Over the holiday break, many Christmas festivities ensued, a new year began, and “university professor” was named the least stressful job of 2013. (Notably, this last bit of news has added more than a little stress to the lives of my colleagues around the nation).
My present to myself this holiday was something you might not readily expect of a professor of communication. I unplugged from the communicative power of social media. I spent time with my family, I read books, I wrote a couple of things, and traveled. I may have also tweeted and updated Facebook a couple of times, but these were non-professional updates about things like New Year’s eve and a rousing Yahtzee match.
Did an absence of social media decrease my overall stress? Maybe. Did I miss my connections in social media? Sure. Did I arrive for spring term rejuvenated for a new semester? Absolutely.
Unplugging for short bits of time in an always connected world may give us the space we need to think, to reflect, and to re-engage.
I return to the university this January ready to learn and to contribute to the learning of others. I’ve got some exciting projects underway with a variety of talented graduate students in the Masters Program in Communication. And I’m teaching public speaking again after a several year hiatus.
Likewise, I hope this new year finds you rejuvenated and looking forward to thinking about what you are learning.