Digital Sabbatical – The New Vacation

Do you ever stop and remember the old days when we didn’t have cell phones? I remember I got my first cell phone toward the end of the year when I was a Sophomore in high school. What did we do before that? Landlines? Totally hands free driving? Not worrying when you call someone and they didn’t answer? That’s exactly what we did and it was nice!

That’s why I think it’s time for my first REAL digital sabbatical.

A sabbatical is described by as…

any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, esp. for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.

So what exactly is a digital sabbatical and why do I think that it’s totally 100% needed?

If you follow any of the major life style designers or digital nomads, than I’m sure you’ve probably heard about a digital sabbatical is one form or another.

The basics?

  • No email
  • No text messages
  • No cell phones
  • No computers
  • No Facebook
  • No TV
  • Etc

You can get as extreme as you want but basically it boils down to cutting yourself off from all the distractions you have on sometimes minute to minute basis. Your cell phone constantly ringing and your inbox continuously checking for new email requires a lot of our attention and takes away our focus on other important tasks.

Since I don’t have a wife, kids, or even a pet I don’t have to divide my free time up like some might. I do however know that spending time with your family is important and you owe it to them to turn off the crackberry and spend some uninterrupted quality time with them.

What should you do with your digital sabbatical?

  • Spend time with your family
  • Read a paper book
  • Write in a paper journal
  • Focus on a project
  • Practice your hobby
  • Have a conversation face to face
  • Sit in the sun with your eyes closed

The purpose is to get in touch with ourselves, friends, or hobbies in a more human manner. Some of you might reply with; your writing a book or like me you do digital photography and you need to use your computer. In which case, I say fine, but I can tell you now that my netbook won’t be hooking up to the internet and my cell phone will only be turned on once a day to check voice mails. There are some family issues that I may need to be informed of.

This post was written on October 21 and is scheduled to be post October 22 a little after 5pm for a reason. That is the start of my digital sabbatical. I will be taking a three day vacation from technology (other than my DSLR and downloading the pictures to my netbook) and spending time talking with friends, enjoying a hobby or two, and soaking up as much fresh air as possible.

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