Doing A Digital Detox
Isn’t it interesting how often we tend to find validation in all the right places? Most conspicuously, when we have just made a fresh discovery or a paradigm-shifting decision? It’s as if the Universe is in tune to what is just at the dawn of our consciousness.
It happens with the simplest things, like seeing the car you just bought on every street, by the dozen, for the first time ever! To deciding you need to digitally detox your mind and hearing every on-line interviewee, FB status, girlfriend and magazine journalist saying the same thing! (?)
So, that’s just what has been happening to me : )
To be fair, I had signed up for a year long coaching course by one of my favourite Raw Food coaches in the UK, which came with a forum invitation to share our daily journey. But, that was the beginning of a love/hate affair with digital surfing. My days were streaming past in an endless sea of digital downloads. Interviews, articles, courses, e-books, Face Book, linkedin,etsy blog,twitter, emails and news sites. I was becoming more and more exhausted, as if I was training for a marathon, yet I had not been more inert in my life! I sat for literally hours on-line, in the name of research, learning, networking and ‘getting somewhere’...
One morning I woke up feeling as if I had been drugged for weeks. A little thought trickled into my mind, that perhaps, I should stay off the laptop for an hour or so. Then it became: Maybe the morning? Then: Maybe I could manage the whole day...?Hey, I know, I thought out loud, I'll do a digital detox!
I wandered around lost in my own worlds: the kitchen, my studio and my family life were foreign places that seemed to stare in a disturbingly alien way at me. I honestly felt like the things in those rooms were vaguely surprised at my presence - as if I didn’t quite fit in.
I buckled after 2 pm. Thinking I could ‘chill’ by just hopping onto FB and off again in 5 minutes, I found this status staring me in the face: The Joy Of Quiet from the good old New York Times, of all places.
I took the plunge. I mean, who better to convince me than one of the most innovative and quirky design geniuses, Philippe Starck?
They actually have internet rescue camps in South Korea?? and China?
My problem was exactly what the man said. I had, in a couple of months, sunk to zero creativity and below zero inspiration. I was bordering on depression.
Here I am living surrounded by nature, with everything I need to inspire me and all the tools to create with, at my fingertips, yet I was escaping into a cyber playground, looking, hopefully, for what I knew I could not find there.
What I was doing, really, truly, was just escaping from getting down to ME. The end result was feeling like I had lost precious time for my creative soul and had instead created a cyber -self with a two dimensional personality and no real LIFE.
Let’s be honest, how real is your life if you are spending most of your sunlight hours staring at a flickering screen??
I initially wanted to cancel my FB account – which I have done before, for about 8 months, but decided it would say more about my self-discipline if I could simply NOT click onto it – even though it was there, on my tab bar.
I have been on my digital detox for quite some time now. It's not a detour - I will not be returning.
I must say, that the increase in productivity is AWESOME. I am enjoying the 'flavours of peace' to borrow the words of the warm-honey-voiced, Michael Neill. Time has S-L-O-W-E-D down! I'm enjoying my SELF!
I clearly have a very low tolerance for distractions that have no bearing on my immediate goals. I just don't seem to be able to operate at full creative speed when I have other people's stuff going on in my head. I can't switch it off. I even struggle to meditate if I've seen too many movies.
So, here you are; on-line, you say. Well, I have limits in place now. My blog is something I DO, it’s my passion for writing and I can do it sitting watching the kids swim...like right now : ) I write my articles in Word and copy them to my blog. They have a beginning and an end. It’s not an unlimited trek into the wilderness of words and images with no real aim or goal other than to distract myself from my own neglected garden of imagination.
I take approximately 5 minutes to check mails and reply to those that move me. I’m rather ruthless with those that don’t. I also check up on my website and then that’s it. Done.
I came upon the ideas for my Natural History Collection during a digital detox...a coaching program sprang into life in my head and I lost some weight!. (suddenly discovered that I had regained my awesome ability to ‘boogy on down’ in the sitting room)
I would love to know if you have been feeling the nudge in this direction too? And, I wonder, how does one do it if your job requires you to be on-line most of the day?
How do you cope with that information overload?
Love it. So true and so pertinant. Always that one step head lovely Leila xx
All good sista! Yay for that - have shared the nytimes article numerous times!! Yes, easy to hide behind that 2 dimensional personality - hurrah for reality! We like sharing - but we also like a cup of tea with a friend - ...
Great article Leila! It seems to me, we are all getting it right, cyber-overload leading to 'digital detox', we are becoming super-duper-healthy and creative women, wow!
Many regards to all of you, bt.
Thank you, Sam. Isn't it comforting that we always find our circle is going through "stuff" right along with us. Thank goodness we can share the journey!
Hi Beate! Thank you for visiting! Give us a link so we can see your creativity too!