A week into 2020 I got sick and in my fevered state, I spilled tea on my laptop. It wasn’t that big of a surprise when the keyboard stopped working. Thankfully the warranty was still in effect and I was able to fix everything free of charge. But between sending the laptop to an authorized service center and waiting for it to be couriered back, I was without my primary computer for almost two weeks.
It was… interesting.
I thought I would simply disconnect from all things digital and maybe read more books or do more artistic things like draw or scrapbook. Nope. I was basically glued to my phone, to the point I needed to charge it every night. Even though before that I only needed to charge it once every two and a half/three days.
Once I got my laptop back, I thought back to how I used my phone and tried to analyze the habits I fell back on during that time. Surprisingly, they weren’t the digital habits I had when my laptop was working.
I honestly thought I would be using my phone the same way I used my laptop (to compensate perhaps): watching YouTube, reading some articles on my favorite websites, maybe some Netflix and reading some fanfics.
I spent an obscene amount of time on Twitter and Instagram just mindlessly scrolling. And I’ve read a lot of fanfic. Like A LOT. I didn’t read any articles outside of pocket because the loading time was too long. And my productivity went down drastically (in case you wondered about the long break between the posts).
But I didn’t become less digital in that experience. And it all made me realize something I have been missing till now. Being less digital isn’t necessarily about access, at least not for me.
It’s more about making a conscious decision. This past couple of weeks I decided to turn off my laptop at least an hour before it’s time for bed. Instead, I decided to read a book in bed, allowing my eyes to rest from all the screens I’m exposed to on a daily basis.
I modified my commute as well. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through my phone, I always have a book with me so I can read it on the train.
But I don’t want to end there. I want to see if I can be consistent in the changes I made so far and then, I want to see how far I can push it. And I want to see how it will impact my productivity.
I want to be more minimal with my electronic use, which hopefully will prolong the life of my devices. And maybe it will help me be more mindful of where my time goes.
We shall see.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!