My blog has been on hiatus; in fact quite a lot of my digital life has been in an enforced hibernation. 2012 so far has been utterly rubbish. Firstly there’s the situation with my gammy clavicle. I’m slinged up and in pain since the beginning of January. Doing anything remotely computerised is difficult when you only have one hand for typing, holding, pinch and zooming. The chorus of politically incorrect terms of endearment that now follow me from my loved ones, friends, and colleagues are numerous and increasing in volume and inappropriateness (mentioning no names… Jane). That aside, there have also been a series of other unfortunate events that have left me with little time for anything else.
Because of this I am currently living a very slimmed down digital existence. I still use digital services sporadically day to day, my iPad has become my saviour, allowing me snippets of my digital life (its much easier to use with one hand). Haphazardly checking emails, but not really being able to reply. Quickly firing up an App to have a sneak peak at interesting links. Occasional Tweets. But that’s pretty much it. I thought I would miss Facebook and the iPlayer, but interestingly I don’t at all. I do miss having the time to peruse my RRS reader, but the ever growing list of interesting things I want to read about is something to look forward to when I have the time.
Now that January has been and gone, and I’m beginning to settle into this digital hiatus. I do feel guilty for the work that I have had to postpone, delegate and the friends and colleagues emails that remain pending. I also miss my restraint for holding back the emotional hissy fists, grumbles, feet stomping, and emails sent it haste. Turns out my usual enthusiastic self, doesn’t cope too well with immense stress. But what I really do miss is this; Blogging. Over the past two years blogging has become my research space, it is my escape, providing time for me to stop and stare. So being without it, means I have a brain full of half baked ideas and ponderings that have nowhere to go other than round and round, and then scooting out my ear, never to be seen again. It has been really frustrating for my PhD research too. My inability to focus on research ideas is leading any writing I’m doing to be utter tosh. It is fascinating to think how a series of unfortunate events can change everything. I always thought I had the ability to focus, no matter what. Turns out at the moment that isn’t the case at all. If the things that make me a digital humanist are on hiatus, does this mean I’m losing my research identity? Can I be a digital museumaholic if I can’t reach or have the time to find the gin cupboard? Is it possible to find a balance between processing real life in the digital life, when real life, doesn’t allow time for the digital?
Which is why I found it really interesting to see Matt Hayler’s ever excellent blog discuss something similar. Matt has had to streamline his digital scholarly life in order to succeed at being an early career teaching fellow and has found a number of digital essentials which he can’t do without. His blog has been on hibernation mode too.