Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Vacation Unplugging: How Important Is It?

It’s a post you’ll see periodically: Blogger goes on vacation and goes dark from his blog and Twitter. This spawns the requisite post detailing how nice it was to be away. Refreshed and all the stronger, we hear about the lessons from playing parchese, listening to the crickets sing, and ignoring the purr from Tweetdeck.

[Recently] I have been on vacation, but I didn’t necessarily unplug. I screened for critical emails once a day. I had prewritten and scheduled a couple of posts, but they didn’t require much maintenance. Besides that, I was too busy boogie boarding, kayaking, and eating crab cakes to really look at Twitter.

But what was totally unexpected was the fact that we spent a fair bit of time on Facebook. I’m not a huge Facebook person but my wife had picked up on the Hilton Head Island Facebook page and it turned out to be an incredibly helpful resource.

We were cued in to the location of dolphin sightings, an unexpected prediction of the northern lights, insight on a concert/fireworks display at Shelter Cove as well as tips on a number of off-the-beaten-path restaurants that even our concierge didn’t recognize (check out Signe’s for lunch). Listening to the island’s dialog take place from both innocent visitors and experienced insiders gave us a real feel for certain things to do or avoid.

And I felt neither connected nor disconnected. Our use of Facebook in this context was neither an obsession nor a business obligation. It was pretty natural.

In his new book, Cognitive Surplus, Clay Shirky makes the point that the divide between being “online” and “offline” may be evolving as a thing of the past. He tells us:

Our social media tools aren’t a alternative to real life, they’re part of it. They are increasingly the coordinating tools for events in the physical world.

Two worlds once divided are increasingly becoming one. They feed off of one another. I felt it this week.

There’s no question that Twitter can be a jealous mistress. Social’s draw can create an unhealthy preoccupation for some. In that case unplugging is probably the solution. But I suspect that as time passes this “now I’m in/now I’m out” dichotomy will give way to a more balanced, healthy relationship with our networks.

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »