Evening clouds

Evening clouds
Sunshine and Clouds

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Thinking about work or not? A connected era conundrum

I'm sitting under this tree in Potchefstroom (or Potch) South Africa.

I'm enjoying a holiday type break whilst my partner works at nearby North West University.
The guesthouse has WiFi; we can post to Facebook and Twitter and monitor emails. In many ways we can conduct life as usual – checking the bank balance, booking a restaurant and ensuring relatives are safe. Much of my social media (SoMe) usage is related to work particularly Twitter. To clarify I mean work in a broad sense encompassing me as a nurse, leader, manager, director, and contributor; these are just part of the whole me and inseparable from who I am. ‘Work me’ is just part of my life and not a completely separable facet.
Through SoMe I have contacts I have never, only once, or infrequently met in person; some I'll see each day at my work place. Nonetheless there's been sharing and an open hearted welcome; I trust I've reflected that to those who've approached me.  Sharing thoughts about aspects of work, favourite foods, what the cat is doing or ideas about music show much about us. Given  technology now available I've been able to consider aspects of work simply by monitoring my SoMe channels. As ever I find much to reflect on and herein lies my dilemma.
Being on holiday – away at least – means social and family related SoMe activity feels ok, a bit like sending postcards. Alongside this are the posts, pictures, diagrams and powerful 140 character pieces that engage the ‘work’ me. Have work and the social become too entwined?
While I've been away recent posts on kindness and curiosity by Sue Spencer @nursingbard and on listening by Tanmay Vora  via Teresa Chinn @agencynurse have positively piqued my interest. 
Perhaps being away is a good time to think about these things? If I'd turned my devices off completely I wonder if I'd reflected in quite the same way? 
Time spent alone is a potent opportunity. Whether using SoMe or just a notebook and pen where this post started, I cannot ignore the influences and opportunities that our connected selves bring. 
Even so  it is good too, to turn devices off completely; enjoy the sun, thunderstorms, breezes and wildlife in places away from home. Even better is meeting the people whose home this town is; in doing so using the kindness, curiosity and listening I've been reminded of makes all the difference to this experience. 

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