I have a handful of tasks on my list of 101 Things in 1001 Days which have been kind of hard to get excited about. Some of them are gym-related (no surprise there!) while others have challenged me to give up something I love. That month without coffee was rough.
So it’s probably not surprising that I’ve waited until Day 965 to embark on Task 67: Have a technology-free weekend.
This Friday afternoon I’ll switch off my phone, lock it in my desk drawer at work and walk away. I’ll put away my iPad and laptop too, as well as any other gadgets that would normally make an appearance in the course of a weekend. There will be no TV, and when the sun sets the lights will mostly stay off – at least in the rooms that I’ll be in.
I’m going to spend a bit of time over the next two days working out exactly what “technology-free” will mean, and set a few rules for myself ahead of time.
Here’s the plan so far.
- devices such as my phone, iPad, computers, digital cameras
- social media and texts (obviously!)
- dishwasher and microwave
- lights, unless I’m working on something for my 101 Things list and candlelight won’t cut it
- hairdryer & straightener (oh no!)
- I can drive, but only if I really really need something that can’t be reached on foot
- washing machine and heater
- oven and stovetop
- film cameras
Questions nobody has asked me yet:
But like, why?
This task isn’t really about the environment, or appreciation for how technology has made life easier. I added it to my list because my phone has practically become part of my anatomy and it’s a major cause of distraction and procrastination. I have a pavlovian reaction to the buzz of my phone and that bothers me.
Will you die?
I fully expect that my hand will reach for my phone constantly for the first day, and I’ll be slightly annoyed when I want to google something to get a quick answer. But it’s just one weekend!
Mostly, I’m expecting the weekend to feel longer, for the pace to slow. I’m anticipating that Tim and I will have more time to talk, and maybe I’ll finally have the brain space necessary to sit down and do a bunch of my drawing tasks too.
Will you cheat?
Yup! There are a couple of allowances I have given myself. For example, I’ve found an ancient, feature-free iPod full of who-knows-what music and I’m going to check it out over the weekend. It will be a big step back from Shazamming a song and purchasing it in under 60 seconds.
However, I won’t ask Tim to look something up for me or help me break any other rules.
We haven’t really discussed this part yet, but I’ve already decided to not drag Tim into my device-free hell. Instead, if there’s something he wants to watch on TV I’ll just take myself off to another room and do something else. Who knows, maybe he’ll decide to power down too!
I secretly can’t wait for the peaceful, productive weekend ahead of me without the lure of all those screens. If you miss me this weekend, just picture me wandering down to the corner shop to buy an actual newspaper (whaaaat?) with my frightening naturally-dried hair. You can be sure that my phone will be buzzing loudly in my hand again by 8am Monday morning when I plug it back in!
If you have any other ideas for making this lo-fi weekend even better I would love to hear them! Leave me a comment before Friday afternoon, or maybe you could leave me a tweet to look forward to on Monday?
See you on the other side!