Leo Babauta reminds us that a break from digital communication is refreshing. It clears your life of the noise, and allows you to find quiet, to focus on the important, to be at peace.
What I didn’t do on my digital break:
- Check email.
- Check Twitter or tweet.
- Check or update Facebook, which I use just for keeping up with family.
- Read my RSS feeds.
- Check any news sites.
- Watch any TV except for the last Lost episode.
- Watch any YouTube or other online videos.
- Listen to any radio.
- Read any Internet except for a few longer articles I already had open in my browser. These were OK, because they were just reading, nothing updated or connected.
Some of the things I did do while on my break:
- Went for a run with my wife Eva.
- Did a short zazen session with Eva.
- Had really nice, long conversations with Eva.
- Wrote a couple of blog posts.
- Spent some time playing with my kids.
- Watched the historic finale of Lost.
- Had coffee.
- Read some of the novel I’m reading, John Updike’s Rabbit, Run.
- Caught up with the aforementioned long articles I’d wanted to read.
- Shaved my head and beard.
- Had a short visit from my dad.
- Had a long, excellent visit with my grandma.
- Had dinner with my mom and sisters, their kids, and Eva and the kids.
Looking over what I didn’t do, and what I did do, I’d say the day was a success. I did things that gave me joy, and cut out things that just take up my time.
Am I saying we should all cut out these things — email, Twitter, Facebook, reading blogs, reading news? No, I think in smaller doses, they enrich our lives. We just need digital breaks on a regular basis, so they don’t take over our lives.
I plan to take a digital break once a week. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!
A version of this post originally appeared at mnmlist.com
Photo: Bob Jagendorf/Flickr