Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Day Offline

I spent yesterday offline. It was not easy. At times, it was down right frustrating. In addition to the SOPA issue, I've been seeing all these articles about internet addiction, and it had me curious.
I should note that I did allow myself 3 email checks spaced out through the day since it is the way teachers and some other important people primarily communicate with me. I checked for important messages and left the rest. This taught me that I get way too many junk emails that I need to unsubscribe from. I guess since they usually trickle in through the day, I never noticed how many there were.
I also found out that I have gotten really use to having knowledge at my fingertips at all times. Several times I had to resist the urge to ask Rocky something, knowing he'd look it up online. Someone called me and asked me a question that I had to answer with, "I don't know." That one hurt. I knew how to find out, I could have answered the question in 30 seconds or less, but it involved the internet, so I had to let someone else do the search. The answer was the first thing I looked up this morning when I went back online. Easter is April 8th this year, just in case you were wondering.
The strangest part of going offline was how isolated I felt. I talked to people on the phone, I was even face to face social with a few people, but still I felt like there was a wall between me and the rest of the world. I'm not sure how I feel about that. It was an unexpected weird sort of anxiety. I think it was that anxiety that kept me from being more productive. I had thought that going offline for the day would increase the time I had to do other things, but it really didn't.
All in all, I am very glad I did it. I do think I will do it again soon. I also think I need to curb daily usage a bit. I'm going to continue to limit the number of times I check my email, and turn off my phone alerts. It has been an enlightening experiment.

1 comment:

Cryptoknight said...

I'm about to effectively go offline for a week for my yearly camp out with the giant SCA event. During this time my primary interaction with people will be hitting them with sticks, or playing my drum in an attempt to get them to dance. This will be an even bigger shift than usual, b/c I have been spending absurd amounts of time online coordinating a group of a couple dozen volunteers for the Mardi Gras parade. Nothing causes information overload like someone sending you 13 emails asking inane questions, and then backing out at the last minute.
Seriously though, it's of great interest to me how people's social interactions are shifting based on the tech available, and how far it will go.