January 24, 2008

Getting away from it all adds perspective…Duh

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:05 am

It’s been over a year since I’ve effectively been away from technology for more than about 2 days. That meant, 141 unanswered emails, and over 1000+ unread feeds and pages of twitter I’ll never read.

Truthfully it’s not even 5 complete days without access. I’ve grabbed a few minutes here and there between my father’s dialup connection and some downtown wireless. Not even sure why I bothered. I managed to answer a few urgent emails and poke my head in the “twitter staff room” but that was about it. If it wasn’t for the online class I’m teaching I really shouldn’t have bothered.

I typically spent over 8 hours a day online. Is that normal? I don’t know. It is my job and my passion so it is what it is. With that time, I’ve learned lots, developed some expertise along with some pretty strong philosophies.  But during my hiatus, I realize as many do, that being disconnected is hard. While I enjoyed my break, didn’t really think about other stuff, when I did have a moment to think I wondered what was going on out there. What was I missing? I wasn’t learning they way I was used to. But for many, even those that want to, they don’t have 8 hours a day to devote to this.

I have to think more deeply about what is really important. When I only have a couple of hours, minutes with people, what is it that I really need to communicate. What things are really significant and what things can be disposable?  I’ve never talked to teachers about twitter for example. Not because I don’t think it’s valuable but for most it’s a bit overwhelming as an entry point of connections. Even blogging, while it is simple to do, offers many very important opportunities, it may be not be critical.

I like Carolyn Foote’s post on 15 minutes a day (Mr. Jakes idea) But of course a starting point is required. Even 15 minutes a day, while great is challenging for me because I’m used to working on 40 times that much.

As I sit here for one of the sessions at FETC, I hear a woman say, “Slow down. I don’t know a wiki from a walki. Tell me where to start.” Of course that’s tough to answer. If I polled a 1000 of my readers, I’d get a broad range of responses, none of which would likely be wrong.

As the Heath brother’s write, I  have the knowledge curse.

Here’s the great cruelty of the Curse of Knowledge: The better we get at generating great ideas—new insights and novel solutions—in our field of expertise, the more unnatural it becomes for us to communicate those ideas clearly. That’s why knowledge is a curse. But notice we said “unnatural,” not “impossible.” Experts just need to devote a little time to applying the basic principles of stickiness.


Kelly Christopherson
has similar thoughts. This post has no answers just ramblings and reflections. Every time I write over a couple of days, I find it tough to string the thoughts together. But it’s my space and Rob Wall says you can just write for yourself so I did. But as always your thoughts and comments are critical to my learning so drop a thought on this if you have one. Always looking for stickiness.

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