Experiment “Freedom from the Computer”

I challenged myself to spend 48 hours without a computer (hence no comments in the past two days.) Of course, I didn’t want to leave readers without intellectual nourishment, so I scheduled some posts in advance.

The only serious hardship I experienced was the state of anxiety that something might be happening in the world that I need to know about urgently and I’m missing it. I don’t have television, so that source of information was out. I could have accessed the Internet on my Kindle, of course, but that would be cheating.

The world without a computer feels very quiet. I very rarely listen to anything on the computer but it brings so many voices into one’s life that it feels like there is constant chatter coming out of it.

Have you tried going computer-free lately?

10 thoughts on “Experiment “Freedom from the Computer”

  1. I spend a lot less time in front of the computer than I used to, because I transitioned from being in a long-distance relationship which depended upon the use of skype and MSN to living with my sweetie, which meant more time spent with them didn’t require the use of a computer. I’ve had self-enforced “screen free” periods before, my longest lasted a month. There are pros and cons to being entirely screen free, the biggest perk meaning that I am able to focus my attention on tasks which require my hands, like drawing, more easily, which is good for my anxiety, I end up spending a lot more time exploring outside, and I become a lot more aware of my surroundings. But I do feel a strange disconnect, and I feel annoyed knowing that I am not as much in control of which news I consume when I don’t have the internet, since the selection offered by TV and print news is exceedingly limited compared to the internet.

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  2. Oh dear you have really hit home for me with this short post. Because of what I’m trying to get through I have been doing a lot of reading and writing lately, starting the blog and trying to read other blogs, and sort of isolating myself over break to get all this writing done before classes start again. So I have noticed that I’ve been attached to the computer – all day, all night, again first thing. Even more than usual – and the usual is a lot. I am having a strong instinct to do just what you did even for 24 hours. I know I am at my most peaceful and centered when I camp in the summer and take a week long break. I mean, in order to write well, one needs to live well and walk away from writing and connection sometimes. Yet it is so hard to do. There is a Portlandia sketch where the man can’t stop checking his texts, Facebook, blogs, tweets, RSS feeds, Google reader, and so on, until his brain melts down. I even had my iPad in the kitchen when I was cooking tonight. It has to stop! I agree there is a great deal of chatter and I do like that and appreciate it but I also think a healthy dose of silence is healthy now and again.

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    1. I’m a person who falls asleep clutching her cell in one hand and her Kindle in another. I wake up at night to check emails. So I hear you, my friend. I’m now thinking of organizing an Internet free day twice a month.

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      1. I should do something like that, too. I spend at least 14 hours a day in front of my computer. Any time away from it gives me great anxiety, exactly of the type you mentioned, like I’m missing out on world events.

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  3. The computer/internet is a HUGE time suck for me. The worst is when I go in to a fog and spend hours online and don’t even know where the time went. So for 2012 I resolve to spend more “productive” time online (or less time altogether.) But it’s going to be a hard habit to break. The internet is endlessedly fascinating! 😉

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  4. I think I’d curl up in a fetal position for the entirety of those 48 hours.

    Funny that ‘Stringer Bell’ is someone’s username, I’ve been my latest abuse of the computer has been to rewatch The Wire, a very important task.

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  5. I just don’t get it. I have not tried going without a computer unless I am visiting my mother who has no internet connection. I also have not tried going without shoes, shirts, clean drinking water, or coffee for extended periods.

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