Merry Christmas to Me: Turning Off Email for Two Weeks
By Lisa Stone on December 18, 2009
BlogHer Original Post
In a few minutes, I will turn off my email in-box.
Zap. Cut off. Thus will begin two weeks without a clue as to what my world wants to tell me -- from holiday wishes from dear friends to real business opportunities to that one Chinese viagra spammer who won't take my no for an answer.
Me? Bring it on. I'm so excited that I've already turned my cell phone ring into an old rotary phone sound.
Okay, I'll admit: My inner Emily Post is keening with horror. But I can live with her. What I cannot live with is the thought of returning from a two-week vacation to ten zillion emails that will build minutely, hourly, daily, until they explode into the last weekend of my break, harshing my zen and winding me into a resentful little ball of why-did-I-even-bother?
Thank you, danah boyd, for showing me how it's done.
Do you think I'm overreacting? I can live with your disdain. Because I've tried everything to save past vacations from the maws of the email beast. I've tried not answering email. (I learned that I can hold out until Friday of the last weekend, then I spent 48 hours trying to catch up.) I've tried not reading email until Monday, at which point my colleagues flood me with questions -- "You read my email about ____ right?" Who can blame them -- they were working, right?
And I've tried only to answer the emails that really matter -- um, right, I end up reading every one.
So instead of answering emails, or spending time thinking about how I'm not answering emails, the next two weeks belong to my family -- to the kids who have threatened to hide my computer if they find me working on it, or to bury my cell phone in the snow. They're justified in trying to get me back for every other vacation this year when I had to work and they knew it and there was nothing any of us could do about it.
Of course none of this would be possible without the BlogHer team, who will be around to pick up the slack while I'm away. Really away. Thank you, all of you.
But it's a grand experiment, so we'll see how it goes. Any predictions? Any recommendations? Any warnings? I'd love to hear them.
And I'll report back the first week in January. Until then, I'm off -- I have some nothing to do. (Although you may find me on the site, because I love catching up with the BlogHer community and seriously want to know what you all are going to think of the film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes among other things...)
Happy holidays everyone! Here's to 2010 to you and yours.
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