This is my first blogpost for the Open Networked Learning course that I have been attending. However, this is not my first blog or blogpost. I created my first blog in 2010 (in Greek) and invited a few friends to write posts as well and this turned to a nice multi-“colored” blog in which a lot of issues were discussed. However, a couple of years later we abandoned it. Despite the experience (about 10 years ago), I feel like a newbie to this concept and I find it hard to write my own reflections. And that is why I delayed the whole process!
In this first week I distinguished 2 main issues:
- Digital literacy
- Trade-off between privacy and participation in online platforms
Most of the people gave emphasis on the first topic, digital literacy, because the term is somewhat new (to people not involved with such courses) and the curiosity to understand what it really means and how to master it attracted the attention of most of the people, also in my group. I would like to discuss more about this, but in this post, I will concentrate on how one can maintain a healthy and private lifestyle when everything is done remotely. There are 2 main issues here to be considered:
- Healthy lifestyle
Many are already OK with losing their privacy, at least to a certain extend, since they do not see any danger by doing so. Indeed, in most developed countries, providing information of places where you go, your home, your financial situation, your kids, might be OK. But there is always a slight chance that you might end up being followed by people that you wouldn’t like to and this might put you in danger. So, it is important to choose what you would like people (that you probably don’t know) to know about you, so that your real life is protected. One can write books on what is OK and what is not, and everything depends on the person and what’s on stake! Awareness though is essential and that is why I mention it in this blog.
The other issue that is very intriguing for me is how to maintain a healthy lifestyle in such a situation, where most of the day we are restrained in front of the screen and there is no much social interaction, at least in the traditional way we knew so far. It is of paramount importance to have good time management skills and a good work-life balance, making sure that the lifestyle you follow is sustainable for a long period and it would not have effects on your health down the road. I had several phases throughout the lockdown and after. In some of them I became super efficient at work, but this was done at the expense of my hobbies, having proper meals, and physical exercise. Then, my productivity started falling and I was investing more time for work, until I realized that I lost the balance. How many do realize this early enough and how many do maintain this balance? What are the “secrets” for keeping a good balance?
I am not an expert and I probably do not have the answers, but what worked for me is to create a program for the whole week in which I combine everything that helps me keep a good balance, and find all the possible ways to force myself to follow this program. One useful tip is that I announce this program to some good friends and promise that I will follow it. Then, it is hard not to and I feel responsible for keeping up. Also, group events (even physical exercise in groups online) helped me create the environment that is sustainable and healthy. This course (ONL202) is one of the activities I chose to do for improving this balance further! And that is why I think discussing about this topic is necessary.
Do you want to assess what kind of person you are with respect to the digital world? Read the article below:
White, D. & Le Cornu, A. (2011) Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).