As I’ve already mentioned, in a couple of weeks’ time I’m going to be disconnecting from networks for a calendar month. I’ll still be at work, but won’t be tweeting or replying to personal email at all.
Many thanks to those people who have been in touch asking if that means for them as well. The answer? Yep, absolutely.
So if you’ve got something you need me to do or respond to, please let me know sooner rather than later! Come December 1st you’ll have to either phone me or stop by my house.
Image CC BY-NC-SA pni
Last year I took a personal digital hiatus better known as Belshaw Black Ops. I got plenty of stuff done, really appreciating the time out of the constant digital attention stream.
This year I’m planning to do the same for the month of December. It’s slightly difficult given my role at JISC infoNet, but here’s what I’ll be doing (and not doing):
- Spending time with family.
- Not responding to email. If you email my personal email address you’ll get an auto-response. Other than work-related emails on my JISC accounts, the only other way to contact me is my mobile number. Ask for it if you need it.
- Avoiding social networks. Yes, even Twitter. And Google+, Facebook. The lot.
- Not blogging. Or moderating comments.
- Collating and curating. Change doesn’t come through one person having a good idea. Change comes through ideas being packaged in such a way that they become memes and alter the status quo. I’ll be going back through what I’ve written and created over the past year and thinking through how it connects with other stuff.
- Playing Battlefield 3. What an epic game!
- Migrating web hosts. I’m sick to death of Bluehost. They used to be great, but now they’re slow and unreliable.
- Researching ancient monuments. Visiting Ggantija Temples and Hagar Qim on Malta has rekindled my interest!
Depending on when I have to defend my thesis, I may also need to spend time making clarifications and changes to that. All in all, if you need to contact me, ask my advice, or invite me to speak somewhere, you’ve got four weeks before 2012 to do so… 🙂
Image CC BY-NC BaboMike
For the past three weeks I’ve been on Black Ops, a better term than ‘digital hiatus’ to describe my being digitally incommunicado. It’s felt like longer, to be honest. I managed to stay off Twitter completely – the occasional, accidental, and hastily-deleted autopost from Amplify notwithstanding.
Email was a different story: although I had a ‘Black Ops’ autoresponder on my Gmail account, I had to use email for some of the following activities.
Here’s a list of what I’ve been up to:
- Collated and published Best of Belshaw 2010 (freely downloadable or available for purchase in physical form at cost price)
- Waited patiently for Hannah to give birth to our second child. She was due on the 28th December 2010, but still no sign. It’s the reason I’m not at the Learning Without Frontiers Conference today/tomorrow.
- Bought a fair bit of new technological kit and sold older stuff on eBay.
- Took my son, Ben, to the beach (to burn off excess sugar) almost every day.
- Experimented with Quora and Licorizer, re-joined Facebook, and unfollowed 90% of people I was following on Twitter.
- Lost all my iPhone contacts on Boxing Day whilst unjailbreaking my iPhone so I could upgrade to iOS 4.2.1 (text me your phone number if I had it before!)
- Kicked off a stealth project with Andy Stewart which will culminate in a manifesto and small events this year, building (hopefully!) to a large event in 2015.
- Wrote my first-ever journal article (it’s entitled Seven Types of Ambiguity and Digital Literacy)
- Engaged in some consultancy which I may develop a bit more in 2011. I’ve come up with a Hierarchy of Understanding which I’m going to work on (and may even turn into a journal article) before sharing.
- Played a whole lot on my Playstation 3, especially Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (the Vietnam expansion pack came out on my 30th birthday!)
More on the above over the next week or so. I may be sporadic given I’m both getting back into my digital routine and having to deal with the imminent arrival of a new baby. :-p