Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Unplug - the verdict

Day Two in the 'Unplugged House' – said in true 'Big Brother' stylee!!

Seriously though, it's been nearly 48 hours, so how is it going? I'm sticking to it as per my rules. I have been on the internet at work but that was only to check something and I didn't drift off to any site other than the one I needed. Today proved a little tougher at work as I wasn't quite so busy and my usual filler is to have a nosey on facebook, check my google reader feed and go onto my webmail. Instead I sorted through my work emails, ditching the old stuff and filing/dealing with the ones I'd been doing my best to ignore! At home my web browser hasn't been opened!

I have had my phone on airplane mode except for an hour last night when I turned the network on so I could make sure I had had no messages about the sale of my flat. An hour may seem a while but reception here isn't brilliant so better safe than sorry! I'm keeping it in airplane mode rather than switched off so that I can still listen to music and my alarms will still go off. I checked my email last night as I planned. All I did was open my email programme, let them download, then scanned through them. My email programme shows me who it's from and the subject line and if it wasn't obviously something to do with the flat it got ignored completely. I then shut it down again! (There was nothing about the flat!)

I have remembered to check the landline each night when I get in to see if anyone has left a message as my mobile answerphone message gives my landline number.

I turned the TV off at the socket so I couldn't automatically come in and switch it on which is what I normally do. Last night I had my nails done and by the time that was done, I'd had some food and a shower it was pretty much time for bed so I didn't miss it. Tonight I don't have any plans. I've had my dinner and am writing this listening to the radio. I have some ironing to do but after that I'm not too sure...

I was a little disappointed when I tuned the mobile on and there was an overwhelming silence! No text messages, no missed calls, no eBay or facebook notifications. Then again it also kind of helped as it made me think I can't be missing out on much.

The one thing that has occurred to me is how trivial my status updates must seem to my facebok friends. There have been countless times when I've gone to update facebook and I've thought about what it was I would have said and realised that no-one would really care that 'Claire Rudkins just got sworn at getting on the train' or 'Claire Rudkins has found a lovely new dress' etc etc etc.

There are some things that I need to do that require me to go online. I need to complain to an eBay seller about a shoddy product I have received, I need to book some train tickets but they are things that can wait another 5 days. I have a few people I ought to get in touch with that I would normally text or facebook, this is where it is proving difficult for me. I don't really like phoning people and tend to send a quick text/facebook message that they can respond to at their leisure. Maybe I'll make an extra effort to make personal contact, or maybe they can wait 5 days too!!

PS I'm writing this as a text document ready to copy and paste to the blog, I'm not cheating, promise!

Day Four in the 'Unplugged House'

Well today has proved the most difficult so far. It's a Bank Holiday here in the UK and I didn't plan anything which has led to me doing nothing in particular and wanting to put the TV on. I had a lie in, I've read a lot of my book, I did the shopping and I started playing with the kit I bought that will allow me to copy my videos to my laptop and then to DVD. Again I didn't plan very well though as the copied files are large and I haven't got any DVDs to burn them to so I can't do much until I get some! I even resorted to an afternoon snooze!!

M popped in for a visit and happened to mention how she'd realised how trivial a lot of our texts are. Great minds think alike...

So far I've had one text message (that I haven't read yet) and one voicemail message which I did retrieve as it related to flat stuff. Other than that it's been silence. I'm not sure if this is because people are aware I'm doing this or I'm just not as popular as I hoped I was!! I've also had 136 emails none of which have related to the flat so they haven't been opened. It will be interesting to go through them all next week and actually see how many of them are complete rubbish. I feel the potential for lots of unsubscribing.

Three days to go...

Day Six in the 'Unplugged House'

So, I've had another two days at home and I'm still sticking to my rules. I even got M to bring her map of town with her when we went to view a flat rather than jumping online to check where we had to go or use the mapping on my phone. I have to say it felt very strange to be walking round with a proper street map and not just looking at my phone.

I've now watched my quota of two DVDs, one last night (127 Hours) and one tonight (Chicago). I made my dinner and sat down to watch. It was nice not to have the temptation to check messages or jump on facebook to comment on the films as I was watching them.

I have finished the book I was reading and read another one, listened to a lot of 80's music (I've had an 80's radio station playing most of the time), finally gone through a folder of documents on my computer that needed clearing out and scanned I don't know how many photos.

I'm now up to 166 emails and two text messages! Will I be inundated with facebook notifications when I finally log on – somehow I doubt it!!

One day to go...

Day Eight and I'm plugged back in!!

Yay, internet!!

OK so honestly I'm glad to have the internet back. I think it has to be one of the best tools around!! TV on the other hand it appears I can just about do without!!

Some stats...

197 emails – of those only 2 were from 'real' people!! The others were all mailing lists, blog updates etc etc. After trawling through them all this evening I have unsubscribed from a lot of them, added all the blogs to my google reader and generally scared myself by the amount of rubbish and advertising I expose myself to!!

117 new google reader items – they may take a while to go through! I did unsubscribe from quite a few before the Unplug but maybe I need to do a few more!

52 Facebook notifications – most of these were tags in photos after a birthday party and comments on those photos. To be perfectly honest I didn't miss it a huge amount. I don't know if people were aware I wasn't about so were quieter than normal or if I'm just not very popular!!!

1 voicemail message – about a flat viewing. They obviously didn't listen to the answerphone message that gave my landline number.

3 text messages – None of which were life threateningly important and all got answered this morning!

TV – I stuck to my 2 DVD's but it would have been nice to sit down and watch something a few times over the long weekend. I need to make sure I actually make the effort to sit down and pay attention to what I'm watching and not just turning it on for background noise!!

I think what I have learnt from this whole week long experience is moderation and mindfulness. It's OK to go online for a reason. To catch up on Facebook, to look up something, to check the news etc etc but not out of habit, not to sit and 'zombie' surf for hours. The same with TV, sit down and really watch it, don't just turn it on out of habit.

I'm hoping this will be what I take forward from this. Being mindful of what I am spending my time doing. More reading, more sleeping, more doing stuff!!

1 comment:

  1. You said it well, moderation and mindfulness instead of zombie surfing and compulsive email checking.

    My unplugged week was a bit of an outlier because I was visiting family. I did find it a hassle not to have a cell phone and there were times when it would have been handy to email or look something up online.

    One big takeaway for me is that I really don't need to check my email that often. After a week offline I had just under 100 messages. About 20 of them needed a reply and another 20 were part of an entertaining email chain a group of friends started.

    Can I get down to checking email every other day? We'll see.

    Congratulations on making the week work for you and for joining me on it.

    PS. See, if I were on Facebook I would like to read an update telling me someone got sworn at on the train. Good for a laugh and so much better than, ___ is eating sushi for lunch.