This week we are delighted to welcome yet another fantastic guest blogger; Conor Crowley, Consultancy Director at Atkins Oil & gas UK, who was challenged to give up technology for his holiday! Could you do the same?
My wife challenged me to try my holiday with no email, no Facebook, no messing around on the internet, no playing games on the phone. She didn’t think I could manage, and I wasn’t that sure either.
However, I’d had a vehement conversation with a friend of mine, who said she was still going to check her email on the blackberry while her family had an end-of-an-era holiday in California, before her daughter goes to college. My argument was that if you keep checking your email, you are not on holiday, and you never really relax. So I was now going to have to live up to my side of the argument.
Like many people I know, I use the technology to answer questions, figure out what that song is, who was in that movie, or just to break the boredom. The clever bit of things like Facebook is that I like getting a “like” from someone, and I’m glad to share my “like”s as well. It becomes a habit if you are facing a bit of downtime, and what harm does a wee game of Angry Birds do?
So while I watched my daughter’s latest riding lesson, which was just a bit different to the last riding lesson, I could easily have been solving a puzzle, composing a witty update to Facebook. But as she rode around the arena, would she have felt I was present? And what will she remember of the holiday? In this case, what she won’t remember is her Dad being distracted. She might remember him watching. And she might canter one of these days, and I’ll see her do it.
And surprisingly, work managed well without my intervention. I lasted the week without even cheating. Maybe I should avoid email during work time as well (actually, maybe not).
Conor is Consultancy Director with Atkins in Aberdeen. He is a Chemical Engineer with a background in Process Design, Process Safety and Risk Assessment, and wider experience in Consultancy and Decision Support. Conor has carried out a variety of training, development and recruitment roles over the years as part of Consultancy management, and retains a strong interest in the people side of the engineering world. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.