2020 Detox Regime

As I am busy Marie Kondo-ing the heck out of packing for my imminent departure from these shores* I was reminded by a couple of blog posts about the TRU Digital Detox, which starts up this Monday. I signed up for this when the first invitation to participate went out some weeks ago now (I distinctly remember some emails about it at a *very cold* bus stop in Edmonton), and I’m excited to see what’s in store. In fact I’m so keen I signed up again, because it occured to me I might have been just dumb enough to sign up with an email account that’s about to expire…

“We want to help you think about technology and how it intersects with your learning and teaching in new and more complex ways. Many of us feel overwhelmed by technology, and ideas like data privacy and are often not contextualized. And what are you supposed to do in a world that is increasingly controlled by big technology companies, anyway? Just go live in a cave? Our jobs, social lives, and family relationships often hinge on the very technologies we know pose such problems. Unplugging is an option for very few of us. So instead, we want to provide you with another way of thinking about the challenges of technology in 2020, and hopefully empower you to make better choices.”

2020 is already starting with some big changes and some new choices, so what better moment to reconsider my personal and professional relationships to technology as well? It’s an interesting and timely opportunity for reflection because I’m going to be far away from home and friends and I suspect that will change my relationship with social media. I’m also starting a new role at an open university (Athabasca) and will be learning a lot about the technologies that underpin that institution. And of course I’ve got a slew of half-written blog posts reflecting on the work that I’ve been doing for the last 18 years at Edinburgh, and having distance and some new perspectives with which to cast a critical eye will probably be enlightening. Maybe even instructive.

Seeing the blog posts today also reminded me to go take a look at the Tactical Technology Collective Data Detox kit – which I first encountered at MozFest maybe 3 years ago now. It’s had a few refreshes since then, and has recently had an update to include A Voter’s Guide: 7 Tips to Detox Your Data. If that doesn’t say everything about how f*cked up modern internet life has become…

And because I’m really into the groove I’ve also signed up for the 2020 Middlebury Digital Detox:

“Digital Detox is an initiative to reduce the toxicity of our personal digital environments and how we engage with them. The theme of the 2020 Digital Detox, which will run from January 8 – 31, 2020, will be Attention in the Attention Economy. Each Digital Detox newsletter offers insights and actionable strategies for addressing the push and pull of attention-hungry digital spaces.”

However, given that I’ve yet to organise home internet for my new place in Edmonton though, this new detox regime might yet come swifter and harder than any of the programmes above intend…

* Affectionately now known as both #ExitPlanBoris or #OperationSendHardCurrencyHome




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