Tag Archives: Active

My Digital Diet

1 Feb

Something lifestyle-changing happened to me last week: my laptop was attacked by a virus and I had no access to the internet all week. I am not someone who uses a lot of technology in my daily life: I do not have a Smart Phone, I am not a member of any social networking sites and I don’t even use an mp3 player. I thought that technology didn’t play a large role in my life until I spent a week without the internet.

In the ‘internetless’ week I had no headaches and my eyes were never sore. I felt less agitated and fell asleep easier. I got out of the house more and read more in a week than I have done in months. I sorted out things in the house that had been in a mess for weeks. I read magazines that had been lying around since September and I even wrote a letter to a friend. I went for more walks, I cooked more and I was more active overall.

“What do I do in all those hours that I spend on the internet?” I asked myself when I saw how much I was getting done without it. I was shocked to find that I had no answer. Another question followed: Why do I spend so much time in the virtual world?” To this question I did have an answer: “Because it is easier than the real world”.

It is easier to surf the internet than to clean the house. It is easier to check e-mails from acquaintances than to talk to a loved one about one’s troubles. It is easier to watch YouTube videos than to try out that dance class. It is easier to read friends’ blogs than to get started on that novel. It is easier to find out about other people’s adventures than to go out and experience our own.

The internet has always given me an escape and an excuse. I can avoid the challenges and problems of my real life by distracting myself on the internet. What’s more, it is now socially acceptable to spend the majority of our time in front of the computer. It is even seen as odd or old-fashioned if someone isn’t married to the latest website or social network.

My week without the internet made me realise that I had become so good at living in a virtual world that I no longer knew how to live in the real one. I thought that technology was saving me time, when, in fact, it is making me waste away precious hours (or days, weeks, months?!) of my life.

After experiencing a week without the internet, I understood that there are so many activities that could bring a positive change to my life. I understood that I could dance more and write more; I could cook more and meditate more. I could explore the city more and read more books. I could laugh more and hug more. And I realised that the only way of finding time to do all of these wonderful things is to cut down the time that I spend on the internet.

A life without the internet isn’t possible in our society, nor is it something I wish for, but I hope that my week without it will always remind me to put real life first.

Do YOU need to go on a Digital Diet? Take The Telegraph’s Digital Diet quiz.

You may also find useful the Digital Diet quiz based on Daniel Sieberg’s book of the same name.

Life Above All

4 Aug

“Things I have learnt on holiday this week: …(point 10) I would prefer to rest and to listen to the sea rather than to carry on writing.”

Journal entry 26/07/11

This summer, I am blessed to have beaches to walk on, seas to swim in, villages to visit, films to watch, books to read, dinners to cook, friends to host, bikes to ride, mountains to climb, cards to play, wine to drink, sun rays to catch, photos to take.

This summer, my mind has remained passive and my body has become active. I want to feel, not think. I want to experience, not analyse. I want to participate, not create.

This summer, I listened to my whole being,which asked for mental rest and physical activity, and I ignored the voice of ‘shoulds’, which told me that I “should read and write and keep up intellectual activity”.

I’m glad I didn’t listen to this nonsense or else I would have missed out on some pretty awesome moments.

Red Sky over sea

With thanks to Meredith for the inspiration!