It’s been more than five years since I ‘went dark’ on the socials. I used to do it annually. Taking time off social media, personal email, blogging, podcast-recording, and newsletter-writing is an incredibly useful thing to do every now and again.
So, as of today, which is my last day at work of 2022, I’m going dark — with a couple of caveats. While you won’t see me posting here, on my main Fediverse account, or on the Thought Shrapnel website, I do need to keep an admin’s eye on exercise.cafe and wao.wtf. I may post a couple of things in those places.
Talking of Thought Shrapnel, I’ve created a ‘best of 2022’ email newsletter which will be sent to subscribers on Sunday. You can sign up to get that here. Also, you’ve missed any episodes of The Tao of WAO this is a good time of year to catch up on them!
I’ll see you in 2023, a year which sounds almost unfathomably futuristic to my ageing mind. Have a good one 🎄
Moonrise over Northumberland National Park, from a walk last week which we completed in the dark.
As this post goes live I’ll be relaxing with my family in Gozo, a tiny island in the Mediterranean. It’s a wonderful place to recover from the madness of MozFest – as well as being an apt start to a hiatus from personal email, blogging and social networking that I’ve come to term ‘Black Ops’.
I did announce this a couple of weeks ago so I hope it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
In previous years my Black Ops period has been the month of December. This year, for various reasons, I’ve decided to be ‘away’ for both November and December. Two whole months. 16.7% of the year. 61 get-ups.
While I’m making no promises for what I’ll get up to during this period of being more intentionally analogue, I’m intending it to involve a lot of writing and reflecting. I’ll also be spending more time with my family and maybe even moving house. You can see what I got up to last year here.
So in order to manage expectations, until 2014 I won’t be:
looking at or responding to personal emails
active on social networks
publishing new blog posts
sending out newsletters
If you need me for work-related things during Black Ops I’m contactable via my Mozilla email address (which is easy enough to find/guess). And if you need my phone number, you’ve already got it.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of the year. Thank you very much for reading this blog in 2013!
I was interviewed about this for the BBC Radio 5 Live ‘Outriders’ podcast, available here [MP3]. Skip to 10:20 if you want to hear me discuss the ideas in this post further!
I’m composing this sitting cross-legged with my back to the wall in a hotel room in Porto. There’s an occasional gentle breeze that drifts through the open window that slightly chills the back of my neck. I expected Portugal to be warmer for some reason.
The cacophony of seagulls behind outside fades into the background as the sound of church bells fills the air. An earlier glance out of the window showed people getting ready for the day. They take for granted the magnificent, tall buildings with tiled facades; it’s no wonder the centre of Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’m going to spend the entire month of December being a lot more analogue. I’m really looking forward to spending that time increasing my mindfulness. I’ll still be performing my normal work functions for Mozilla, but will tend towards paper to get things done. Meanwhile, I’ll not be using technology for personal communications.
I’m not looking at or responding to personal emails
I won’t be active on social networks like Twitter or Google+
No new blog posts or weekly newsletters in December
I intend to spend time with my family and read books that have been recommended to me. This digital hiatus is something I’ve done for the past couple of years and would highly recommend to anyone. At a time when I’m feeling slightly weary and cynical about the world it’s a period of rejuvenation that allows me to start the New Year with a bang.