Unplugging Oneself From Cyberspace

Do you find that you're overwhelmed by the need to check your email every hour, read hundreds of feeds on your feedreader, or chat with everyone on IM? Do you need an off-ramp on the Information Superhighway?

Here's what Mark Bittman, a self-professed tech-addict, wrote in the New York Times about unplugging himself from teh interwebs for one day a week:

On my first weekend last fall, I eagerly shut it all down on Friday night, then went to bed to read. (I chose Saturday because my rules include no television, and I had to watch the Giants on Sunday). I woke up nervous, eager for my laptop. That forbidden, I reached for the phone. No, not that either. Send a text message? No. I quickly realized that I was feeling the same way I do when the electricity goes out and, finding one appliance nonfunctional, I go immediately to the next. I was jumpy, twitchy, uneven.

I managed. I read the whole paper, without hyperlinks. I tried to let myself do nothing, which led to a long, MP3-free walk, a nap and some more reading, an actual novel. I drank herb tea (caffeine was not helpful) and stared out the window. I tried to allow myself to be less purposeful, not to care what was piling up in my personal cyberspace, and not to think about how busy I was going to be the next morning. I cooked, then went to bed, and read some more.

Link (Illustration: Scott Brundage)


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I admire him. To be able to live deliberately, as Thoreau so often stressed, is really something I find difficult to do. I think many people should follow his example and clear their minds from the technology if just for a day a week or a day a month. To wake up from this deep slumber would be refreshing. *turns off computer*
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No, you misunderstand me, ironically. I was wondering why he spent any of his time on a Saturday just "staring out the window" rather than going to spend time with a real person.

I agree about not becoming a slave to one's communication devices. I'm just amazed anyone does even to the extent that he hs.
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Why would one's friends be unable to survive without you for a day? Personally I think this sounds like a great idea, and the fact that I'm not even sure whether or not I would actually make it through the day without "peeking" at the internet makes it seem all the more like something I ought to try. The guy has the right idea about not becoming a slave to one's communication devices, imo ...
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