Living with intention
February 6, 2019 2:26 PM   Subscribe

I just downloaded Siempo and it's great. It's helped me realize how challenging it is to balance my relationship to technology. I don't consider myself addicted or anything, but I miss.... being offline. I'm old enough to remember the days before the internet, and I miss them. Though I'm not looking to quit the internet just yet, I think books on the subject of reconnecting and living intentionally would be helpful. Here's one example. Any others you'd suggest? If not a book, is there a habit or exercise that you find restorative?
posted by onecircleaday to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
When I was getting my anxiety under control one of the things my therapist suggested to me was starting and ending the day with NO INTERNET, no screens, etc. So when I wake up I set a timer on my phone for 45 min and then put it away. I don't text people, I don't do anything on the phone or the computer (sometimes I turn on music but I don't mess with things). This way i get up and have coffee and sort of "set an intention" for the day (I often meditate in the morning but not always) and it's helpful to not just sit down and be like "OK now I am doing internet" and let that guide your habits. Similarly at night, I have this one little phone game that is sort of my phasing out of being online. I'll mess with it a little (not check social media or email or anything else) and then put the phone away and read a book for 30+ minutes and then go to sleep. This way my head is filled with stories, not with agitated "What is coming next?" feelings. Both of these things have helped me feel more centered in the offline world. It helps that I live in a rural area so more of the people I interact with on a day to day basis aren't Very Online either.
posted by jessamyn at 6:29 PM on February 6 [7 favorites]

The Bullet Journal Method book by Ryder Carroll is actually good for this!
posted by lokta at 12:14 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]

Some habits I've started over the past year in the battle between me vs. technology:

1) Decrease the amount of content you consume, so that you don't feel like you need to consume it all the time. For me, this means stuff like reducing my news sources, chucking out half of my RSS feeds, muting almost all retweets on Twitter, etc. I do purges every once in a while to stay intentional about what I'm taking in.

2) Use the internet on a computer instead of a phone. I've deleted certain apps and only check things (i.e. Metafilter) on my desktop computer. I find it helps my brain build the association of "sitting down at the computer = internet, everything else = living". i.e., breaking the cycle of constant portable internet, refreshing apps and jumping at texts all day long.

3) Like jessamyn said, no internet first thing in the morning. Especially no Twitter or news or things that make your nervous system jumpy! I find this goes a long way in helping to set my attention levels for the rest of the day.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 3:16 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]

Thanks so much, everyone. All really helpful suggestions. Keep 'em coming!
posted by onecircleaday at 9:28 AM on February 7

I actually find I feel bad when I don't get regular walks. I try to walk 2-4 miles a day, and for me, that time is free of phone interruptions. (I sometimes have on music or podcasts, but for me, the restorative quality is greater when the headphones are off.)

I would suggest putting your phone into airplane mode and getting a half-hour to 90 minute walk every day you can manage it. It gives your thoughts some breathing room.
posted by kristi at 11:41 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]

I recently read Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World which touches on this (and inspired me to institute a "no phone/mindless internet browsing 1 hour before bed or for the 1st hour when I wake up" rule).

I haven't checked out the author's blog in detail yet, but a cursory glance shows there are some articles about taking breaks from being connected, which might be useful to you.
posted by nuclear_soup at 8:04 AM on February 8

The Bullet Journal book is remarkably on point and so much of what I was looking for. It's all about being present for your life and getting rid of what doesn't serve. Like the Konmari method, but for your consciousness instead of things. I'm enjoying the other recommendations, though, so thank you everyone.

For future reference, if anyone is interested, there is an Indiegogo campaign for the Light Phone 2. Not for the faint of heart, but it's a great concept for anyone looking to distance themselves further from tech.
posted by onecircleaday at 11:00 AM on February 11

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