[INCOMING] Personal digital hiatus.

Three years ago, at the end of 2007, I took a hiatus. Inspired by Stephen Downes, I realised needed a break from the stream. It’s time I took another one, but for different reasons. This time I’m taking a cue from danah boyd who explains her position well:

Years ago, I realized that there was no way to take a vacation and manage the always-on, always-in-contact lifestyle that technology affords. Initially, I thought that it’d be possible to simply ignore email while on vacation and deal with it afterwards but I realized that this was untenable. It takes months to catch up on thousands of emails and I’d come back and immediately burn out again trying to catch up.

She goes on to add that “disappearing without properly making certain that everyone has what they need is irresponsible and disrespectful.” That’s why I’m giving advanced notice that I’m going on a personal digital hiatus from Friday 17th December 2010 until Monday 10th January 2011.

In practice this means that during this period:

  • I won’t reply to any email (and any email I do receive will be deleted).
  • I’m uncontactable via Twitter.
  • I won’t be blogging or moderating comments.

If you need to get hold of me, there’s two options: phone me (if you haven’t got my numbers already, you don’t need them) or contact me at work (until 21st December / after 4th January)

I’ll keep on clipping the occasional article I come across, but I’m intending to swear off Twitter, email and blogging for three weeks, during which time my wife will almost certainly give birth to our daughter. If that isn’t reason enough, I’ll also be doing the following:

  1. Getting back into shape. The snow has knocked my exercise regime for six.
  2. Producing ‘Best of Belshaw: 2010’
  3. Working on my Ed.D. thesis
  4. Thinking hard about the future.
  5. Spending time with my Dad (back from the UAE for Christmas)

So, if you’ve got something to ask of me, best ask before Friday. Please. 🙂


Add yours →

  1. Great idea – I wish I had bottle to do the same! Good luck with the birth and have a great holiday.

  2. An excellent idea Doug and one which I’m seriously considering myself. Switching off is something many of us would find quite difficult to do. I’m sure you will have many tales to tell on your arrival back into the online social world but until that time, I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas, and a very happy new year. Good luck with your Ed D Thesis and with the birth of your daughter which is reason in itself to switch off.

  3. Congratulations Doug! A new baby. Exciting times ahead for you and your family. Enjoy it, and we will see you on the other side.

  4. Good luck with all of the above (and to Hannah as well!)

    Merry Christmas when it gets here, and I’ll see you on the other side :0D

  5. Good on you.
    (I bet you’ll scan through your emails in January before you delete them though! I know I would…)

  6. Enjoy the digital hiatus Doug.

    I hope that you, your wife and the kid(s) have a fantastic Christmas.

    God bless.


  7. Best wishes to you and Mrs B on the birth of your baby girl, that’s lovely.

    Have a great Christmas and New Year

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