A Week Unplugged 2014

It’s that time of the year again.  We all have new year’s resolutions and things we wish we could improve or do this year we’ve been putting off for the last, say, thirty years.  Many of us have annual traditions or cleansing around this time of year as well.  A holiday spent eating or doing way more than usual tend to leave a residual of guilt, and other residuals, hanging around us.  The first weeks of the new years are also a great time to push the reset button on some habits we find ourselves becoming unimpressed with or establish new disciplines.  It’s no wonder gyms fill up this time of year and empty by the first week of March.

There have been a lot of articles floating around lately talking about the increasing issue of people spending too much time online.  When not glued to a laptop we have smartphones an arm’s length away and wifi at every corner.  TV shows and video games have filled the sparse few spare moments we have and becoming increasingly used as babysitters by parents.  Recent reports have suggested a link between our tech addiction – let’s call it what it is – and the decline in parental ability, family values and creativity.  Not going to get into arguments about the merits or causes of each of those, owning what I know is true for me.

I’m a heavy tech user.  In lamen’s terms: addicted.  I will be the first to stand up and fight against those who declare any kind of technology a bad thing.  It’s a hill I’m readily willing to die on, smartphone in hand.  A few years back I started an annual tradition that is coming up for it’s turn this week that I’m bringing you into the loop on.  For the duration of next week I’m going early 20th century: no internet, TV or video games.  This means personal email, Twitter, Facebook, blogging – the lot.  My smartphone will be relegated to a distant location and only answered if it rings.  Since technology is my work I have made the concession to only allow work email and my laptop during work hours.  Why am I telling you this, then?

Accountability.

It’s very easy to get yourself online these days but very hard to do so without somebody noticing.  I’m also doing it as a challenge to others to join me.  I know this is a huge area of weakness for me and I’m not making a statement that technology, social media or the internet is a bad thing.  On the contrary, I’m making a statement that it doesn’t control me.

Sometimes I feel like it needs to know that.

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