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Digital Detox Week

19 April 2009

When the girls were little, we would participate in the yearly “TV-Free Week” — families would pledge not to turn on the television for one week in April. We only watched a half-hour a day, so during that week we wouldn’t watch Arthur or Zooboomafoo. Because our daily TV watching was so low compared to other American families, I always felt that our participating in TV-Free Week was a bit of a cheat.

Now, Adbusters has changed the focus of the week to all electronic screened media and is calling it Digital Detox Week. Visit the site for all sorts of arguments why a DDW is necessary. Screened media have taken over my daily life, and I don’t like that: I waste inordinate amounts of time clicking between one site and another, rather than putting the computer aside and doing something else. Participating this time sure won’t feel like cheating to me.

The rest of the family is not participating, but I have decided to give it a modified try. I can’t completely turn off because I need electronic media to do my job and communicate with clients, but here’s how I will be participating in DDW from 20 to 26 April:

  • No Scramble (online Boggle), Scrabble, or Zuma playing.
  • Email checking only once per half hour (yes, this is cutting back, sadly)
  • No blogging
  • No visiting blogs (this will be HARD! Even though I don’t comment as often as I used to, I visit all of you every time you post)
  • No visiting friends’ daily photo diaries
  • No Twitter
  • No Facebook
  • (So please, if something life-changing happens to you, for heaven’s sake, send me an email)

Things I will continue to do:

  • Listen to iTunes on the computer and on my iPod. Music is too important to my sanity to cut it out for a week.
  • Post to my daily photo diary (and reply to comments visitors make on my diary [it would be rude to just ignore them])
  • Send and receive email
  • Use the computer for writing

See you on the other side!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. 20 April 2009 1:10 am

    What a good idea!
    Last time I had a week off, I switched off my mobile phone and didn’t go on my computer (AT ALL) for four days. I was quite sad to switch back on at the end.
    Maybe I’ll do it again.

  2. 20 April 2009 8:17 am

    I’d find it easier to not switch on the computer than to be so selective – good luck.

  3. 20 April 2009 10:28 am

    Good luck with the DDW!

    I “digitally detox” any time I go on vacation. One of the main things I notice is that when I’m away from home I really don’t miss my computer, email or the Internet. But when I get back home, I invariably get sucked back in.

  4. 21 April 2009 10:52 am

    I really really need to do this. The problem with internet addiction is that, unlike cigarettes or alcohol or gambling, you actually need a computer sometimes. It would be impossible to go cold turkey, 100% offline. Well, and still have a modern life. (Bill paying, weather checking, map checking, etc.)

    Good luck.

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