I’m in the process of creating a new blog, Offlining, which will deal with my experiments in “offlining” (yep, a new neologism) — the practice of disconnecting from some or all of the network in order to increase productivity and life satisfaction while maintaining the killer connectivity which has enriched all our lives.
Offlining isn’t merely the luddite response of removing the Network from swaths of your life. I continue to believe the Network-with-a-capital-N will save the world, and has the power to transform our politics, enrich our lives, improve our standard of living, and generally save the planet.
But the Network can also be an incredibly destructive thing. It makes tasks jump queue, it lets ambient information draw you away from important goals, and gives precedence to event-driven information over more static forms of understanding.
Offlining seeks to maximize the strengths of the network while reducing its horrors. And it does that by being smarter about technology rather than avoiding it altogether.
Examples? It’s learning to take notes on your qwerty cellphone at the library so that you don’t get sucked into laptop world. It’s setting a hard rule that you don’t read email before you have accomplished at least one significant thing in the morning. It’s letting friends know they have to email you by six if they want to make evening plans so that you’re not constantly looking at your cell phone to see if there is something better to do.
In short, it’s an umbrella term for those lifehacks we’ve all been developing for the past couple of years to help us engage with the Network on our own terms rather than be swallowed by it.
I think the idea is related to the PLE concept, so I will cross-post much of my experiments with offlining here, but the main action will be at the Offlining Site.
Let me know if I’m crazy in the comments.
And yes, I am starting this project not to convert people to a way of life I live, but to experiment with changes to my life — I am one of the worst of the online lot.