Drinking: Lemon and ginger tea
Listening to: Read more, write more (soundcloud)
It's 8:27 and I was first roused by my alarm at 7. I then slept until 7:30, read Moon Palace for half an hour and then got up to start writing. Once on my laptop, I edited yesterdays post in preparation for Monday and now I am writing for today.
The topic for today is one that I tabled in my head yesterday. It is the topic of a phone detox. The idea for it was given to me by an article I read in the evening, when I researched ditching one's smartphone. The article came from a man a few years older than me, a man that works in media in New York City. He was averaging a usage of 5 hours on his phone and checking it 101 times each day. I don't know my own statistics to compare with his, which is annoying. But nonetheless I would like to try what he did.
Upon learning of the sickening amount of time he spent on his device, he sought the help of a woman who wrote on the current epidemic of excessive mobile device usage. He asked her to coach him for a month to reduce his compulsive phone use. She agreed and their journey started. I don't remember what the first few stages of his process was, but come the end of it she had one final task for him. That task was to go without using his phone at all for 24 hours. Because he wanted to do it bigger, he made a weekend of it.
As typical of those that can afford to dream of minimalism, his way of doing this weekend was to leave his phone at home and rent a cabin in the woods an hour or so out of the city. He spent his time cooking, thinking, writing and reading. He watched the fire in the evenings. He greatly enjoyed his time there and even enjoyed the heavy friction on the way: he had to ask for directions and got lost a few times.
By the next paragraph, he implores the reader to have a similar experience, he says
"I cannot stress enough that under the right conditions, spending an entire weekend without a phone in your immediate vicinity is incredible. You have to try it."
So with romantic ideas of Thoreau walking through my head, I decided to do so 2 days after reading it. At first I rather wanted to make a weekend of it as well, however now that I am doing it, I think 24 hours will be a challenge in and of itself. I will likely spend most of the day at home for obvious reasons, but I will still be limited by my lack of a mobile.
On a normal day, I would have 1 or 2 chats with friends. Recently it's been 0 or 1. Today it will be 0. Luckily my parents will both be home so I can talk to them. Yet I still yearn to talk to others sometimes. I don't know why.
As of yet I haven't laid any ground rules for general internet usage for the day. I still have my laptop available to me and my iPod and of course the desktop PC downstairs. However in the spirit of the challenge I would feel icky if I were to while away large swathes of my time on these devices.
There are already 4 things that I have planned for the day: go for a short walk; play scrabble with my mum; have a shower; cook potato boulangere. The last item in the list is a relatively simple potato dish that I've been planning on cooking now for 3 weeks. My dad suggested roasting a chicken to go alongside it, however I nixed the idea as it would be too much effort for me and too heavy alongside the potatoes. As it turns out he won't even be here for dinner that day as he will be attending a barbecue hosted by an old friend of his. Such is life.
So I shall now attend the rest of the day and see how it goes.