Has the Globe & Mail been reading my blog?
You’d think so given a story that appeared earlier this week (“Technophiles Hit the Pause Button“) looking at people who had decided to take a “sabbatical” from e-mail, the Blackberrys, blogs, etc. At a time when being always-on, all-the-time is becoming easier and more ubiquitous, many people are struggling with the reality it’s challenging – if not impossible – to get away from it all.
One argument about being continually accessible/connected is it’s just a reality of work/personal life these days so just suck it up if you don’t like the idea of people being obsessed by e-mail, blogging, etc. The other side of the coin is more people are getting themselves out of balance by allowing/letting the digital sides of their lives to be ever-present.
So what do you do to maintain balance? How do you stay connected yet give yourself time to be unconnected? Maybe it’s about establishing boundaries. During certain hours/times of the day, you allow yourself to check e-mail, blog, etc.; while you also establish certain times (e.g. dinner) to turn off and tune out.
Somewhere in between being on and being off is making sure you’re focused on the here and now. Instead of checking your e-mail while having lunch with someone, for example, do the right/polite thing by waiting until afterward lunch is over. It’s not like an e-mail is that urgent that it requires your immediate attention. If someone really wants to get in touch with you, maybe they’ll do something radical and call you.
The bottom line is maintaining work/life and digital/non-digital balance is going to be a challenge more people are going to have to tackle. For some people, it may mean taking a sabbatical; for others it make mean giving yourself more structure and discipline; while others will simply concede digital defeat and stay connected all the time.
Post Script: It is somewhat ironic that I’m writing this post while vacationing at a cottage without Internet access. I had to come into town to do, which is enterprising and sad at the same time. Nevertheless, I do feel re-charged by focusing on the lake, family, food, cocktails and reading (newspapers, books, magazines) as opposed to blogs, e-mail, etc.