On August 1, I put out an update on my social feeds indicating that I was stepping away from these spaces for the month.
Hey all, I’m walking away from my social feeds for the month of August. I have a feeling this upcoming academic year is going to be a battle. I need to prepare myself and my family. I may return to Facebook. Still undecided. If you need me…send me an email or phone call. Au…..Ghosted 🙂
To this I received a couple messages from friends on social media indicating that they supported my decision. A couple others (that I regularly meet for research & work) sheepishly asked via email, Slack, or Zoom if this meant them. No. I was busy behind the scenes.
Leaving social media for some sort of digital detox is nothing new. I regularly talk about it in my newsletter and work with the Screentime Research Group. But, this length of time was a big disconnect.
I decided to pull the plug because many things reached a boiling point as I worked my way through July.
I was teaching two classes online, and serving as a mentor in the Distance Education course for faculty at my institution. I’m also busy compiling materials to submit for tenure & promotion, which are now due October 1.
Most importantly, my daughter is a rising kindergartner and my son a rising fifth grader. My Wife needed to head back to work as her job was eliminated due to the COVID closures and unemployment (strangely) kept rejecting her. Within two weeks of her heading back to work two of her employees already tested positive and everyone went in for tests and the store closed for a week.
As August began, we needed to make a decision about how our family would prepare for the fall. We needed to juggle multiple decisions and schedules all at the same time while not knowing what COVID and the local contexts would look like in August, let alone October, November, or December.
Trying to make all of these decisions, while considering the livelihood of my family and my professional obligations because untenable. I decided that I needed to clear my head, focus, and do the work.
I stepped away from my newsletter and all social feeds for the month in an attempt to detox from these signals. The benefit of this time away is that it gave me some distance from these texts, tools, and spaces to think about what I want from them…and what they do for me.
I have a lot of changes I’ll make to this blog, the newsletter, and some of the other signals that I send out.
In future posts I’ll share more info about the decisions we made about schooling, my thoughts about social media, and next steps.