This past weekend (starting at 9pm EST on Friday) and ending today (Tuesday at 8am PST) I took a break.
I did not tweet
I did not post to Facebook
I did not generate email
I did not open my laptop
Let me tell you what I did do –
I occasionally read Facebook posts
I occasionally skimmed Twitter
I responded to two emails.
Here’s why I responded – and this is something I struggle with when it comes to the email/screetime breaks. As the coordinator and advisor to all of the students in our program I take pride in making sure our program is responsive to our population. The majority (about 60%) of our students are online students. Online students are generally working full time, have families, coach sports, etc and enjoy the flexibility of our program because they can make it fit into their schedule.
Thus, when as student emails with a time-sensitive question, one that s/he could have spent the whole weekend worrying about – I justified breaking the “spell” to craft a quick response. The 30 seconds that is took to write back saved a whole weekend of someone worrying that they wouldn’t graduate on time. As an online teacher, this is something I wrestle with — I have a 24-hour email turn around policy – that puts a lot of stress on a professor, but, to me it’s justified.
Back to the social media break. I thought about when and what I wanted to tweet. “Ooh, that was a great meal” or “Wow, i just did x,y,z” — really, nothing of paramount importance to the balance of the twitterverse. I did not have twinges of pain or remorse that I was not participating in the conversation. The great thing about Twitter and Facebook is that it’s always there – I can hop back in and join in the stream.
It was nice – I’m glad I gave myself a break and I’m ready to hop back on the horse and ride out the rest of Spring 2011 :)