I don’t know about you, but I seem to spend a lot of time in front of a screen in one form or another. I know it’s the way of the world but I can’t help thinking
that there is so much more to see. Particularly as a writer. This all came to a head last week when I had a heavy cold which really knocked me off my feet and rendered me tetchy as hell. Apologies to my very patient husband, Simon!
It just struck me how digital my life has become. Laptop for writing, Kindle for reading, Apps for recipes, organisation, keyboard practice and learning Italian, daily crosswords and solitaire, Smartphone for keeping in touch with family. And last week, when I wasn’t feeling 100%, looking at a screen made me feel even worse. I just wanted to cuddle up on the sofa with a good old fashioned book and my box of hankies.
I’ve digitised my life a lot, since moving over to Italy. It’s the only way I can communicate with a group of English speaking writers, it’s quick, easy and efficient. Our children prefer using Whats App and Messenger to keep in touch and we don’t have the room or the resources to recycle paperback books. But…deep down at heart I’m a pen and paper girl. So I’ve decided to dedicate one day a week reducing my on screen time. Sunday’s are a good day for me. I’m not religious and I don’t go out to work on fixed days so weekends aren’t special, it’s just a day I associate with chilling out, and if that means unplugging then that’s okay by me.
The other thing that kicked off my need for a digital detox was an update I did on our ancient, but well used, Ipad. It now gives me a weekly report of my online time. And I’d downloaded a Chrome extension that also does the same on my laptop – see the screenshot. And to top that, I can monitor my Facebook time on my phone as well. Big Brother is definitely watching me!
So yesterday, I started a photo journal – a mixture between a monthly personal diary and a photo album. Printing out photo’s I’d taken and writing, in pen and ink, about the fun things that happen in my life. Most of them are dog or cat related. All those photo’s that sit waiting in ‘the cloud’ to jolt our memories. It just doesn’t happen, does it? The exercise was cathartic, it was uplifting and it was fun! A little like being a kid again, sitting at the table with glue covered fingers, pots of crayons and lots of paper with all kinds of scribbles and wiggles that don’t make any sense.
And this morning I feel ready to face the digital world again, knowing that next Sunday is play day…
What do you do, to detox from this digital world of ours?