Marcus and I decided it would be a good idea to detox from technology for a short period since we knew it was starting to control our lives. So, the weekend of December 14, 2018 we decided to put our phones, laptops, and TV’s away. No access. No exceptions. We told our families and posted a few short words on social media that we would be going off the grid for the next 40 hours. We understand that this isn’t a lengthy amount of time, but we wanted to dip our toes in the water before completely jumping in. We decided we would put our devices away at 6:30 PM Friday night and abandon them until about 12:00 PM Sunday afternoon. Interestingly enough, we were very excited.
Friday night, we started our weekend by going to a local restaurant we hadn’t been to before. It was called The Globe. The menu consisted of a range of Curry dishes and our meals were fantastic. We spoke a few words with the owner and learned it had only been open for 40 days. We could have guessed this since they seemed to appreciate every customer that entered. I was so moved by his story, I realized I wanted to start helping local businesses succeed. I could do this by shopping locally, writing good reviews and maybe even volunteering to help with business plans or marketing efforts. Before we left the restaurant, we already felt like our eyes had opened up a bit wider and that we were experiencing all of our senses again for the first time. We ended our Friday night playing cards and laying on our fuzzy carpet telling each other stories.
The next morning, we woke up eager to start the day. Typically, I would grab my phone to check my Instagram feed and emails, but instead I laid there for a few minutes reminding myself why I am doing this. I made a cup of joe, read a couple chapters of my book and headed to Yoga for a 9:00 AM practice. After we finished our final Savasana, I left feeling refreshed and ready to seize the day. We went to the grocery store that lived below the Yoga studio and grabbed some goodies for the next few days. Once I finished eating my Avocado bagel sandwich, I decided to run a few errands. Running errands without a device handy wasn’t all that different, but it almost felt like there was no rush, like time was not a thing and we were just being. It was the weirdest and most satisfying sensation.
I would just like to note that it was less than two weeks until Christmas and we were experiencing 45-degree temperatures. It was teasing me of Spring. My favorite place in the whole world is a coffee shop. So naturally, I decided to take a walk to a coffee shop on State street. I got a Chai Tea Latte and continued to read my book. By the way, the book I am currently reading is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I highly recommend it if you’re in for an interesting memoir. When I am at coffee shops, I usually would go on my laptop to take notes or search questions I had but instead I had to write them on paper. I can’t imagine having to write everything down on paper. My hands would cramp up tremendously.
It started to get dark, so I decided to walk home and make dinner. That night’s dinner consisted of salmon, rice, green beans, and sweet potatoes. Yum. Not having access to television or internet while eating dinner was a challenge. We had to find other means of entertainment. One of the exceptions we made for the weekend was Marcus’s Canon T3i digital camera because it did not have access to internet. That way we could still take pictures of our adventures. Additionally, I had been interested in learning the ins and outs of a camera. Since that was my only source of technology and I could tell I was itching for a taste, I finally took the time to learn about the ISO, shutter speed and aperture. I obviously still have a ton to learn, but I was happy that I finally took the time to slow down and focus on one thing for a change.
Later, we developed a blind beer taste game with a pick 6 we picked up earlier in the day. We numbered each beer and handed each of the beers, one by one, to the other person while the blinded had to guess which numbered beer it was. I almost had a perfect score until I mixed up the last two. Marcus only got two right :). After that, we played chess and checkers. Marcus demolished me in both games. Which for the record, I usually beat him at chess. When we finished playing games, I was fatigued. I fell asleep instantly when I hit the bed. A day with no technology is exhausting :P. The next morning, we started another day with a 9:00 AM Yoga session. The practice was wonderful as always.
Now I am sitting here at a coffee shop across the street from the yoga studio reflecting on my weekend with no technology. I can say I found myself multiple times reaching for my phone with no phone to be found. It was difficult not having all the answers to my questions at the click of a button. Or when I wanted to instantly write a review on Yelp for the restaurant that I had enjoyed. But instead I had to write it on a to do list for when I had access to technology again. Even though there were some annoyances and sometimes it felt like we were disengaged from the rest of society, it was almost like we were in a different world. Like a weight had been lifted off our shoulders. Freed from the beast. Overall, it was a great experience and I recommend it for anyone that needs to take a break from the rush, learn about oneself, or just to really think and to be. We will definitely be doing this as a regular practice moving forward. And I hope even when I have access to all that technology has to offer, I will still be the one that is in control.
How much is technology in control of your life?