I set myself a challenge yesterday, could I go computer free, could I disconnect myself from the world?
As you can imagine I had to have some rules to make this survivable. For a start I have to use a computer for work, so whilst in the office I allowed myself full access to mass communication, and had a nice IM chat with my little brother who is overseas with the forces right now. However, outside of the office I allowed myself no computer time, no television, and no telephones except to coordinate collecting Laura from the metro station. I did allow myself unlimited gym time, and challenged myself to read a book I’d normally leave on the shelf.
The reason for this was twofold, firstly to get back to a simpler lifestyle and give my brain some time to relax and secondly to try and cut my power consumption to a few CFL bulbs rather than a room full of whiring digital entertainment. To make this effective I unplugged my machines and reversed my office chair so it faced into the room and blocked me from my desk.
So I managed a very good workout, and then after dinner enjoyed a relaxing evening with a 1945 translation of Balzac’s Pere Goriot. I’d read some of the book in French as part of my A level course many years ago, and so kept finding passages of text I recognised. Even in English, the translated French still has a beautiful lyricism to it. I finished the evening feeling calm, relaxed, and bubbling with a few ideas, an experience I’d been sadly lacking of late.
I’ve now decided to move this into a regular event and see if I can squeeze it in twice a week, alongside my thrice weekly visits to the gym. Wish me luck, I find it hard to give the keyboard up, especially now I’ve got this tiny netbook and can blog from anywhere in the house!