In my previous post I wrote about how difficult it was for me to juggle my online and offline obligations. I named it Swimming or Drowning.
That was almost three months ago.
So, what happened to the writer of that post? Did she drown?
No, well, you see, she decided to take a holiday. A real holiday, away from it all.
Normally, when I am on holiday, I use it to spend more time online, trying to catch up with everything I have missed. Not this year, folks. You see, I was really tired. I needed time to think and relax and be selfish. I still went online quite a lot, but the things I did while online were significantly different from what I normally do.
I wasted time. I had fun.
I went to YouTube to listen to music. And I started Bliping. Then I decided I really like Blip.
Blip is like Twitter, except it is not about words. It is about music. You find a song you like and then you share it with others. You can write a message to follow your Blip, but you don't have to. I mostly keep silent. If you are interested in the kind of music I like, here is my Blip channel.
We spent a lot of time in our country house this year and that meant prolonged periods away from my computer. There is no internet connection in our country house. Even the TV doesn't work. It broke down a year ago and we forgot to fix it. We had to spend our time in a very old-fashioned way - talking to each other, reading, taking long walks... I have to say, and it isn't easy for me to admit this, but I didn't really miss my computer at all. I filled my ipod with audio books before we started. There is something comforting about someone reading to you, especially if your eyes have been failing you lately. I got addicted to Jonathan Kellerman because, as some of you might know, I really love crime stories.
When I came back, I checked my email for important stuff and then (get this) I deleted the rest.
In August we went to Alanya for a week. It was our fourth time in Alanya and I'll never get tired of the place. I didn't even bother to take my ipod with me, though I did pick a crime story from the shelf in the hotel lobby.
How selfish is that? Obviously very selfish because, as soon as we came back, my computer decided to go on strike. It would just look at me defiantly for hours and refuse to obey my orders. We had to have it repaired and it was gone for two weeks.
So, here I am now. I am back. No more fooling around. But there are some things I learnt on my holiday that I believe will make me more efficient online.
One evening in Alanya we went to a place called The Chocolate House. The name says it all. I ordered an assortment of dark chocolate on a plate. It did say 120 grams in the menu, but that didn't deter me. I wanted to try as many chocolates as possible. I am not going to go into how I felt afterwards and, of course, I didn't remember the taste of any of the chocolates I tried.
This is the way I have been behaving on the net. Signing up for too many newsletters, too many courses, too many applications... Then never reading the emails, never visiting the places I have signed up for and dropping out of the courses. I need to choose my battles more carefully. Yes, the internet is like a chocolate shop. Everything is there for you to sample, but if you are not careful you will overeat. And that might put you off the internet for a while. So, here is the list of my priorities in the future:
1. The People
I have met some great people during the past two and a half years. They are members of my PLN and I have learnt a lot from them. But some of them are more than that. They are my friends.
2. The Blog
Yes, this blog. No matter how infrequently I publish something here, blogging is still the most important thing I do online.
3. The Groups
Even if I succeed in cutting down the time I spend online, I will still keep participating (or rather lurking) in my online groups and forums.
4. Pure Fun and Just Surfing the Internet
Not only is this very important for my mental stability, but often that's where my best lesson plans come from. Reading interesting stories, browsing through Flickr photographs, listening to music, watching cartoons on YouTube... Sooner or later I will come across something that I can use in class.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you who kept my blog alive during the summer by leaving new and fresh comments in my old posts.