Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Weekend Without

Lately I've been reading a lot of blogs about 'switching offline' for the weekend. People are challenging themselves to drop the Internet for two days or more, if they can manage it, as a reminder of different ways to spend their time.

I thought this experiment sounded quite nice and I have been mulling over when I could try it out myself. The idea would be to pick a weekend when I didn't really have anything on and I'd just keep my computer shut and my phone switched off. I'd get on with my creative projects and not bee obligated to go online.

Well, the universe decided I'd not have a say as this weekend I managed to find myself without a connection. I couldn't even get 3G on my phone. I was cut off entirely without expecting it or planning on it. But I didn't mind terribly. I had other things on my plate keeping me quite busy.

I was busy taking driving lessons for a test I sat on Monday. I didn't pass - just to get that out of the way first.

but the lack of Internet did bring a few things to light. First of all, it's a great distracter. Just like television or video games, the Internet is something we use to distract ourselves from daily stresses or worries. I think it's good to take some downtime but sometimes these distracters actually turn into a way for us to completely avoid dealing with a situation, and that's not very healthy.

In other ways, it was a dropped lifeline. I've had my license for ten years and driving isn't just something I do to get from A to B. Driving is something I absolutely love. When I'm driving I become very mindful. I'm just there, in the vehicle, in the moment. My mind is on shifting, changing lanes, watching the traffic around me, feeling the road under me. But that's in Canada and that's on the right hand side of the road.

On the left I can't quite seem to wrap my head around the size of the car or the feel of the stick in my left hand, rather than my right. My confidence was shaken and I couldn't even text a friend to share this.

I think it's easy to make blanket statement about the Internet being a time waster, but just like television, it has its advantages. Through Facebook and email I am able to keep in touch with friends and family. I'm able to market what I do and keep my marketing in my own hands. I can share my writing through my blog. If I want to look something up it's simple and easy to do.

On the other hand, I was able to really focus and I had to remember that having confidence was about being able to believe in myself, rather than having other people affirming I could do it. It's nice to know people have your back but you have to be there for yourself too. I couldn't rely on a comforting text and I had to do a lot of hard work to remind myself that, just because I can drive in one country, doesn't mean my skills are 100% transferable.

I love Dinosaur comics - This man is a genius. 

So now I'm back in London and the Internet is once again at my fingertips. I have loads of emails to catch-up on and work to do which couldn't be done as a result of my disconnection, but I don't mind. It was simply the situation and because I knew there was nothing I could do about it, I wasn't really bothered. In fact, I was amazed at how little it did bug me. And I think that's something I might not have appreciated if I'd planned to go without for a weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! I haven't done this, but I did undergo an anti-multitasking experiment for a week last fall and wrote about it. Quite amazing how much I think I'm getting done when I'm multitasking. Turns out I am a lot more productive without it. But I still can't break the habit...


Express yourself here
criticize constructively
I am receptive