(Yes, I realise my phone screen is really dirty.)
I had lunch with MrBrioche and Ally today. Ally mentioned that she had gone on a meditation retreat, and one of the requirements was to go tech-free. Not even books were allowed. As someone who is almost always glued to her phone / computer because of her job, I was surprised that she actually agreed to it, and I was even more surprised that her boss allowed it. But she did do it, and lived to tell us the tale.
She said that the first day was the toughest. It was so bad that one person couldn’t do it, and ended up giving up and leaving the retreat. But by the end of the four days, a lot of people were actually dreading having to return back to “civilisation” because they had managed to find a sense of inner quiet, and they knew that it would be really hard to find again amongst the constant phone notifications, social media happenings, and work emails.
After hearing about this retreat, I was intrigued. The meditation part doesn’t fascinate me all that much, but the no-tech thing sounds interesting. As someone who makes a living with computers, I can’t imagine what it would be like to go no-tech. Even the couple of months where we didn’t have internet felt like torture (although by the end of the first month, I did manage to find other things to occupy my time).
Obviously, unless I were to take leave from my job, I wouldn’t be able to go no-tech, but I’ve been thinking about giving it a shot for 24 hours. I know that a lot of people have been doing it as a substitute for the 40-hour famine, so 24 hours isn’t much, but I think it’s long enough for me to see if I’d go stir-crazy.
I’ve actually been purposely avoiding Facebook for a month now. Not avoiding as in not using it, but I use it only to check messages and events. I don’t browse the feed anymore. It did mean that I missed out on Enforcer renewals for PAX, but I was 50-50 about doing it again this year anyway. I’ve found it pretty liberating. Not that Facebook was depressing, but I found myself wasting half an hour each day looking at posts from people I hadn’t seen since high school, and to be honest, was pretty disconnected from, and so the daily events in their life wasn’t that interesting to me. Browsing reddit probably has the same effect, and I find myself doing a lot less of that lately as well (I probably only get about 3 pages in, whereas I used to probably do 20, or browse specific subreddits).
Giving up gaming is probably going to be the hardest, but I did it when we had no internet, so I can do it again.
So I’m picking a date: Saturday 3rd of June. Going to turn my phone off Friday evening, no computer, books, TV, kitchen appliances, car, Mi band. Is that too extreme? I wonder what I will do with my time. I wonder what I will eat. I might have to stock up on bread or something. Beef jerky. Will need to think about it. I also will need to pre-write my blog post for the day.
Am I turning into a hippie?