I tried a radical experiment on Sunday. Originally, it was to be a day without computer technology. Sounds simple, right? No computers for a day. Gotta be easy. Couldn’t do it.
If you say no TV for a day, that has meaning and that is most of my days. No computer for a day could mean many things. If you are just talking no laptop or desktop computer, that is most of my weekends. If you are talking no Android smart phone and no iPad altogether, that is not at all reasonable.
On Sunday we went to a new dim sum restaurant in Seattle and to a play in downtown Seattle where we rarely go. OK, I rationalized, need to use Google Maps turn by turn navigation. We coordinated with other people regarding meals, play and transportation. OK, gotta use the phone and the voice dialing is necessary because I sure don’t have all of those phone numbers memorized these days. As evening fell, I realized that my library book must be read on the iPad.
Here’s the compromise: no using social networks or email for a whole day. It was hard. I thought of tweets I could send, wondered how my tweeps were reacting to the budget crisis solution, and suppressed the urge to check email several times. Facebook apparently did not cease to exist without my checking it.
This reminds me of how folks react each time a new technology is introduced. When that newfangled telephone thing was introduced, detractors were sure that it was the road to perdition. Who knows how horrible human relationships will end up being when you are always talking to someone who is not even really right here? New technology is resisted at first and then becomes part of everyday normal life and most essential to the disabled and those who overuse it. My experiment was an attempt to show myself I am not in unhealthy addiction.
I may need to reduce time spent on social networking and that was the genesis of my failed no computer experiment. Right now I am resisting spending time on Google+ but expect that it will end up being the best social network because it is smart to target who sees which posts. Google+ is also convenient because posts can be longer than Twitter allows, but perhaps it is not convenient to read longer than Twitter allows.
In the meantime, I am not eager to repeat my experiment. Computers, telephones, social networks, and email are a big part of my life and I strongly prefer not to do without them. Isn’t that odd.