Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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Even danah boyd’s doing it

Posted by lpearle on 7 December 2008

Doing what? Turning off:

No email will be received by danah’s ornery INBOX between December 11 and January 19!

For those who are unaware of my approach to vacation… I believe that email eradicates any benefits gained from taking a vacation by collecting mold and spitting it back out at you the moment you return. As such, I’ve trained my beloved INBOX to reject all email during vacation. I give it a little help in the form of a .procmail file that sends everything directly to /dev/null. The effect is very simple. You cannot put anything in my queue while I’m away (however lovingly you intend it) and I come home to a clean INBOX. Don’t worry… if you forget, you’ll get a nice note from my INBOX telling you to shove off, respect danah’s deeply needed vacation time, and try again after January 19.

It’s sick, twisted, and counter to the always-on culture that we live in. But gosh darnit, it feels mighty fine to come home fret-free. And this will be especially important for this trip because, starting January 19, I will begin my new job at MSR – w00t!

Since danah’s one of our leading lights in understanding social networking and youth culture, all I can say is I hope the message spreads.

Congratulations, danah, on taking a break. And if she can do it, why can’t you?


5 Responses to “Even danah boyd’s doing it”

  1. doug0077 said

    Does this mean I will get a note every time I try to send you a joke?I suspect it is a nice theory, but I don’t think my parents, superintendent, teachers or those who want to engage me as a speaker would appreciate not hearing back from me for over a week.Maybe someday when I am independently wealthy.Doug

  2. Sherri said

    I’m fortunate in that I don’t receive a lot of email in the first place (the upside of being obscure and unpopular). Also, since most of my life is via my laptop, and it goes everywhere with me, email isn’t so much an intrusion as just something else in my day. And some days I simply ignore it.Then again, I really have no life.

  3. Ellysa said

    She’s switching jobs. Nice time to make a clean (if only temporary break) with your email box. Not as easy for those of us in continuing jobs (as Doug pointed out) to achieve.

  4. Lazygal said

    Doug and Ellysa, you’re right about the need to not offend those that might be looking to employ you (or those for whom we already work). Having said that, her ability to “turn off” while on vacation is something that we often don’t do – what would happen if we just didn’t check our e-mail, or answer our cell phones for a while? Leave a message saying “On Vacation” (I know, Doug, you’re anti-those messages) and just don’t worry.

  5. cafeshree said

    I tune out when I go on vacation. I check email and/or phone just to connect to family and say everything is ok. Otherwise I don’t care and it can wait till I return.Cafeshree

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