Digital sabbath


I spend too much time in front of computers. On the average day, I have seven hours at work, followed by anything from two to five hours at home in the evening. Most of this time is unproductive — it’s oh, so easy, to get sucked into playing around with this or that new application, or following links from Twitter, or, well, just clicking about here and there. The truth is that at the end of any given day I might be hard-pressed to even account for what I’ve done for the twelve online hours that have just passed. Ah, Eliot, tis of I you speak: Distracted from distraction by distraction.’ (‘Burnt Norton’)

[…] For one day per week I’m going to unplug completely. I’ve borrowed as my name for this new habit Mark Bittman’s phrase, digital sabbath.’ Bittman wrote about his own practice of unplugging in an article in the New York Times — I read that while I was away in Wales, and it made a whole lot of sense to me. I had read about Ariel Meadow Stallings’s 52 Nights Unplugged at some point last year (of course, I’ve no idea where I came across it, as it was probably in the middle of an evening’s frenzied site-hopping!), and thought it sounded like a good idea. But I didn’t manage to do anything with that good idea.

Not a bad idea at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love my computer, and I have learned an awful lot of very valuable (to me) things via the internet. But there are times when you find yourself clicking back through several weeks worth of LOLCats, when alarm bells should begin ringing, and you should just get out and get a real life for a while.

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Looking gloomily at weather and thinking about how I’m going to get as soaked going home as I did coming in.