If you know what a sabbatical is, then you might easily understand what a digital sabbatical might be like.
I've taken a couple in my time, and it seems they come about once a year.
I first read about digital sabbaticals on Rowdy Kittens. The author wanted to work on her book, so she stepped away from her blogging for a bit to get it done.
While this is a super-terrific idea, my upcoming digital sabbatical will not be for that reason. I'm looking forward to stepping away from technology for a different reason. I'm going to be on an annual camping trip with my family, and I don't want to be distracted, disrupted or disconnected.
If you read my column this month, you probably recognize a few ways parents can fall short when we're plugged into our hi-tech devices all the time.
How many of you have been on the phone talking, texting or emailing, while you're in the store helping your child find shoes... I'm guilty.
How about when you're waiting for the bus to pull up after school?
While you're working on dinner? Helping with homework? Taking a walk with the kids?
I'm guilty of almost all of these at one time or another.
It's tough not to be. Digital life has a way of seeping into everything we do, in every part of our day. With the accessibility of it (and it's accessibility of you) we can't easily escape it.
The trick is to limit it and sometimes that means making adjustments, setting rules and boundaries or just plain taking a sabbatical.
I will be leaving today and when I do, I plan on leaving my hi-tech connections behind.
That's right. Even though the camp ground has Wifi, I will not be using it. Even though I'll be bringing a phone it will be turned off and used for emergencies only... I want the next four days to be devoted to better relationships with my children... not technology.
Here is what I know:
The campground has a phone...
My house and pets are being taken care of by someone staying there and they know the phone number to the campground if they need to get a hold of me.
Every email and text message will surely be there when I get back...and there isn't anything I need to Google this weekend... that can't wait a few days.
This weekend, there will be nothing more important for me to do, than be with my kids (really be with them).
Try a digital sabbatical for an hour, a day, a weekend; see what you feel like, what you do instead, who you talk to or build better relationships with... Please come back and share your comments. If you've done this exercise before, let us know what you did and how it went.
See you next week!