January Experiment

I used to boast that I could easily live without a computer. Now, I’m not so sure.

In fact, there are some days I find myself almost enslaved to my laptop. The glowing invitation for more information, more communication, more entertainment is a steady presence throughout my days. It’s all there, right at my fingertips, anytime the thought strikes me. It’s not an issue of whether this technology is good or bad. It can be pretty fun, and for my life, it’s downright necessary at times. But it’s become an issue of the master-slave relationship, and I think my computer has started to master me. When I can’t walk by it without just checking something out, I think I have a problem!

So I’ve decided to embark on an experiment this January. I’m going computer-less. Well, not completely. But in as many ways as I can, I’m going to intentionally shut down my screen. Recipes? I have cookbooks. Weather? The radio. You tube? My husband and daughter are far more amusing than double rainbow guy. Blogs I like reading? I have lots of books on my shelves. Facebook? That’s a tough one. It seems so normal to check facebook several times a day, but it’s not really necessary. How did I ever live 5 years ago without knowing what my friends were eating for lunch??

What about communicating with friends and family? I don’t want to turn into a hermit. But I will try to use the phone instead of email. Or write a real letter, you know, the kind you write on paper and send in the mail. Instant communication isn’t always the best.

There are some things I will need to stay connected to. Email, for instance. That’s the only way I have of communicating with some people, and some emails are necessary for work or other social functions. And that will also include some facebook messages, because that has become basically like email. And online banking. The bills must be paid!

The other big thing is word processing. I’ll still need to do some of that for work. But for my own personal writing – including blogging, poetry and journaling – I’m going to go old fashioned. Paper and pen. It will be fun to see how my thoughts flow at a slower pace, when I have to commit to each word I write or risk an ugly scribble-out.

Once I had decided to do this, my first thought was, I should blog about it as I go! Um… nope. Before this experiment is shared with anyone else, it needs to be my experiment. Maybe I’ll keep a paper record as I go and let you know later how it went.

And so all of that means – no blogging in January! I am a little bit sad about this. But I’m going to keep writing. And when January is over, I’ll see what I have that’s worthwhile posting. In the meantime, you can check out the archives if you like.

See you in February!

  1. How did January turn out for you? I know exactly what you're talking about here. It's been a nagging thing in my life, too, especially since I spend all day on the computer at work why would I want/need to keep on the computer when I get home…and yet I do.

    And have you ever thought "what on earth did we do before the internet in our spare time?" Seriously. I can't recall where all those hours went that I must have had as a kid. I can think of a few things…lego, tree fort building, walking out in the fields, but it's hard to remember that filling up a whole lot of time.

    What I've been doing in the last few years is allocating my time. For instance, wake up and check email, at noon get a coffee check email and various websites, just after lunch the same thing, and after five the same. Still seems like a lot when I write it out like that but there are spans of at least two hours in between each. That way I can get some stuff done and that nagging will be satisfied (sort of) by knowing that I'll be able to check again at the next interval.

    It's crazy, though. People have changed almost "over night" in the last 20 years. Strange as it may seem I almost long for the days when nobody knew about the internet. The internet is super valuable but it's almost a shame, on one hand, what it's done to us as human beings.

    PS. You are now linked. 🙂

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