Sunday, August 21, 2011

one week offline

Elan, March 2011

I love my computer. I really do. But I've noticed lately how much time I spend on my computer, even when I'm not actually working, how I'm always checking emails, reading blogs, looking at the news. I'm so often distracted by my computer -- by my work, by always needing to be in the know and always responding so fast to everything. You know what I mean, most likely, since you're reading this blog.

I've also been noticing how much we are all on our devices lately. On a recent night out with 8 women in San Francisco, I approached our table and saw at least 4 phones on, as people showed each other photos of recent dates, checked out the Facebook status of certain cute guys, handed around photos of babies. One of my friends lent the iPhone charger she carried in her purse to another friend so she could recharge her phone at the restaurant - she called the charger "the new gum." Don't get me wrong - it's very convenient to be able to show your friends pictures of your baby on your blog while eating fried oysters and heirloom tomatoes at a newly opened hot-spot - but the constant multi-tasking has added to my sense of exhaustion and the feeling that I and many around me are only ever paying half attention to the conversations and moments that are going on around us.

So I'm taking a week offline, starting tonight. I'm probably not going to turn my computer on at all unless I need to download pictures. I'm definitely not going to go onto the Internet or check my email. I don't have a smartphone, so that's not an issue.

I'm going to unplug. Read a book, the kind made out of paper. Watch a movie on a screen larger than 13 inches. Write in my journal with the beautiful embossed leather cover and pages with no lines. Paint my toenails.

One week offline. Want to try it?

1 comment:

  1. I know how you feel. I too seem to spend a good amount of time online, when I'm not really working. And the need to know if I have an unread mail is so time consuming. You used the perfect word....exhausting.

    I take one or two days offline every week. Our weekend here in Dubai is Fri and Sat, so I don't turn on the laptop at all on Fridays. Some Saturdays I turn it on in the evening, other times, I stay offline till Sunday.

    I find that I suddenly have so much time to do everything when the computer is not on. I don't know if I can do a week offline since I'm a freelancer and need to know if I've been send some work, but a few days at a time is so relaxing and freeing.