How many times do you check Twitter or Facebook in a day? In an hour? How many times do you check your phone, or log into your emails to see if you’ve got something more interesting than the latest offers from some website you bought something off once? How long do you spend slouched in front of the TV – watching nothing in particular? Friends repeats? Loose Women!?
On Sunday I’ll be taking part in Lifehack.org’s 24 Hour Digital Fast. I’ll be spending 24 hours completely free of the digital devices that take up our lives. That means none of the things in the paragraph above. No Internet, no laptop, no phone, no TV.
Of course these things are great, and in many instances vital to the busy lives that we live now. But we do (most of us, I’m sure) become too connected, checking our various sites and devices far too often. We need to disconnect every so often, and learn to be able to function without your social networking site of choice for a while. No more being a slave to your phone either. Sure, we need to be contacted sometimes, and mobile phones have become indispensable for contacting people quickly and easily when needs be. But, on Sunday, I’ll be letting mine ring. Actually, it won’t ring at all, because it will be switched off. All day.
So, what am I going to be doing all day? Well, for those of you who follow my novel-in-progress here will know that I hardly wrote anything last month. I’ll be using some of my time on Sunday to get some good writing done, written of course in my Moleskine with my Lami Safari fountain pen, given that I won’t be allowed to use my laptop. I’d love to write 2000 words on Sunday, which if I do achieve that goal will be more words in a day than I managed in the whole of March!
Also, I shall be going out for a run for the first time in quite a while. Rain or shine, I’m off out for a jog. In fact, if it is raining – bring it on. I love running in the rain. Once you get running, and start becoming a little out of breath, and you fall into a comfortable rhythm, running can be quite a zen experience, which is part of the appeal for me, besides the obvious health benefits. It can clear the mind, and having the rain battering down on you can numb your body and help disconnect the mind. As part of my Digital Fast, a run will do me the world of good.
I will be spending some time with my family too. If the weather is in fact reasonable then some sort of gardening work shall be undertaken, and I shall assist in this labour. Again, being outside, and spending time in the company of “real” people shall be thoroughly good for the soul.
After all this I shall be cooking dinner. Cooking something proper, not just moving something from the freezer into the oven. I make a mean chicken risotto (if I do say so myself) but I’ve rested on that laurel for quite a while now, and it is time to really get into proper cooking and learning the craft. So I’d like to try something new on Sunday, currently browsing through our various cookbooks (and the Internet) for something that grabs my fancy. Will blog on its success (or lack thereof)! next week.
Something else that I shall definitely indulging in on Sunday, perhaps into the evening with a big glass of red wine, will be reading. Currently I am reading Matter by Iain M. Banks, and it is just brilliant. Epic and glorious and has me completely immersed in the universe he has created in his series of novels concerning the interstellar society of The Culture. I am getting towards the end (it’s a long book) and cannot wait to finish it.
Why don’t you join in too? I know this is short notice, and maybe you are doing something on Sunday that requires the use of digital devices and the need to be in contact with others through their use. That’s alright. But consider it, pick another day! Any day. 24 hours is a decent length of time to go when we are so used to using things like our phones and laptops, but not too long that our lives begin to suffer from our being disconnected. So, join me on Sunday?
Wish me luck in disappearing off the grid for a day. I shall blog next week and let you all know how it went.