A week without noise

I’m doing something crazy this week:

computer shutdown A week without noise
I’m shutting down my computer. For a whole week. No email, no blog reading, no blogging, no web surfing, no Twitter. No Word, Quicken or Photoshop. I’ll live a computer-free life for seven days.

For some people that wouldn’t be that big of a deal; for me it’ll be a huge deal, and that’s why I’m doing it. I realized at the end of last week that for all of my adult life I’ve been hyper-connected. When I worked in the high tech industry I spent ten hours a day in front of a computer. Even now that I don’t work, my computer is a huge part of my life — I communicate with my parents and husband and friends primarily via email throughout the day, and my main hobby, writing, puts me in front of the computer even more.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that per se, but I realized last week that I’d become addicted to the “noise” of constant communication, running over to my computer to see if there’s a new email or blog post or blog comment or news story to give me a few seconds of distraction and amusement any time things get the slightest bit tough. I like the idea of completely fasting from it all for a week to force myself to re-adjust to silence (I don’t mean literal silence, of course, since my house is about as tranquil as the howler monkey cage at the zoo, but “silence” in terms of a lack of a constant buzz of outside stimulation and information). I like how fasting from anything gives you a fresh perspective on what is normal, that when you re-incorporate it into your life even the smallest doses seem like a lot since you’re used to having none.

I’ve felt called to do this for a while, for weeks doing that thing where God sends me clear signals along the lines of “STEP. AWAY. FROM. THE. LAPTOP.” and I’m all like “Step away from the what? The map shop? What? Let me get back to you after I’m done checking email…” and this past weekend he finally hit me over the head in a way that I could no longer ignore.

So after I hit publish on this post I’ll shut down my laptop and put it over on my bookshelf until next Monday. Needless to say, I won’t be hosting 7 Quick Takes this week, and I won’t be checking comments until next week (which is why I closed comments on this post). Since I’m horrible about replying to emails I doubt anyone will notice a difference in that department.

This’ll be the first time in my adult life I’ve spent a whole week completely “unplugged.” Oddly enough, I’m really looking forward to it. See you all next week!

UPDATE: 20 things I learned in a week without my computer

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