Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Holiday time #edcmooc

I was away on holiday last week, which is relevant for two reasons. Firstly, it explains why I'm late posting any comment on the Week 2 material. Secondly, for big chunks of the week, I had no internet connection. I won't claim that I wasn't using technology at all - I read my Kindle for long periods and was travelling around in a camper van, complete with sat nav. But I didn't take my laptop with me and even on days when we did have internet access, I found myself quite content not to check my emails until the end of the day if at all, whereas when I'm at home, it's one of the first things I do in the morning. And as for Facebook, well, it barely crossed my mind.

Relevant? Well, sort of. You see, one of the short films we were asked to watch in Week 2, A Digital Tomorrow, shows a girl using all sorts of futuristic technology - or at least trying to use it. Her car initially refuses to let her in, as it doesn't recognise her palm print, then it refuses to start until she puts her make-up on. She tries to phone her friend (boyfriend?) and the voice recognition doesn't recognise the way she pronounces his name. Then they meet up and sit in a bar and barely talk to one another as they're so busy using their tech.

I enjoyed this film because of the way it gently pokes fun at technology, at the way things we think will make our lives easier actually make them more complicated, at the way we upgrade to new technologies even before the wrinkles have been ironed out, at the way we know the technologies we use aren't up to scratch but we use them anyway.

And that brings me back to my holiday. Or rather, to the way that, despite having enjoyed a break from Facebook, from email, from being a slave to the screen, I spent my first day back battling against a slow broadband connection whilst attempting to watch catch-up TV, catch up on my MOOCs, upload my holiday photos, and see what my friends have been up to on Facebook.

The irony is that the input in my other current MOOC (Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence) was all about stress and renewal. I know what causes stress and I know what it does to me. And yet I subject myself to this battle of wills with inanimate objects anyway.

Thank goodness for holidays.


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