How social should your social learning be? Taking time out

It’s a public holiday over here in the Uk for Easter. Time to spend with family and friends, time away from work. But in the Social Age, how far are we able to fully disconnect from our communities. When the bonds that bind us are not purely work focussed, when we engage in wide ranging conversations that are virtually synchronous, how easy is it to break off for a holiday? As we go ‘social‘, we invoke social pressures and conventions, the pressure to respond to comments and stay in the conversation.

This week has been my busiest ever on the blog, it’s satisfying, but ultimately a distraction: all i’ve ever wanted to do here is to have conversations about learning. It’s not about the biggest audience, it’s about the best conversations. It’s not about today being a better article than yesterday, it’s about today building upon the conversations and foundations of yesterday.

This is a semi formal learning space for me: it’s a place to get things right and to get them wrong. It’s a place to learn. I almost wanted to use today, a holiday, to write something deliberately self indulgent, something that interested me, but was almost guaranteed not to be popular, just to prove to myself that my motivations to engage here are still clear.

But, over breakfast, the idea evolved. I’ve got two friends staying at the moment, so my usually quiet house is full of conversations, music and bustle. It’s a very sociable space. Our conversation switches between functional plans for the community, who gets to put washing on first, through to philosophical. As with all communities, once we have the foundations in place, we have time to reflect, once the food supply is secure, we can enjoy games, we can enjoy entertainment. We have space to work and space to play.

Keeping a balance in life is ever harder: i’ve dealt with three ‘important‘ work emails this morning and, inevitably, various ‘push‘ notifications from formal systems filter their way through to my personal emails, so i don’t feel totally disengaged from work, but on the plus side, i don’t feel like i’m working either. I’m engaging in a self indulgent conversation, reflecting upon work.

I guess we all have to address the question: in the Social Age, how far can we disengage, where do we work, where do we play. When do you take time out?

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Challenge, Collaboration, Community, Conversation, Engagement, Informal Spaces, Introspection, Learning, Relationship, Social Learning and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How social should your social learning be? Taking time out

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  5. Pingback: Taking Time | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

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