A little while ago I was sitting on my bed reading my daily quota (3 chapters) of Junot Diaz’s riveting novel ‘The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’. All the while my right hand kept twitching; my mind signaling me to get up and make a grab for my smartphone or my iPad. You see ladies and gentlemen, my name is Sydney Atkins and it’s fair to say I’m a digiholic!
Virtually every hour of my day is spent with some form of technology at arm’s reach. While I am far from the worst offender of this nature, since last night I have been on a self-imposed digital detox; limiting my use of the internet to only e-mails and of course, blogging. Since 11:50 last night this experiment has been underway.
Why am I doing this? For a while I’ve been feeling the urge to try fully disconnecting to free myself from the never-ending obligations and the constant stimuli. I wanted to take a break from it all for a couple of days at least to see what happened. After all, throughout the last few years, I’ve been plugged in 24 X 7, hyperactive to my work e-mail inbox and social media notifications. The PINGS come in torrents and it’s taking me every ounce of will power to press the mute button and ignore them all.
This final push to try going sans internet came yesterday when a colleague advised us on the benefits of disconnecting and doing nothing just for a few minutes in the day. Living in a world where the line between digital and real gets blurred at times I was forced to see the significance of her words and this experiment is step one in my journey to being able to perfect the art of doing ‘nothing’, just for a few moments every day.
As you can tell by this blog post, abstaining is not an easy task! My hands feel restless without something to tap on, and I have begun to imagine my phone sending of subtle PINGS to get my attention. It’s like all the devices in my home are playing mind-games with me. I’m pretty sure this is what withdrawal symptoms must feel like.
Anyhow, in case you’re wondering why my twitter feed is silent or why I haven’t uploaded another selfie on Facebook, well now you know! I’ve got another day to go. I am fully aware that I’m not going to be any less of an addict on Friday morning, but I’m learning to handle the craving for my digi-highs and I’m sure it will make me appreciate my time a little more. For my twitter followers, you might want to download tweetdeck and mute my account this Friday. I have a feeling I’m going to be tweeting to make up for the 48 hours spent offline!
P.S This blog post gets shared to my twitter and Facebook feed automatically, I do not cheat.