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Reflections on my vacation from technology

Posted by reyjunco on February 1, 2016 in Commentary |
Photo by Amélien Bayle https://www.flickr.com/photos/amelien/

Photo by Amélien Bayle https://www.flickr.com/photos/amelien/

As you may have guessed, my vacation is over. I survived. I endured another winter break away from technology. Did I miss an important email? Yup, I certainly did. Although one can ponder what “important” actually means in this case. You know those important emails pertaining to life/death situations? Yeah, that never happens. So while it was stressful to think about deleting all of my emails while I was away, all of my work was still intact, waiting for me right where I left it. The wonderful part? No stressful email backlog. And you know what else? Every time I take a break from technology, it gets a little easier. After day one, I no longer felt my phone tugging at me in the background. I was able to fully enjoy every moment that I spent with my son. We even saw Star Wars spoiler-free thanks to my avoidance of social media!

It was a proper break. It was relaxing. I was centered and calm. I slept well. When I got back, I had to hit the ground running because it was the week before the semester started. I lamented having to “come back to technology” and wished I could have taken a break for longer. The Iowa State College of Human Sciences even did a story about it.

As those of you who follow my work know, I believe in the social benefits of technology. However, it is important to understand how technology affects you and your workflow. I’ve found what works for me. Twice a year, I deactivate my Facebook account, ignore my Twitter and my Instagram, empty my inbox, and turn off all distractions. And every time I do this, I come back feeling recharged, refocused, and ready to tackle a new semester (yeah, my students think I’m nuts because of how excited I am to teach stats and methodology).

So take a vacation, a real vacation. You’ve earned it.

P.S. Stay tuned for some new publications/projects from my newly-formed research lab. Also, keep your eye out for the unveiling of our lab website

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