Starting tomorrow, I am doing something that I have never definitively done: I am taking an Internet sabbatical for one full week.
I’m very fortunate: I travel quite a bit for conferences and speaking engagements, and when I do, I often manage to book an extra day or two for sightseeing. During those brief periods, I often skip out on the Internet. When I visit my parents, I sometimes skip out for a day or so (though with parents like mine, sometimes we all just sit around on our laptops). And once in awhile, at home in Cambridge, I’ll take a one-day Internet break. The only time in about 5 years I’ve taken a week off was during my 2009 trip to Syria, and it was delightful.
I can’t take the kind of digital sabbatical that danah boyd and gwen bell talk about: an entire month or more, free from emails, journalists, and other communications, nor am I sure I want or need to. But everyone could use a little time away, and so that’s what I’m getting.
And so, next week I will be traveling, Internet-free, while a friend stays at my place. I will be taking photographs, eating beautiful meals, driving a rented Prius, swimming!, reading (Evgeny Morozov’s new book and hopefully countless novels), drinking copious amounts of wine, and best of all…relaxing (well, in so far as I can relax, anyway: I’m an early bird whose idea of relaxing is 5-hour-long urban walks).
So, enjoy your holidays as I will be enjoying mine, and have a wonderful new year! And if you need me, I suggest sending an email on January 2, when you can be sure it’ll hit the top of my inbox :)