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A Digital Vacation

The problem with writing a book is that, as an author, you feel like you need to practice what you preach (OK, I guess that’s not really a problem, is it?). And while I believe in the necessity of occasionally fasting from technology, I’ve found that I’m not very good at it–at least, not for very long. But now as I take a week off from all of my work responsibilities I am seeking to implement a lesson I learned last year. If I don’t take a break from technology, I’m not really taking a break at all. I had a vacation last year, but didn’t truly “vacate” because I continued to be as wired as ever.

So here’s the plan. For the next week I am not going to be checking email. I also won’t be tweeting or Facebooking or even blogging. I am going to simply cease to exist electronically. When I tell people this they give that low whistle and say, “That’s going to be tough.” And that may be the case. But I am really looking forward to it, both for the benefits I believe will come from it but also as a kind of case study. I think it’s going to make this a true vacation.

Here’s the auto-reply message I’ve setup within email:

I am taking an electronic vacation which means that I will not be checking email or blogging between July 9 and July 16. There is a very good chance that when I return to the digital world I will erase the hundreds (thousands?) of emails that will have accumulated.

Therefore, if the email you sent me is very important, it would probably be wise to send it again sometime around July 17.

As for the blog, there will continue to be daily content here for you. I have asked a series of friends to each provide an article and those are all queued up and ready to go. Some of these people you will know and others you will get to know through their posts. Obviously there will be no A La Carte updates (those will resume July 19), but you will still be able to come here and read something good every day.

I’ll see you around the 17th!


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