Sunday, March 2, 2008
Our electricity went out today. No internet, no cable, no iHome, no iPod, simply put: no gadgets. The first thing I experience is nervousness. 'Uhm. what next? I guess I can text message.'
But I didn't. And it felt good to take a break from gadgets, music, the internet, all things cyber. True, it only lasted a few hours, but what a nice walk I had on the snow-covered street.
And, coincidentally, the NY Times had a similar feature today. A snippet says,
'In short, my name is Mark, and I’m a techno-addict. But after my airplane experience, I decided to do something about it. Thus began my “secular Sabbath” — a term I found floating around on blogs — a day a week where I would be free of screens, bells and beeps. An old-fashioned day not only of rest but of relief.
Like many, though, I wondered whether breaking my habit would be entirely beneficial. I worried about the colleagues, friends, daughters, parents and so on who relied on me, the people who knew that whether I was home or away I would get back to them, if not instantly then certainly before the end of the day. What if something important was happening, something that couldn’t wait 24 hours?
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.'
An enjoyable and relevant piece. Read full text here.