Thursday, September 19, 2013

Digital Detox

This is the look she gives me when I'm
on the computer too much. What a ham.
I am a lover of technology. I write personally and professionally, and as much as I would love to claim that I follow that romantic ideal of writing everything out in longhand first… I can’t. The digital world calls for speed, and as much content as I produce, writing it first by hand would seriously cut back on efficiency. I guess I’ll reserve the longhand for my creative endeavors.

As much time as I spend in front of a computer screen each day, you’d think that by the time I got home from work I’d put myself as far away from the computer as possible. But that’s the thing about the Internet: there are so many interesting things to read, see, watch, and interact with that it can be hard to say no.

When I’m not at work, I find myself filling up my free time by browsing Facebook, Pinterest, and my e-mail; playing videogames; and sometimes even checking the same things over and over on my phone. I like that I can feel connected to the wider world so easily, but I’ve been feeling more and more lately like I need to take a pause, an exodus from technology when I’m at home.

I’m not particularly attached to any social media, even if I do enjoy it. I’m not one of those people who tweet once every few minutes or snaps Instagram photos several times per day. But even so, the Internet is good at addiction, and even when there’s not really anything compelling, it’s still an easy go-to place for vegging out. The problem is, it’s also a time suck. Time that could be spent doing something more enjoyable isn’t used because it’s more work to do something else, and I often end up wondering where my entire evening went.
One of my favorite activities: reading a good book.
Image: Shutterstock
So lately, I’ve been taking a step back. Instead of checking Facebook for the eighteenth time that day, I turn off my computer screen and curl up on the sofa with a good book. I pull out my sketchbook and express myself artistically. I plan out the next few chapters of my book. I go outside and play with the dog. I give myself some much needed digital detox.

And you know what? My evenings are starting to feel longer. I go to bed feeling satisfied, and I fall asleep faster. When I check Facebook, it’s been more than a few hours and so there are actually new things to be seen. I’m enjoying everything more, and I have so much more time to do things I had forgotten I loved.

Want some ideas for what to do during a digital detox time? Here’s my list:
  • Read a book
  • Art—drawing, painting
  • Crafting—DIY projects, knitting, crocheting
  • Cooking/baking
  • Writing—personal or creative
  • Go outside—playing with a pet, enjoying nature, taking photos
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Exercise—yoga, walking, jogging, biking
  • Play games--cards, board games