DISCLAIMER: This article was written in December of 2012. After having not finished it in 3 years I feel the need to simply publish the ideas that are here.
Lately I had been feeling the need to unplug and unwind.
I sit at a computer at the very least 8 hours every day. Between work and play, my eyes are assaulted by pixels that demand attention. Some days its like I can’t get enough, I want to check the latest thing Visual Idiot said on Twitter or the newest photos someone has uploaded to Instagram. Yet the deeper feeling inside is, this is too much.
This is the thought that has put me at odds with myself. I love being a part of communities, whether online or off. I believe we all do, we all have that drive to be accepted and to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. In this day and age the internet allows us to be a part of a bigger collective that we may not have otherwise been.
That being said I have two different sides within me fighting: Collaborate on the web & get your self unplugged.
I realized yesterday that between my wife and I we are spending $60.00 / month to have mobile internet, where it only costs us $40 for internet at home. On top of that I sit at a computer 8-12 hours a day, sleep 6 which leaves 6 other hours during the day that I am “mobile”. (Which lets face it, I may be at home (which has wifi) or moving around town (which you can find wifi places). So why exactly am I paying extra cash to be plugged in more? I guess the lifestyle I live doesn’t really require it. I guess it is a necessary evil if you want the conveniences of those few hours with mobile internet.
Collaborating on the Web
I just finished a 30 day fast without social media. No sharing photos, no tweeting, no updating a status, just plain old phone calls and text messages. (Inspired by Steve Corona)
As stated before, my career is such that I can not avoid the internet. Being a web designer/developer/master for several companies as well as my own keeps me plugged into email, website updates and more. However, I wanted to make my personal life more full. I wanted to talk to people about their life, not just read about what they say in a public place, such as Facebook.
I made the decision to go without social media, with a few caveats, I had to access social sites ONLY for work. That means, creating new pages or profiles, sharing blog posts, or just general sharing info for the company I was representing. (That is my job anyhow.) This worked out better than I had hoped.
In the beginning I felt myself automatically opening up a new tab on my browser and start typing in “faceb…”. It wasn’t exactly a concsience decision, but more of a habit. It took about a week to break that habit.
The moments I did access social sites, was quick and efficient. I put on my metaphorical blinders to keep my eyes away from that blaring red notification bubble. (Or the blue highlight notification on Twitter.) I got in, did what I had to, and got out. I didn’t want to get sucked into to gorging myself on information.