week…
…and I loved it. I didn’t have to write a blog post every day; I didn’t have to keep up with my RSS feeds; I didn’t have to pull out my phone everyplace I went. Not that I have to do any of those things—it’s completely by choice—but you know what I mean. The one downside is that I gained weight, but I probably would have put on a few pounds even if I had been counting calories. That’s what vacations are for. I’ll drop it again easily enough.
My point is that I’ve manufactured a lot of time-consuming “responsibilities” that I’m forcing myself to carry out daily. When I stopped doing them, I felt palpable relief, and I’m having trouble getting back into the habit, hence the lateness of this post. That suggests that I may not be far from some kind of social/data logging burn-out.
I have another week of vacation coming up in a few weeks. This time, I’ll be at the Outer Banks, and I’ll have internet/cell connection the entire time. It will be an interesting contrast to observe.