It just seems to never end. Emails, IMs, DMs, status updates, checking in. Even voice mail my god. The stream of stuff coming at you just never seems to end. And the attention that we give to all this electronic stuff seems to be increasing at an ever increasing rate. I am willing to bet that since the summer of 2002, when I was on a bunch of little islands that did not even have dial up, the max amount of time that I have been disconnected from the Internet is less than 48 hours. There is not enough time to think and spend quality time with real people.
So inspired by Brad Feld's off the grid algorithm and aided by Georgia Tech's winter break shut down, I decided to spend the time between December 24 and January 3 offline. Granted I cheated a little. I had my iPhone in my pocket. But I pretty much kept my laptop closed. The only exception was a small window on the morning of January 30 when I had to setup some product requirements and a use test for an application that I am working on. But beyond that my laptop was turned off. I sent a total of 16 emails during those 10 days. One status update. Zero blog posts.
And you know what. It's was all good. Great even. Almost excellent. Despite all the pressures to the contrary it is not necessary to be connected all the time. It's refreshing to shut it all off. To forget about some things and focus on others for a few days.
Perhaps I should have gone completely cold turkey, but that seemed too daunting at the time. I do know that when I go on a ski trip in a few weeks I am taking it one step further. I am leaving the laptop at home.